Ono, Kent A.
Contemporary Media Culture and the Remnants of a Colonial Past
Year of Publication: 2009
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2009. X, 167 pp.
ISBN 978-0-8204-7939-2 pb. (Softcover)
ISBN 978-0-8204-7940-8 hardback (Hardcover)
Weight: 0.270 kg, 0.595 lbs
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Contemporary Media Culture and the Remnants of a Colonial Past examines contemporary representations of colonialism, by developing a historically and culturally specific theory of neocolonialism in U.S. media culture. Noting how colonialism never officially ended in the United States, Kent A. Ono draws together race, gender, sexuality, and nation to examine neocolonialism in popular media narratives. The book asks, «What are the lingering traces within contemporary culture that provide evidence not only of what colonialism was but also of what it continues to be today?» Offering five case studies on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the sale of the Seattle Mariners, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Pocahontas, and Star Trek: The Next Generation - and providing current media examples in the introduction and conclusion, the book documents the persistence of colonialism in media culture. White vigilantism, prototypical colonial rescue plots, and cloaked and not-so-hidden anxieties about racial and national miscegenation all contribute towards a continuation of colonialism and a neocolonial mind-set. The book's critical examination from a historical and cultural perspective makes it possible to alter colonialism for future generations.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Author: Kent A. Ono is Professor in the Asian American Studies Program and in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In addition to co-authoring Shifting Borders: Rhetoric, Immigration, and California's Proposition 187 with John M. Sloop (2002) and Asian Americans and the Media with Vincent Pham (2008), he has co-edited Enterprise Zones: Critical Positions on Star Trek (1996) and edited Asian American Studies after Critical Mass (2005) and A Companion to Asian American Studies (2005).
«This is a powerful, richly nuanced, evocative work; a stunning and brilliantly innovative pedagogical and theoretical intervention. It represents the most serious analysis we have to date of race, media and colonialism. Through detailed readings of the popular - 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', 'Power Rangers', 'Pocahontas' - Kent A. Ono undermines from within the lingering vestiges of a pernicious colonial mentality. He shows how current popular narratives about race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation continue to cover up a global racist politics. This new book provides ground zero - the starting place for the next generation of theorists who study nation, gender, race, American popular culture, identity, and performance in everyday life. A stunning accomplishment by one of America's major social theorists.» (Norman K. Denzin, College of Media Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
«This book provides interdisciplinary scholars with a unique archeology of both the overt and covert colonial messages that continue to be circulated in a host of cultural mediums - from our ballparks to our television screens. His insightful study of the socially marginalized and colonially repressed opens up new vistas as he invites us to rethink the ways that entertainment industries can be linked to economic and social circuits of power and representation.» (Marouf Hasian, Professor of Communication, University of Utah)
Critical Intercultural Communication Studies. Vol. 8
General Editor: Thomas K. Nakayama