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Series: Series in Critical Media Studies

All Around Monstrous: Monster Media in Their Historical Contexts

Edited by Frank Jacob, Nord University, Norway and Verena Bernardi, Saarland University, Germany

June 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-458-0
Availability: In stock
298pp. ¦ $65 £48 €55

We know all kinds of monsters. Vampires who suck human blood, werewolves who harass tourists in London or Paris, zombies who long to feast on our brains, or Godzilla, who is famous in and outside of Japan for destroying whole cities at once. Regardless of their monstrosity, all of these creatures are figments of the human mind and as real as they may seem, monsters are and always have been constructed by human beings. In other words, they are imagined. How they are imagined, however, depends on many different aspects and changes throughout history. The present volume provides an insight into the construction of monstrosity in different kinds of media, including literature, film, and TV series. It will show how and by whom monsters are really created, how time changes the perception of monsters and what characterizes specific monstrosities in their specific historical contexts. The book will provide valuable insights for scholars in different fields, whose interest focuses on either media studies or history.

A Postcard View of Hell: One Doughboy’s Souvenir Album of the First World War

Frank Jacob, Nord University, Norway and Mark D. Van Ells, Queensborough Community College (CUNY)

September 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-451-1
Availability: In stock
176pp. ¦ $57 £45 €50

For many the postcard may seem trivial, little more than a mundane souvenir or a way to keep in touch with friends and relatives while on vacation. But if we look carefully, postcards offer valuable insights into the time periods in which they were created and the mentalities of those who bought or sent them. Frank Marhefka, while serving in the U.S. Army Motor Transportation Corps during the First World War, amassed a collection of more than 150 postcards and photographs while in France, and bound them into a souvenir album. Marhefka’s collection provides a diverse and vivid look into a period of history that – in many soldiers’ accounts – is not usually visualized with all its cruelties. Emphasizing the pictorial turn of the Great War, this album offers personal insight into a conflict that caused so much death and destruction. The book begins with an introduction providing a history of postcards and their extensive use by soldiers during the Great War. Then, after a biography of Marhefka, his postcard collection is presented in its entirety. Accompanying the images are brief texts that place them into historical context, as well as suggestions for further reading. As a visual artifact of the First World War and the perspective of one U.S. soldier, this book is aimed at students, scholars, postcard collectors, and general readers alike who have an interest in military history and popular culture.

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