Pimpin’ my Book: Battleground: The Media
Self-promotion time. Recently, Greenwood Press published my third book, a two volume encyclopedia called Battleground: The Media. The Battleground series aim to bring a little life to the often oh-so-boring genre that is the encyclopedia, and thus are each arranged by hot-button, â€œbattlegroundâ€ issues. And because of the nature of the series, no entry needs to be â€œobjectiveâ€ (whatever that is) â€“ authors were asked to remember that itâ€™s encyclopedia-ish, and not to rant, but opinions were welcome.
My colleague and friend Robin Andersen asked me to edit it with her, and while much of the task was a giant cat-herding act (trying to get about 70 academics to do anything on a deadline is impossible. Sometimes I think Noah had an easier assignment), and involved more lists and spreadsheets than even a Class A OCD graphophile such as myself enjoys. But it was also great fun. We got to work out which issues we wanted included, and then find the people to write them. Robin and I run in very different circles, which helped the process, and ensured that the final product represents a variety of different takes on things. And Robinâ€™s a treat to work with, an excellent editor, scholar, and person.
Entries cover issues across the mass media, though inevitably any given reader will think of others that shouldâ€™ve or couldâ€™ve been added. Some writers dropped out at the last minute, leaving us stranded and the topic dead in the water. Some topics were non-starters, or at least with our contacts (and their contacts, and theirs, and theirs, and so on). And some things were important but Robin and I couldnâ€™t find a way to frame them as controversial, battleground topics.
As is Greenwoodâ€™s style, the book will primarily be marketed to libraries, university, high school, and public. The $175 price tag will surely cause you to think twice before ordering one yourself, Iâ€™m sure! But given how accessible the articles are, we hope to reach a wider audience than just researchers and undergrads, and to introduce them to what academics are saying about these topics. Meanwhile, if your library does get a copy, some entries make for an effective, quick introduction to a topic, and hence might work well in Intro classes.
Oh, and yes, the cover stinks. But as several people have told me charitably, the spine looks great!
A few highlights after the fold:
- Representing two thirds of The Extratextuals, the entry on Transmedia Storytelling is by Ivan and I
- Yours truly also has entries on Audience Power to Resist, Dating Shows, Nationalism and the Media, News Satire, and Political Entertainment
- Blog buddies: Bollyspace 2.0â€™s Aswin Punathambekar wrote on Bollywood and the Indian Diaspora; Convergence Culture Consortiumâ€™s Joshua Green wrote on User-Created Content; Just TVâ€™s Jason Mittell penned our entries on Innovation and Imitation in Commercial Media, and TiVo: Timeshifting America; MediaCommonsâ€™ (and Flow guru) Avi Santo wrote, aptly enough, on Online Publishing; and Flow alum Allison Perlman wrote Regulating the Airwaves
- Robin has entries on Advertising and Persuasion, Embedding Journalists, Hypercommercialism, Media and Election Campaigns, Paparazzi and Photographic Ethics, Presidential Stagecraft and Militainment, and World Cinema
- Some other names of contributors and entries that might be known to my known readers (sorry, lurkers, I donâ€™t know who you are): Mark Andrejevic on Surveillance and Privacy; Heather Hendershot on Children and Effects; C. Lee Harrington on GLBT and Queer Representations on TV; LS Kim on Representations of Race; Tom McCourt on The iTunes Effect, and on NPR; John McMurria on A La Carte Cable Pricing, and on Cable Carriage Disputes; Laurie Ouellette on PBS, and on Representations of Class; Cornel Sandvoss on Celebrity Worship and Fandom, and on The Public Sphere; Serra Tinic on Runaway Productions.
- and much more. Pornography, Violence, TV in Schools, Global Community Media, Net Neutrality, Digital Divide, Media and the Crisis of Values, Public Access Television, Online Digital Film and Television, Independent Cinema, Body Image, Conglomeration and Media Monopolies, Disabilities and the Media, etc, etc.