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Southerners are accustomed to hearing stories of a residence, an old hotel, a mansion, or a battlefield being haunted. In Ghost Hunters of the South, Alan Brown shows that ghostlore is no longer enough for some. The forty-four ghost hunting groups he profiles in this book pack cameras, Geiger counters, thermal scanners, oscilloscopes, tape recorders, computers, and dowsing rods to find and record elusive proof of supernatural activity. With candor, the directors and team members reveal the passions and even obsessions that lead them to this expensive, time-consuming, and sometimes dangerous and chilling pursuit of evidence of the spirit realm. Brown interviews enthusiasts from twelve states--Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Ghost Hunters of the South takes the reader along on exciting and fearful investigations of places such as the Myrtles, St. Francis Inn, Chickamauga Battlefield, Bob Mackey's Music World, Old Talbott Tavern, North Carolina State Capitol, Granberry Opera House, and 17Hundred90 Inn and Restaurant. Brown participates in some of the investigations to gain a full and objective understanding of teachers, doctors, accountants, housewives, and law enforcement personnel, who devote much of their free time to a quest that many outsiders view with skepticism if not scorn. In fascinating, frightening, and sometimes humorous accounts, Brown highlights the determination of these individuals to answer the question: "What happens to the soul after death?" Alan Brown is a professor of English and director of the Writing Center at the University of West Alabama.
The Transnational History of a Film Style
Intellectual, cultural, and film historians have long considered neorealism the founding block of post-World War II Italian cinema. Neorealism, the traditional story goes, was an Italian film style born in the second postwar period and aimed at recovering the reality of Italy after the sugarcoated moving images of Fascism. Lasting from 1945 to the early 1950s, neorealism produced world-renowned masterpieces such as Roberto Rossellini's Roma, città aperta (Rome, Open City, 1945) and Vittorio De Sica's Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves, 1947). These films won some of the most prestigious film awards of the immediate postwar period and influenced world cinema.
This collection brings together distinguished film scholars and cultural historians to complicate this nation-based approach to the history of neorealism. The traditional story notwithstanding, the meaning and the origins of the term are problematic. What does neorealism really mean, and how Italian is it? Italian filmmakers were wary of using the term and Rossellini preferred "realism." Many filmmakers confessed to having greatly borrowed from other cinemas, including French, Soviet, and American.
Divided into three sections, Global Neorealism examines the history of this film style from the 1930s to the 1970s using a global and international perspective. The first section examines the origins of neorealism in the international debate about realist esthetics in the 1930s. The second section discusses how this debate about realism was "Italianized" and coalesced into Italian "neorealism" and explores how critics and film distributors participated in coining the term. Finally, the third section looks at neorealism's success outside of Italy and examines how film cultures in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the United States adjusted the style to their national and regional situations.
Vol. 1 (2007) through current issue
The Global South concentrates on the literature and cultures of those parts of the world that have experienced the most political, social, and economic upheaval and have suffered the brunt of the greatest challengs facing the world under globalization: poverty, displacement and diaspora, environmental degradation, human and civil rights abuses, war, hunger, and disease.
How the Corleones Became "Our Gang"
Mario Puzo’s The Godfather is an American pop phenomenon whose driving force is reflected not only in book sales and cable television movie marathons but also in such related works as the hit television series The Sopranos. In The Godfather and American Culture, Chris Messenger offers an important and comprehensive study of this classic work of popular fiction and its hold on the American imagination. As Messenger shows, the Corleones have indeed become “our gang,” and we see our family business in America reflected in them. Examining The Godfather and its many incarnations within a variety of texts and contexts, Messenger also addresses Puzo’s inconsistent affiliation with his Italian heritage, his denial of the multiethnic literary subject, and his decades-long struggle for respect as a writer in contemporary America. The study ultimately offers a way of looking at the much-maligned genre of popular or bestselling fiction itself. By placing both the novel and films within a number of revealing critical situations, Messenger addresses the continuing problem of how we talk about elite and popular fiction in America—and what we mean when we take sides.
In Goth's Dark Empire cultural historian Carol Siegel provides a fascinating look at Goth, a subculture among Western youth. It came to prominence with punk performers such as Marilyn Manson and was made infamous when it was linked (erroneously) to the Columbine High School murders. While the fortunes of Goth culture form a portion of this book's story, Carol Siegel is more interested in pursuing Goth as a means of resisting regimes of sexual normalcy, especially in its celebration of sadomasochism (S/M). The world of Goth can appear wide-ranging: from films such as Edward Scissorhands and The Crow to popular fiction such as Anne Rice's "vampire" novels to rock bands such as Nine Inch Nails. But for Siegel, Goth appears as a mode of being sexually undead -- and loving it. What was Goth and what happened to it? In this book, Siegel tracks Goth down, reveals the sources of its darkness, and shows that Goth as a response to the modern world has not disappeared but only escaped underground.
Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels
Some of the most noteworthy graphic novels and comic books of recent years have been entirely autobiographical. In Graphic Subjects, Michael A. Chaney brings together a lively mix of scholars to examine the use of autobiography within graphic novels, including such critically acclaimed examples as Art Spiegelman’s Maus, David Beauchard’s Epileptic, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese.
Ghosts in Contemporary Folklore
Holiness, Prosperity, and Ambition in a Los Angeles Church
In Christianity, as with most religions, attaining holiness and a higher spirituality while simultaneously pursuing worldly ideals such as fame and fortune is nearly impossible. So how do people pursuing careers in Hollywood's entertainment industry maintain their religious devotion without sacrificing their career goals? For some, the answer lies just two miles south of the historic center of Hollywood, California, at the Oasis Christian Center. In Hollywood Faith, Gerardo Marti shows how a multiracial evangelical congregation of 2,000 people accommodates itself to the entertainment industry and draws in many striving to succeed in this harsh and irreverent business. Oasis strategically sanctifies ambition and negotiates social change by promoting a new religious identity as "champion of life"-an identity that provides people who face difficult career choices and failed opportunities a sense of empowerment and endurance.The first book to provide an in-depth look at religion among the "creative class," Hollywood Faith will fascinate those interested in the modern evangelical movement and anyone who wants to understand how religion adapts to social change.
Religion and Tourism in Branson, Missouri
Over the past century, Branson, Missouri, has attracted tens of millions of tourists. Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, it offers a rare and refreshing combination of natural beauty and family-friendly recreation—from scenic lakes and rolling hills to theme parks and variety shows. It has boasted of big name celebrities, like Wayne Newton, Andy Williams, and Petula Clark, as well as family entertainers like Mickey Gilley, the Shanghai Magic Troupe, Jim Stafford, and Yakov Smirnoff. But there is more to Branson's fame than just recreation. As Aaron K. Ketchell discovers, a popular variant of Christianity underscores all Branson's tourist attractions and fortifies every consumer success. In this lively and engaging study, Ketchell explores Branson's unique blend of religion and recreation. He explains how the city became a mecca of conservative Christianity—a place for a "spiritual vacation"—and how, through conscious effort, its residents and businesses continuously reinforce its inextricable connection with the divine. Ketchell combines the study of lived religion, popular culture, evangelicalism, and contemporary American history to present an accurate and honest account of a distinctly American phenomenon.
Dissent through American Popular Culture
The Simpsons questions what is culturally acceptable, showcasing controversial issues like homosexuality, animal rights, the war on terror, and religion. This subtle form of political analysis is effective in changing opinions and attitudes on a large scale. Homer Simpson Marches on Washington explores the transformative power that enables popular culture to influence political agendas, frame the consciousness of audiences, and create profound shifts in values and ideals. To investigate the full spectrum of popular culture in a democratic society, editors Timothy M. Dale and Joseph J. Foy gather a top-notch team of scholars who use television shows such as Star Trek, The X-Files, All in the Family, The View, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The Colbert Report, as well as movies and popular music, to investigate contemporary issues in American popular culture.