The Star Trek franchise represents one of the most successful emanations of popular media in our culture. The number of books, both popular and scholarly, published on the subject of Star Trek is massive, with more and more titles printed every year. Very few, however, have looked at Star Trek in terms of the dialectics of humanism and the posthuman, the pervasiveness of advanced technology, and the complications of gender identity. In Drones, Clones and Alpha Babes, Diana Relke sheds light on how the Star Trek narratives influence and are influenced by shifting cultural values in the United States, using these as portals to the sociopolitical and sociocultural landscapes of the United States, pre- and post-9/11.
Ingmar Bergman is worldwide known as a film and stage director. Yet no-one has attempted to compare his stage and screen activities. In Between stage and screen Egil Törnqvist examines formal and thematical correspondences and differences between a number of Bergman’s stage, screen, and radio productions. In the prologue Bergman’s spiritual and aesthetic heritage and his position in the twentieth century media landscape is outlined. In the epilogue the question is answered to what extent one can speak of Bergman’s directorial ‘method’ irrespective of the chosen medium.
Moving images of the British monarchy, in fact and fiction, are almost as old as the moving image itself, dating back to an 1895 American drama, The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. British monarchs even appeared in the new ‘animated photography’ from 1896, led by Queen Victoria. Half a century later, the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II was a milestone in the adoption of television, watched by 20 million Britons and 100 million North Americans. At the century’s end, Princess Diana’s funeral was viewed by 2.5 billion worldwide. In the first book-length examination of film and television representations of this enduring institution, distinguished scholars of media and political history analyse the screen representations of royalty from Henry VIII to ‘William and Kate’.
California and television, as it were, conspire in a vampirologic: the forever-young is what has been there the longest, what really “takes us back.” And so we also will take ourselves back: to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, already almost charmingly quaint, and Walter Benjamin’s magnum opus The Origin of the German Mourning-Play. What can come of this improbable conjunction? It will not seem too strange that Benjamin, posthumous wanderer across the textures of Americana, should again take up lodging at the Hotel California. But more is at stake than just another hapless visitation from the on high of high theory: reading Buffy as the remediated afterlife of the dead-on-arrival genre of the baroque German mourning play, Adler’s book records the first broken, awkward steps toward a project that, with the recent rise of “quality television,” seems more urgent than ever before: a political-theological characteristic of the television series.