Wesleyan Film @ SCMS Montreal

The Society for Cinema & Media Studies‘ annual conference is currently underway in Montreal. Founded in 1959, SCMS is a professional organization of college and university educators, filmmakers, historians, critics, scholars, and others devoted to the study of the moving image. Wesleyan’s film series acquisitions editor, Parker Smathers, will be in attendance this weekend, catching up on the latest news in the field.

The Wesleyan Film series takes a back-to-basics approach to the art of cinema. Books in the series deal with the formal, the historical, and the cultural—putting a premium on visual analysis, close readings, and an understanding of the history of Hollywood and international cinema, both artistically and industrially. Volumes in the series are rigorous, critical, and accessible both to academics and to lay readers with a serious interest in film.


Our new and forthcoming film-related books include:

The Director Within: Storytellers of Stage and Screen

The Cinema of Errol Morris

The Lives of Robert Ryan

View a full list of books in the Wesleyan Film Series here.

On May 31st the Music Box Theatre in Chicago will host a special screening of The Set-Up to celebrate the release of The Lives of Robert Ryan. A Q&A with author J.R. Jones and the late actor’s daughter, Lisa Ryan, will follow the screening. Attendees will be able to purchase a book/ticket combo at a discounted price, thanks to the support of The Book Cellar. Stay tuned for details! For now, you can check out this piece on Robert Ryan, from The Chicago Reader, by J.R. Jones.

New film on dancer Martha Hill

Martha Hill (1900–1995), the first Director of Dance at the Juilliard School, was one of the most influential dance figures of the twentieth century. Her leadership was instrumental in cementing dance’s position as an art form and as an area for serious scholarship. She carved out a place for contemporary dance in America, paving the way for artists like José Limón and Merce Cunningham. Recently, Hill has come back into the public eye with Greg Vander Veer’s movie Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter, which premiered at the 2014 Dance on Camera Festival in New York. In her review of Miss Hill for Film Journal International, Lisa Jo Sagolla writes that “Hill’s crucial role in modern dance history is comprehensively delineated in Janet Mansfield Soares’ exemplary 2009 biography, Martha Hill & the Making of American Dance. Yet director Greg Vander Veer’s smartly constructed documentary bears viewing, even by those who’ve thoroughly digested Soares’ book.”

Author Janet Mansfield Soares was a student, colleague, and teacher of dance composition with Martha Hill at the Juilliard School and is a professor emerita of dance at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Janet Mansfield Soares and her book, Martha Hill & the Making of American Dance

Janet Mansfield Soares and her book, Martha Hill & the Making of American Dance.

Martha Hill, along with contemporaries like Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, and Doris Humphrey, broke away from the old-world paradigms of ballet and European dance to create the distinctly American art form of modern dance. Soares traces the social and political forces that shaped Hill’s life, following her as she challenged the expectations placed on women in terms of their physical capabilities. Hill questioned the tenets of “white-gloved” physical education for women, and battled members of the “old boys’ club” in her mission to gain acceptance and status for dance as an independent performing art. Her work was essential in proving female dancers, teachers, and choreographers to be true artists in their own right. In her introduction to Martha Hill & the Making of American Dance, Soares wrote: “Hill worked to position dance as a valued artistic practice, one that belonged in the sociocultural life of campuses and arts centers in the United States and around the world—and one that would gradually shape a cultural entity of its own… [Hill], with her colleagues, managed to transform a many-faceted group of eccentrics into a community of talents with a single goal: to assure the survival of contemporary dance into a new millennium.”

President Gerald Ford greeting Martha Hill in 1976. Courtesy of the Martha Hill Archives.

President Gerald Ford greeting Martha Hill in 1976. Courtesy of the Martha Hill Archives.

#tbt: Mel Brooks’ dancing alien, from “Spaceballs”

This week’s throwback Thursday post is dedicated to director Mel Brooks! He is one of many directors interviewed in The Director Within: Storytellers of Stage and Screen by Rose Eichenbaum. The photograph of Brooks, below, is one of many images from the book.


To honor Brooks and his ongoing ability to make us laugh long and hard, we picked a clip from his movie Spaceballs (1987).

Mel Brooks is a master of comedy. From film to theatrical productions, his work has earned him the highest honors bestowed on an entertainer: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award—to name a few. As Brooks fans know, the filmmaker loves to spoof historic events, popular culture, books, and other films. Such parodies include Young Frankenstein, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs. 

When asked why he’s chosen to create so many parodies, Brooks responded:

“All I’m doing is reliving the movies I loved as a little boy. With Young Frankenstein I was reviving the gorgeous films by James Whale, Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). High Anxiety is a tribute to Hitchcock. Spaceballs I made for my son, Max Brooks, who loved Star Trek and Star Wars. I dolled them up, of course, with a lot of different themes and feelings.”

Directors featured in the book The Director Within include:

• Michael Apted
• Robert Benton
• Peter Bogdanovich
• James L. Brooks
• Mel Brooks
• James Burrows
• John Carpenter
• Joseph Cedar
• Richard Donner
• Jonathan Frakes
• Lesli Linka Glatter
• Taylor Hackford
• Walter Hill
• Arthur Hiller
• Reginald Hudlin
• Doug Hughes
• Lawrence Kasdan
• John Landis
• Barry Levinson
• Rod Lurie
• Emily Mann
• Kathleen Marshall
• Rob Marshall
• Michael Mayer
• Paul Mazursky
• Mira Nair
• Hal Prince
• Brett Ratner
• Gary Ross
• Mark Rydell
• Jay Sandrich
• Susan Stroman
• Julie Taymor
• Robert Towne
• Tim Van Patten

Rose Eichenbaum will be signing copies of her books, The Director Within and The Dancer Within at Chavelier’s Books in Los Angeles this Saturday. She will be joined by performer-authors Zippora Karz and Victoria Tennant. Read more about the event and participants here.

“Director Within” launch tonight, 7PM, in Burbank, CA!

Don’t miss the book launch celebration for Rose Eichenbaum’s the The Director Within! Rose will be sharing photos, stories, and words of wisdom concerning her latest book. A discussion will follow. The event will take place on November 13th, in the Entertainment Media Building Room E100 at Woodbury University from 7-9pm.


“What a treat to read these interviews with so many directors I have known and to learn more about them, their courage, individuality, compassion, vision, insight, and wisdom, and to hear the shared theme of love for the media and love as a theme in their lives and their work.”  —Jeremy Kagan, film and television director

Award-winning photojournalist, Rose Eichenbaum is dedicated to the investigation and documentation of art making and human expression through performance. Her stunning books The Dancer Within and The Actor Within paired photographic portraits with thoughtful conversations that look at the creative process, and how this process is different for each individual.

For her new book, The Director Within, Rose Eichenbaum sat down with thirty-five modern day storytellers—directors of theater, film, and television. Eichenbaum’s subjects speak with revealing clarity about the challenges and rewards of their work, the role and life of the director, and the ways theatrical and cinematic storytelling impact our culture and our lives. These conversational interviews with some of the biggest names in entertainment are accompanied by lively photographic portraits that convey the character and personalities of her subjects.

This beautiful, informative, and entertaining book is an essential resource for film and theatre buffs, would-be-directors, and anyone who wants to learn more about the creative minds behind our most-beloved movies and shows.

Rose Eichenbaum’s work has appeared in national magazines and has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including a national tour hosted by the Smithsonian Institution. A respected educator, Eichenbaum is a professor at Woodbury University in the School of Media, Culture and Design and directs the dance photography workshop at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She also teaches at the Los Angeles Center of Photography.


For more information about the book please visit the bookpage.



#UPWeek: AAUP’s Third Annual Blog Tour continues


It is University Press Week…a time to celebrate all the wonderful work published by scholarly presses! In the spirit of partnership that pervades the university press community, thirty-two presses will unite for the AAUP’s third annual blog tour. This tour will highlight the value of collaboration among the scholarly community. Individual presses will blog on a different theme each day. Today’s theme is “Your University Press in Pictures.” The following presses are participating. Click on the available links to enjoy a variety of content exploring the history of publishing, including historic images as well as a look at how the handling of images has changed with the introduction of new technologies. 

University Press of Florida 

Fordham University Press 

Indiana University Press 

Johns Hopkins University Press 

Stanford University Press 

Tomorrow’s theme will be University Presses in Popular Culture.

#UPWeek: AAUP’s Third Annual Blog Tour


It is University Press Week…a time to celebrate all the wonderful work published by scholarly presses! In the spirit of partnership that pervades the university press community, thirty-two presses will unite for the AAUP’s third annual blog tour. This tour will highlight the value of collaboration among the scholarly community. Individual presses will blog on a different theme each day. Today’s theme is “Collaboration.” The following presses are participating. Click on the available links to learn about some of the collaborative efforts initiated by our colleagues at other presses and institutions.

University of California Press

University of Chicago Press

University Press of Colorado

Duke University Press

University of Georgia Press

Project MUSE/Johns Hopkins University Press

McGill-Queen’s University Press

Texas A&M University Press

University of Virginia Press

Yale University Press

Tomorrow’s theme is “Your University Press in Pictures.” Wesleyan University Press is participating on Thursday, November 13th, as part of “Throwback Thursday.” Read more about AAUP, University Presses, and University Press Week here.

Rose Eichenbaum—photographer, author and educator

Rose Eichenbaum is one of today’s most respected photojournalists in the field of dance. Her books, Masters of Movement, The Dancer Within, The Actor Within, and now, The Director Within, have paired photographic portraits of artists with thoughtful conversations about their creative processes. A teacher for more than 25 years, Eichenbaum is also a sought-out inspirational and motivational speaker, with a story that will get people thinking about the complex relationship of art making and human expression. Check out Rose’s latest book, The Director Within: Storytellers of Stage and Screen. It hits stores today, and will make a great holiday gift for the film or theater lover on your list.


Eichenbaum_Rose 2014


The child of Holocaust survivors, Eichenbaum has always felt that being born was “a small miracle.” And since then, she has always felt the drive to leave a mark on the world. Though she has a master’s degree in dance from UCLA, her own professional dance career was concluded when she had three children. “However,” she says, “picking up a camera to photograph my children proved a revelation. I discovered that I loved image making and that through the medium of photography I could still dance.”

In addition to her work as a teacher, Eichenbaum has built a successful career as a dance photographer. She’s behind more than two dozen magazine covers and countless articles in nationally acclaimed publications like Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, and others. She is also the official photographer for the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara. This work, in turn, drew her to photojournalism—an interest which has birthed her four acclaimed books on the luminaries of choreography, dance, acting, and directing.


eichenbaum blog


Her work addresses the power of the human spirit, expressed through these various art forms. All the people she’s interviewed, she says, are “driven individuals who want to be seen, heard, and express themselves—” much like herself. With her probing questions and disarming manner, Eichenbaum is a skilled interviewer, and her powerful photographs reveal the essence of each artist she speaks to. Eichenbaum captures the essential character of her subjects while shining a light on the art that defines them, creating invaluable touchstones for anyone interested in performance art as expression.


Holiday Gift Ideas from Wesleyan UP

Something for everyone on your list!!!

Order from using discount code W301 to receive a 30% discount.

For History Readers

Vizenor - Blue Ravens R-72-3 Blue Ravens
by Gerald Vizenor
$27.95 Hardcover

From one of today’s most important Native American writers, this “emotionally wrought and finely crafted” (ForeWord) novel follows two Anishinaabe brothers from the battlefields of World War I, to their home on the White Earth Reservation, to the streets of post-war Paris. The book is based on his great uncle’s stories, as well as extensive research.

Campbell_Tempest-Tossed.indd Tempest-Tossed:
The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker
by Susan Campbell
$28.95 Hardcover

The youngest child of one of America’s most famous families, a mover and shaker with a wild streak, Isabella Beecher Hooker is remembered in this engaging, breezy biography. Pulitzer-winning author Susan Campbell combines the research skills of a “born historian” (Connecticut Explored) with a breezy, accessible style.

Williams - Prudence R-72-3 Prudence Crandall’s Legacy:
The Fight for Equality in the 1830s, Dred Scott, and Brown v. Board of Education
by Donald E. Williams, Jr.
$35.00 Hardcover

In 1833, despite public backlash, Prudence Crandall admitted a black girl to her private school, resulting in the first integrated classroom in the country. Former CT state senator Donald E. Williams Jr. details Crandall’s life and work, and her unique role in the fight for civil rights, including her battles in the court system and the legacy of these battles, which include Brown v. Board of Education, the civil rights movement, and the problems and progress we see today.

Farrow - Log Books R-72-3 The Logbooks:
Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory
by Anne Farrow
$27.95 Hardcover

Anne Farrow, co-author of the bestselling Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery, takes readers on a harrowing journey onto the slave ship of a Connecticut merchant via the journal of that merchant’s son, bearing witness to our most shameful forgotten history. 

For Film & Theater Buffs

Eichenbaum _ Director R-72-3 The Director Within:
Storytellers of Stage and Screen
by Rose Eichenbaum
$30.00 Hardcover

Thirty-five masterminds of film, television, and theater—the directors of such productions as The Lion King, Chicago, and Rain Man–open up to Rose Eichenbaum about the entertainment industry, the role of the director, and how their work impacts our culture and lives.

For Poetry Readers

Shapiro - Momentary-croppedR-72-2x3 A Momentary Glory:
Last Poems
by Harvey Shapiro
$24.95 Hardcover

Acclaimed poet Harvey Shapiro “plays for keeps” (Hugh Seidman) in this posthumous collection. With his signature brilliance he reflects on war and eroticism, illness and aging, love and death, all in search of a worldly wisdom and grace that the poet calls “a momentary glory.”

Coultas.indd The Tatters
by Brenda Coultas
$22.95 Hardcover

Brenda Coultas turns her keen eye to everyday objects—a pigeon feather, a discarded piece of jewelry—to make sense of the landfill we humans have made of our world. “These poems,” wrote The Kenyon Review, “cataloguing and owning and turning from and grappling with our vast trash, are trouble in the most useful sense of the word.”

. In Defense of Nothing:
Selected Poems, 1987-2011
by Peter Gizzi
$26.95 Hardcover

Bookslut calls Peter Gizzi “a major force in the ever-expanding vastness of the poetry world.” In this landmark collection, representing over twenty years of work, Gizzi cements that reputation, enlisting the very American vernacular in a magical and complex music all his own.

vizenor_crows_R-72-3 Favor of Crows:
New and Collected Haiku
by Gerald Vizenor
$24.95 Hardcover

Gerald Vizenor unites the imagistic poise of haiku with the early dream songs of the Anishinaabe people in this stunning new collection, in which ordinary moments “come to shimmering life on the page” (David G. Lanoue, president of the Haiku Society of America).

 For Music Lovers

 KlostyBookwOutline72DPI John Cage Was
by James Klosty
$55.00 Hardcover

A lavish 12 x11″ art book with a textured hardcover, velum wrap, and over 170 stunning duotone photographs of the great composer at work and at play, combined with eclectic remembrances of Cage from figures like John Ashbery, Yoko Ono, and Stephen Sondheim. This book a memorial to treasure.

 Lucier - Music 109 R-72-3 Music 109:
Notes on Experimental Music
by Alvin Lucier
$19.95 Paperback

Composer and performer Alvin Lucier brings clarity to the world of experimental music as he takes the reader through more than a hundred groundbreaking musical works, including those of Robert Ashley, John Cage, Charles Ives, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, Christian Wolff, and La Monte Young. No previous musical knowledge is required, only a love of music.

 Jarrett - Producing R-72-3 Producing Country:
The Inside Story of the Great Recordings
by Michael Jarrett
$27.95 Paperback

In what Music Tomes calls “one of the best oral histories of country music to come around for quite some time,” Michael Jarrett interviews the producers behind the most iconic country recordings of Elvis, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and more—revealing how producers have shaped our music and our tastes over the decades.

 . Making Beats:
The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop
by Joseph G. Schloss
$24.95 Paperback

Schloss examines the way hip-hop artists have managed to create a form of expression that reflects their creative aspirations, moral beliefs, political values, and cultural realities. This second edition of the book includes a new foreword by Jeff Chang and a new afterword by the author.

 Walser - Running 2-R-72-3 Running with the Devil:
Power, Gender, and Madness
in Heavy Metal
by Robert Walser
$22.95 Paperback

Dismissed by critics and academics, condemned by parents and politicians, and fervently embraced by legions of fans, heavy metal music continues to attract and embody cultural and societal conflicts. Walser explores how and why heavy metal works, both musically and socially, and investigates the genre’s formations of identity, community, gender, and power. This edition includes a new foreword by Harris M. Berger and a new afterword by the author.

Wesleyan UP Influence Map

Please enjoy our interactive Influence Map, highlighting our press’s international scope. Click here to learn more about the map.