Book Reviews: The Benefits of Book Reviews and a Note from the Book Review Editor

Editor: Miriam Sciala

Call for Reviews

In Dialogue, The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, book reviews play a crucial part in the introduction to the public of newly-written books that provide analyses of popular culture and the way it reflects current social conditions. These publications can serve to educate not only the general reader, but also researchers and educators. Indeed, by providing insight into a particular book that goes beyond what the title – be it catchy or not – provides, the reviewer lays out the main components of a book to the potential reader and can be instrumental in convincing that reader to choose that particular book for a future read.

Hence, by describing the main gist and viewpoint on a book of popular culture for our journal, which caters to social scientists/researchers and educators, the reviewer is placed in a position whereby they can reach out to our readers and pique their interest in a book that is pertinent to their interests. For instance, an educator reading one of these books may be induced to translate the knowledge gained from the book into practical methodologies that can be applied to their pedagogy. Ultimately, this will help them guide students towards more salubrious perceptions of social issues and a deeper understanding of the various existences among various social groups, thus engendering a kinder and more tolerant society.

Academics involved in the social sciences also appreciate reading our book reviews as they search for sources to support and enhance their own research. A book review could help them save time as they can then more rapidly decide whether the book in question is suitable for their endeavours in explaining the way popular culture reflects our society.

Writing a review of one of the books on our list would be beneficial to our readers. By helping them to ascertain the genre of popular culture under discussion and the angle in which the information is presented, the reviewer places the readers in a position whereby they can better judge whether reading the entire book would be beneficial to them and whether it could lead to potential applications within their respective fields.

The books on this list have a focus on a specific genre of popular culture, be it fiction, film, television, music, video games or technology. They have been written with the aim of helping the reader understand popular culture and its assistance and limitations towards the generation of a deeper comprehension of society. If you are interested in reviewing one of these books, we invite you to contact us letting us know which book you would like to review. We look forward to collaborating with you.

A note from the Book Review Editor – Miriam Sciala

For me as a reader, or more specifically, as a bookworm from a very early age, book reviews open up possibilities as they guide me to the next set of books on my lengthy “to be read” list. Realistically, though, despite the best of intentions, I never will read all the books on that ever-expanding list as life is much too fleeting. Therefore, for all those that will remain unread, book reviews serve a different purpose – that of providing a synopsis – a brief description that offers me a view of the author’s stance, the context within which the book was written and a few choice details that enable me to gain a sense of the subject matter; in truth, it is a condensed account that nonetheless provides some information, opening a window into the narrative. In fact, a perspicacious review on its own can provide me with a few precious moments of reading pleasure. And after turning that page, I will have gained knowledge and the possibility of applying it in my work.

The act of writing a book review, in my experience, is extremely rewarding, too. This type of writing has done more than afford me the opportunity to read a particular book; it has engendered a perusal with intent – a deeper reading than that done merely for pleasure. Book reviews are my mini-research projects where I approach the book from the angle of the chronicler who endeavours to comprehend and explain the content and point of view of that book, connecting these to the context in which it was written. It is an exercise in objectivity to outline the strengths and limitations that form the features of the book. Penning a book review for the reader activates my creative side as I communicate the salient information appearing in the book to an imaginary fellow reader, albeit without giving too much away, in an attempt to prompt that reader to pick that book up and experience it through their own eyes.

Call for Book Reviews

Dialogue would like to invite experienced academics to review new books for our readers. We are currently seeking reviews of the following books:

      1. Allen, Craig. Univision, Telemundo, and the Rise of Spanish-Language Television in the United States. University of Florida Press. 2020.
      2. Allen, Paul V. I Can Read It All by Myself: The Beginner Books Story. University Press of Mississippi. 2021.
      3. Bordwell, David. Perplexing Plots: Popular Storytelling and the Poetics of Murder. Columbia University Press. 2023.
      4. Dorney, John; Regan, Jessica; and Salinsky, Tom. Best Pick a Journey through Film History. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2022.
      5. Frymus, Agatha. Damsels and Divas: European Stardom in Silent Hollywood. Rutgers University Press. 2020.
      6. Giannini, Erin. Supernatural: A History of Television’s Unearthly Road Trip. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2021.
      7. Gomer, Justin. White Balance: How Hollywood Shaped Colorblind Ideology and Undermined Civil Rights. The University of North Carolina Press. 2020.
      8. Gonzalez, Aston. Visualizing Equality: African American Rights and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century. The University of North Carolina Press. 2020.
      9. Mahdi, Waleed F. Arab Americans in Film: From Hollywood and Egyptian Stereotypes to Self-Representation.Syracuse University Press. 2020.
      10. Manno, Andrew. Toxic Masculinity, Casino Capitalism, and America’s Favorite Card Game: The Poker Mindset.Palgrave Macmillan. 2020.
      11. Mitchell, James G. Watching in Tongues: Multilingualism on American Television in the 21st Century. Vernon Press. 2020.
      12. Turzi, Mariano. The International Politics of Superheroes. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2022

Guidelines: short articles reviewing books, films, games, conferences, etc. as they relate to popular culture and pedagogy

      • Format: MLA or APA
      • Length: 1,200 – 1,800 (inclusive of endnotes and citations)
      • Editorial review
      • To be considered for online publication on a rolling basis

Contact or to coordinate writing a review for the journal.

 Published online February 2023