Reality Gendervision

Reality Gendervision

Reality Gendervision: Sexuality & Gender on Transatlantic Reality Television
edited by Brenda R. Weber

PN 1992.8 .R43 R43 2014

“This essay collection focuses on the gendered dimensions of reality television in both the United States and Great Britain. Through close readings of a wide range of reality programming, from Finding Sarah and Sister Wives to Ghost Adventures and Deadliest Warrior, the contributors think through questions of femininity and masculinity as they relate to the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality. They connect the genre’s combination of real people and surreal experiences, of authenticity and artifice, to the production of identity and norms of citizenship, the commodification of selfhood, and the naturalization of regimes of power. Whether asssessing the Kardashian family brand, portrayals of hoarders, or big-family programs such as 19 Kids and Counting, the contributors analyze reality television as a relevant site for the production and performance of gender. In the process, they illuminate the larger neoliberal and postfeminist contexts in which Reality TV is produced, promoted, watched, and experienced.”
– publisher description

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Writing On the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years

Writing On the Wall

Writing On the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage

HM 1206 .S72 2013

“Social media is anything but a new phenomenon. From the papyrus letters that Cicero and other Roman statesmen used to exchange news, to the hand-printed tracts of the Reformation and the pamphlets that spread propaganda during the American and French revolutions, the ways people shared information with their peers in the past are echoed in the present. After decades of newspapers, radio, and television dominating the dissemination of information to the masses, the Internet has spawned a reemergence of social media as a powerful way for individuals to share information with their friends, driving public discourse in new ways.

Writing On the Wall reminds us how historical social networks have much in common with modern social media. The Catholic Church’s dilemmas in responding to Martin Luther’s attacks are similar to those of today’s large institutions in responding to criticism on the Internet, for example, and seventeenth-century complaints about the distractions of coffeehouses mirror modern concerns about social media. Invoking figures from Thomas Paine to Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet, Standage explores themes that have long been debated, from the tension between freedom of expression and censorship to social media’s role in spurring innovation and fomenting revolution.

As engaging as it is visionary, Writing On the Wall draws on history to cast provocative new light on today’s social media and encourages debate and discussion about how we will communicate in the future.”
– publisher description

Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution

Difficult Men

Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad by Brett Martin

PN 1992.8 .S4 M2655 2013

“In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the landscape of television began an unprecedented transformation. While the networks continued to chase the lowest common denominator, a wave of new shows, first on premium cable channels like HBO and then basic cable networks like FX and AMC, dramatically stretched television’s narrative inventiveness, emotional resonance, and artistic ambition.

A new breed of auteur – given the chance to make art in a famously maligned medium – took full advantage, sometimes proving to be nearly as conflicted, idiosyncratic, and “difficult” as the complicated protagonists that came to define the genre. No longer concerned with creating likable characters, self-contained episodes, or subjects that were deemed safe and appropriate, shows such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Deadwood, and The Shield tackled issues of life and death, love and sexuality, addiction, race, violence, and existential boredom. Just as the Big Novel had in the 1960s and the subversive films of New Hollywood had in the 1970s, television became the place to go to see stories of the triumph and betrayals of the American Dream at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Combining deep reportage with cultural analysis and historical context, Brett Martin recounts the rise and inner workings of a genre that represents not only a new golden age for TV but also a cultural watershed. Difficult Men features extensive interviews with all the major players, including David Chase (The Sopranos), David Simon and Ed Burns (The Wire), David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood), and Alan Ball (Six Feet Under), in addition to dozens of other writers, directors, studio executives, actors, production assistants, makeup artists, script supervisors, and so on. Martin takes us behind the scenes of our favorite shows, delivering never-before-heard story after story and revealing how cable TV has distinguished itself dramatically from the networks and emerged from the shadow of film to become a truly significant and influential part of our culture.”
– publisher description

Dial M for Murdoch

Dial M for Murdoch

Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain
by Thomas Watson & Martin Hickman

PN 4734.5 .N48 W38 2012

Dial M for Murdoch uncovers the inner workings of one of the most powerful companies in the world: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain; how it has used its huge power to bully, intimidate, and cover up; and how its exposure has changed the way we look at our politicians, our police service, and our press.

Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers had been hacking phones and casually destroying people’s lives for years, but it was only after a seemingly trivial report in 2005 about Prince William’s knee that detectives stumbled on a criminal conspiracy. A five-year cover-up then concealed and muddied the truth. Dial M for Murdoch gives the first comprehensive account of the extraordinary lengths to which the Murdoch-controlled New Corporation went to “put the problem in a box” (in James Murdoch’s words), and of how its efforts to maintain and extend its power were aided by its political and police friends, and how it was finally exposed.

The book details the smears and threats against politicians, journalists, and lawyers. It reveals the existence of brave insiders who pointed those pursuing the investigation toward pieces of secret information that cracked open the case.

Seeing the story whole, as it is presented here for the first time, allows the character of the Murdoch-run News Corporation to emerge unmistakably. You will hardly believe it.” – publisher description