We cannot attribute any purity of political expression to popular culture,
although we can locate its power to identify ideas and desires that are
relatively opposed, alongside those that are clearly complicit, to the
-- Andrew Ross, No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture
We weren't philosophers, we were perverts.
--Howard Stern, Private Parts
Popular culture has been defined as everything from "common culture," to
"folk culture," to "mass culture." While it has been all of these things
at various points in history, in Post-War America, popular culture is
undeniably associated with commercial culture and all its trappings:
movies, television, radio, cyberspace, advertising, toys, nearly any
commodity available for purchase, many forms of art, photography, games,
and even group "experiences" like collective comet-watching or rave
dancing on ecstasy. While humanities and social science departments
before the 1950s would rarely have imagined including anything from the
previous list in their curricula, it is now widely acknowledged that
popular culture can and must be analyzed as an important part of US
material, economic and political culture. "Pop culture" is also one of
the US' most lucrative export commodities, making everything from Levi's
jeans to Sylvester Stallone movies popular on the international market.
It would be impossible to do an exhaustive (or even a not-so-exhaustive)
survey of all the work being done in and on popular culture, so we have
included only representative examples of both. Our bibliographies and
links focus on major figures in popular writing and basic categories of
popular media after the war.
- The Media History Project
Promoting the study of media from petroglyphs to pixels.
An excellent resource for scholars and media history buffs, with
links and information on contemporary media as well as early
and print media.
- FCC Home Page
The Federal Communications Commission online. A surprisingly
rich resource, with daily changes in links to speeches, recent legislation,
"headlines," and various FCC departments. Especially important
if you're interested in government regulation of the media.
- Society For Cinema Studies
An academic organization devoted to the study of film. Includes
information about their annual conference, job listings, and other
points of interest for film scholars.
- Internet Movie Database
Simply the biggest and the best film encyclopedia online.
Includes cross-referenced film data, from
actors and directors to plot summaries and studios. Plus other
relevant information like box office grosses and release dates.
- Box Office Statistics in Millions of Dollars
Calculates domestic, overseas, and worldwide grosses on
any film or range of films.
Bibliographical Aid for Film Research
Practical bibliographical material on film in general, with
a special focus on the relationship between literature and film.
For the study of film and television, with extensive listings
of educational and research resources. Very user friendly
and international in scope.
An index of over 600 scripts from TV and movies available
on the Internet.
- Scary Women
Female monsters and fiends in American film.
Guide to bizarre films and videos from the cult underground. Great links.
- Really Disturbing
and Vile Movies
List of cult gore and violence films, complete with reviews and
a "rating system."
The Cult Shop's "Dystopia: Movies for a Dark Future"
Great resource and filmography about this popular postwar
Amazing World of Cult Movies
Many excellent reviews of weird cinematic narratives. Also includes
the indispensible "Exploitation Index."
Ground Zero Godzilla
Obviously essential for any film scholar interested in post-war
nuclear holocaust allegory. Warning: this site makes
gratuitous use of giant graphics and frames, so if you don't have
a fast connection, you may be waiting for a while to see all your favorite
- TV Link
Huge and well-organized index of links relating to television (and
some film). Includes studios, individual shows, and archives.
This is a good place to start any TV-related research project.
- TV Guide Entertainment Network
It's TV Guide online, with lots of snappy and current TV information, plus
extra stuff on sports and music.
Cult TV Episode Guide
Links to episode guides online for cult shows from The X-Files to
Starsky and Hutch.
- Nielsen Ratings for TV
Nielsen ratings, updated weekly, plus an archive of past weekly
- Multichannel News Online
The definitive weekly source for cable TV and telecommunications news.
Links with many cable resources, as well as relevant articles on cable
TV. Cable TV is the future of television, and the future of television
- Ultimate TV
Daily news about everything related to television from Los Angeles.
- MZTV Museum of Television
From France, this nonprofit organization aims to deal with "the technological
history of the TV receiver." Includes a "virtual gallery" which is
informative and beautifully designed.
Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists
Features several bestseller lists, from children's lit. to mass market
paperbacks. You can also search the bestseller list database.
- Book Wire
Information on contemporary books and the book industry. Also
hosts several trade journals, as well as the BookInfo database, which
includes reviews and "author event" dates.
Comprehensive database, with reviews. Grouped helpfully by
- Pulp Fiction Magazine
A gallery of images from the 1950s and 1960s.
Graham's Tom Clancy Shrine
Devoted to everything Tom Clancy, master of the contemporary
techno political/military thriller.
- John Irving
Fan page with works, biographical sketch, bibliography, and more.
- Erica Jong
Erica's official site, with reviews, book lists, and
"Erica's weekly tips for writers."
- Cormac McCarthy
From the Cormac McCarthy Society, an extensive series
of links, a bibliogrpahy, and information about the author. Also
links to the Cormac McCarthy Journal.
- James Michener
The author's own site, with bio-bibliography and links.
- Mario Puzo
Author of The Godfather. This site
catalogues his books, biography,
- Anne Rice
Official Rice homepage. With lists of her books, interviews, plus
all the latest information on what the Queen of Gothic is
doing with her writing, her fans, and her money. Plus, buy
Anne Rice merchandise!
- Stephen King
Good annotated bibliography of King's major works.
L'Amour, the Unofficial Tribute
Fans of L'Amour provide hotlinks, reviews, and a short biography of this
renowned author of dozens of Westerns.
- Michael Crichton
Very slick and corporate, which is perfect for this master
of suspenseful novels about the ins and outs of corporate culture
and US economic nationalism.
Journals, Magazines, and Publications
- Animation Journal
Scholarly journal of animation history and theory.
- Bright Lights Film Journal
A popular-academic hybrid of movie analysis, history, and commentary.
- Film Threat
"Hollywood's indie voice" is a free weekly with reviews, commentary,
and coverage of film industry events.
- Advertising Age
The magazine for commerce culture.
- Entertainment Weekly
Very slick and yet also very smart magazine covering everything
from music and movies, to new media and books. Our theory is that a lot of
former academics write for this magazine. Highly recommended.
- The Village Voice
Founded by Norman Mailer in 1955, this is one of the oldest
alternative weekies in the United States. The Voice covers news and culture
which aren't quite mainstream.
- Boston Phoenix
Highly respected arts and entertainment newspaper with added bonus
of extensive coverage of the queer community.
- People Magazine
Everybody wants some tabloid once in a while. If you want pop culture,
you can't get much cheesier than this. Weekly coverage of celebrities
and their tribulations
- Rolling Stone
The famous rock magazine online.
Wired Magazine online, and it's much, much better.
Covers new media and cyberculture, and includes daily updates which do not
appear in the magazine. Also sponsors the web satire zine Suck.
- LA Times Book Review
Great resource for contemporary reviews of new writing.
- New York Times Book Review
You have to "subscribe" to get to this site, but the subscription
doesn't cost money if you live in the USA.
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