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Critical dictionary of film and television theory /

Other Authors: Simpson, Philip., Pearson, Roberta E.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: London ; New York : Routledge, 2001
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Review by Choice Review

Entries in this dictionary range from one paragraph to several pages and include cross- and see also references. All articles are signed, and most are followed by suggestions for further reading or lists of references. Aside from a few instances of blatant self-promotion, the majority are evenhanded summaries of terms ("subversion," "jouissance," "film noir"), concepts ("authorship," "fandom," "the gaze"), theories ("queer theory," "feminist theory," "psychoanalysis"), or the contributions of major theorists (the Frankfurt School, Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva). Contributors are associated with academic institutions in the UK, Australia, and the US, but entries reflect the dominance of French theorists in the overlapping fields of cultural studies, media studies, and related disciplines. A bias toward film is also evident: longer entries cite relevant programs with international stature, but articles on such topics as the history of the studio system and classical Hollywood cinema have no television equivalents. Organization could be improved by see references in the body of the work: one must consult the index to find that postmodernism is under "modernism and post-modernism" and hegemony under "ideology and hegemony." Graduate students in culture studies and related fields will find the dictionary most useful. S. Clerc Southern Connecticut State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Intended for film students and experienced scholars unfamiliar with the new terminology deriving from the meeting of media and cultural studies, this unique volume presents over 400 signed scholarly entries, both lengthy (2000-3000 words) and brief (100-700 words), that map out the conceptual framework of post-1960 film and television theory. Topics range from the biographical (e.g., Habermas) to broad concepts (e.g., narrative, psychoanalysis), but the reader should not expect to find definitions of terms like "key grip" or "boom." Major entries include short secondary bibliographies, and numerous cross references and an index improve the work's use. Although most entries survey both nations, U.S. readers should also be aware of the British emphasis throughout (Pearson is a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Cardiff). Unfortunately, some of the definitions lack the simplicity necessary for a beginning student without backgrounds in semiotics, psychology, and/or cultural studies. However, no other reference work covers the theoretical aspect of media studies quite like this one, although any number of books (e.g., Anthony Easthope's Contemporary Film Theory, Addison-Wesley, 1994) survey the field. Recommended only for libraries serving advanced cultural and/or media studies programs. Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.