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Media Studies

Media Studies Book List

Cover of 'Powerful Frequencies'

Powerful Frequencies
Radio, State Power, and the Cold War in Angola, 1931–2002
By Marissa J. Moorman

Radio technology and broadcasting played a central role in the formation of colonial Portuguese Southern Africa and the postcolonial nation-state, Angola. Moorman details how settlers, the colonial state, African nationalists, and the postcolonial state all used radio to project power, while the latter employed it to challenge empire.

Cover of 'Talkative Polity'

Talkative Polity
Radio, Domination, and Citizenship in Uganda
By Florence Brisset-Foucault

Until they were banned in 2009, the radio debates called Ugandan People’s Parliaments gave common folk a forum to air their views. But how do people talk about politics in an authoritarian regime? The forms and parameters of such speech turn out to be more complex than a simple confrontation between an oppressive state and a liberal civil society.

Cover of 'Shakespeare the Illusionist'

Shakespeare the Illusionist
Magic, Dreams, and the Supernatural on Film
By Neil Forsyth

In Shakespeare the Illusionist, Neil Forsyth reviews the history of Shakespeare’s plays on film, using the basic distinction in film tradition between what is owed to Méliès and what to the Lumière brothers.

Cover of 'Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa'

Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa
Edited by Felicitas Becker, Joel Cabrita, and Marie Rodet

In recent years, anthropologists, historians, and others have been drawn to study the profuse and creative usages of digital media by religious movements. At the same time, scholars of Christian Africa have long been concerned with the history of textual culture, the politics of Bible translation, and the status of the vernacular in Christianity.

Cover of 'Reel Pleasures'

Reel Pleasures
Cinema Audiences and Entrepreneurs in Twentieth-Century Urban Tanzania
By Laura Fair

Reel Pleasures brings the world of African moviehouses and the publics they engendered to life, revealing how local fans creatively reworked global media—from Indian melodrama to Italian westerns, kung fu, and blaxploitation films—to speak to local dreams and desires.

Cover of 'Passionate Revolutions'

Passionate Revolutions
The Media and the Rise and Fall of the Marcos Regime
By Talitha Espiritu

Passionate Revolutions examines the role of political emotions and media in the rise and fall of the Marcos regime. Focusing on the sentimental stories and melodramatic cultural politics of the press and cinema, Espiritu discusses how aesthetics helped secure the dictator’s control and fuel the popular struggles that led to his overthrow.

Cover of 'Postcards from Stanland'

Postcards from Stanland
Journeys in Central Asia
By David H. Mould

Central Asia has long stood at the crossroads of history. It was the staging ground for the armies of the Mongol Empire, for the nineteenth-century struggle between the Russian and British empires, and for the NATO campaign in Afghanistan. Today, multinationals and nations compete for the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea and for control of the pipelines. Yet “Stanland” is still, to many, a terra incognita, a geographical blank.

Cover of 'Taking Liberties'

Taking Liberties
Gender, Transgressive Patriotism, and Polish Drama, 1786–1989
By Halina Filipowicz

Moving beyond a traditional study of Polish dramatic literature, Taking Liberties is a masterful intellectual history of what may be called patriotism without borders: a nonnational form of loyalty compatible with the universal principles and practices of democracy and human rights.

Finalist for the 2014 Melville J. Herskovits Award from the African Studies Association.
Cover of 'The Power to Name'

The Power to Name
A History of Anonymity in Colonial West Africa
By Stephanie Newell

Between the 1880s and the 1940s, the region known as British West Africa became a dynamic zone of literary creativity and textual experimentation. African-owned newspapers offered local writers numerous opportunities to contribute material for publication, and editors repeatedly defined the press as a vehicle to host public debates rather than simply as an organ to disseminate news or editorial ideology.

Winner of the 2015 African Literature Association First Book Award · A 2013 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Cover of 'African Video Movies and Global Desires'

African Video Movies and Global Desires
A Ghanaian History
By Carmela Garritano

African Video Movies and Global Desires is the first full-length scholarly study of Ghana’s commercial video industry, an industry that has produced thousands of movies over the last twenty years and has grown into an influential source of cultural production. Produced and consumed under circumstances of dire shortage and scarcity, African video movies narrate the desires and anxieties created by Africa’s incorporation into the global cultural economy.

Cover of 'Hollywood’s Africa after 1994'

Hollywood’s Africa after 1994
Edited by MaryEllen Higgins

Hollywood’s Africa after 1994 investigates Hollywood’s colonial film legacy in the postapartheid era, and contemplates what has changed in the West’s representations of Africa.

Cover of 'Cinematic Hamlet'

Cinematic Hamlet
The Films of Olivier, Zeffirelli, Branagh, and Almereyda
By Patrick J. Cook

Cinematic Hamlet contains the first scene-by-scene analysis of four outstanding film adaptations by Laurence Olivier, Franco Zeffirelli, Kenneth Branagh, and Michael Almereyda of Hamlet. Indispensable for anyone wishing to understand how these directors rework Shakespeare into the powerful medium of film.

Cover of 'Screening Morocco'

Screening Morocco
Contemporary Film in a Changing Society
By Valérie K. Orlando

Since 1999 and the death of King Hassan II, Morocco has experienced a dramatic social transformation. Encouraged by the more openly democratic climate fostered by young King Mohammed VI, filmmakers have begun to explore the sociocultural and political debates of their country while also seeking to document the untold stories of a dark past. Screening Morocco: Contemporary Film in a Changing Society focuses on Moroccan films produced and distributed from 1999 to the present.

Cover of 'Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-first Century'

Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-first Century
Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution
Edited by Mahir Şaul and Ralph A. Austen

African cinema in the 1960s originated mainly from Francophone countries. It resembled the art cinema of contemporary Europe and relied on support from the French film industry and the French state. But since the early 1990s, a new phenomenon has come to dominate the African cinema world: mass-marketed films shot on less expensive video cameras. These “Nollywood” films, so named because many originate in southern Nigeria, are a thriving industry dominating the world of African cinema.

Cover of 'The Law of the Looking Glass'

The Law of the Looking Glass
Cinema in Poland, 1896–1939
By Sheila Skaff

The Law of the Looking Glass: Cinema in Poland, 1896–1939 reveals the complex relationship between nationhood, national language, and national cinema in Europe before World War II. Author Sheila Skaff describes how the major issues facing the region before World War I, from the relatively slow pace of modernization to the desire for national sovereignty, shaped local practices in film production, exhibition, and criticism.