The Velvet Light Trap

The Velvet Light Trap

SEMIANNUAL · 8 1/2 x 11 · 112 PAGES/ISSUE · ISSN 0149-1830 · E-ISSN 1542-4251
VLT is collectively edited by graduate students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and The University of Texas at Austin, with the support of media scholars at those institutions and throughout the country. Each issue provokes debate about critical, theoretical, and historical topics relating to a particular theme.


Back issues of The Velvet Light Trap are on sale to individuals at half price (plus international postage where applicable). All back issues up to the most recent volume are available, with the exceptions of #1–23, 25, 38, and 45. To order discounted back issues, complete this form.

Subscribe to The Velvet Light Trap

Purchase a Single Issue

#78, Fall 2016

Considering Kids' Media

Girl Talk and Girl Tech: Computer Talking Dolls and the Sounds of Girls’ Play
Reem Hilu
The Children’s Horror Film: Characterizing an “Impossible” Subgenre
Catherine Lester
Televisa Born and Raised: Lucerito’s Stardom in 1980s Mexican Media
Olivia Cosentino
Building Blocks of the Imagination: Children, Creativity, and the Limits of Disney Infinity
Meredith A. Bak


A Roundtable on Kids’ Media
Caroline Leader, Henry Jenkins, Natalie Coulter, and Daniel Thomas Cook

Book Reviews

Selling the Silver Bullet: The Lone Ranger and Transmedia Brand Licensing by Avi Santo
Reviewed by Nicholas Benson
Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Ladyporn; Feminized Popular Culture in the Early Twenty-First Century ed. by Elana Levine
Reviewed by Taylor Cole Miller

#77, Spring 2016

Performance and the Body

Blind Spots and Mind Games: Performance, Motivation, and Emotion in the Films of Stanley Kubrick
Aaron Taylor
“Art Porn Provocauteurs”: Queer Feminist Performances of Embodiment in the Work of Catherine Breillat and Lena Dunham
Maria San Filippo
Chronic Tomboys: Feminism, Survival, and Paranoia in Jodie Foster’s Body of Work
Lynne Stahl
Snakes on the Dance Floor: Bollywood, Gesture, and Gender
Kareem Khubchandani
Do the Locomotion: Obstinate Avatars, Dehiscent Performances, and the Rise of the Comedic Video Game
Ian Bryce Jones

Book Reviews

Re-collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory by Richard Rinehart and Jon Ippolito and Preserving and Exhibiting Media Art: Challenges and Perspectives edited by Julia Noordegraaf, Cosetta G. Saba, Barbara Le Maitre, and Vinzenz Hediger
Reviewed by Julian Etienne
The Long Reconstruction: The Post–Civil War South in History, Film, and Memory by Frank J. Wetta and Martin A. Novelli and Equal Time: Television and the Civil Rights Movement by Aniko Bodroghkozy
Reviewed by Jacqueline Pinkowitz
Hollywood Exiles in Europe: The Blacklist and Cold War Film Culture by Rebecca Prime
Reviewed by Paul Monticone
Latin American Documentary Filmmaking: Major Works by David William Foster
Reviewed by Lucia Palmer
The Video Game Business by Randy Nichols
Reviewed by Morgan C. O’Brien
Avant-garde Videogames: Playing with Technoculture by Brian Schrank
Reviewed by Byron Fong
From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry by Aswin Punathambekar
Reviewed by Tupur Chatterjee

#76, Fall 2015

Case Studies in Technological Change

Better Pictures through Chemistry: DuPont and the Fight for the Hollywood Film Stock Market
Luci Marzola
Interentity Communication: The Ontological Imaginary of Early Network Design
Steven Malčić
Pro Tools, Playback, and the Value of Postproduction Sound Labor in Canada
Katherine Quanz


Technology and the Trade Press
Compiled by the Editors
In Review: The Velvet Light Trap and Technological Change
Edited by Leo Rubinkowski

Book Reviews

Videoland: Movie Culture at the American Video Store by Daniel Herbert
Reviewed by Maureen Rogers
The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov by James Steffen
Reviewed by Booth Wilson
Queer Enchantments: Gender, Sexuality, and Class in the Fairy-Tale Cinema of Jacques Demy by Anne E. Duggan
Reviewed by Jenny Oyallon-Koloski

#75, Spring 2015

Media Distribution

Distribution's Return Trip: Two Hollywood Studios, Money, and Japan, 1921–1941
Eric Hoyt
Self-Regulation through Distribution: Censorship and the Comic Book Industry in 1954
Shawna Kidman
Television beyond the Networks: First-Run Syndication of Original Content in the 1970s
Karen Petruska
Redistributing Japanese Television Dorama: The Shadow Economies and Communities around Online Fan Distribution of Japanese Media
Rayna Denison
A Peripheral Market? Hollywood Majors and the Middle East / North Africa Market
Nolwenn Mingant
Palimpsests of Power: UNESCO-“Sponsored” Film Production and the Construction of a “Global Village,” 1948–1953
Regina Longo

Book Reviews

On-Demand Culture: Digital Delivery and the Future of Movies by Chuck Tryon
Reviewed by Annie Major
Wired TV: Laboring Over an Interactive Future edited by Denise Mann
Reviewed by Laura Felschow
Reading the Bromance: Homosocial Relationships in Film and Television edited by Michael DeAngelis
Reviewed by Michael Rennett
Spectacular Digital Effects: CGI and Contemporary Cinema by Kristen Whissel
Reviewed by Laura Felschow

#74, Fall 2014

On Sound

“A Birdlike Act”: Sound Recording, Nature Imitation, and Performance Whistling
Craig Eley
Adventure’s Fun, but Wouldn’t You Rather Get Married? Gender Roles and the Office Wife in Radio Detective Dramas
Catherine Martin
The Imaginary Crowd: Neorealism and the Uses of Coralità
Elizabeth Alsop
Reactions to Analog Fetishism in Sound-Recording Cultures
Andy Kelleher Stuhl
Toward a Genosonic Lens: Linking the Anatomy of a “Screech” to Language and Body
Amanda Nell Edgar
Theorizing “Bad” Sound: What Puts the “Mumble” into Mumblecore?
Nessa Johnston

Special Feature

Curated and Introduced by Neil Verma

Book Reviews

Montgomery Clift: Queer Star by Elisabetta Girelli
Reviewed by Matthew Connolly

#73, Spring 2014

Early Cold War Media

Japan’s Film Festival Diplomacy in Cold War Asia
Michael Baskett
Undetected Media: Intelligence and the U-2 Spy Plane
Abby Hinsman
Bizarre Beauty: 1950s Runaway Production in Japan
Ken Provencher
Soft Power Cinema: Corporate Sponsorship, Visual Pedagogy, and the Cultural Cold War in West Africa
Noah Tsika
The Corporation and the Counterculture: Revisiting the Pepsi Pavilion and the Politics of Cold War Multimedia
Fred Turner

Book Reviews

New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut by B. Ruby Rich
Reviewed by Lokeilani Kaimana
American Film Cycles: Reframing Genres, Screening Social Problems, and Defining Subcultures by Amanda Ann Klein
Reviewed by Josh Gleich

#72, Fall 2013

Useful Media: Industrial, Educational, Institutional

The Artifice of Nineteenth-Century Phonographic Business Dictation
Patrick Feaster
A Military Use for Widescreen Cinema: Training the Body through Immersive Media
Giles Taylor
Corporate Discourses of Sponsored Films of Steel Production in the United States, 1936–1956
Sara Sullivan
A Difficult Delivery: Debating the Function of the Screen and Educational Cinema through The Birth of a Baby (1938)
Benjamin Strassfeld
The Social Uses of Classroom Cinema: A History of the Human Relations Film Series at Benjamin Franklin High School in East Harlem, New York City, 1936–1955
Lisa M. Rabin


Video Games as Useful Media: A Multiplayer Perspective
Edited by Kyra Hunting and Andrew Zolides

Book Reviews

Reframing Bodies: AIDS, Bearing Witness, and the Queer Moving Image by Roger Hallas
Reviewed by Matt Connolly
Everyone Says No: Public Service Broadcasting and the Failure of Translation by Kyle Conway
Reviewed by Christopher Cwynar

#71, Spring 2013

The Archive

The Archive and Reenactment: Performing Knowledge in the Making of The Journals of Knud Rasmussen
Sylvie Jasen
The Curious Case of the Films Division: Some Annotations on the Beginnings of Indian Documentary Cinema in Postindependence India, 1940s–1960s
Anuja Jain
Over His Dead Body: Hedda Hopper and the Story of James Dean
Justin Owen Rawlins
An Interview with Caroline Frick of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the University of Texas at Austin Department of Radio-Television-Film
The Editors
European Television Archives, Collective Memories, and Contemporary Art
Maeve Connolly
“History as It’s Made”: The Popular Practice of TV Photography in the Postwar Era
Kate Newbold

Book Reviews

Teen Media: Hollywood and the Youth Market in the Digital Age by Valerie Wee
Reviewed by Morgan Blue
Kim Ki-duk by Hye Seung Chung
Reviewed by Amanda Landa

#70, Fall 2012

The Materiality of Media

The Lost Studio of Atlantis: Norman Bel Geddes’s Failed Revolution in Television Form
Joshua Gleich
Materiality and Meaning in Recent Projection Performance
Jonathan Walley
The Warner Archive and DVD Collecting in the New Home Video Market
Bradley Schauer
Executable Images: The Enactment and Distribution of Movies in Computer Networks
Gabriel Menotti Gonring
Dossier: Materiality and the Archive
Kit Hughes and Heather Heckman

Book Reviews

Dangerous Curves: Action Heroines, Gender, Fetishism, and Popular Culture by Jeffrey A. Brown
Reviewed by Chelsea McCracken
Modular Narratives in Contemporary Cinema by Allan Cameron
Reviewed by Matt Connolly
Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire That Lost the Cultural Cold War by Kristin Roth-Ey
Reviewed by Booth Wilson
Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates edited by Adrian Johns
Reviewed by Andrew J. Bottomley

#69, Spring 2012

Recontextualizing Animation, CGI, and Visual Effects

Dissecting Bambi: Multiplanar Photography, the Cel Technique, and the Flowering of Full Animation
Casey Riffel
On Styles of Theorizing Animation Styles: Stanley Cavell at the Cartoon’s Demise
Ryan Pierson
Kung Fu Panda: Animated Animal Bodies as Layered Sites of (Trans)National Identities
Hye Jean Chung
Is It Real . . . or Is It Motion Capture? The Battle to Redefine Animation in the Age of Digital Performance
Yacov Freedman
An Interview with Geoff Marslett of Swerve Pictures
The Editors
An Interview with Bob Sabiston of Flat Black Films
The Editors

Book Reviews

The Fun Factory: The Keystone Film Companyand the Emergence of Mass Culture by Rob King and Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood by Mark Garrett Cooper
Reviewed by Paul Monticone
Letterboxed: The Evolution of Widescreen Cinema by Harper Cossar and Widescreen Worldwide edited by John Belton, Sheldon Hall, and Steve Neale
Reviewed by Eliot Chayt
The New Entrepreneurs: An Institutional History of Television Anthology Writers by Jon Kraszewski
Reviewed by Joshua Gleich
Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada edited by Thomas Waugh, Michael Brendan Baker, and Ezra Winton
Reviewed by Laura Dixon
Hollywood Reborn: Movie Stars of the 1970s edited by James Morrison
Reviewed by R. Colin Tait

#68, Fall 2011

Comedy and Humor

Recombinant Comedy, Transmedial Mobility, and Viral Video
David Gurney
“The Missing Link Moment”: Web Comedy in New Media Industries
Nick Marx
Laughing Together? TV Comedy Audiences and the Laugh Track
Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore
“Have Women a Sense of Humor?” Comedy and Femininity in Early Twentieth-Century Film
Kristen Anderson Wagner
Parodying the Nation: Cross-Dressing and Vietnamese American Comedy
Lan Duong

Book Reviews

CSI by Derek Kompare
Reviewed by Myles McNutt
Dangerous Curves: Latina Bodies in the Media by Isabel Molina-Guzmán
Reviewed by Eleanor Seitz
Jacques Rivette by Douglas Morrey and Alison Smith
Reviewed by Eric Dienstfrey
Virgin Territory: Representing Sexual Inexperience in Filmby Tamar Jeffers McDonald
Reviewed by Kyra Hunting

#67, Spring 2011

Seeing Race: The Enduring Dilemma

Sincere Fictions: The Production Cultures of Whiteness in Late 1960s Hollywood
Eithne Quinn
Alabama Constitutional Reform in Black and White
Gina Caison
Black Man/White Machine: Will Smith Crosses Over
Lorrie Palmer
Beyond Tokenism and Tricksterism: Bobby Lee, MADtv, and the De(con)structive Impulse of Korean American Comedy
David Scott Diffrient
Revisiting Sunday Morning Apartheid: The Politics of Of Color Blindness and Racial Formation in the Harry Reid Controversy
Doug E. Julien
The Racial Politics of Disaster and Dystopia in I Am Legend
Sean Brayton

Book Reviews

Punk Slash! Musicals: Tracking Slip-Synch on Film by David Laderman
Reviewed by Curran Nault
Global Television: Co-Producing Culture by Barbara J. Selznick
Reviewed by Kevin Sanson

#66, Fall 2010

New Media in the Majority World

Hard Questions: Public Goods and the Political Economy of the New Palestinian Televisual Public Sphere
Matt Seinkiewicz
Video Games for the "Next Billion": The Launch of the Zeebo Console
Ben Aslinger
Auto-Motivations: Digital Cinema and Kiarostami's Relational Aesthetics
Scott Krzych
Korean TV Serials in the English-Language Diaspora: Translating Difference Online and Making It Racial
Brian Hu
The New Navajo Cinema: Cinema and Nation in the Indigenous Southwest
Randolph Lewis

Book Reviews

No Man an Island: The Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien by James Udden
Reviewed by Tristan Mentz
Farber on Film: The Complete Film Writings of Manny Farber by Manny Farber
Reviewed by Evan Davis

#65, Spring 2010


Reclaiming the Freak: Michael Jackson and the Spectacle of Identity
Racquel J. Gates
Hannah Montana's Bare, Unprotected Back: Miley Cyrus's Vanity Fair Outing
James Kincaid
Stardom, Celebrity, and the Money Form
Barry King
Underexposed Overexposure: One Night in Paris
Minette Hillyer
Slumdog Celebrities
Priya Jaikumar
Star Testing: The Emerging Politics of Celebrity Gossip
Julie A. Wilson
Toxic: The Implosion of Britney Spears's Star Image
Moya Luckett
Tom Cruise, the "Couch Incident," and the Limits of Public Elation
Michael DeAngelis
Populist Celebrity in the Election Campaigns of Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger
A. Freya Thimsen
Dragging Oscar
Fernando Delgado
Brangelina: The Fertile Valley of Celebrity
Diane Negra
Death on Display: Reifying Stardom through Hollywood's Dark Tourism
Linda Levitt
Rihanna's Closed Eyes
Sarah Projansky
Dreaming a Dream: Susan Boyle and Celebrity Culture
Su Holmes
The Pregnant Man
Judith Halberstam

Book Reviews

Screening Sex by Linda Williams
Reviewed by Curran Nault
Unfriendly Witnesses: Gender, Theater, and Film in the McCarthy Era by Milly S. Barranger
Reviewed by Andrew Scahil
Technophobia! Science Fiction Visions of Posthuman Technology by Daniel Dinello
Reviewed by Lisa Schmidt
Moral Spectatorship: Technologies of Voice and Affect in Postwar Representations of the Child by Lisa Cartwright
Reviewed by Lisa Schmidt

#64, Fall 2009

Failures, Flops, and False Starts

Claiming the Found: Archive Footage and Documentary Practice
(preface by Vance Kepley, Jr.)
Hollywood Party, Jimmy Durante, and the Cultural Politics of Coherence
Allen Larson
A Virtual Failure: Evaluating the Success of Nintendo's Virtual Boy
Steven Boyer
Convergent Consortia: Format Battles in High Definition
Bryan Sebok
StarCraft Fan Craft: Game Mods, Ownership, and Totally Incomplete Conversions
Derek Johnson
Public Service Broadcasting and the Failure of Political Representation
Kyle Conway

Dossier: Perspectives on Failure

#63, Spring 2009

Censorship and Regulation

Media Effects and the Subjectification of Film Regulation
Theresa Cronin
The Hindu Right and the Politics of Censorship: Three Case Studies of Policing Hindi Cinema, 1992–2002
Nandana Bose
Exemplary Consumer-Citizens and Protective State Stewards: How Reformers Shaped Censorship Outcomes Regarding The Untouchables
Laura Cook Kenna
Slashings and Subtitles: Romanian Media Piracy, Censorship, and Translation
Tessa Dwyer and Ioana Uricaru
Censorship, Regulation, and Media Policy in the Twenty-First Century: A Roundtable on Critical Approaches
The Editors

Book Reviews

Harnessing the Technicolor Rainbow: Color Design in the 1930s by Scott Higgins
Reviewed by Lisa Schmidt
Brand Hollywood: Selling Entertainment in a Global Media Age by Paul Grainge
Reviewed by Courtney Brannon Donoghue
Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics by Jeffrey Sconce
Reviewed by Andrew Scahill

#62, Fall 2008

Media Spaces and Architectures

Film in Air: Airspace, In-Flight Entertainment, and NonTheatrical Distribution
Stephen Groening
Your Favorite Stars, Live On Our Screens: Media Culture, Queer Publics, and Commercial Space
Hollis Griffin
In the Flesh: Space and Embodiment in the Pornographic Peep Show Arcade
Amy Herzog
Photo Essay: Urban Iconography and the Technological Grotesque
Anna McCarthy
The Good Side of the Ghetto: Visualizing Black Brooklyn 1968–1971
Devorah Heitner

Dossier: Media Space in Perspective

The Editors

An Interview with Emily Thompson
Nick Marx and Danny Kimball

Book Reviews

The Television Will Be Revolutionized by Amanda D. Lotz
Reviewed by Caryn Murphy
OurSpace: Resisting the Corporate Control of Culture by Christine Harold
Reviewed by Danny Kimball
Watching with “The Simpsons”: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality by Jonathan Gray
Reviewed by Nick Marx
The Hollywood Horror Film, 1931–1941: Madness in a Social Landscape by Reynold Humphries
Reviewed by Jessica Havens

#61, Spring 2008

Remakes and Adaptations

"Beam Me up, Omer": Transnational Media Flow and the Cultural Politics of the Turkish Star Trek Remake
Iain Robert Smith
Remaking and the Film Trilogy: Whit Stillman's Authorial Triptych
Claire Perkins
Somewhere in Time: Utopia and the Return of Superman
Matt Yockey
The Concessions of Nat Turner
by Christopher Sieving
An Interview with Richard Linklater

Book Reviews

The Real Gaze: Film Theory after Lacan by Todd McGowan
Reviewed by Drew Ayers
Film Remakes by Constantine Verevis
Reviewed by Adrian Martin
Sound Design and Science Fiction by William Whittington
Reviewed by Lisa Schmidt
Incongruous Entertainment: Camp, Cultural Value, and the MGM Musical by Steven Cohan
Reviewed by Kevin John Bozelka
Youth Culture in Global Cinema by Timothy Shary and Alexandra Seibel
Reviewed by Andrew Scahill
Soft in the Middle: The Contemporary Softcore Feature in Its Contexts by David Andrews
Reviewed by Kevin John Bozelka
Making Easy Listening: Material Culture and Postwar American Recording by Tim J. Anderson
Reviewed by Kevin John Bozelka

#60, Fall 2007

Documentary Now

Q&A: Poetics of the Documentary Film Interview
Leger Grindon
Contemporary Documentary Film and "Archive Fever": History, the Fragment, the Joke
Jaimie Baron
Documentary Stories for Change: Viewing and Producing Immigrant Narratives as Social Documents
Alicia Kemmitt
"Gangs Gone Wild": Low-Budget Gang Documentaries and the Aesthetics of Exploitation
Colin Gunckel
Familial Pursuits, Editorial Acts: Documentaries after the Age of Home Video
Marsha Orgeron and Devin Orgeron
Comedy Verité? The Observational Documentary Meets the Televisual Sitcom
Ethan Thompson
Darfur Diaries: An Interview with Jen Marlowe and Adam Shapiro
Matt Sienkiewicz and Rachel Bicicchi

Dossier: The Role of Documentary in the Contemporary American Political Scene

edited by Dave Resha, Mark Minett, Charlie Michael, and Colin Burnett

Book Reviews

Mexican Movies in the United States: A History of the Films, Theaters, and Audiences, 1920–1960 by Rogelio Agrasánchez, Jr.
Reviewed by Andrea Comiskey
The Wow Climax: Tracing the Emotional Impact of Popular Culture by Henry Jenkins
Reviewed by Josh Shepperd

#59, Spring 2007


Prurient Pictures and Popular Film: The Crisis of Pornographic Representation
Catherine Zuromskis
Sound and Performance in Stephen Sayadian's Night Dreams and Café Flesh
Jacob Smith
Porn Star as Brand: Pornification and the Intermedia Career of Rakel Liekki
Kaarina Nikunen and Susanna Paasonen
Hard-core Shopping: Educating Consumption in SIR Video Production's Lesbian Porn
Ragan Rhyne
What Soft-core Can Do for Porn Studies
David Andrews
An Interview with Peter Lehman and Linda Williams

Book Reviews

Porn Studies edited by Linda Williams
Reviewed by Kevin John Bozelka
The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood by David Thomson
Reviewed by Olivier Jean Tchouaffé

#58, Fall 2006

Narrative & Storytelling

Emotional Curves and Linear Narratives
Patrick Keating
From Beats to Arcs: Toward a Poetics of Television Narrative
Michael Z. Newman
Narrative Complexity in Contemporary American Television
Jason Mittell
Narration in the Cinema of Digital Sound
Mark Kerins
Narrative Structure in The Sixth Sense: A New Twist in "Twist Movies"?
Erlend Lavik
Contingency, Order, and the Modular Narrative: 21 Grams and Irreversible
Allan Cameron

Book Reviews

On Location: Canada's Television Industry in a Global Market by Serra Tinic
Reviewed by Kyle Conway
Zones of Anxiety: Movement, Musidora, and the Crime Serials of Louis Feuillade by Vicki Callahan
Reviewed by Heather Heckman

#57, Spring 2006


The Cinema of Affections: The Transformation of Authorship in British Cinema before 1907
Joe Kember
Studio Authorship, Warner Bros., and The Fountainhead
Jerome Christensen
"Some Kind of a Man": Orson Welles as Touch of Evil's Masculine Auteur
Brooke Rollins
A Point of Little Hope: Hippie Horror Films and the Politics of Ambivalence
Matt Becker
Marketing David Mamet: Institutionally Assigned Film Authorship in Contemporary American Cinema
Yannis Tzioumakis
Exorcizing/Exercising Treachery: Robust Subjectivity in Lourdes Portillo's The Devil Never Sleeps
Mónica F. Torres
Technology in Search of an Artist: Questions of Auteurism/Authorship and the Contemporary Cinematic Experience
Anna Notaro

Book Reviews

The Coen Brothers' Fargo edited by William Luhr
Reviewed by Kristen Grant
Film and Authorship edited by Virginia Wright Wexman
Reviewed by David Gurney
Alexander Dovzhenko: A Life in Soviet Film by George O. Liber
Reviewed by James Murray
An Eye for Hitchcock by Murray Pomerance
Reviewed by Elliot Panek

#56, Fall 2005


Making-of Documentaries on DVD: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Special Editions
Craig Hight
Unwrapping Archives: DVD Restoration Demonstrations and the Marketing of Authenticity
Nathan Carroll
The Criterion Collection in the New Home Video Market: An Interview with Susan Arosteguy
Bradley Schauer
Star Wars Fans, DVD, and Cultural Ownership: An Interview with Will Brooker
Derek Johnson
Anime Fans, DVDs and the Authentic Text
Laurie Cubbison
Aspect Ratios and Joe Six-Packs: Home Theater Enthusiasts' Battle to Legitimize the DVD Experience
James Kendrick

Book Reviews

The Cinematic ImagiNation: Indian Popular Films as Social History by Jyotika Virdi
Reviewed by Aswin Punathambekar
Experiencing MusicVideo:Aesthetics and Cultural Context by Carol Vernallis
Reviewed by Benjamin Aslinger

#55, Spring 2005

Defining the Americas: Media Within/Across Borders

Film Noir and the American Dream: The Dark Side of Enlightenment
Ken Hillis
Spitfire: Lupe Vélez and the Ambivalent Pleasures of Ethnic Masquerade
Victoria Sturtevant
An Interview with Lourdes Portillo
The PBS and NAATA Connection: Comparing the Public Spheres of Asian American Film and Video
Jun Okada
Frozen, But Always in Motion: Arctic Film, Video, and Broadcast
Jerry White

Book Reviews

Screen Traffic: Movies, Multiplexes, and Global Culture by Charles R. Acland
Reviewed by Nancy Fallen
Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender, and Nostalgia in the Imagined South by Tara McPherson
Reviewed by Hollis Griffin
We Won’t Budge: An African Exile in the World by Manthia Diawara
Reviewed by Olivier Jean Tchouaffe

#54, Fall 2004

Innovation and Experimentation

Cinematography With Tears: The Que Viva Mexico! Debate and the Formation of the American Popular Front in Film Theory and Criticism
Chris Robe
Choosing Between Expediency and Refusing to See the Light of Competition: Liveness, Sound-on-Disc Recording, and the Economics of Network Broadcasting
Alex Russo
Claiming a Style: The Living Cinema of Pierre Perrault's Pour la suite du monde
Charles Michael
Masters of Ceremony: Media Demonstration as Performance in Three Instances of Expanded Cinema
Roy Grundmann
An Interview With Anthony McCall
Jonathan Walley

Book Reviews

#53, Spring 2004

Subculture, Deviance, and Normalcy in Post-1969 Film and Television

Panel Discussion on "Deviance": Bill Chambliss, Aaron Doyle, and Jimmie Reeves
The Editors
Beyond the Black Macho: Queer Blaxploitation
Joe Wlodarz
Lesbian "Making-of" Documentaries and the Production of Lesbian Sex
Kelly Hankin
Reconsidering The Idiots: Dogme95, Lars von Trier, and the Cinema of Subversion?
Tim Walters
D-Cinema: A Timeline of Experimental and Mainstream Uses of Digital Technology
The Editors
An Interview with Rachel Raimist
The Editors
Freaks, Aliens, and the Social Other: Representations of Student Stratification in U.S. Television's First Post-Columbine Season
Murray Forman
Reality Bites and Generation X as Spectator
Jonathon I. Oake

Book Reviews

#52, Fall 2003

Science Fiction and the Fantastic

David Cronenberg's Crash and Performing Cyborgs
Christine Cornea
"Still in the Game": Cyber-transformations of the "New Flesh" in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ
Lia Hotchkiss
Like a Monstrous Jigsaw Puzzle: Genetics and Race in Horror Films of the 1950s
Patrick Gonder
Fantasy, Franchises and Frodo Baggins: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood
Kristin Thompson

Book Reviews

#51, Spring 2003

Sounding Off: Film Sound/Film Music

The Uncanny Body of Early Sound Film
Robert Spadoni
Audition: Making Sense of/in the Cinema
Craig Sinclair
Black Faces, White Voices: The Politics of Dubbing in Carmen Jones
Jeff Smith
Lyrical Nationalism: Gender, Friendship, and Excess in 1970s Hindi Cinema
Priya Jha
"God Give Me Strength": The Melodramatic Sound Tracks of Director Allison Anders
Debra White-Stanley
An Interview with Rick Altman
The Editors
Panel Discussion on Film Sound/Film Music: Jim Buhler, Anahid Kassabian, David Neumeyer, and Robynn Stilwell

Book Reviews

#50, Fall 2002

Advertising and Promotion

Promoting Otherness in Films: Blackness and the Primitive in Early Hollywood Advertising Imagery
James Latham
Capitalizing Their Charms: Cinema Stars and Physical Culture in the 1920s
Heather Addison
"Having a Female Body Doesn't Make You Feminine": Feminine Hygiene Advertising in 1970s TV
Elana Levine
Recontextualizing the Historical Reception of Blaxploitation: Articulations of Class, Black Nationalism, and Anxiety in the Genre's Advertisements
Jon Kraszewski
Ethnic Food Fetishism, Whiteness and Nostalgia in Recent Film and Television
Diane Negra
Wheat, Barley, Hops, Citizenship: Molson's "I am Canadian" Campaign and the Defense of Canadian National Identity through Advertising
Ira Wagman

Book Reviews

#49, Spring 2002

Beauty Marks

From Elegance to Extravaganza: The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show as a Presentation of Beauty
Jaap Kooijman
Buying John Malkovich: Queering and Consuming Millennial Masculinity
Cynthia Baron
Interview with Thomas Waugh
Interview with Yvonne Tasker
Dancer from the Dance: Gene Kelly, Television, and The Beauty of Movement
David A. Gerstner
A Real Lack of Costumes: Some Thoughts on the Unclothed Figure in the Films of Peter Greenaway
Keith Gumery

#48, Fall 2001

Children, Teens, and the Media

The Kid from The Kid: Jackie Coogan and the Consolidation of Child Consumerism
Rob King
"Like Nickels in a Slot": Children of the American Working Classes at the Neighborhood Movie House
Jeffrey F. Klenotic
"Calculated Violence and Viciousness"—The British Critical Reaction to Elvis Presley's King Creole
Andrew James Caine
"A bit of earth": Sexuality and the Representation of Childhood in Text and Screen Versions of The Secret Garden
Máire Messenger Davies
Youth, Leisure and Voyeurism in MTV's Undressed
Jason Middleton
Perverse and Improper Pedagogies: The Case of Freddy's Fingers and Russell's Head
Sara Bragg 

#47, Spring 2001

Diverse Audiences, Changing Genres: The Evolving Landscape of Film and Television in the Age of Specialized Audiences

"I Laughed and Cringed at the Same Time...": Shaping Pedophilic Discourse Around American Beauty and Happiness
Casey McKittrick
Cartoon Realism: Genre Mixing and the Social Life of The Simpsons
Jason Mittel
The Short-Lived Life of the Hollywood LSD Film
Harry Benshoff
"Professional Television": Three (Super)Texts and a (Super)Genre
Steve Bailey
Lifetime on the Street: Textual Strategies of Syndication
Jonathan Nichols-Pethick

Book Reviews

#46, Fall 2000

Religion and the Media

Onward Christian Soldiers?: A Review Essay
Heather Hendershot
"The Most Dangerous Anti-Semitic Photoplay in Filmdom": American Jews and The King of Kings (DeMille, 1927)
Felicia Herman
"Evil" Images in At Play in the Fields of the Lord: Evangelicals and Representations of Sexuality in Contemporary Film
Todd Rendleman
Welcome Home? CBS, PAX-TV and 'Heartland' Values in a Neo-Network Era
Victoria Johnson
Celluloid Sisters: Femininity, Religiosity and the Postwar American Nun Film
Rebecca Sullivan
Media Fandom, Religiosity, and Cult(ural) Studies
Matthew Hills

Book Reviews

#45, Spring 2000

Realities: Images and Interpretations of the Real

This issue is out of print, but single article purchases are still available.

Icon of Real War: A Harvest of Death and American War Photography
by Geoffrey Klingsporn
"Everything's Coming Up Rosie": Empower America, Rosie O' Donnell, and the Construction of Daytime Reality
by Jennifer Wang
Narrative Control and Visual Polysemy: FOX Surveillance Specials and the Limits of Legitimation
by Tarleton Gillespie
True Fictions: Women's Narratives and Historical Trauma
by Bliss Cua Lim
Media Whores and Perverse Media: Documentary Film Meets Tabloid TV in Nick Broomfield's Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer
by Paige Schilt

Book Reviews

#44, Fall 1999

Beyond the Image: Race and Ethnicity in the Media

The Editors
Screening Race: Responses to Theater Violence at Boyz N the Hood and New Jack City
Laura Baker
Living Room Levantine: Immigration, Ethnicity, and the Border in Early Israeli Television
Tasha Oren
Using Strange Texts to Teach Race, Ethnicity, and the Media
Walter R. Jacobs and Dwight E. Brooks
Shipwrecked Spectators: Italy's Immigrants at the Movies in New York, 1906–1916
Giorgio Bertellini
From the Cozy to the Carceral: Trans-formations of Ethnic Space in The Goldbergs and Seinfeld
Vincent Brook
But Things is Changin' Nowadays and Mammy's Gettin' Bored: Hattie McDaniel and the Culture of Dissemblance
Victoria Sturtevant
Form and Function: Superstardom and Aesthetics in the Music Videos of Michael and Janet Jackson
Jason King

Book Reviews

#43, Spring 1999


Beavis is Just Confused: Ideologies, Inter-Texts, Audiences
Melanie Nash
There's No Place Like Home: The American Dream, African-American Identity and the Situation Comedy
Bambi Haggins
Not an Immaculate Reception
Laurie Schulze
Performativity in Disguise: Ideology and the Denaturalization of Identity in Theory and in The Crying Game
Susan Lurie
Race-ing Noir and Replacing History: The Mulatta and Memory in One False Move and Devil in a Blue Dress
Justus Nieland

Book Reviews

#42, Fall 1998

Audiences and Reception

The New Media Aristocrats: Home Theater and the Domestic Film Experience
Barbara Klinger
'The Moral Part of the Story Was Great:' Frank Capra and Film Education in the 1930s
Eric Smoodin
Prime-Time TV in the Gay '90s: Network TV, Quality Audiences, and Gay Audiences
Ron Becker
Sob Stories, Merriment, and Surprises: The 1950s Audience Participation Show on Network Television and Women's Daytime Reception
Marsha F. Cassidy
Movie Mad: Audiences and Censorship in a California Town, 1916–1926
George Potamianos
Stealing the Spectacle: Gay Audiences and the Queering of Douglas Fairbanks' Body
Daniell Cornell
Understanding Grassroots Audiences: Imagination, Reception, and Use in Community Videography
Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong

Book Reviews

#41, Spring 1998

Rethinking Genders

A Rebel Without a Choice?: Femme Spectatorship in Hollywood Cinema
Kelly Hankin
Transgender, Transgenre, and the Transnational: Sally Potter's Orlando
Anne Ciecko
This Laboratory, My Body: A Conversation with Alluquére Rosanne Stone
Bryan Fruth and Frances Guilfoyle
Unheimlich Maneuvers: The Genres and Genders of Transsexual Documentary
Christie Milliken
Lacandom: Playing with French Letters
Kathleen McHugh
Queer Readings/Queer Cinema: An Examination of the Early Work of Todd Haynes
K. Burdette

Book Review

#40, Fall 1997

Transnational Media

Fighting the American Invasion with Cricket, Roses, and Marmalade for Breakfast
Michael Walsh
First and Finest: British Films on U.S. Television in the Late 1940s
Barbara Wilinsky
Speaking Tongues: Voice Dubbing in the Cinema as Cultural Ventriloquism
Antje Ascheid
Consuming the Planet: Planet Hollywood, Stars, and the Global Consumer Culture
Josh Stenger
Global, National, Local? Some Problems of Culture in a Postmodern World
John Fiske

Book Reviews

#39, Spring 1997


Masquerades of Massacre: Gender, Genre, and the Gulf War TV Star System
James Castonguay
Masculinity in Translation: Jackie Chan's Transcultural Star Text
Mark Gallagher
Trying Hard to Hear You: Jean Arthur and the Problematics of Presence
Taylor Harrison
White and Black in Black and White: Management of Race and Sexuality in the Coupling of Child-Star Shirley Temple and Bill Robinson
Karen Orr Vered

Special Attraction

"Another being we have created called 'us'": Point of View, Melancholia, and the Joking Unconscious in The Bridges of Madison County
Walter Metz

Book Reviews

#38, Fall 1996

New Masculinities

Masculine/Feminine: The 'New Masculinity' in Tootsie
Frank P. Tomasulo
On Fathers and Sons, Sex and Death: John Singleton's Boyz N the Hood
Glen Masato Mimura
"Can You Feel It, Joe?": Male Melodrama and the Feeling Man
Joy Van Fuqua
"More Than a Woman": Music, Masculinity and Male Spectacle in Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive
Jeff Yanc

Special Attraction

Economic Constraints/Economic Opportunities: Robert Altman as Auteur
Justin Wyatt

#37, Spring 1996

Feuillade and the French Serial


The Thrills of Grande Peur: Crime Series and Serials in the Belle Epoque
Richard Abel
La Nouvelle Mission de Feuillade; or, What Was Mise-en-Scene?
David Bordwell
A Tale of Two Prologues: Actors and Roles, Detectives and Disguises in Fantomas, Film and Novel
Tom Gunning
Zones of Anxiety: Movement, Musidora, and the Crime Serials of Louis Feuillade
Vicki Callahan
Serial Killings: Fantomas, Feuillade, and the Mass-Culture Genealogy of Surrealism
Robin Walz
Tih-Minh, Out I: On the Nonreception of Two French Serials
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Vendemiaire (1918): Going beyond the Serial and the Latin Tradition
Francois de la Breteque
Serial Melodrama and Narrative Gesellschaft
Ben Singer
Palaces and Holes in the Wall: Conditions of Exhibition in Paris on the Eve of World War I
Jean-Jacques Meusy

#36, Fall 1995

Technology & Representation

'Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?': A Problem of Digital Photography
Michael Punt
'Filming the Family': Home Movie Systems and the Domestication of Spectatorship
Moya Luckett
Camcorder Dos and Don'ts: Popular Discourses on Amateur Video and Participatory Television
Laurie Ouellette
In the Frame of Roger Rabbit: Visual Compositing in Film
Mark J. P. Wolf
Surfing through 'TV Land': Notes toward a Theory of 'Video Bites' and Their Function on Cable TV
Megan Mullen
Thou Shall Not Steal Television: Signal Theft in the Age of Information
Tim Anderson

#35, Spring 1995

Making Histories

'Both Kinds of Arms': Remembering the Civil War
Tara McPherson
Marginal Marginalia: The African-American Voice in the Nouvelle Gangster Film
Mark Winokur
'L'affaire Praslin' and All This, and Heaven Too: Gender, Genre, and History in the 1940s Woman's Film
Alison L. McKee
International Conspiracy in and around The Iron Curtain
Paul Swann
Citizens of the Empire: Revisionist History and the Social Imaginary in Gandhi
Shailja Sharma
'Tell the story of my life . . .': The Making of Meaning, 'Monsters', and Music in John Greyson's Zero Patience
Robert L. Cagle

Book Reviews

#34, Fall 1994

Popular National Cinema

Some Thoughts at an Intersection of the Popular and the National
Natasa Durovicova
'We Must Make the Government Tremble': Political Filmmaking in the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu
David B. Pratt
Golden Harvest Films and the Hong Kong Movie Industry in the Realm of Globalization
Steve Fore
Negotiating Differences: National Cinemas and Co-productions in Prerevolutionary Cuba
Laura Podalsky
'I Have a Plan!' The Olsen Gang Captures Denmark and Norway: Negotiating the Popular Culture Gap
Bjorn Sorenssen

#33, Spring 1994

Television Histories

A Failed Vision: The Mutual Television Network
James Schwoch
What Ozzie Did for a Living
Tinky Dakota Weisblat
Televising Postwar Los Angeles: 'Remote' Possibilities in a 'City at Night'
Mark Williams
NBC Program Clearance Policies during the 1950s: Nationalizing Trends and Regional Resistance
Matthew Murray
The Face on the Lunch Box: Television's Construction of the Teen Idol
Gael Sweeney

Book Reviews

Other past issues include:

  • #32 Spectacle and Excess
  • #31 War, Media, Politics, Violence
  • #30 Horror and Exploitation
  • #29 Parenting & Reproduction
  • #28 Film History
  • #27 The 1980s
  • #26 Sound Comedy
  • #25 Exhibition/Conditions of Reception
  • #24 Animation

Wisconsin Editorial Office
Dept. of Communication Arts
Vilas Hall – Sixth Floor
The University of Wisconsin – Madison
Madison, WI 53706

Austin Editorial Office
Dept. of Radio-Television-Film
2504 Whitis Ave., STOP A0800
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1067

The Velvet Light Trap is a journal devoted to investigating historical questions that illuminate the understanding of film, television, and other media. It publishes articles and interviews written with the highest scholarly standards yet accessible to a broad range of readers. The journal draws on a variety of theoretical and historiographic approaches from the humanities and social sciences. The journal welcomes any effort that will help foster the ongoing processes of evaluation and negotiation in media history and criticism. While The Velvet Light Trap maintains its traditional commitment to the study of American film, it also expands its scope to television and other media, to adjacent institutions, and to other nations' media. The journal encourages both approaches and objects of study that have been neglected or excluded in past scholarship.

The Velvet Light Trap issues calls for papers based on specific themes. Submission requirements may vary from one call to another, and submissions must be sent to the university issuing the call. The format should follow the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. The entire essay, including block quotations and notes, should be double spaced. Quotations not in English should be accompanied by translations. Photocopies of illustrations are sufficient for initial review, but authors should be prepared to supply camera-ready photographs on request. Illustrations will be sized by the publisher. Permissions are the responsibility of the author.


Call for Papers: VLT Issue #80 - "Production Cultures"

Submission deadline: September 30, 2016                                                                                VLT

Submit to:


In the introduction to their edited book on production studies, Vicki Mayer, Miranda Banks, and John T. Caldwell argue that “the off-screen production of media is itself a cultural production, mythologized and branded much like the onscreen textual culture that media industries produce.” This has never been more true than in the current moment.


The production process – aided by the proliferation of social media – has become increasingly visible. Long before movies, games, comic book issues, or television series are released, audiences have already been exposed to, and have opined over, casting choices, false starts, locations, script drafts, and various other aspects of the production process. Additionally, the development of cinematic universes has caused the cultures of production to become increasingly complex, resulting in productions that are both more global and transmedia-minded. This raises new questions about power and labor as new relationships are forged between production capitals, and workers who have traditionally functioned independently of each other must come together to create transmedia stories. In addition, the newly-heightened visibility of the production process, and the consolidation of the production studies field, emphasizes the need to reexamine and evaluate production cultures of the past.


This issue of The Velvet Light Trap seeks historical and contemporary studies of media production. Submissions should engage with the above issues of increased complexity, visibility, and ubiquity, in addition to new questions. We invite scholars to submit work that not only deepens our current understanding of production studies, but also challenges our assumptions about what production cultures are, and the types of questions that should be asked about them. We would also ask scholars to consider how issues of gender, race, and sexuality function beyond the screen and contextualize these issues within the production process.


Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Relationships between producers and consumers
  • Negotiating professional identity
  • Evolution of production
  • Production communities
  • Creative hierarchies within cinematic universes
  • Industry lore related to specific productions
  • Issues of gender, race, sexuality, and/or disability
  • Labor relations, unions, and guilds
  • Below-the-line labor
  • Failed productions/Fired producers
  • Disputes between producers and creators
  • Unpaid labor and intern culture
  • Contracts and other legal issues
  • Labor of practical effects
  • Genre-specific work identities
  • Video game production cultures
  • Stunt work
  • Production and publicity of star texts
  • Gender and exploitation in music cultures
  • Production of user-generated media
  • Cultures of documentary film production
  • Cultures of live production (sports, news, live musicals)


Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be between 8,000 and 10,000 words, formatted in Chicago style. Please submit an electronic copy of the paper, along with a one-page abstract, both saved as a Microsoft Word file. Remove any identifying information so that the submission is suitable for anonymous review. The entire essay, including block quotations and notes, should be double-spaced. Quotations not in English should be accompanied by translations. Photocopies of illustrations are sufficient for initial review, but authors should be prepared to supply camera-ready photographs on request. Illustrations will be sized by the publisher. Permissions are the responsibility of the author. Send electronic manuscripts and/or any questions to by August 15, 2016

About the Journal

The Velvet Light Trap is a scholarly, blind peer-reviewed journal of film, television, and new media studies. Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin coordinate issues in alternation. Our Editorial Advisory Board includes such notable scholars as Charles Acland, Ben Aslinger, Miranda Banks, Caetlin Benson-Allot, Mark Betz, Corey Creekmur, Michael Curtin, Kay Dickinson, Bambi Haggins, Scott Higgins, Lucas Hilderbrand, Mary Kearney, Jon Kraszewski, Roberta Pearson, Nic Sammond, Jacob Smith, Jonathan Sterne, Cristina Venegas. For more information, please visit the journal’s website at

The Velvet Light Trap is indexed in Academic Search Premier, Contemporary Culture Index, Communication Abstracts, Film Literature Index, International Index to Film Periodicals, Humanities International Complete, Sociological Abstracts, America: History and Life, and Historical Abstracts.

Use the Journals Reprint Permissions Form to request permission to reprint University of Texas Press articles. (To request permission to reprint text or images from UT Press books, use our Books Permissions Form.)

Further questions about rights and permissions can be directed to our Rights and Permissions Manager.

Ordering Information

Subscriptions for individuals and institutions may be purchased online with a credit card from each journal's web page.

Order by phone: (512) 232-7621

Order by fax: (512) 232-7178

Order by mail:
Journals Division
University of Texas Press
PO Box 7819
Austin, TX 78713-7819

Institutional rates apply to subscriptions ordered or paid for by libraries, schools, academic departments, government agencies, and businesses.

Individual rates apply to subscriptions ordered by individuals for personal use and must be paid for by personal check or personal charge card.

Student rates apply to subscriptions ordered by students (send copy of current student photo ID) and must be paid for by personal check or personal charge card.

Domestic subscriptions and those going to Canada are shipped using USPS periodicals class. All other foreign subscriptions are shipped via airmail.

Once an order has been processed, refunds will not be issued nor returns accepted.

If you have questions, please email us at

Ordering Single Articles
Orders for single articles may be submitted by phone and fax. You will find addressing information above, under "Contact Journals".

Only orders for articles at least one year past their publication date may be purchased. Please refer to the Table of Contents on the individual journal's web page and to the list of recent publication dates to verify that the article you wish to purchase is not more recent. (Some issues are delayed in publication, so an issue with a date of more than a year ago may actually have only been published within the last year.)

$15.00. Prepayment is required. Credit cards accepted are Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. A credit card processing fee of $1.00 per order will be applied. To pay by check, print the single article order form and return with payment.

Orders will be processed during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Orders are delivered via e-mail (as PDFs), fax, or USPS surface mail within 48 hours of receipt.

Rush Orders
Orders received between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. central time (CST) Monday through Friday will be faxed or e-mailed (as PDFs) within 24 hours of their receipt for an additional charge of $5.00. Rush service is not available for single article orders placed by mail.

Once an order has been processed, refunds will not be issued nor returns accepted.

Published Semiannually

Advertising Rates
Full Page: $275.00
Half Page Horizontal: $200.00
Agency Commission: 15%

Mechanical Requirements
Full Page: 7 x 9.5 in.
Half Page: 7.5 x 4.5 in.
Trim Size: 8.5 x 11 in.
Halftones: 300 dpi



Spring December 15  January 1
Fall June 15 July 1

Acceptance Policy
All advertisements and use of lists are limited to material of scholarly interest to our readers. A sample mailing piece must accompany all list rental orders. If any advertisement or mailing piece is inappropriate, we reserve the right to decline it.

Download our current rate card (PDF).


  • All copy is subject to editorial approval.
  • Publisher's liability for error will not exceed cost of space reserved.
  • If requested, all artwork will be returned to advertiser.
  • Invoices and tear sheets wll be issued shortly after journal publication.
  • We prefer to have ads as Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

These files can be e-mailed directly to

If possible, please fax a hard copy of any ad you submit electronically to 512.232.7178. Your fax allows us to make sure a file has not been corrupted during transmission.

Mailing List Information

Selection options

  • Zip code sequence
  • Domestic or foreign subscriber names
  • Individual or institutional subscribers
  • Expired subscribers


$195/M, electronic format only (Excel file) via email
$195 minimum order.

Lists may be rented to promote materials of professional interest to journal subscribers for a one-time mailing only and may not be copied, reused, or used by anyone other than the original renter.

To order
Mail or fax a sample of your mailing piece, along with an order form detailing label type, selection(s), and date needed.