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Synopsis

The Great Recession in Fiction, Film, and Television: Twenty-First-Century Bust Culture sheds light on how imaginary works of fiction, film, and television reflect, refract, and respond to the recessionary times specific to the twenty-first century, a sustained period of economic crisis that has earned the title the “Great Recession.” This collection takes as its focus “Bust Culture,” a concept that refers to post-crash popular culture, specifically the kind mass produced by multinational corporations in the age of media conglomeration, which is inflected by diminishment, influenced by scarcity, and infused with anxiety.

The multidisciplinary contributors collected here examine mass culture not typically included in discussions of the financial meltdown, from disaster films to reality TV hoarders, the horror genre to reactionary representations of women, Christian right radio to Batman, television characters of color to graphic novels and literary fiction. The collected essays treat our busted culture as a seismograph that registers the traumas of collapse, and locate their pop artifacts along a spectrum of ideological fantasies, social erasures, and profound fears inspired by the Great Recession. What they discover from these unlikely indicators of the recession is a mix of regressive, progressive, and bemused texts in need of critical translation.

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