Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Our Most-Read Blog Posts of 2016

Despite everything that happened in 2016, it was a great year for University of Texas Press authors on our blog. Here are the 10 most-read posts, spanning topics from Mexican cuisine to Moche power structures, from author-curated music playlists to fascinating conversations among scholars.

We look forward to another year of great reading in 2017!

Earlier this year, UT Press was excited to announce that musician, songwriter, and former Go-Go Kathy Valentine has signed an agreement to write her first book – a memoir. Read the post.

2016 was the year that scientists declared the dawn of a human-influenced age. One of our most popular author Q&A featured Nicholas Kawa talking about his new book Amazonia in the Anthropocene: People, Soils, Plants, Forests. We asked him about his work, what we can learn from contemporary rural Amazonians, and the complicated identity politics of indigenous rights. Read the post.

[ Film, Media and Popular Culture : Comics ]

Reading Comics Like a Grownup

The graphic novel is commonly thought to have matured from pulp infancy to literary adulthood. However, comic writers remain burdened by the stigma of literary illegitimacy. In his new book Arresting Development: Comics at the Boundaries of Literature, Christopher Pizzino questions this idea that comics have "grown up" in the literary community's perception, arguing that the medium’s history of censorship and marginalization endures in the minds of its present-day readers and, crucially, its authors. We asked him to talk about why he wrote the book in this passionate and funny Q&A. Read the post.

In this blog post, historian Charles Molesworth expands on his book The Capitalist and the Critic: J. P. Morgan, Roger Fry, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to reflect on issues that reverberate today: buying influence in a presidential race, breaking up too-powerful bank trusts, pushing Progressive Era initiatives to eliminate obscure and unfair trading practices, and the problem of "large sums of money resting in the hands of a few men." Read the post.

We couldn't resist excerpting Diana Kennedy's brilliant bêtes noires to celebrate her 93rd year and the new edition of her classic part memoir, part cookbook, Nothing Fancy: Recipes and Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food. In addition to chapters about her life and recipes for her favorite foods, she also covers her culinary addictions and the equipment she simply cannot do without. Enjoy Diana's unfiltered opinions on the proper way to enjoy and promote sustainable food. Read the post.

Latino Comic Books Past, Present, and Future

To celebrate Graphic Borders: Latino Comic Books Past, Present, and Future as the first book in the World Comics and Graphic Nonfiction series, we asked co-editors Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González a few questions about the ways in which Latinos can be represented and imagined in the world of comics. Read the post.

[ Photography ]

Behind Rocky Schenck's Recurring Dreams

Don’t know who Rocky Schenck is? You should. The film director William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist) collects Rocky's work and wrote the introduction to his new collection of fine art photography, The Recurring Dream. Rocky not only makes hauntingly beautiful hand-tinted photographs, he also makes films, music videos, and has worked with Adele, Francis Bean Cobain, Robert Plant, Ray Bradbury, Ellen DeGeneres, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, T-Bone Burnett, Nicole Kidman, Stevie Nicks, Patti LaBelle, Dionne Warwick, and John Prine. We've compiled some of the most interesting insights into his life and process to celebrate the publication of The Recurring Dream. Read the post. →
Music ]

Touring T Bone: A personal playlist primer

It is fascinating to consider the different roles T Bone Burnett has played – and the contradictory sides of his personality that have frequently defined those roles. In calling attention to his multiple identities as an artist and individual, the chapter titles of Lloyd Sachs' T Bone Burnett: A Life in Pursuit provide a great template for a playlist of songs he has recorded, produced or programmed. Read the post.

Film, Media and Popular Culture : Genre ]

Media Studies Scholars on Cycles, Sequels, Spin-offs, Remakes, and Reboots

We asked three media studies scholars to debate the concept of originality in entertainment, what it means for the media to disparage perceived repetition, and how audiences interacting with an entire product like Star Wars: The Force Awakens—from pre-production to marketing—impacts how we read cultural output. Read the post.

[ Latin American Studies : Pre-Columbian Archaeology ]

Steve Bourget on Sacrifice, Violence, and Ideology Among the Moche

We asked world authority on the Moche Steve Bourget some questions about his latest book, Sacrifice, Violence, and Ideology Among the Moche: The Rise of Social Complexity in Ancient Peru. His study uncovers some fascinating relationships, like how El Niño conditions influenced broader aspects of Moche religion and cosmology, how a concomitant relationship emerges between the practice of human sacrifice and the rise of social complexity across New World societies, and how uniting iconography with archaeology helps scholars deepen our understanding of the Moche people and their power structures. Read the post.

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