Books For Review

Reviewers

CJC invites reviewers, faculty members or graduate students, to review titles from the list below. Or, if you are keen to review a particular title that you have encountered and feel would benefit other readers, our Book Review Editors can request a copy for you from the publisher. They also want to hear from authors: if you have a publication that you think CJC should review, please contact either Daniel J. Paré at review_editor@cjc-online.ca or Mireille Lalancette at redacteur_revue@cjc-online.ca

When requesting to review a book, please provide:

  • your institutional affiliation;
  • your position/rank;
  • a brief statement about your research interests and how they relate to the book you are proposing to review;
  • your email address and contact telephone number;
  • your update-to-date mailing address (preferably an institutional mailing address).

Please note that if the CJC does not currently have a mailing address in your user account you will be re-directed to your user account page to provide your mailing address.

Publishers

Have a book for review? Please contact our book review editors. For English book reviews contact: Daniel J. Paré at review_editor@cjc-online.ca. For French book reviews contact: Mireille Lalancette at redacteur_revue@cjc-online.ca.

  • Register as an author with this journal.
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  • Select the book you would like to review.

 

Call for Reviewers

Algorithmic Desire: Toward a New Structuralist Theory of Social Media by Matthew Flisfeder

In Algorithmic Desire, Matthew Flisfeder shows that social media is a metaphor that reveals the dominant form of contemporary ideology: neoliberal capitalism. The preeminent medium of our time, social media’s digital platform and algorithmic logic shape our experience of democracy, enjoyment, and desire. Weaving between critical theory and analyses of popular culture, Flisfeder uses examples from The King’s SpeechBlack MirrorGone GirlThe Circle, and Arrival to argue that social media highlights the antisocial dimensions of twenty-first-century capitalism. He counters leading critical theories of social media—such as new materialism and accelerationism—and thinkers such as Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, proposing instead a new structuralist account of the ideology and metaphor of social media. Emphasizing the structural role of crises, gaps, and negativity as central to our experiences of reality, Flisfeder interprets the social media metaphor through a combination of dialectical, Marxist, and Lacanian frameworks to show that algorithms may indeed read our desire, but capitalism, not social media, truly makes us antisocial. Wholly original in its interdisciplinary approach to social media and ideology, Flisfeder’s conception of “algorithmic desire” is timely, intriguing, and sure to inspire debate.

 

McLuhan's Techno-Sensorium City: Coming to Our Senses in a Programmed Environment

by Jaqueline McLeod Rogers, 2021, Pp. 192, Lexington Books
ISBN: (Hardcopy) 978-1-7936-0524-5

In McLuhan's Techno-Sensorium City: Coming to Our Senses in a Programmed Environment, Jaqueline McLeod Rogers argues that Marshall McLuhan was both an activist and a speculative urbanist who drew from cross-disciplinary and ahistorical sources to explore constitutive exchanges between humanity and technologies to alter human perception and imagine a sustainable future based on collective participation in a responsive urban environment. This environment—a techno-sensorium—would endeavor to design and program technology to be favorable to life and capable of engaging with multiple senses. McLeod Rogers examines McLuhan’s active engagement with the vibrant art and urban design culture of his day to further understand the ways in which the links he drew between media, technology, space, architecture, art, and cities continue to inform current urban and art criticism and practices. Scholars of media studies, urbanism, philosophy, architecture, and sociology will find this book particularly useful. 

 

Transmitted Wounds: Media and the Mediation of Trauma

by Amit Pinchevski, 2019, Pp. 200, Oxford University Press

ISBN: (Hardcopy) 9780190625580

In Transmitted Wounds, Amit Pinchevski explores the ways media technology and logic shape the social life of trauma both clinically and culturally. Bringing media theory to bear on trauma theory, Pinchevski reveals the technical operations that inform the conception and experience of traumatic impact and memory. He offers a bold thesis about the deep association of media and trauma: media bear witness to the human failure to bear witness, making the traumatic technologically transmissible and reproducible. 

Taking up a number of case studies--the radio broadcasts of the Eichmann trial; the videotaping of Holocaust testimonies; recent psychiatric debates about trauma through media following the 9/11 attacks; current controversy surrounding drone operators' post-trauma; and digital platforms of algorithmic-holographic witnessing and virtual reality exposure therapy for PTSD--Pinchevski demonstrates how the technological mediation of trauma feeds into the traumatic condition itself. The result is a novel understanding of media as constituting the material conditions for trauma to appear as something that cannot be fully approached and yet somehow must be. 

While drawing on contemporary materialist media theory, especially the work of Friedrich Kittler and his followers, Pinchevski goes beyond the anti-humanistic tendency characterizing the materialist approach, discovering media as bearing out the human vulnerability epitomized in trauma, and finding therein a basis for moral concern in the face of violence and atrocity. Transmitted Wounds unfolds the ethical and political stakes involved in the technological transmission of mental wounds across clinical, literary, and cultural contexts.