Global media and advances in technology have profoundly affected the way people experience events. The essays in this volume explore the dimensions of contemporary spectacles from the Arab Spring to spectatorship in Hollywood. Questioning the effects that spectacles have on their observers, the authors ask: Are viewers robbed of their autonomy, transformed into depoliticized and passive consumers, or rather are they drawn in to cohesive communities? Does their participation in an event-as audiences, activists, victims, tourists, and critics-change and complicate the event itself? Spectacle looks closely at the permeable boundaries between the reality and fiction of such events, the methods of their construction, and the implications of those methods.
Bruce Magnusson is associate professor of politics, and Zahi Zalloua is associate professor of French and interdisciplinary studies, at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Contributors are Douglas Kellner, George F. Kneller Philosophy of Education Chair at UCLA; Shiloh Krupar, associate professor of culture and politics in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; Gaurav Majumdar, associate professor of English at Whitman College; Matt Reynolds, associate professor of art history and visual culture studies at Whitman College; and Anneke Smelik, professor of visual culture at Radboud University of Nijmegen (Netherlands).