Fantasy, Football, and Funny Women: Discover New Fall Reads

Cracking Up – Black Feminist Comedy in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Century United State
By Katelyn Hale Wood, MA ’09, PhD ’14 

Dressed in her signature floral dress, argyle socks, floppy hat, and slippers, Jackie “Moms” Mabley was an unlikely yet vital figure in U.S. history. Her humble appearance allowed her to tell necessary truths—the cornerstone of Black feminist stand-up comedy—while standing up against oppression and speaking candidly about race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship. In Cracking Up, Wood starts with the overlooked Mabley and goes on to analyze her modern successors who each employ the art of joke-telling and the platform of stand-up comedy to articulate political thought and subvert power structures. 

Curse of the Specter Queen 
By Jenny Elder Moke, BBA ’07 

When a mysterious diary arrives at her bookstore, Samantha Knox gets pulled into a rollicking treasure hunt on the heels of a dark cult. This ancient order is intent on recovering the diary and starting a cataclysmic war by summoning the Celtic goddess of vengeance and death known as the Specter Queen. The book follows Moke’s acclaimed debut novel Hood and kicks off a new puzzle-solving adventure series in the spirit of Indiana Jones and National Treasure. 

The Sports Revolution – How Texas Changed the Culture of American Athletics 
By Frank Andre Guridy 

A profound social revolution was televised when integrated sports teams began competing in the 60s and 70s. The Sports Revolution explains how major cultural shifts played out on the field and finds Texas at the center of America’s increasing investments in sports, for better and for worse. Columbia University history professor Guridy looks at the Lone Star State’s impact during the civil rights and feminist movements, made through changing demographics and big-money influence, and offers a new understanding of sports and society in the nation as a whole. 

Hollywood Shutdown – Production, Distribution, and Exhibition in the Time of COVID 
by Kate Fortmueller 

The first nine months of 2020 may prove to transform Hollywood well into the 21st century. With the spread of COVID-19, the entertainment industry was forced to adjust many time-honored traditions. Published by UT Press, Hollywood Shutdown examines altered labor practices, new trends in distribution, and a reshaped experience for moviegoers. Fortmueller is an assistant professor of entertainment and media studies at the University of Georgia and the author of Below the Stars: How the Labor of Working Actors and Extras Shapes Media Production. 


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