restricted access Acknowledgments
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xv Acknowledgments any book—but particularly a first book and one that has been several years in the making—will inevitably bear the imprint of many people. The one you hold in your hands is no different, and while I cannot even begin to do justice to everyone who has left his or her mark on the following pages, I would like to acknowledge some of them individually. I owe immeasurable gratitude to the professors at Indiana University who were so influential in shaping me as a scholar: Chris Anderson, Barbara Klinger, and Eva Cherniavsky, all of whom continued to offer advice, encouragement, and support as I pursued the long, sometimes frustrating road toward publication. I am especially grateful for the guidance and support of Joan Hawkins, who was particularly instrumental in my development as a scholar and whose unfailing generosity in reading and critiquing new material has been invaluable. My good friend Jon Kraszewski has been with me daily via e-mail as this project has progressed over the past several years; I am deeply indebted to him for his willingness to read chunks of the manuscript and offer nonstop encouragement and advice through the peaks and the valleys. In this regard, I also owe a debt of gratitude to my peers in graduate school, who over the years knowingly or unknowingly contributed to my work in both class discussions and casual conversations. My discussions over the years—both serious and not—with Bob Rehak, Jake Smith, and Chris Dumas were particularly helpful in shaping my thinking and ideas. I could not have completed this project without the support of the Department of Communication Studies at Baylor University, and special thanks go out to my division chair, Michael Korpi, and my department chairs, Karla Leeper, Bill English, and Dave Schlueter, who were always ready and willing to offer whatever support and resources I needed. My colleagues Corey Carbonara, Chris Hansen, Justin Wilson, Joe Kickasola, and Brian Elliott listened to me talk about my ideas and offered exactly the kind of support I needed to keep the project rolling. Several parts of this book, but especially chapter 5, benefited significantly from research I conducted at the Oral History Research Collection at Columbia University’s Butler Library. To this end, I must first thank Kendrick Frontmatter.indd 15 2/5/09 7:40:59 AM ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xvi Richard D. Heffner for his generosity with his time and for allowing me access to his personal papers and oral histories, which for the first time have given researchers an inside look at the mechanisms of the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings system. The research would not have been possible without the University Research Grant I received in the spring of 2007 from the vice provost for research at Baylor University, nor without the dedicated librarians at the Butler Library who helped me take advantage of my time there, despite it being the middle of spring break. I would also like to thank the staff at the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives at Texas A&M University for their help while I paged through years and years of Fangoria magazines. My thanks to them for collecting and taking such good care of what so many others would view as disposable cultural detritus. I am especially grateful for the editors at Southern Illinois University Press, Karl Kageff and Bridget Brown, who believed in this book when it was just a proposal, and Kathleen Kageff, who saw it through the publication process. I would also like to thank the two anonymous readers for their concerted effort and thoughtful responses to my work. Their insightful critiques and suggestions urged me to question more and dig deeper. I would, of course, not be here without my family, and my thanks and love go out to my parents for all they have done for me throughout my life. I must offer a special thank you to my father, who probably had no idea that the genesis of this book and my academic career really began back in the spring of 1991 when I was a junior in high school and he brought home from the office a copy of Newsweek with a cover story about media violence as a way of encouraging me to step back and think about my sometimes dark pop-culture fascinations. The fact that I begin the introduction of this book by discussing...