New Books

Sound Affects: A User’s Guide

Sharon Jane Mee and Luke Robinson (Eds)

United Kingdom: Bloomsbury Academic

Sound Affects: A User’s Guide is a collection of sonically-charged concepts ranging from those felt, ‘heard’ and repeated (silence, the oriental riff, shuffle), to the vocal (whispers, sing, the disembodied voice), to sounds at the threshold (tin/ny, thump, buzz) to sounds beyond the limits of audibility (inaudible tremors, distortion, sub-bass). Sound Affects invites the reader to reflect on the ways that sounds produce affects and the ways that affects can operate as sound.

Content Production for Digital Media: An Introduction

Jay Daniel Thompson and John WeldonJay Daniel Thompson and John Weldon, Content Production for Digital Media

Singapore: Springer Nature

This book provides an introduction to digital media content production in the twenty-first century. It explores the kinds of content production that are undertaken in professions that include journalism, public relations and marketing. Content Production for Digital Media provides an insight into content moderation and addresses the legal and ethical issues that content producers face, as well as how these issues can be effectively managed. Chapters contain interviews with media professionals, and quizzes that allow readers to consolidate the knowledge they have gathered through their reading of that chapter.

Dreams of Flight: The Lives of Chinese Women Students in the West

Fran MartinFran Martin Dreams of Flight

Durham: Duke University Press

In Dreams of Flight, Fran Martin explores how young Chinese women negotiate competing pressures on their identity while studying abroad. On one hand, unmarried middle-class women in the single-child generations are encouraged to develop themselves as professional human capital through international education, molding themselves into independent, cosmopolitan, career-oriented individuals. On the other, strong neotraditionalist state, social, and familial pressures of the post-Mao era push them back toward marriage and family by age thirty.

Martin examines these women’s motivations for studying in Australia and traces their embodied and emotional experiences of urban life, social media worlds, work in low-skilled and professional jobs, romantic relationships, religion, Chinese patriotism, and changed self-understanding after study abroad. Martin illustrates how emerging forms of gender, class, and mobility fundamentally transform the basis of identity for a whole generation of Chinese women.

Fake News in Digital Cultures: Technology, Populism and Digital Misinformation

Rob Cover, Ashleigh Haw, Jay Daniel Thompson

United Kingdom: Emerald Publishing

Fake News in Digital Cultures presents a new approach to understanding disinformation and misinformation in contemporary digital communication, arguing that fake news is not an alien phenomenon undertaken by bad actors, but a logical outcome of contemporary popular and digital culture.
Looking not to the problems of the present era but towards the continuing development of a future digital media ecology, the authors explore the emergence of practices of deliberate disinformation, including the circulation of misleading content, the development of deepfake video, and the intersections with conspiracy theories, populism, global crises, disenfranchisement. Finally, the authors assess new practices of regulation in the context of cultural ethics.

The Children’s Country: Creation of a Goolarabooloo Future in North West Australia

Stephen Muecke and Paddy Roe

New York: Rowman and Littlefield

In North-West Australia, between 2009 and 2013, a major Indigenous-environmentalist alliance waged a successful campaign to stop a huge industrial development, a $45 billion liquefied gas plant proposed by Woodside and its partners. The Western Australian government and key Indigenous institutions also pushed hard for this, making the custodians of the Country, the Goolarabooloo, an embattled minority.

This experimental ethnography documents the Goolarabooloo’s knowledge of Country, their long history of struggle for survival, and the alliances that formed to support them. Written in a fictocritical style, it introduces a new ‘multirealist’ kind of analysis that focuses on institutions (Indigenous or European), their spheres of influence, and how they organised to stay alive as alliances shifted and changed. 

Trans New Wave Cinema

Akkadia Ford

London: Routledge

This book presents a critical cultural study of the Trans New Wave as a cinematic genre and explores its emergence in the twenty first century. This interdisciplinary volume engages with contemporary issues of gender diversity, transgender studies, screen and media studies and film festival studies, and as such will be of great interest to scholars working in these fields and in media and cultural studies more generally.

20% Discount Available – enter the code FLR40 at checkout on the Routledge website – link here.

Hb: 978-0-367-56698-2 | $201.60

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Dr. Akkadia Ford holds a PhD in Cultural Studies and works in interdisciplinary capacities in Screen Cultures: as a lecturer, tutor and film consultant on issues of gender, sexualities and queer culture, scholar, filmmaker; in broadcast television as a seasonal Classification Officer, and previously as a film Festival Director.

The Pulse in Cinema: The Aesthetics of Horror

Sharon Jane Mee

Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Dr. Mee’s text provides philosophical enquiry into the pulse as the affective force in cinema.

  • Develops a concept of the pulse and argues for the importance of its use in film spectatorship theory
  • Builds on ideas of rhythm in early and experimental cinema to develop a progressive theory that is valuable for a cinematic understanding of body horror
  • Analyses five body horror films – Le Sang des bêtes/Blood of the Beasts, The Tingler, Dawn of the Dead, L’aldilà/The Beyond and Possession – using aspects of the pulse
  • Provides an innovative approach to the economy of cinema to rethink the energetic relation between the image and the spectator
  • Integrates concepts from theorists Jean-Francois Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze, and Georges Bataille into the study of film spectatorship

Mediating Multiculturalism: Digital Storytelling and the Everyday Ethnic

Daniella Trimboli

London: Anthem Press.

‘Trimboli demonstrates how everyday multicultural digital artworks are able to leap beyond the contradictions inherent in focusing on cultural difference to approach Australian storytelling as though for the first time.’ Tromboli100219_Anthem.indd

—Sneja Gunew, FRSC, Professor Emerita, Department of English Language and Literatures/Social Justice Institute, University of British Columbia, Canada 

‘Daniella Trimboli gives us both an intimate portrait and a sharp analysis of the Australian world of multicultural digital storytelling. But she also uses this field to stage an encounter between Australian writings on multiculturalism and global critical social theory. What we end up with is one of the most astute,critical and scholarly investigations of multiculturalism I have read.

—Ghassan Hage, Professor of Anthropology and Social Theory, School of Social and Political Science, University of Melbourne, Australia 

‘Mediating Multiculturalism brings together an incisive exploration of theoretical ideas and rich case studies to oversee an original analysis of the intersection of digital storytelling and multiculturalism. Trimboli’s examination of the complexities in this relationship provides an innovative approach to the critical, cosmopolitan possibilities of creative digital interventions.’

—Greg Noble, Professor, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Australia

 This book addresses a historical problem—multiculturalism—using contemporary phenomena: digital storytelling. ‘Mediating Multiculturalism’ offers an innovative model for reconceptualising cultural difference in a highly mobile and contradictory global moment.

Daniella Trimboli is a postdoctoral research fellow in cultural studies at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Intercultural Studies.

Further information about Daniella Trimboli and her work, including  Mediating Multiculturalism: Digital Storytelling and the Everyday Ethnic, is available here.


Queerbaiting and Fandom: Teasing Fans through Homoerotic Possibilities

Joseph Brennan (ed.)

In this first-ever comprehensive examination of queerbaiting, fan studies scholar Joseph Brennan and his contributors examine cases that shed light on the sometimes exploitative industry practice of teasing homoerotic possibilities that, while hinted at, never materialize in the program narratives. Through a nuanced approach that accounts for both the history of queer representation and older fan traditions, these essayists examine the phenomenon of queerbaiting across popular TV, video games, children’s programs, and more.


Contributors include: Evangeline Aguas, Christoffer Bagger, Bridget Blodgett, Cassie Brummitt, Leyre Carcas, Jessica Carniel, Jennifer Duggan, Monique Franklin, Divya Garg, Danielle S. Girard, Mary Ingram-Waters, Hannah McCann, Michael McDermott, E. J. Nielsen, Emma Nordin, Holly Eva Katherine Randell-Moon, Emily E. Roach, Anastasia Salter, Elisabeth Schneider, Kieran Sellars, Isabela Silva, Guillaume Sirois, Clare Southerton

Praise for Queerbaiting and Fandom:

“As the first book to analyze queerbaiting, undoubtedly a sign of the times, Joseph Brennan’s edited collection makes a vital, energizing contribution to fan studies—and beyond—by skillfully addressing advocacy, history, and complexity. Queerbaiting and Fandom explores high-profile case studies such as SupernaturalSherlock, and Harry Potter. HoYay may belong to older fan traditions, but this is AcYay happening right here: ‘Academic brilliance, Yay!’”—Matt Hills, author, Fan Cultures 

Queerbaiting and Fandom will be published December 1, 2019 by the University of Iowa Press.

Intimate Investments in Drag Culture

Kerryn Drysdale

Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Intimate investments in drag king cultures

This book takes the globally recognised phenomenon of drag king performances as an opportunity for critical inquiry into the rise and fall of an urban scene for lesbian and queer women in Sydney, Australia (circa 1999-2012). Exploring how a series of weekly events provided the site for intimate encounters, Drysdale reveals the investments made by participants that worked to sustain the sense of a small world and anchor the expansive imaginary of lesbian cultural life. But what happens when scenes fade, as they invariably do?

Intimate Investments in Drag King Cultures is unique in capturing the perspective of a scene at the moment of its decline, revealing the process by which a contemporary movement becomes layered with historical significance. Bringing together the theoretical tradition of scene studies with recent work on the affective potentialities of the everyday and the mobile urban spaces they inhabit, this book has appeal to scholars working across gender, sexuality and culture.

Anxieties of Belonging in Settler Colonialism: Australia, Race and Place

Lisa Slater

New York and London: Routledge Anxieties of Belonging

This book examines the anxiety that “well-intentioned” settler Australian women experience when engaging with Indigenous politics.

Slater asks: why does Indigenous political will continue to provoke and disturb? How does settler anxiety inform public opinion and “solutions” to Indigenous inequality and issues of social justice?

Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery: Deviance, Desire and the Pursuit of Perfection

Camille Nurka

London, New York and Shanghai: Palgrave Macmillan

Examining the fascinating history of female genital cosmetic surgery, Camille Nurka traces the origins of contemporary ideas of genital normality. Over the past twenty years, Western women have become Female Genital Cosmetic Surgeryincreasingly worried about the aesthetic appearance of their labia minora and are turning to cosmetic surgery to achieve the ideal vulva: a clean slit with no visible protrusion of the inner lips. Long labia minora are described by medical experts as ‘hypertrophied,’ a term that implies deformity and the atypical. But how far back does the diagnosis of labial hypertrophy go, and where did it originate? Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery tells the story of the female genitalia from the alien world of ancient Greek gynaecology to the colonial period of exploration and exploitation up to the present day. Bringing together historical, medical, and theoretical documentation and commentary, Nurka uncovers a long tradition of pathologizing female anatomy, a history sure to be of interest to any reader who wishes to know more about how medicine shapes our commonly held ideals.


Peter Cryle and Elizabeth Stephens

Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017.  Normality

The concept of normal is so familiar that it can be hard to imagine contemporary life without it. Yet the term entered everyday speech only in the mid-twentieth century. Before that, it was solely a scientific term used primarily in medicine to refer to a general state of health and the orderly function of organs. But beginning in the middle of the twentieth century, normal broke out of scientific usage, becoming less precise and coming to mean a balanced condition to be maintained and an ideal to be achieved. 

In Normality, Peter Cryle and Elizabeth Stephens offer an intellectual and cultural history of what it means to be normal. They explore the history of how communities settle on any one definition of the norm, along the way analyzing a fascinating series of case studies in fields as remote as anatomy, statistics, criminal anthropology, sociology, and eugenics. Cryle and Stephens argue that since the idea of normality is so central to contemporary disability, gender, race, and sexuality studies, scholars in these fields must first have a better understanding of the context for normality. This pioneering book moves beyond binaries to explore for the first time what it does—and doesn’t—mean to be normal.

Randell-Moon_978-1-137-55407-9Security, Race, Biopower: Essays on Technology and Corporeality

Holly Randell-Moon and Ryan Tippett

London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016

This book explores how technologies of media, medicine, law and governance enable and constrain the mobility of bodies within geographies of space and race. Each chapter describes and critiques the ways in which contemporary technologies produce citizens according to their statistical risk or value in an atmosphere of generalised security, both in relation to categories of race, and within the new possibilities for locating and managing bodies in space. The topics covered include: drone warfare, the global distribution of HIV-prevention drugs, racial profiling in airports, Indigenous sovereignty, consumer lifestyle apps and their ecological and labour costs, and anti-aging therapies.

Security, Race, Biopower: Essays on Technologies and Corporeality provides a power account of how, in the global present, biopolitical technologies actualize the logic of obliteration, the operative element in the grammar of raciality. Together the histories, geographies, and case studies assembled in this volume expose how biopolitical equipments, procedures, and processes always already presuppose racial difference and cultural difference as the fundamental descriptors of the threatening global Other. This book is, by far, the best deployment of Foucault’s notion of biopower in the study of security as the privileged mode of management of  global subaltern populations.”

— Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva, Director, The Social Justice Institute (GRSJ), University of British Columbia, Canada

Noise Matters

Noise Matters: Towards an Ontology of Noise

Greg Hainge

New York: Bloomsbury, 2013

In Noise Matters, Hainge proposes a radical and controversial rethink of the concept of noise. Distancing himself from the critical orthodoxies forming in the burgeoning field of noise studies, Hainge argues that noise is not merely unpleasant or loud sound but, rather, indicative of the way in which being is expressed in a relational ontology. This approach takes noise far outside of the realm of the sonic and accordingly Hainge proposes new readings of the films of David Lynch, the photography of Thomas Ruff and the music of Merzbow, whilst drawing on the work of Deleuze and Guattari, Michel Serres, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Paul Sartre, Pierre Schaeffer and many more besides.

“We all know noise is there, but Hainge finds it everywhere. Love it, hate it, damp it, make it, even tame it into art-but escape it? Never. For noise, as Hainge shows, is not mere sound; rather, it names the ontological impedance and affordance of all relations in our emergent cosmos. Read this remarkably stimulating, wide-ranging, original book and you’ll never hear or think of noise the same again.”

— Ronald Bogue, Distinguished Research Professor, Comparative Literature Department, University Of Georgia

Academic Life and Labour in the New University: Hope and Other Choices

Ruth Barcan

Ashgate Publishers, 2014

What does it mean to be an academic today? What kinds of experiences do students have, and how are they affected by what they learn? Why do so many students and their teachers feel like frauds? Can we learn to teach and research in ways that foster hope and deflate pretension? Academic Life and Labour in the New University: Hope and Other Choices addresses these big questions, discussing the challenges of teaching and researching in the contemporary university, the purpose of research and its fundamental value, and the role of the academy against the background of major changes to nature of the university itself.

Drawing on a range of international media sources, political discourse and many years’ professional experience, this volume explores approaches to teaching and research, with special emphasis on the importance of collegiality, intellectual honesty and courage. With attention to the intersection of large-scale institutional changes and intellectual shifts such as the rise of transdisciplinarity and the development of a pluralist curriculum, this book proposes the pursuit of more ethical, compassionate and critical forms of teaching and research. As such, it will be of interest not only to scholars of cultural studies and education, but to all those who care about the fate of the university as an institution, including young scholars seeking to join the academy.


Ruth Barcan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is the author of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, Senses (Berg 2011), and Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy (Berg 2004).

Locating Cultural WorkLocating Cultural Work: The Politics and Poetics of Rural, Regional and Remote Creativity

Susan Luckman

Palgrave Macmillan; October 2012; ISBN 9780230355422

This book builds upon the ground-breaking work already undertaken by the author filling the absence of research into the significance, character and value of creative industries beyond major urban centres. What has emerged in this work is the specific centrality of place, time and the natural environment to the creative practice of those who have chosen or found themselves operating outside the mainstream of urban creative milieus. Unlike any existing book in the market, Locating Cultural Work uniquely examines creative workers in terms of three interlinked concerns: the wider history of creativity and place in the UK since the Industrial Revolution (in particular the Romantics and the Arts and Craft Movement, especially as manifest in the Lake District and Cotswolds); the emotional—affective—drivers of creativity and place; and the relationship between rural and regional cultural industries, tourism and environmental awareness.

The Postcolonial EyeThe Postcolonial Eye: White Australian Desire and the Visual Field of Race

Alison Ravenscroft

Ashgate; March 2012; ISBN 1409430782

Informed by theories of the visual, knowledge and desire, “The Postcolonial Eye” is about the ‘eye’ and the ‘I’ in contemporary Australian scenes of race. Specifically, it is about seeing, where vision is taken to be subjective and shaped by desire, and about knowing one another across the cultural divide between white and Indigenous Australia. Writing against current moves to erase this divide and to obscure difference, Alison Ravenscroft stresses that modern Indigenous cultures can be profoundly, even bewilderingly, strange and at times unknowable within the terms of ‘white’ cultural forms. She argues for a different ethics of looking, in particular, for aesthetic practices that allow Indigenous cultural products, especially in the literary arts, to retain their strangeness in the eyes of a white subject. The specificity of her subject matter allows Ravenscroft to deal with the broad issues of postcolonial theory and race and ethnicity without generalising. This specificity is made visible in, for example, Ravenscroft’s treatment of the figuring of white desire in Aboriginal fiction, film and life-stories, and in her treatment of contemporary Indigenous cultural practices. While it is located in Australian Studies, Ravenscroft’s book, in its rigorous interrogation of the dynamics of race and whiteness and engagement with European and American literature and criticism, has far-reaching implications for understanding the important question of race and vision.

Cities of SignsCities of Signs: Learning the Logic of Urban Spaces

Andrew Hickey

Peter Lang; February 2012; ISBN 1433111209

Signs exist as fundamental markers of the urban landscape. Whether in the form of street signs offering directions, the airbrushed promises of advertising media or the vandalized détournements of street art, signs pervade urban spaces and provide a tangible text upon which the logics of both cities and ourselves are written. Cities of Signs charts the way that signs exist as key elements of contemporary urban space, and explores what it means to live within these spaces, amongst cities of signs. This refreshing take on the way that urban space is lived and experienced is a timely contribution to the literature in urban studies, sociology and education alike. In decoding the cultural production at play in urban environments, Cities of Signs presents a dynamic approach to understanding how culture is produced and consumed within the cityscape.

Through this timely and engaging book, Andrew T. Hickey answers recent calls for public pedagogical research to explicate how sites work pedagogically. Going beyond surface-level readings of cultural texts to also explore how audiences engage with those texts, Cities of Signs troubles simplistic notions of cultural transmission by explicating the various mechanisms through which signs ‘work’ to mediate culture. Hence, Cities of Signs presents an account of the ways that public pedagogies actually function. 

Jennifer Sandlin, Co-editor, Handbook of Public Pedagogy

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