July 6, 2021
49 b&w illus., 1 b&w table
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v2.1 Reference
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July 6, 2021
49 b&w illus., 1 b&w table
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
1.37 Pounds (US)
$26.00 USD, £20.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Reclaiming Popular Documentary

The documentary has achieved rising popularity over the past two decades thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Despite this, documentary studies still tends to favor works that appeal primarily to specialists and scholars.

Reclaiming Popular Documentary reverses this long-standing tendency by showing that documentaries can be—and are—made for mainstream or commercial audiences. Editors Christie Milliken and Steve Anderson, who consider popular documentary to be a subfield of documentary studies, embrace an expanded definition of popular to acknowledge the many evolving forms of documentary, such as branded entertainment, fictional hybrids, and works with audience participation. Together, these essays address emerging documentary forms—including web-docs, virtual reality, immersive journalism, viral media, interactive docs, and video-on-demand—and offer the critical tools viewers need to analyze contemporary documentaries and consider how they are persuaded by and represented in documentary media.

By combining perspectives of scholars and makers, Reclaiming Popular Documentary brings new understandings and international perspectives to familiar texts using critical models that will engage media scholars and fans alike.

About the Authors

Christie Milliken is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University. She is author of journal articles and book chapters on sex education film and video, 1960s cinema, and AIDS video activism. Steve F. Anderson is Professor of Digital Media in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and in the Department of Design Media Arts. He is author of Technologies of History: Visual Media and the Eccentricity of the Past and Technologies of Vision: The War Between Data and Images.


"Anderson and Milliken's book is no less than a groundbreaking study. Its exclusive focus on popular documentaries digs an alternative route next to the lane of popular fiction."—Ohad Landesman, Tel Aviv University

"More and more often I encounter first-year students who arrive at college and tell me right away that they love documentaries—thanks, I believe, to the rising popularity of the form on streaming sites like Netflix. . . . They and many, many viewers are consuming just the kinds of popular documentary texts that this collection addresses."—Jennifer Malkowski, author of Dying in Full Detail: Morality and Digital Documentary

"Despite the broad epistemological influence of commercially successful documentary films in the past several decades, documentary studies has frequently overlooked popular documentaries in favor of more formally experimental works. In Reclaiming Popular Documentary, Christie Milliken and Steve Anderson have assembled a stunning roster of scholars to begin to fill this scholarly gap by taking seriously the power and problems posed by popular documentaries at a moment in which the very grounds of truth appear increasingly unstable."—Jaimie Baron, author of Reuse, Misuse, Abuse: The Ethics of Audiovisual Appropriation in the Digital Era

"Milliken and Anderson's excellent volume on "popular" documentary is both a long time coming and absolutely rooted in this moment in the history of documentary media.  The volume fills an almost shocking gap in scholarly writing on popular documentary—especially given the value documentary studies places on its connection with the political—and it does so as the stakes of shared knowledge of the world have never been higher.  Together, the chapters in this volume compellingly explore a range of documentary media forms while always interrogating what the "popular" actually entails."—Josh Malitsky, author of A Companion to Documentary Film History
Indiana University Press

9780253056870 : reclaiming-popular-documentary-milliken-anderson-winton
406 Pages
$80.00 USD
9780253056887 : reclaiming-popular-documentary-milliken-anderson-winton
Paperback / softback
406 Pages
$26.00 USD

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