Friday, August 19, 2016

Recent Books on the Media Industries, 2015-present

Media Industries Books, 2015-2016

I'm teaching my Media Industries graduate seminar again this fall, so it's time to again offer a new list of recent industry related book publications (and to provide my biennial post on this blog).

As before (see prior lists below), this list consists of books featuring a range of approaches to the media industries. In an effort to be as expansive as possible, I have included everything from scholarly manuscripts to introductory textbooks to select popular/crossover publications.  

Please contact me via Twitter @aperren  or by email (aperren [at] if you have additional suggestions or updates regarding this list.

Also recommended: Nedda Ahmed’s Media Industries Pinterest board, which regularly features new titles.

  • Peter Alilunas, Smutty Little Films: The Creation and Regulation of Adult Video (2016)
  • Amelia Arsenault and Alisa Perren with the Media Industries Journal Editorial Collective, eds., Media Industries: Perspectives on an Evolving Field (2016)
  • Karina Aveyard, Albert Moran, and Pia Majbritt Jensen, eds., New Patterns in Global Television Formats (2016)
  • Doris Baltruschat and Mary Erickson, eds., Independent Filmmaking Around the Globe (2015)
  • Miranda J. Banks, The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild (2015)
  • Miranda J. Banks, Bridget Conor, and Vicki Mayer, eds., Production Studies, The Sequel!: Cultural Studies of the Global Media Industries (2015)
  • Christopher Beach, A Hidden History of Film Style: Cinematographers, Directors, and the Collaborative Process (2015)
  • Jayson Beaster-Jones, Music Commodities, Markets, and Values: Music as Merchandise (2016)
  • Lucy Bennett, Bertha Chin, and Bethan Jones, eds., Crowdfunding the Future: Media Industries, Ethics, and Digital Society (2015)
  • Benjamin Birkenbine, Rodrigo Gomez, and Janet Wasko, eds., Global Media Giants (2016)
  • Nicholas David Bowman, John S.W. Spinda, and Jimmy Sanderson, eds., Fantasy Sports and the Changing Sports Media Industry: Media, Players, and Society (2016)
  • Ib Bondebjerg, Eva Novrup Redvall, and Andrew Higson, eds., European Cinema and Television: Cultural Policy and Everyday Life (2015)
  • Joshua Braun, This Program is Brought to You By…Distributing Television News Online (2015)
  • Liam Burke, The Comic Book Film Adaptation: Exploring Modern Hollywood’s Leading Genre (2015)
  • Emily Carman, Independent Stardom: Freelance Women in the Hollywood Studio System (2016)
  • Jean Chalaby, The Format Age: Television’s Entertainment Revolution (2015)
  • David Church, Grindhouse Nostalgia: Memory, Home Video, and Exploitation Film Fandom (2015)
  • J.D. Connor, The Studios After the Studios: Neoclassical Hollywood (1970-2015) (2015)
  • Keith Corson, Trying to Get Over: African American Directors After Exploitation, 1977-1986 (2016)
  • Virginia Crisp, Film Distribution in the Digital Age: Pirates and Professionals (2015)
  • Michael Curtin and Kevin Sanson, eds., Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labor (2016)
  • Marijke de Valck, Brendan Kredell, and Skaidi Loist, eds., Film Festivals: History, Theory, Method, Practice (2016)
  • Donald Dewey, James Stuart Blackton and the Birth of American Movies (2016)
  • Rajinder Dudrah, Elke Mader, and Bernhard Fuchs, eds., SRK and Global Bollywood (2015)
  • Tim Dwyer, Convergent Media and Piracy (2015)
  • Frieda Ekotto and Kenneth W. Harrow, eds., Rethinking African Cultural Production (2015)
  • Elizabeth Ellcessor, Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation (2016)
  • Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan, The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—and They Shape Us (2016)
  • Martin Flanagan, Andrew Livingstone, and Mike McKenny, The Marvel Studios Phenomenon: Inside a Transmedia Universe (2016)
  • Bo Florin, Nico de Klerk, and Patrick Vonderau, eds., Films That Sell: Moving Pictures and Advertising (2016)
  • Matthew Freeman, Industrial Approaches to Media: A Methodological Gateway to Industry Studies (2016)
  •  Joel Frykolm, George Kleine and American Cinema: The Movie Business and Film Culture in the Silent Era (2015)
  • Christian Fuchs, Culture and Economy in the Age of Social Media (2015)
  • Jeremy Geltzer, Dirty Words and Filthy Pictures: Film and the First Amendment (2016)
  • Nitin Govil, Orienting Hollywood: A Century of Film Culture Between Hollywood and Bombay (2015)
  • Paul Grainge and Catherine Johnson, Promotional Screen Industries (2015)
  • Tommy Gustafsson and Pietari Kaapa, eds., Nordic Genre Film: Small Nation Film Cultures in the Global Marketplace (2015)
  • Orit Halbern, Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason Since 1945 (2015)
  • John Hartley, Wen Wen, and Henry Siling Li, Creative Economy and Culture: Challenges, Changes, and Futures for the Creative Industries (2015)
  • Timothy Havens and Amanda Lotz, Understanding Media Industries (2nd ed., 2016)
  • David S. Heineman, Thinking About Video Games: Interviews with the Experts (2015)
  • Erin Hill, Never Done: A History of Women’s Work in Media Production (2016)
  • Aniko Imre, TV Socialism (2016)
  • Richard B. Jewell, Slow Fade to Black: The Decline of RKO Radio Pictures (2016)
  • Meg Leta Jones, Ctrl + Z: The Right To Be Forgotten (2016)
  • Michael Keane, The Chinese Television Industry (2016)
  • Amanda Ann Klein and R. Barton Palmer, eds., Cycles, Spinoffs, Remakes, and Reboots: Multiplicities in Film and Television (2016)
  • Holly Kruse, Off-Track and Online: The Networked Spaces of Horse Racing (2016)
  • Jon Lewis, ed., Producing (2015)
  • Ramon Lobato and Julian Thomas, Informal Media Economy (2015)
  • Ramon Lobato and James Meese, eds., Geoblocking and Global Video Culture (2016)
  • Harriet Margolis, Alexis Krasilovsky, and Julia Stein, Shooting Women: Behind the Camera, Around the World (2015)
  • Richard Maxwell, ed., The Routledge Companion to Labor and Media (2015) 
  • Paul McDonald, Emily Carman, Eric Hoyt and Philip Drake, eds., Hollywood and the Law (2015)
  • John McGuire, Greg G. Armfield, and Adam Earnhardt, eds., The ESPN Effect: Exploring the Worldwide Leader in Sports (2015)
  • Kim McNamara, Paparazzi: Media Practices and Celebrity Culture (2015)
  • Edward F. McQuarrie, The Market Research Toolbox: A Concise Guide for Beginners (4th ed., 2015)
  • Jeremy Wade Morris, Selling Digital Music, Formatting Culture (2015)
  • Jade Miller, Nollywood Central (2016)
  • James Andrew Miller, Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency (2016)
  • Nolwenn Mingant, Cecilia Tirtaine, and Joel Augros, eds., Film Marketing in the 21st Century (2015)
  • Eli M. Noam and The International Media Concentration Collaboration, Who Owns the World’s Media? Media Concentration and Ownership Around the World (2016)
  • Lisa Parks and Nicole Starosielski, eds., Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures (2015)
  • Kate Oakley and Justin O'Connor, eds., The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries (2015)   
  • Chris Paterson, David Lee, Anamik Saha, and Anna Zoellner, eds., Advancing Media Production Research: Shifting Sites, Methods, and Politics (2016) 
  • William Paul, When Movies Were Theater: Architecture, Exhibition, and the Evolution of American Film (2016) 
  • Matthew Payne, Playing War: Military Video Games After 9/11 (2016)
  • Allison Perlman, Public Interests: Media Advocacy and the Struggles Over Television (2016)
  • Shawn M. Powers and Michael Jablonski, The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom (2015)
  • Yeidy Rivero, Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-1960 (2015)
  • Violaine Rouseel and Denise Bielby, eds., Brokerage and Production in the French Entertainment Industries: Invisible Hands in Cultural Markets (2015)
  • Nicholas Sammond, Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation (2015)
  • Avi Santo, Selling the Silver Bullet: The Lone Ranger and Transmedia Brand Licensing (2015)
  • John Seabrook, The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory (2015)
  • Matt Sienkiewicz, The Other Air Force: U.S. Efforts to Reshape Middle Eastern Media Since 9/11 (2016)
  • Jacob Smith and Neil Verma, eds., Anatomy of Sound: Norman Corwin and Media Authorship (2016)
  • Michael Glover Smith and Adam Selzer, Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry (2015)
  • Jason Sperb, Flickers of Film: Nostalgia in the Time of Digital Cinema (2016)
  • Jason Squire, ed., The Movie Business Book (4th ed., 2016)
  • Shelley Stamp, Lois Weber in Early Hollywood (2015)
  • Nicole Starosielski, The Undersea Network (2015)
  • Michael Strangelove, Post-TV: Piracy, Cord-Cutting, and the Future of Television (2015)
  • Wendy Su, China’s Encounter with Global Hollywood: Cultural Policy and the Film Industry, 1994-2013 (2016)
  • Nuria Triana-Toribio, Spanish Film Cultures: The Making and Unmaking of Spanish Cinema (2016)
  • Valentina Vitali, Capital and Popular Cinema: The Dollars are Coming! (2016)
  • Travis Vogan, ESPN: The Making of a Sports Media Empire (2015)
  • Johnny Walker, Contemporary British Horror: Industry, Genre, and Society (2015)
  • Richard Lewis Ward, When the Cock Crows: The Pathe Exchange (2016) 
  • Michael Wolff, Television is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age (2015) 
  • Bilge Yesil, Media in New Turkey: The Origins of an Authoritarian Neoliberal State (2016)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Recent Books on the Media Industries (2013-present)

Media Industries Books, 2013-2015

This list consists of an updated list of recently published books related to the media industries (compiled for my class for a book review assignment, but perhaps of interest to others.) In an effort to be as expansive as possible, I have included everything from scholarly manuscripts to introductory textbooks to popular/crossover publications. 
Have any suggestions for additions or changes to the list? Please let me know: aperren at austin dot utexas dot edu.

  • Alan Albarran, The Social Media Industries (2013)
  • Chris Anderton, Andrew Dubber, and Martin James, Understanding the Music Industries (2013)
  • Mark Andrejevic, Infoglut: How Too Much Information Is Changing the Way We Think and Know (2013)
  • Ben Aslinger and Nina Huntemann, eds., Gaming Globally: Production, Play and Place (2013)
  • Tino Balio, Hollywood in the New Millennium (2013)
  • Mark Banks, Rosalind Gill, and Stephanie Taylor, eds., Theorizing Cultural Work: Labour, Continuity, and Change in the Cultural and Creative Industries (2013)
  • Miranda J. Banks, The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild (2015)
  • James Bennett and Niki Strange, eds., Media Independence: Working with Freedom or Working for Free? (2014)
  • Mark Bernard, Selling the Splat Pack: The DVD Revolution and the American Horror Film (2014)
  • Dolores Ines Casillas, Sounds of Belonging: US Spanish-Language Radio and Public Advocacy (2014)
  • Bridget Conor, Screenwriting: Creative Labor and Professional Practice (2014)
  • Bridget Conor, Rosalind Gill, and Stephanie Taylor, Gender and Creative Labour (2015)
  • Susan Crawford, Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age (2013)
  • Stuart Cunningham, Hidden Innovation: Policy, Industry, and the Creative Sector (2013)
  • Michael Curtin, Jennifer Holt, and Kevin Sanson, eds., Distribution Revolution: Conversations about the Future of Film and Television (2014)
  •  Rosamund Davies and Gauti Sigthorsson, Introducing the Creative Industries: From Theory to Practice (2013)
  • Arlene Davila and Yeidy Rivero, eds., Contemporary Latina/o Media: Production, Circulation, Politics (2014)
  • Aeron Davis, Promotional Cultures: The Rise and Spread of Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing, and Branding (2013)
  • Dean J DeFino, The HBO Effect (2013)
  • Winston Wheeler Dixon, Streaming: Movies, Media, and Instant Access (2013)
  • Brooke Duffy, Remake, Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age (2013)
  • Anita Elberse, Blockbusters: Hit-Making, Risk-Taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment (2013)
  • Christian Fuchs, Social Media: A Critical Introduction (2014)
  • Jennifer Gillan, Television Brandcasting (2014)
  • Tarleton Gillespie, Pablo J. Boczkowski, and Kirsten A. Foot, eds., Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society (2014)
  • Nitin Govil, Orienting Hollywood: A Century of Film Culture Between Hollywood and Bombay (2015)
  • Hilary Hallet, Go West, Young Women! The Rise of Early Hollywood (2013)
  • Blake Harris, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation (2014)
  •  Jonathan Hardy, Critical Political Economy of the Media (2014)
  • John Hartley, et al., Key Concepts in Creative Industries (2013)
  • Tim Havens, Black Television Travels: African American Media around the Globe (2013)
  • Daniel Herbert, Videoland: Movie Culture at the American Video Store (2014)
  • David Hesmondhalgh, Cultural Industries (3rd ed., 2013)
  • Jennifer Holt and Kevin Sanson, eds., Connected Viewing: Selling, Streaming, and Sharing Culture in the Digital Age (2014)
  •  Eric Hoyt, Hollywood Vault: Film Libraries Before Home Video (2014)
  •  Jeremy Hunsinger and Teresa M. Senft, eds., The Social Media Handbook (2013)
  • Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford and Joshua Green, eds., Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture (2013)
  • Derek Johnson, Media Franchising: Creative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries (2013)
  • Derek Johnson, Derek Kompare, and Avi Santo, eds., Making Media Work: Cultures of Management in the Entertainment Industries
  • Dal Yong Jin, De-Convergence of Global Media Industries (2013)
  • Peter Lev, Twentieth Century-Fox: The Zanuck-Skouras Years, 1935-1965 (2013)
  • Andrew Leyshon, Reformatted: Code, Networks, and the Transformation of the Music Industry (2014)

  • Kristin Lieb, Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry (2013)
  • Cynthia Littleton, TV On Strike: Why Hollywood Went to War on the Internet (2013)
  • Amanda Lotz, The Television Will Be Revolutionized (2nd ed., 2014)
  •  Jennifer Smith Maguire and Julian Matthews, eds., The Cultural Intermediaries Reader (2014)
  • Denise Mann, ed., Wired TV: Laboring Over an Interactive Future (2014)
  • Alice Marwick, Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, & Branding in the Social Media Age (2013)
  • Matthew McAllister and Emily West, eds., The Routledge Companion of Advertising and Promotional Culture (2014)
  • Robert McChesney, Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy (2013)
  • Lerone A. Martin, Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Shaping of Modern African American Religion (2014)
  • Paul McDonald, Hollywood Stardom (2013)
  • Ross Melnick, American Showman: Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry, 1908-1935 (2014)
  • Cynthia Meyers, A Word From Our Sponsor: Admen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio (2014)
  • Tanner Mirrlees, Global Entertainment Media: Between Cultural Imperialism and Cultural Globalization (2013)
  • Albert Moran, TV Format Mogul: Reg Grundy’s Transnational Career (2013)
  • Vincent Mosco, To the Cloud: Big Data in a Turbulent World (2014)
  •  Philip Napoli, ed., Media Diversity and Localism (2013)
  •  Sunetra Sen Narayan, Globalization and Television: A Study of the Indian Experience, 1990-2010 (2014)
  • Randy Nichols, The Video Game Business (2014)
  •  Casey O’Donnell, Developer’s Dilemma: The Secret World of Videogame Creators (2014)
  • Sherry B. Ortner, Not Hollywood: Independent Film at the Twilight of the American Dream (2013)
  • Roberta Pearson and Marie Messenger Davies, Star Trek and American Television (2014)
  • Anne Helen Petersen, Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of Cinema (2014)
  • Sandra Ponzanesi, The Postcolonial Cultural Industry: Markets, Mythologies (2014)
  • Aswin Punathambekar, From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (2013)
  •  Eva Redvall, Writing and Producing Television Drama in Denmark: From The Kingdom to The Killing (2013)
  •  Jim Rogers, The Death and Life of the Music Industry in the Digital Age (2013)
  • Avi Santo, Selling the Silver Bullet: The Lone Ranger and Transmedia Brand Licensing (2015)
  •  Dan Schiller, Digital Depression: Information Technology and Economic Crisis (2014)
  • Trebor Scholz, ed., Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory (2013)
  •  John Sinclair and Joe Straubhaar, Latin American Television Industries (2013)
  • Michael Glover Smith and Adam Selzer, Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry (2015)
  • Andrew Spicer, Anthony McKenna, and Christopher Meir, eds., Beyond the Bottom Line: The Producer in Film and Television (2014)
  • Petr Szczpanek and Patrick Vonderau, eds., Behind the Screen: Inside European Production Cultures (2014)
  • Astra Taylor, The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age (2014)
  • Anne Thompson, The $11 Billion Year: From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System (2014)
  •  Joseph Turow, The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth (2013)
  • Chuck Tryon, On-Demand Culture: Digital Delivery and the Future of Movies (2013)
  • Matt Stahl, Unfree Masters: Recording Artists and the Politics of Work (2013)
  •  Jose Van Dijck, The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media (2013)
  •  Travis Vogan, Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media (2014)
  •  Peter Zackariasson and Timothy Wilson, eds., The Video Game Industry: Formation, Present State, and Future (2014)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Recent Books on the Media Industries (2010-present)

Media Industries Books, 2010-2013

I am teaching my Media Industries graduate seminar again this spring, and as such, I have once again updated my list of recent books published on the media industries. 

For their midterm assignment, my students are able to choose which book they would like to review. They not only write up a book review targeted to a specific journal of their choice, but also briefly present the book to the rest of the class. As part of their presentation, they are asked to situate the book in relation to the literature we have read up to that point in the semester. 

Not every book noted below focuses entirely on the media industries, of course, but each provides value to industry researchers in some way. Both scholarly and popular books are provided.

I am sure I have left several notable books of this list. I welcome suggestions for additions or modifications to this list via email (aperren at gsu dot edu) or Twitter (@aperren).

Have any suggestions for additions or changes to the list? Please let me know!

·      Noah Arceneaux and Anandam Kavoori, eds., The Mobile Media Reader (2012)
·      Ben Aslinger and Nina Huntemann, eds., Gaming Globally: Production, Play and Place (2013)
·      Adrian Athique and Douglas Hill, The Multiplex in India: A Cultural Economy of Leisure (2012)
·      Patricia Aufderheide, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (2011)
·      Mark Balnaves, Tom O’Regan, and Ben Goldsmith, Rating the Audience: The Business of Media (2011)
·      Doris Baltruschat, Global Media Ecologies: Networked Production in Film and Television (2010)
·      Sarah Banet-Weiser, Authentic: The Politics of Ambivalence of Brand Culture (2012)
·      Nancy Baym, Personal Connections in the Digital Age (2010)
·      Aniko Bodrogkhozy, Equal Time: Television and the Civil Rights Movement (2012)
·      Raymond Boyle, The Television Entrepreneurs: Social Change and Public Understanding of Business (2012)
·      Robert Alan Brookey, Hollywood Gamers: Digital Convergence in the Film and Video Game Industries (2010)
·      Karen Buzzard, Tracking the Audience: The Ratings Industry from Analog to Digital (2012)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thoughts on teaching a pedagogically oriented media history grad seminar

Life got very hectic, and thus it has been quite some time since I posted here. Now that it is my spring break (and I am bored by the Oscars), I FINALLY have a moment to discuss a course I taught last semester.

Better late than never, right?

Last fall, for the first time, I taught a Media History grad seminar (the full syllabus can be found here). This was my first time teaching the course, and I decided to teach it differently than I had taught previous grad seminars. In short, I decided to make the class focused on exploring with the students (half MA, half PhD) how to teach media history.

My logic for taking a pedagogically oriented approach was three-fold:

  • First, we offer a doctoral-level Media Historiography course in our program (Moving Image Studies at Georgia State University). Thus, the material covered in my course needed to be more content based and less explicitly focused on methodological and theoretical questions (though of course, these are fine distinctions when teaching historically oriented courses). 
  •  Second, several of the students had not yet learned much about media history. In many cases, students had learned the history of one medium (usually film, though in a few cases, television) but few had explored multiple media histories or considered different media in relationship to each other. Thus this class offered a crash course in the histories of a variety of different media, including film, television, advertising, radio, newspapers and games. After some preliminary readings that posed larger historiographical questions, we relied primarily on textbooks from different fields to learn these histories. This focus, in itself, led to interesting discussions about "what matters" in constructing - and teaching - history. 
  • The third reason that I took this approach is because many of our grad students (typically the doctoral students) teach history related courses during their time in our program. In the past, most have taught film history courses (usually an intro-level History of Film course). Starting next year, however, my area of the department will be instituting a requirement that all undergrads take an introductory course on the history of radio, TV and new media. (How "new media" fits in here was the subject of much conversation and debate, as you might suspect.) It is likely that several of our grad students will be teaching this course at some time, and thus this class served as a laboratory of sorts where we could discuss how such a class might be taught and what could reasonably be covered during a semester. Our discussions addressed such issues as "How much do we focus on texts? aesthetics?," "how do we fit in gaming? and should we?" and "What MUST students learn if this is the only course they take on radio/TV?" Much discussion also ensued around the issue of compartmentalizing film as one intro-level course and "all other media" as another intro-level course.
 [Note: Our students take a separate pedagogy course before they teach for the first time. However, many students had yet to take that course. Also, that particular course is focused on a broader range of pedagogically oriented topics and is less field-specific.]

I'd like to say this class was all of my own devising, but in fact, my colleague, Kathy Fuller-Seeley, had previously taught a similar course. I adapted much of what she developed for my own course. For example, when Kathy taught the course, she had the students assemble syllabi for three different courses, as well as accompanying lectures, sample exams, in-class activities, etc. I added in an additional digital component to the course. That material is what I am most interested in sharing here.

This seminar was among the most challenging - and fulfilling - that I have taught thus far. Because of the pedagogical orientation of the course, I felt compelled to "let go" and not be as structured as I usually am in my grad courses. I let the diverse knowledge bases and interests of the students shape the course to a greater extent than has been typical for me with past grad courses. The results were worthwhile--pushing me to think about how I teach, how graduate students are learning to teach, and what undergraduates might - or should be expected to - learn.

There were several different digital components to the course. I hope that sharing this information might prove helpful to others thinking about teaching this type of seminar. I also hope that you will share any thoughts, suggestions, or ideas in the comments below.

Among the main ways we used digital technologies:

  • Sharing portfolios digitally: All students were required to create three courses and share them via Dropbox. The courses the class developed included a lower-division general education course, History of Film (canonical, well-established); a lower-division, major requirement, History of Radio, TV and New Media (brand new, though an upper-division version of this has been taught for some time by several people, including me); and an upper-division media history course of the students' own choosing. The full assignment can be found here (midterm assignment is here).
  •  Develop websites:  Students were required to create a website featuring (at a minimum) a CV and their syllabi. My hope was that this would encourage them to build a web presence early in their graduate careers, rather than waiting until they went on the job market. (Links to their individual websites are provided below--as you can see, the sites varied tremendously.)
  • Crowdsourcing ideas:  We used Google Docs to brainstorm ideas. Most significantly, we created a spreadsheet in which students were asked to assess which platforms might work best for websites and for class sharing. Should you be interested in looking at the range of input provided, click this link. (Again, additional suggestions welcome!)
Building on their individual interests, the class developed a fascinating range of history courses. Below, I've noted the Special Topics courses each developed, as those are the most distinctive aspects for each. For many enrolled in the seminar, this was their first time thinking about teaching; others had more extensive experience -- the syllabi provided reflect this breadth of knowledge and experience.

(All students have granted permission for viewing of their sites.)

Anton: Mediated Warfare
Charlotte: History of American Television Genres
Erik: History of the Detective Film in American Cinema
Jessica: American Film History, 1967-present
Jing: History of American Horrors
Katherine: History of Race and Representation in TV
Maria: History of American Popular Music
Munib: Chinese Film History
Neal: Critical History of Video Games
P.E.: Trash Media Culture from 1919 to Class of 1984
Safiya: History of African American Film
Taylor: History of Film Noir

Monday, December 27, 2010

New books on the media industries (and related book review assignment)

As the midterm assignment for my Media Industries graduate seminar (new syllabus to be posted soon), students write up book reviews of recent publications. 

The main requirements I have for selecting a book include:

  1. The book has to have been published in the last three years, thereby increasing the odds that the student can publish their review;
  2. A reasonable amount of the book has to focus on the media industries. (I leave the exact amount open for discussion between myself and the student – they need to make the case.); 
  3. Students have to be able to identify a venue to which they could send it for publication. Prior to writing their reviews, students are advised to read the submission instructions as well as look at sample reviews in a range of journals (e.g., Popular Communication, Cinema Journal, Television and New Media, Scope, etc.). Ideally, those students who are satisfied with their reviews can subsequently send them out for publication.
I tried this assignment for the first time last spring and the students told me they found it to be a worthwhile exercise. They were able to spend a week of the semester focusing on a subject that was of interest to them while also learning to craft an essay that suited the particular (and peculiar?) demands of the scholarly book review format.

A few caveats about this list: I have not had a chance to read many of the books on the list, and thus cannot speak to the extent to which all are focused explicitly on the media industries per se.  Also, not all of the books are by media studies scholars. Indeed, there is a rich body of work on the media industries being generated by journalists, mediamakers, media activists and legal scholars, among others. Further, if I knew the book was going to be released soon and saw that it was already listed on Amazon, I put it on the list.  It would be wonderful if could hyperlink each book to Amazon or add some articles to my list as well, but I can’t set aside that kind of time, at least right now.

Many of the books listed here have been recommended to me by others. Thanks in particular to Ben Aslinger, Jennifer Holt, Cynthia Meyers, and Mark Stewart for their suggestions. I also recommend checking out Aymar Jean Christian’s blog for a more extensive list of canonical essays and books.

If you have recommendations for additional books that I might include, please let me know. I hope this list can prove useful for others trying to keep track of this type of work which, much to my joy, seems to be getting larger and more diverse every year.

Books on the media industries (since 2008) below the jump: