Wordtrade LogoWordtrade.com on Lively Arts


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Recently Reviewed Titles

Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective Film by Philippa Gates (State University of New York Press) In this study of more than three hundred films, Philippa Gates explores the woman detective figure from her pre-cinematic origins in nineteenth-century detective fiction through her many incarnations throughout the history of Hollywood cinema. Through the lens of theories of gender, genre, and stardom and engaging with the critical concepts of performativity, masquerade, and feminism, Detecting Women analyzes constructions of the female investigator in the detective genre and focuses on the evolution of her representation from 1929 to today. While a popular assumption is that images of women have become increasingly positive over this period, Gates argues that the most progressive and feminist models of the female detective exist in mainstream film's more peripheral products, such as 1930s B pictures and 1970s blaxploitation films. Offering revisions and new insights into peripheral forms of mainstream film, Gates explores this space that allows a fantasy of resolution of social anxieties about crime and, more interestingly, gender, in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Gates, Associate Professor of Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, is also the author of Detecting Men: Masculinity and the Hollywood Detective Film. More

Eroticism and Death in Theatre and Performance by Karoline Gritzner (University Of Hertfordshire Press) Exploring a range of topics, including Greek tragedy, Shakespearean theater, contemporary British plays, opera, and the theatricality of Parisian culture, this compilation provides new perspectives on the relationship between Eros and Death in a series of dramatic texts, theatrical practices, and cultural performances. Detailed and analytical, these informative essays demonstrate how changing attitudes towards sexuality and death—opposed but entangled passions—were reflected in theater throughout the course of history. Psychoanalytical and philosophical models are also referenced in this work that features essays from dramatists Dic Edwards, David Ian Rabey, and David Rudkin. More

Choreographing Empathy: Kinesthesia in Performance by Susan Leigh Foster (Routledge) What do we feel when we watch dancing? Do we "dance along" inwardly? Do we sense what the dancer’s body is feeling? Do we imagine what it might feel like to perform those same moves? If we do, how do these responses influence how we experience dancing and how we derive significance from it?
Choreographing Empathy challenges the idea of a direct psychophysical connection between the body of a dancer and that of their observer. In this groundbreaking investigation, Susan Foster argues that the connection is in fact highly mediated and influenced by ever-changing sociocultural mores.
Foster examines the relationships between three central components in the experience of watching a dance – the choreography, the kinesthetic sensations it puts forward, and the empathetic connection that it proposes to viewers. Tracing the changing definitions of choreography, kinesthesia, and empathy from the 1700s to the present day, she shows how the observation, study, and discussion of dance have changed over time. Understanding this development is key to understanding corporeality and its involvement in the body politic. More

The Making of Some Like It Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie by Tony Curtis and Mark A. Vieira (Wiley) Some Like It Hot occupies a unique place in American culture. This beloved classic showcases five comic geniuses: Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, I. A. L. Diamond, Billy Wilder, and Marilyn Monroe. It has been honored by the American Film Institute as the "Funniest Film of All Time". It has contributed quotes, styles, and stories to film lore. Yet the full story of its making has never been told—until now. More

Photographing Fashion by Richard Lester (Antique Collectors' Club, Ltd) For almost forty years, one of Britain's most important photographic archives has remained unseen. Commissioned for the Sunday Times under the legendary editorship of Ernestine Carter, the hundreds of images include some of the finest photo-shoots of the sixties. More

The History of Television, 1880 to 1941 by Albert Abramson (McFarland) The History of Television, 1942 to 2000 by Albert Abramson (McFarland) 364 photos, notes, bibliography, index Albert Abramson published (with McFarland) In 2003, the follow-up volume, 1942 to 2000, appeared; the reader may be assured there are no other books in any language that are remotely comparable to either of these volumes. Together, they provide the definitive technical history of the medium. Upon the development in the mid-1940s of new cameras and picture tubes that made commercial television possible worldwide, the medium rose rapidly to prominence. Perhaps even more important was the invention of the video tape recorder in 1956, allowing editing, re-shooting and rebroadcasting. More

Interludes and Early Modern Society: Studies in Gender, Power and Theatricality edited by Peter Happé, Wim Hüsken (Ludus: Rodopi)  The essays in this collection, contributed by an internationally distinguished group of scholars, bring up to date many aspects of the criticism of the English Interludes. The development of these plays was a significant part of the history of the growth of English drama in the sixteenth century to the extent that they may be regarded as its main stream. Arising by means of a felicitous combination of the development of printing and the growth of a professional theatre, plays of this type quickly became a forum for the presentation and exploration of many contemporary themes. They became a useful means of disseminating a wide variety of opinions and public concerns as well as exhibiting at times the intellectual brilliance of the Renaissance. The essays here are concentrated upon power, particularly in its religious and political aspects, gender and theatricality. The political and religious upheavals of the Reformation under the Tudor monarchy form a background as well as a focus at times. In particular the position of women in sixteenth-century society is examined in essays on several plays. There is also discussion of the development of theatrical techniques as playwrights worked closely with small acting companies to reach a wide audience ranging from the royal court to the common streets. This was achieved, as a number of essays make clear, through a variety of entertaining theatrical devices. More

A to Z of American Women in the Performing Arts by Liz Sonneborn (Library of American History: Facts on File) Facts On File's compendium of biographies of 150 American female performers packs a wealth of data into compact form. Pleasingly presented in clean typeface and illustrated with a sprinkling of photos, the book is easy to use. Choice of entries is multicultural and multinational, including Latina dancer Rita Moreno, Osage ballerina Maria Tallchief, Canadian singer and actress Eva Tanguay, and Chinese American actress Anna May Wong. The selection of entries rightly includes foreign-born women like Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor who anchored their careers in the U.S. The book considers performing arts broadly, even reaching out to rodeo for famed Wild West shooter Annie Oakley. More

Hong Kong Cinema: A Cross-Cultural View by Law Kar, Frank Bren (Scarecrow Press) Our first blueprint for this book outlined a "complete" story of Hong Kong cinema from the beginning to the present, with a guess or two about the fu­ture and some background comments on sociopolitical history.

However, soon after we began on the text, the folly of this approach became self-evident. The many books on Hong Kong cinema already rolling from the presses condemned us to repeat many well-known facts, particularly about the last thirty years and especially about martial arts cinema. Besides, the "complete" approach smacked of a cartoon gallop through history, akin to performing Hamlet as a two-minute sketch. More

Echographies of Television: Filmed Interviews by Jacques Derrida, Bernard Stiegler, Jennifer Bajorek (Translator) (Polity Press) (Paperback) In this volume of recorded interviews, Jacques Derrida talks with Bernard Stiegler about the effect of teletechnologies on our philosophical and political moment,  the role of technology in modern societies. Our homes have always existed in the shadow of ‘the other' and inviting guests has always carried the threat of usurpation. In these interviews Derrida argues that today we are witnessing a new expropriation of our home by ‘teletechnologies', whose intrusion seriously endangers our ability to feel ‘at home' in the world. Improvising before a camera, the two philosophers are confronted by the very technologies they discuss and so are forced to address all the more directly the urgent questions that they raise. What does it mean to speak of the present in a situation of "live" recording? How can we respond, responsibly, to a question when we know that the so-called "natural" conditions of expression, discussion, reflection, and deliberation have been breached? More


Wordtrade.com Mission

We review some trade books in popular sciences and humanities.

We concentrate on religious studies and philosophy

We focus on academic and scientific technical titles.

We specialize in most fields of the humanities, sciences and technology.

This includes many textbooks

Some scholarly monographs

Some special issue periodicals