The Craft of Criticism : Critical Media Studies in Practice book cover
1st Edition

The Craft of Criticism
Critical Media Studies in Practice

ISBN 9780415716307
Published June 29, 2018 by Routledge
370 Pages

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Book Description

With contributions from 30 leading media scholars, this collection provides a comprehensive overview of the main methodologies of critical media studies. Chapters address various methods of textual analysis, as well as reception studies, policy, production studies, and contextual, multi-method approaches, like intertextuality and cultural geography. Film and television are at the heart of the collection, which also addresses emergent technologies and new research tools in such areas as software studies, gaming, and digital humanities. Each chapter includes an intellectual history of a particular method or approach, a discussion of why and how it was used to study a particular medium or media, relevant examples of influential work in the area, and an in-depth review of a case study drawn from the author's own research. Together, the chapters in this collection give media critics a complete toolbox of essential critical media studies methodologies.

Table of Contents

Foreword – Michele Hilmes

Introduction, or How to Cook an Artichoke –Mary Celeste Kearney



1 Ideology – Ron Becker

2 Discourse – Rosalind Gill

3 Narrative – Jason Mittell

4 Non-Fiction Media – Daniel Marcus

5 Visual Style – Jeremy Butler

6 Sound – Jacob Smith

7 Acting and Performance – Cynthia Baron

8 Representation - Mary Beltrán

9 Authorship and Auteurism – Cynthia Chris

10 Political Economy - Patrick Burkart

11 Media Policy - Bill Kirkpatrick

12 Psychoanalytic Criticism - Todd McGowan

13 Cognitivism - Ted Nannicelli

14 Ethnography - Jessa Lingel & Mary Gray


PART II Synthetic/Multiperspectival Approaches

15 Audiences - Matt Hills

16 Genre - Amanda Ann Klein

17 Intertexts and Paratexts - Jonathan Gray

18 Stardom and Celebrity - Suzanne Leonard & Diane Negra

19 Cultural Geography - Victoria E. Johnson

20 National/Transnational/Global - Shanti Kumar

21 History and Historiography - Michael Kackman

22 Production - Timothy Havens


PART III Emergent and Challenging Objects

23 Popular Music - Norma Coates

24 New Media - Madhavi Mallapragada

25 Games and Gaming - Matthew Thomas Payne & Nina B. Huntemann

26 Software - Eric Freedman

27 Digital Humanities - Miriam Posner


Contributors’ Biographies

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Michael Kackman is Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame, where he teaches courses in the history and criticism of U.S. television, Cold War cultural history, nationhood and political culture, and history and memory practices in everyday life. He is the author of Citizen Spy: Television, Espionage, and Cold War Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2005), and co-editor of Flow TV: Television in the Age of Media Convergence (Routledge, 2010).

Mary Celeste Kearney is Director of Gender Studies and Associate Professor of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. She is author of Girls Make Media (Routledge, 2006) and Gender and Rock (Oxford, 2017). She is editor of The Gender and Media Reader (Routledge, 2011) and Mediated Girlhoods: New Explorations of Girls' Media Culture (Peter Lang, 2011), as well as co-editor (with Morgan Blue) of Mediated Girlhoods second volume (Peter Lang, 2018). She is academic editor of the book series Routledge Research in Gender, Sexuality, and Media, and serves on the boards of several academic journals.


"An instant classic from a stellar group of contributors who lucidly explain the key concepts and methods of critical media studies. Both innovative and practical, The Craft of Criticism promises to become a touchstone for the field and an essential resource for the classroom." -Michael Curtin, University of California, Santa Barbara