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Books
Bernardi, D., M. Pomerance & H. Tirosh-Samuelson (eds.). 2012. Hollywood's Chosen People: The Jewish Experience in American Cinema. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

As studio bosses, directors, and actors, Jews have been heavily involved in film history and vitally involved in all aspects of film production. Yet Jewish characters have been represented onscreen in stereotypical and disturbing ways, while Jews have also helped to produce some of the most troubling stereotypes of people of color in Hollywood film history. In Hollywood’s Chosen People: The Jewish Experience in American Cinema, leading scholars consider the complex relationship between Jews and the film industry, as Jews have helped to construct Hollywood’s vision of the American dream and American collective identity and have in turn been shaped by those representations.

Braun, M., C. Keil, R. King, P. S. Moore & L. Pelletier (eds.). 2012. Beyond the Screen: Institutions, Networks and Publics of Early Cinema. Eastleigh, UK: John Libbey.

Early moving pictures were not only “harmless entertainment” or “a business, pure and simple,” as the U.S. Supreme Court defined the medium in 1915. Looking beyond the screen of a century ago, the essays in this collection recover an often utopian vision for cinema, imagined to have emancipatory potential to educate and motivate audiences to act together as publics. In national and local contexts from Europe, North America and around the world, cinema entered the domains of science and health education, social and religious uplift, labour organizing and political campaigning. Early movies of all sorts were shown to prisoners, shoppers, news readers, church and museum-goers, and students of all ages. These essays collectively consider non-theatrical cinema, documenting the people, institutions, and publics who worked to make movies more than entertainment.

Davidson, T., O. Park & R. Shields (eds). 2011. Ecologies of Affect: Placing Nostalgia, Desire, and Hope. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Ecologies of Affect offers a synthetic introduction to the felt dynamics of cities and the character of places. The contributors capture the significance of affects including desire, nostalgia, memory, and hope in forming the identity and tone of places. The critical intervention this collection of essays makes is an active, consistent engagement with the virtualities that produce and refract our idealized attachments to place. Contributors show how place images, and attempts to build communities, are, rather than abstractions, fundamentally tied to and revolve around such intangibles. We understand nostalgia, desire, and hope as virtual; that is, even though they are not material, they are nevertheless real and must be accounted for. In this book, the authors take up affect, emotion, and emplacement and consider them in relation to one another and how they work to produce and are produced by certain temporal and spatial dimensions. The aim of the book is to inspire readers to consider space and place beyond their material properties and attend to the imaginary places and ideals that underpin and produce material places and social spaces. This collection will be useful to practitioners and students seeking to understand the power of affect and the importance of virtualities within contemporary societies, where intangible goods have taken on an increasing value.

Koҫ, M.,  J. Sumner & A. Winson (eds.). 2012. Critical Perspectives in Food Studies. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Bringing together original contributions by Canadian scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds, this collection introduces students to the shifting interpretations, perspectives, challenges, governance issues, and future visions that shape the study of food and food issues in Canada and around the world.

Northey, M., L. Tepperman & P. Albanese. 2012. Making Sense in the Social Sciences: A Student’s Guide to Research and Writing, 5th ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Part of the bestselling Making Sense series, this fifth edition of Making Sense in the Social Sciences is an indispensable guide for students in any area of the discipline. Maintaining the signature straightforward style of the series, this book offers up-to-date, detailed information on proper documentation guidelines, essay and report writing, different methods of qualitative and quantitative research, ethical research, and more. Fully updated throughout, with a brand new chapter on presentations, this latest edition continues to be an invaluable resource for students throughout their academic careers and beyond.

Pomerance, M. 2013. Alfred Hitchcock's America. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

With a sharp eye for social detail and the pressures of class inequality, Alfred Hitchcock brought to the American scene a perspicacity and analytical shrewdness unparalleled in American cinema. Murray Pomerance works from a basis in cultural analysis and a detailed knowledge of Alfred Hitchcock's films and production techniques to explore how America of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s is revealed and critically commented upon in Hitchcock's work.  Alfred Hitchcock's America is full of stunning details that bring new light to Hitchcock's method and works.  The American "spirit of place," is seen here in light of the titanic American personality, American values in a consumer age, social class and American social form, and the characteristic American marriage.  The book’s analysis ranges across a wide array of films from Rebecca to Family Plot, and examines in depth the location sequences, characterological types, and complex social expectations that riddled American society while Hitchcock thrived there.

Pomerance, M. 2013. The Eyes Have It: Cinema and the Reality Effect. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

The Eyes Have It explores those rarified screen moments when viewers are confronted by sights that seem at once impossible and present, artificial and stimulating, illusory and definitive. Beginning with a penetrating study of five cornfield sequences—including The Wizard of OzArizona Dream, and Signs—Murray Pomerance journeys through a vast array of cinematic moments, technical methods, and laborious collaborations from the 1930s to the 2000s. Four meditations deal with “reality effects” from different philosophical and technical angles. “Vivid Rivals” assesses active participation and critical judgment in seeing effects with such works as DefianceCloverfieldKnowing, and Thelma & Louise. “The Two of Us” considers double placement and doubled experience with such films as The PrestigeNiagara, and A Stolen Life. “Being There” discusses cinematic performance and the problems of believability, highlighting such films asGran TorinoThe Manchurian Candidate, and In Harm’s Way. “Fairy Land” explores the art of scenic backing, focusing on the fictional world of Brigadoon that borrows from both hard-edged realism and evocative landscape painting.

Pomerance, M. 2012. Michelangelo Red Antonioni Blue: Eight Reflections on Cinema. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Michelangelo Antonioni, who died in 2007, was one of cinema’s greatest modernist filmmakers. The films in his black and white trilogy of the early 1960s—L’avventura, La Notte, L‘eclisse—are justly celebrated for their influential, gorgeously austere style. But in this book, Murray Pomerance demonstrates why the color films that followed are, in fact, Antonioni’s greatest works. Writing in an accessible style that evokes Antonioni’s expansive use of space, Pomerance discusses The Red Desert, Blow-Up, Professione: Reporter (The Passenger), Zabriskie Point, Identification of a Woman, The Mystery of Oberwald, Beyond the Clouds, and The Dangerous Thread of Things to analyze the director’s subtle and complex use of color. Infusing his open-ended inquiry with both scholarly and personal reflection, Pomerance evokes the full range of sensation, nuance, and equivocation that became Antonioni’s signature.

Pomerance, M. (ed.). 2011. Shining in Shadows: Movie Stars of the 2000s. New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press. 

In the 2000s, new technologies transformed the experiences of movie-going and movie-making, giving us the first generation of stars to be just as famous on the computer screen as on the silver screen. Movie Stars of the 2000s examines a wide range of Hollywood icons from a turbulent decade for the film industry and for America itself. Perhaps reflecting our own cultural fragmentation and uncertainty, Hollywood's star personas sent mixed messages about Americans' identities and ideals. Disheveled men-children like Will Ferrell and Jack Black shared the multiplex with debonair old-Hollywood standbys like George Clooney and Morgan Freeman. Iconic roles for women ranged from Renee Zellweger's dithering romantics to Tina Fey's neurotic professionals to Hilary Swank's vulnerable boyish characters. And in this age of reality TV and TMZ, stars like Jennifer Aniston and "Brangelina" became more famous for their real-life romantic dramas—at the same time that former tabloid fixtures like Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. reinvented themselves as dependable leading men. With a multigenerational, international cast of stars, this collection presents a fascinating composite portrait of Hollywood stardom today.

Pomerance, M. & R. Barton Palmer (eds.). 2011. A Little Solitaire: John Frankenheimer and American Film. New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Think about some commercially successful film masterpieces--The Manchurian Candidate. Seven Days in May. Seconds. Then consider some lesser known, yet equally compelling cinematic achievements--The Fixer. The Gypsy Moths. Path to War. These triumphs are the work of the best known and most highly regarded Hollywood director to emerge from live TV drama in the 1950s--five-time Emmy-award-winner John Frankenheimer. Although Frankenheimer was a pioneer in the genre of political thrillers who embraced the antimodernist critique of contemporary society, some of his later films did not receive the attention they deserved. Many claimed that at a midpoint in his career he had lost his touch. World-renowned film scholars put this myth to rest in A Little Solitaire, which offers the only multidisciplinary critical account of Frankenheimer's oeuvre. Especially emphasized is his deep and passionate engagement with national politics and the irrepressible need of human beings to assert their rights and individuality in the face of organizations that would reduce them to silence and anonymity.

Pomerance, M. & J. Sakeris (eds.). 2012. Popping Culture, 7th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

Long popular with students who have used it, Popping Culture presents a compilation of articles dealing with current issues in popular culture, including media violence, sexuality, social inequality, racism, and war. Some of the leading theorists in cultural studies today, including Stuart Ewen, Mark Crispin Miller, William Hoynes, Henry Giroux and Christopher Sharrett among others, take on these subjects with a critical perspective aimed at “popping” the conceptual bubbles that surround them. The articles are organized around central themes and issues in popular culture today: social class, gender, violence, ideology, and race.

Schifellite, C. 2011. Biology After the Sociobiology Debate: What Introductory Textbooks Say About the Nature of Science and Organisms. New York: Peter Lang.

This book analyzes the sociobiology debate and details a number of contested issues that have emerged. These issues focus on the interpretations and emphases that both sides have placed on the role of adaptation in evolution; the importance of evolution at the level of the gene versus at the level of organisms and populations; reductionism as a research method; simple Mendelianism versus more complex understandings of the relationship between genotype and phenotype; and ultimately, the nature of science itself. Biology After the Sociobiology Debate shows how, over the last two decades, sociobiology and the ensuing debates have influenced biological theory about the natures of science and the behavior of organisms, and how that influence is expressed in introductory textbooks. This book is important not just as a sociology of knowledge study, but also because of the ways in which continued biodeterminist discourses may influence debates and policy that are emerging around a new liberal or consumer-based eugenics movement.

Sears, A. & J. Cairns. 2012. The Democratic Imagination: Envisioning Popular Power in the Twenty-First century. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Democracy is very much an open question in the early twenty-first century. While voter participation declines in many traditional democracies, new movements for democracy are emerging around the world. This book brings the question of democracy out of the halls of political power and home to our daily lives, pitting "official democracy" and "democracy from below" against one another in a lively debate.

Tepperman, L. & P. Albanese (eds.). 2012. Sociology: A Canadian Perspective,3rd ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

A comprehensive introduction to the many dimensions of social life, Sociology: A Canadian Perspective, third edition, offers a detailed overview of sociological theory and Canadian society. In this contributed text, experts from across Canada carefully weave core concepts and theory with the most up-to-date research, historical events, and life-course examples to create a rich learning experience. Sociology: A Canadian Perspective, third edition, continues to pull ahead of the competition with its seamless integration of the issues shaping Canadian society today. A new chapter on the social aspects of aging and new theme boxes exploring the links between new media, technology, and social behaviours introduce students to the latest research trends in sociology. In addition, an expanded discussion of feminist and postmodernist thought and a revamped chapter on sociological theory build on the strong foundation of previous editions

White, R., J. Wyn & P. Albanese. 2012. Youth and Society: Exploring the Social Dynamics of Youth Experience, Cdn. ed. Toronto, Oxford University Press.

Now in a Canadian edition, Youth and Society: Exploring the Social Dynamics of Youth Experience provides a comprehensive overview of key topics in the sociology of youth. Drawing on empirical evidence and current theoretical perspectives, the text examines cutting-edge issues confronting youth, youth researchers, and policy makers today such as youth and social change; class inequality; gender and sexuality; education; youth employment; social identity; youth and technology; and health and well-being. Seamlessly integrating Canadian data and examples throughout with fully redesigned chapters that address topics such as Aboriginal youth and youth justice, the text offers a Canadian context while maintaining a global perspective. Current and in-depth, the Canadian edition is a compelling exploration of the role of young people in contemporary society and how they adapt to the many challenges related to growing inequality and rapid social change.