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March 2001, Week 2


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Peter Rollins <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 14 Mar 2001 09:49:02 EST
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Editor's note:
       There has been a lot of discussion, lately, about text books
       for the study of television.  Here is a book just about to hit the
       stores--an anthology created from the pages of Film & History
       plus additional contributions by senior scholars such as David
       Culbert, Phil Taylor, Thomas Doherty, and others

Peter Rollins
[log in to unmask]

_Television Histories: Shaping Collective Memory in the Media Age_

Edited by Gary R. Edgerton and Peter C. Rollins

"A pioneer work, weaving an inspired and informed interdisciplinary analysis
of television and history. The chapters are enlightening, readable, and
entertaining; the editors and the authors have produced a work that enriches
and strengthens the study of film and history."-Michael Schoenecke, Texas
Tech U

From Ken Burns's documentaries to historical dramas such as Roots, from A&E's
Biography series to CNN's coverage of such events as the fall of the Berlin
Wall, television has become the primary source for historical information for
tens of millions of Americans today. Why has television become such a
respected authority? What falsehoods enter our collective memory as truths?
How is one to know what is real and what is imagined-or ignored-by producers,
directors, or writers?

Gary Edgerton and Peter Rollins have collected a group of essays that answer
these and many other questions. The contributors examine the full spectrum of
historical genres, but also institutions such as the History Channel and
production histories of such series as The Jack Benny Show, which ran for
fifteen years.
The authors explore the tensions between popular history and professional
history, and the tendency of some academics to declare the past "off limits"
to nonscholars. Several of them point to the tendency for television
histories to embed current concerns and priorities within the past, as in
such popular shows as Quantum Leap and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. The result
is an insightful portrayal of the power television possesses to influence our

Gary R. Edgerton, professor and chair of the Communication and Theatre Arts
Department at Old Dominion University, is the co-editor of the Journal of
Popular Film and Television and the author of several books, most recently In
the Eye of the Beholder: Critical Perspectives in Popular Film and

Peter C. Rollins, Regents Professor of English at Oklahoma State University,
is editor of the journal Film & History and of numerous books, including
_Hollywood's Indian_ and _Hollywood as Historian_.


Introduction-Television as Historian: A Different Kind of History Altogether
    by Gary R. Edgerton

Part 1: Prime-Time Entertainment Programming as Historian
1.     History TV and Popular Memory
           by Steve Anderson
2.      Masculinity and Femininity in Television's Historical Fictions: Young
        Jones Chronicles and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
           by Mimi White
3.      Quantum Leap: The Postmodern Challenge of Television as History
           by Robert Hanke
4.      Profiles in Courage: Televisual History in the New Frontier
           by Daniel Marcus

Part 2: The Television Documentary as Historian

5.    Victory at Sea: Cold War Epic
           by Peter C. Rollins
6.      Breaking the Mirror: Dutch Television and the History of the Second
World War
           by Chris Vos
7.      Contested Public Memories: Hawaiian History as Hawaiian or American
           by Carolyn Anderson
8.      Mediating Thomas Jefferson: Ken Burns as Popular Historian
           by Gary R. Edgerton

Part 3: TV News and Public Affairs Programming as Historian

9. Pixies: Homosexuality, Anti-Communism, and the Army-McCarthy Hearings
           by Thomas Doherty
10.    Images of History in Israel Television News: The Territorial Dimension
       Collective Memories, 1987-1990
           by Netta Ha-Ilan
11.   Memories of 1945 and 1963: American Television Coverage of the End of
    Berlin Wall, November 9, 1989
           by David Culbert
12.   Television: The First Flawed Rough Drafts of History
           by Philip M. Taylor

Part 4: Television Production, Reception, and History

13.    The History Channel and the Challenge of Historical Programming
           by Brian Taves
14.    Rethinking Television History
           by Douglas Gomery
15.    Nice Guys Last Fifteen Seasons: Jack Benny on Television, 1950-1965
           by James L. Baughman
16.    Organizing Difference on Global TV: Television History and Cultural
           by Michael Curtin

ISBN 0-8131-2190-6
352 pages, 62 photographs
$29.95 hardback

Phone Orders: 800/839-6855
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The University Press of Kentucky
Order Department
663 South Limestone Street
Lexington, KY  40508-4008

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