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Media, Popular Culture, and the American Century

Media, Popular Culture, and the American Century

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Media, Popular Culture, and the American Century

Edited by: Jan Olsson, Kingsley Bolton

The perspectives in this volume explore a diverse range of Americana, where the borders between reality and imaginary, dreams and dystopia, America and the world, blur and disappear.

Publication date: 2011
Total pages: 416
ISBN: 9780 86196 698 1
Price: £ 20.00


Description

Seen from the perspective of the present, it is evident that the greatest cultural impact of the U.S. has been not at the high end of intellectual thought, but far more at the level of popular culture, the mass media, the spread of American English, and the technologies of the last and present century. From the first days of Hollywood till today, there has been an insatiable demand for U.S. cultural products across the globe, in advertising, fashion, film, life-style, popular music, television, and much else, all of which has had a profound and continuing impact on the structures of everyday life in many societies. In 1941, Henry R. Luce published his since-contested paean to the American Century, in which he asserted that: “American jazz, Hollywood movies, American slang, American machines and patented products, are in fact the only things that every community in the world, from Zanzibar to Hamburg, recognizes in common”. The perspectives in this volume explore a diverse range of Americana, where the borders between reality and imaginary, dreams and dystopia, America and the world, blur and disappear across settings domestic and international. From the configurations of U.S. in the early 1900s, the essays move to the digital age of Google and computerized hip hop. Somewhere mid-century, other events and movements receive scrutiny, including Asian dreams of the U.S., the impact of cinema in the Republic of China, and European imaginaries of America.
Copublished with The National Library of Sweden

Contents


Introduction: Kingsley Bolton and Jan Olsson: “The American Century – and now what ...”


Part 1 Cinema and Americanization


Jan Olsson, “Italian Marionettes Meet Cinematic Modernity”
Joel Frykholm, “Red-blooded America in the early feature film”
Meredith Ward, Song of the Sonic Body: Noise, the Audience, and Early American Moving Picture Culture”
Kingsley Bolton, “Constructing the American Vernacular: The Media and Language Change”


Part 2 Americans at the Margins


Esther Sonnet, “You Only Love Once: Repetitions of Crime as Desire in the Films of Sylvia Sidney, 1930–1937”
Peter Stanfield,“Punks! Topicality and the 1950s Gangster Bio-Pic Cycle”
Michael Renov, “Civil Rights on the Screen”


Part 3 American Dreams/American Nightmares


Corrado Neri, “Sun Yu and the Early Americanization of Chinese Cinema”
Gregory Lee, “Amérique, A-mei-li-ga and métissage: Looking for America in Martinique, Gold Mountain, and the Cuban-Chinese Restaurant”
Ann-Kristin Wallengren, “Importing Evil: The American Gangster, Swedish Cinema, and Anti-American Propaganda”


Part 4 America Goes Digital


Lisa Parks, “Goodbye Rabbit Ears: Visualizing and mapping the U.S. Digital TV Transition”
Pelle Snickars, “Archival Transitions and Digital Propositions”Evelyn Ch’ien, “Are Americans Human?”


Afterword


William Uricchio, “Rethinking American Studies”

Biography

Kingsley Bolton is Professor of English at City University of Hong Kong; Jan Olsson is Professor of Cinema Studies, Stockholm University.



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