Tag Archives: books

Fall 2022

By Matthew Bush

Other Americans traces the US imaginary of Latin America as a land of violence and sensuality. Employing melodrama and affect theory, Other Americans offers exemplary close readings of a wide range of media produced in and about Latin America. What emerges is a lucid conception of Latin American as a collection of negative affects picturing America’s displaced investment in lawlessness.

Summer 2022


Paul, Heike (editor)

Marak, Sarah (editor)

Gerund, Katharina (editor)

Henderson, Marius (editor)

This new go-to reference book for global melodrama assembles contributions by experts from a wide range of disciplines, including cultural studies, film and media studies, gender and queer studies, political science, and postcolonial studies. The melodramas covered in this volume range from early 20th century silent movies to contemporary films, from independent ›arthouse‹ productions to Hollywood blockbusters. The comprehensive overview of global melodramatic film in the Lexicon constitutes a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners of film, teachers, film critics, and anyone who is interested in the past and present of melodramatic film on a global scale. The Lexicon of Global Melodrama includes essays on All That Heaven Allows, Bombay, Casablanca, Die Büchse der Pandora, In the Mood for Love, Nosotros los Pobres, Terra Sonâmbula, and Tokyo Story.



Spring 2022

Appreciating Melodrama: Theory and Practice in Indian Cinema and Television

by Piyush Roy

Appreciating Melodrama: Theory and Practice in Indian Cinema and Television seeks to identify and appreciate the continual influence of the ancient Sanskrit drama treatise, the Natyashastra, and its theory of aesthetics, the rasa theory, on the unique narrative attributes of Indian cinema.

This volume of work critically engages with a representative sample of landmark films from 100 years of Indian film history across genres, categories, regions and languages. This is the first time a case study-based rigorous academic review of popular Indian cinema is done using the Indian aesthetic appreciation theory of rasa (affect/emotion). It proposes a theoretical model for film appreciation, especially for content made in the melodramatic genre, and challenges existing First World/Euro-American film criticism canons and notions that privilege cinematic ‘realism’ over other narrative forms, which will generate passionate debates for and against its propositions in future studies and research on films.

This is a valuable academic reference book for students of film and theatre, world cinema and Indian cinema studies, South Asian studies and culture, Indology and the ‘Sociology of Cinema’ studies. It is a must-have reference text in the curriculum of both practical-oriented acting schools, as well as courses and modules focusing on a theoretical study of cinema, such as film criticism and appreciation, and the history of movies and performance studies.

Winter 2020 Books/Chapters

in Philosophical Issues in Indian Cinema: Approximate Terms and Concepts
by MK Raghavendra
The aspect of Indian popular cinema to have been studied most extensively by scholars is perhaps its melodrama, and the strategy is usually to regard it in the light of Western studies of the notion. The major difficulty with the strategy is that the term ‘melodrama’ largely loses its significance when applied to Indian popular cinema (at least until the 1990s) because there is little that cannot be described as ‘melodramatic’. While Western texts have something to offer instead of melodrama (realism, for instance) and the term is a useful form of identification, it is necessary to identify individual films that are ‘not melodrama’ before the term can be usefully applied.

May 2019


The Pedagogy of Queer TV
by Ava Laure Paresemain

This book examines queer characters in popular American television, demonstrating how entertainment can educate audiences about LGBT identities and social issues like homophobia and transphobia. Through case studies of musical soap operas (Glee and Empire), reality shows (RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Prancing Elites Project and I Am Cait) and “quality” dramas (Looking, Transparent and Sense8), it argues that entertainment elements such as music, humour, storytelling and melodrama function as pedagogical tools, inviting viewers to empathise with and understand queer characters. Each chapter focuses on a particular programme, looking at what it teaches—its representation of queerness—and how it teaches this—its pedagogy. Situating the programmes in their broader historical context, this study also shows how these televisual texts exemplify a specific moment in American television.

November 2018

The Victorian Actress in the Novel and on the Stage

by Renata Kobetts Miller

millerThis book analyses how Victorian novels and plays used the actress, a significant figure for the relationship between women and the public sphere, to define their own place within and among genres and in relation to audiences. Providing new understandings of how the novel and theatre developed, Miller explores how their representations shaped the position of the actress in Victorian culture with regard to her authenticity, her ability to foster sympathetic bonds, and her relationships to social class and the domestic sphere. The book traces how this cultural history led actresses to appropriate the pen themselves by becoming suffragette playwrights, thereby writing new social roles for women.