Monthly Archives: February 2016

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (which lasted two years, apparently)

American Popular Culture in the Era of Terror

Hello! It’s been a very long time since my last post, which was October 2013. That’s at least 14 years in blog years. While I’m not coming back to regular blogging–not yet, anyway–if there’s anyone out there who remembers me, I wanted to share some great news.

I recently published a book, American Popular Culture in the Era of Terror: Falling Skies, Dark Knights Rising, and Collapsing Cultures (Praeger, 2015)It’s in some ways a vast elaboration of some of the topics and cultural criticism that I spent two years exploring on this very blog. Although, and I can’t emphasize this enough, it took far longer than a hour to write.

Here’s the description:

Bringing together the most popular genres of the 21st century, this book argues that Americans have entered a new era of narrative dominated by the fear—and wish fulfillment—of the breakdown of authority and terror itself.

Bringing together disparate and popular genres of the 21st century, American Popular Culture in the Era of Terror: Falling Skies, Dark Knights Rising, and Collapsing Cultures argues that popular culture has been preoccupied by fantasies and narratives dominated by the anxiety —and, strangely, the wish fulfillment—that comes from the breakdowns of morality, family, law and order, and storytelling itself. From aging superheroes to young adult dystopias, heroic killers to lustrous vampires, the figures of our fiction, film, and television again and again reveal and revel in the imagery of terror. Kavadlo’s single-author, thesis-driven book makes the case that many of the novels and films about September 11, 2001, have been about much more than terrorism alone, while popular stories that may not seem related to September 11 are deeply connected to it. 

The book examines New York novels written in response to September 11 along with the anti-heroes of television and the resurgence of zombies and vampires in film and fiction to draw a correlation between Kavadlo’s “Era of Terror” and the events of September 11, 2001. Geared toward college students, graduate students, and academics interested in popular culture, the book connects multiple topics to appeal to a wide audience.

Features

  • Provides an interesting new framework in which to examine popular culture
  • Examines films, television shows, and primary texts such as novels for evidence of cultural anxiety and a preoccupation with terror
  • Offers insightful and original interpretations of primary texts
  • Suggests possible conclusions about cultural anxiety regarding breakdowns of tradition and authority

 You can read more about it here at Praeger’s website, or you can go to good ole Amazon.

As it turns out, I miss writing the blog. And I have an idea for the next book, and some of the ideas  should work well as the kind of short explorations that blogs are known for, with the plan to revise and expand in book form later. Here’s hoping–for me, anyway, and maybe for you?–that I’ll be able to get that project underway and that, a few years down the road, it will lead to another book.

Sorry about the long internet silence, sorry about some more subsequent silence, and here’s hoping that 2016 is a big year for American Popular Culture in the Era of Terror as well as the beginning of the next project.

Cheers!

 

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