Cultural Studies


Getting Inside Your Head: What Cognitive Science Can Tell Us About Popular Culture

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012

Lisa Zunshine

Getting Inside Your Head uses research in theory of mind to look at movies, musicals, novels, classic Chinese opera, stand-up comedy, mock-documentaries, photography, and reality television. It follows Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy as he tries to conceal his anger, Tyler Durden as he lectures a stranger at gunpoint in Fight Club, and Ingrid Bergman as she fakes interest in horse races in Notorious.

This engaging book exemplifies the new interdisciplinary field of cognitive cultural studies, demonstrating that collaboration between cognitive science and cultural studies is both exciting and productive.

Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness

The Berkley Publishing Group, 2006

Erik Reece

 The mountains of Appalachia are home to one of the oldest and most diverse ecosystems in North America. But they are also host to the mother lode of American coal, and a new form of strip mining has created a state of emergency for the Appalachian wilderness and the communities that depend on it. In powerful, stirring prose Erik Reece chronicles the year he spent in the witnessing the systematic decimation of a single mountain, exposing how issues of corporate hubris, government neglect, and class conflict have all contributed to the crisis.

Flesh Wounds: The Culture of Cosmetic Surgery

University of California Press, 2003

Virginia L. Blum

 When did cosmetic surgery become a common practice, the stuff of everyday conversation? In a work that combines a provocative ethnography of plastic surgery and a penetrating analysis of beauty and feminism, Virginia L. Blum searches out the social conditions and imperatives that have made ours a culture of cosmetic surgery. From diverse viewpoints, ranging from cosmetic surgery patient to feminist cultural critic, she looks into the realities and fantasies that have made physical malleability an essential part of our modern-day identity.

Cruising Modernism: Class and Sexuality in American Literature and Social Thought

Cornell University Press, 2003

Michael Trask

Modern society, Michael Trask argues in this incisive and original book, chose to couch class difference in terms of illicit sexuality, Trask demonstrates of sexual science’s concept of erotic perversion mediated the writing of both literary figures and social theorists when it came to the innovative and unsettling social arrangements of the early twentieth century.

Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes: Back Talk from an American Region

The University of Kentucky Press, 2000

Dwight Billings, Gurney Norman, and Katherine Ledford

Dismayed by national critics’ lack of attention to the negative depictions of mountain people in Robert Schenkkan’s 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Kentucky Cycle, a group of Appalachian scholars rallied against the stereotypical representations of the region’s people that repeatedly appear in print and pop culture. In Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes, historians, literary scholars, sociologists, creative writers, and activists talk back to the American mainstream, confronting head-on those who would view their home region one-dimensionally.

Hide and Seek: The Child between Psychoanalysis and Fiction

University of Illinois Press, 1995

Virginia L. Blum

In response to widespread cultural fantasies about the child- including childhood innocence, the child as origin of the adult, the fetal emergence of subjectivity, and the “inner child” movement-Hide and Seek examines representations of the child in fiction, psychoanalysis, and popular culture.


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