Annenberg Alumni Bookshelf: 2023

Check out the volumes our alumni have published or will publish this year!

By Julie Sloane

It’s been a minute since our most recent edition of “Alumni Bookshelf,” but we are excited to share with you a roundup of alumni books published (or soon-to-be published) in 2023. 

If yours is missing from the list, or you have one coming out soon, please let us know!

Mariaelena Bartesaghi (Ph.D. '94), an associate professor at the University of South Florida, is co-editor of the forthcoming book Disability in Dialogue, which delves into the dialogues of and about disability. Its series of essays invite readers to consider the dialogic constitution of disability and how those might be reimagined. It will be published by John Benjamins in September.

In January, Dan Berger (Ph.D. '10), a professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington Bothell, published Stayed on Freedom: The Long History of Black Power Through One Family's Journey (Basic Books). It tells the story of the Black Power movement through two unheralded activists, Zoharah Simmons and Michael Simmons. Dan conducted hundreds of hours of interviews to convey their commitment to each other and to social change, which took them on a decades-long journey across the country and around the world.

In March, Lyndsey Beutin (Ph.D. ‘18) published Trafficking in Antiblackness: Modern-Day Slavery, White Indemnity, and Racial Justice (Duke University Press). The book details how campaigns to end human trafficking — “modern-day slavery” — purport to compare it with the evils of transatlantic slavery, but are actually grounded in antiblackness. Lyndsey is an assistant professor of Communication Studies & Media Arts at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

American University Associate Professor of Communication Caty Borum (M.A.C. '98) has published The Revolution Will Be Hilarious: Comedy for Social Change and Civic Power (NYU Press). It offers an inside look at how comedians and social activists make media that offers disruptive commentary on social equity and justice, and ultimately shows how creative power can help marginalized groups achieve civic power.

Book Covers (L to R): Disability in Dialogue, Stayed on Freedom, Trafficking in Antiblackness, The Revolution will be Hilarious
(L to R): Disability in Dialogue edited by Jessica M.F. Hughes and Mariaelena Bartesaghi; Stayed on Freedom: The Long History of Black Power Through One Family's Journey by Dan Berger; Trafficking in Antiblackness: Modern Day Slavery, White Indemnity, and Racial Justice by Lyndsey Beutin; and The Revolution Will Be Hilarious: Comedy for Social Change and Civic Power by Caty Borum

A new book by Lee McGuigan (Ph.D. '19), Selling the American People: Advertising, Optimization, and the Origins of Adtech, was published by MIT Press in July. In the book, Lee argues that data-driven surveillance by marketers goes back to the 1950s, when the advertising business became computerized and adopted an ideology of optimization.

Boston College Associate Professor of Communication Michael Serazio (Ph.D. '10) chronicles Americans’ obsession with “keeping it real” in The Authenticity Industries, which will be published by Stanford University Press in November. From social media influencers to reality TV, Mike unpacks the ways that reality is painstakingly fabricated with the intent to influence audiences, consumers, and voters.  

After retiring from a career in education, Peter Wiesner (M.A.C. '73) wrote his debut novel, Xtremus, a dystopian satire about the demise of high technology resulting from overreach. His next book, Bipolar Refugee, a memoir about his mother’s life as a Holocaust-era refugee who struggled with bipolar disorder, will be published by Amsterdam Publishers in September.

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young (Ph.D. '07) is a professor of Communication and Political Science at the University of Delaware. Her second book, coming in October from Johns Hopkins University Press is Wrong: How Media, Politics, and Identity Drive Our Appetite for Misinformation. In it, Danna argues that politicians and media organization capitalize on our social and cultural identities in order to convince millions of people to believe things that are simply untrue. The book offers solutions to heal these widening rifts among Americans - rifts which endanger democracy. 

Book Covers (L to R): Selling the American People, The Authenticity Industries, Bipolar Refugee, Wrong
(L to R): Selling the American People by Lee McGuigan, The Authenticity Industry: Keeping it "Real" in Media, Culture, and Politics by Michael Serazio; Bipolar Refugee by Peter Wiesner, and Wrong: How Media, Politics, and Identity Drive Our Appetite for Misinformation by Dannagal Goldthwaite Young