Book Signing for South Carolina Author W. Scott Poole
Greenville, SC, October 6, 2011 - Charleston, South Carolina, author W. Scott Poole will be signing copies of his new book, Monsters in America (Baylor University, hardcover, $29.95) at Fiction Addiction on Tuesday, October 25th, from 4-6pm.
Salem witches, frontier wilderness beasts, freak show oddities, alien invasions, Freddy Krueger. From our colonial past to our present, the monster in all its various forms has been a staple of American culture. A masterful survey of our grim and often disturbing past, Monsters in America uniquely brings together history and culture studies to expose the dark obsessions that have helped create our national identity.
Monsters are not just fears of the individual psyche, historican Scott Poole explains, but are concoctions of the public imagination, reactions to cultural influences, social change, and historical events. Conflicting anxieties about race, class, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, science, and politics manifest as haunting beings among the populace. From Victorian-era mad scientists to modern-day serial killers, new monsters appear as American society evolves, paralleling fluctuating challenges to the cultural status quo. Consulting newspaper accounts, archival materials, personal papers, comic books, films, and oral histories, Poole adroitly illustrates how the creation of the monstrous "other" not only reflects society's fears but shapes actual historical behavior and becomes a cultural reminder of inhuman acts.
Scott Poole grew up in Easley, SC, and has loved monsters from an early age. Shock Theater on Saturday afternoon left him deliriously terrified as he watched Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein and The Wolf Man. Comic books like Tomb of Dracula and fan magazines like Famous Monsters offered even more frightening fun. After seeing Star Wars for the first time, monsters became a religious experience with Tuskan Raiders, the Cantina scene and Darth Vader all becoming beloved friends and nightmares.
Somehow--and even Scott's not quite sure how--he translated his love for monsters into a career as a historian and pop culture critic. A tenured professor of American History at the College of Charleston, he teaches a popular class about the image of the Devil in religion and popular culture and, of course, a class on America and its monsters. He is the author of several books dealing with race, religion and pop culture including Satan in America: The Devil We Know and is a regular contributor to www.PopMatters.com, an international magazine of cultural criticism.
Scott lives with his partner Beth Phillips in a restored 1930s worker's cottage in a part of Charleston, South Carolina, where tourists fear to tread. Beth and Scott share this adventure with Max, their rescued Greyhound, and Shiloh, an elderly Labrador. When not writing and teaching, he collects blues, rock, punk, classic country, alternative and all manner of roots music on vinyl. He plays it all too loud. A long-time vegetarian, Scott enjoys explaining to other vegetarians why they should watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or bringing up the notoriously bloody film when his friends are trying to enjoy their hamburgers. He rides his bicycle to work every day allegedly because its good for the planet but mostly because its fun. And if you ask, he will likely let you see his comic book collection.
He wants to get a Bride of Frankenstein tattoo but is scared of needles and his mom. Maybe he'll do it anyway.
Those who cannot make the signing can reserve a personalized copy of Monsters in America
by contacting Fiction Addiction in advance at 864-675-0540 or at [email protected]
ABOUT FICTION ADDICTION
- Fiction Addiction is a local, woman-owned, independent bookstore established in 2001. The store carries a mixture of new and used fiction and nonfiction, including children's books, as well as gift items. For more information, visit our website at http://www.fiction-addiction.com
or call us at 864-675-0540.
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