Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

I’m holding in my hand a copy of my new book, Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling. Every book is its own unique journey. This one feels like the longest (which it was) and most significant, at least intellectually if not professionally. I presented the earliest version of the ideas that would eventually […]


I have two new book chapters out that I want to share. The first is an essay called “Lengthy Interactions with Hideous Men: Walter White and the Serial Poetics of Television Antiheroes,” published in a brand new anthology, Storytelling in the Media Convergence Age: Exploring Screen Narratives, edited by Roberta Pearson and Anthony Smith. The […]


This is not an organized or ranked list. This is a collection of the cultural things (mostly TV, but not exclusively) that I most loved in 2014, presented in alphabetical order. There are many things not on this list – they are absent because either I did not love them or I did not consume […]


I am quite excited to announce the publication of my latest book, How to Watch Television. Of course, in this instance, “my” should really be “our,” as the book was edited by me and my friend Ethan Thompson, and features 40 essays by an all-star line-up of media scholars young and old, familiar faces and […]


I am filled with joy, relief, and many other emotions in posting the link to the final chapter of Complex TV. Not accidentally, the chapter is called Ends, and it focuses on conclusions, as well as serving as one for the book. Here’s the abstract: American commercial television differs from much of the world in […]


Summer is over (even though it remains in the 80s in Vermont this week), which means my sabbatical is completely over. It was a great one, with a wonderful fellowship in Germany, a lot of writing, travel for lectures & conferences, and lots of quality family time. But yesterday, I returned to the Middlebury classroom […]


As regular readers know, I’ve been serializing my new book, Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling, in a pre-publication draft at MediaCommons. One of the goals of publishing the manuscript online like this is to challenge some of the norms of academic publishing and peer review, as advocated & modelled by Kathleen Fitzpatrick […]


I’m happy to announce that the next chapter of Complex TV has been posted. It’s focused on Authorship in contemporary serial television, and I think it’s all never-before-published material. I’ve been giving a talk based on this chapter for this spring, and have been really happy with the conversation it provokes – and I do intend […]


I’m pleased to post the next chapter of Complex TV, focused on the topic of Orienting Paratexts. Here’s the abstract: Along with shifts in the television industry and technologies, viewer practices have adapted to the digital era with new developments in how people consume narrative television. This chapter explores the range of paratexts that have […]


I have decided to use my blog here in tandem with the site for Complex TV to offer context & references for each chapter as I release them this spring/summer. I hope this is useful in both promoting readership, and making it transparent how this book is coming together out of earlier pieces and new […]


One of the great gifts of sabbatical is having the time to read books that are not immediately required for teaching or manuscript reviews. I’ve taken advantage of that by reading some fiction (and would highly recommend D.B. Weiss’s Lucky Wander Boy if you’re into classic videogames and/or metafiction), as well as some scholarship. In the […]


I’m happy to announce the pre-publication of my next book has begun. Complex Television: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Narrative has not yet been written, but the writing and publication process has begun on MediaCommons, where I have posted the book proposal for an open “peer-to-peer review” process, running parallel of the tradition peer review […]


I’ve been thinking a lot about authorship lately, in a range of ways. Most practically, two long-gestating essays that I authored have come out in print – “All in the Game: The Wire, Serial Storytelling and Procedural Logic” is published in the beautifully put-together book Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives edited by Pat […]


I was invited by Henry Jenkins, Josh Green, and Sam Ford to contribute to a book project they are working on, Spreadable Media: Creating Value in a Network Culture.You can see an outline of the project posted serially on Henry’s blog, emerging from a research paper drafted as part of the Convergence Culture Consortium. The […]


My textbook, Television and American Culture, has hit the streets (or at least the postal system – order yours now!). I received my first copy yesterday, and am happy to say that it looks great. This is due not to my own work (I’m solely to blame for the content), but the excellent staff at […]



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