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The reception deception

Miller, T. (2008) The reception deception. In: Goldstein, P. and Machor, J.L., (eds.) New Directions in American Reception Study. Oxford University Press, Inc, New York, pp. 353-369.

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Eve Tushnet was editor-in-chief of The Yale Free Press in 1999. Reflecting on her leaving year's reception of Gilda, Charles Vidor's 1946 film noir, she wrote, "Gilda tries to get her dignity back through sex, Johnny through power-the same trophies many of us seek at Yale, the former on couches and the latter in classrooms." Tushnet, who went on to be a conservative Catholic-conversa blogger, understood the importance of a materially situated uptake of texts. So should we. I take her illuminating remark on ruling-class methods and mores, titillation and training, as a touchstone to criticize what I am calling the "reception deception"-namely, dominant investigations of cultural effects. In its place I propose a hybrid of political economy and ethnography, borrowing, inter alia, from several essays in this volume...

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Inc
Copyright: 2008 Oxford University Press, Inc
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