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Scenes from the Suburbs

The Suburb in Contemporary US Film and Television

Timotheus Vermeulen

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A study of suburban space in American film and television

Read and download the introduction for free here (pdf)

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List of Illustrations
Introduction: Scenes from the Suburbs
1. Pleasantville: The Suburb as World
2. Happiness: The Suburb and Film Style
3. The Simpsons and King of the Hill: The Suburb as Texture
4. Desperate Housewives: The Suburb as Social Space
5. Teen Noir: The Suburb as Lived Space
Conclusion: 'Upward Yet Not Northward'

About the Author

Timotheus Vermeulen is Assistant Professor in Cultural Studies and Theory at the Radboud University Nijmegen, where he also co-directs the Centre for New Aesthetics. Vermeulen has published on film, television and contemporary aesthetics in numerous journals and books, magazines and catalogues, including The Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, Screen, MONU, Frieze, and Notes on Metamodernism, an academic arts and culture webzine he co-edits. He is joint editor, with Martin Dines, of the anthology New Suburban Stories.


‘Timotheus Vermeulen’s book Scenes from the Suburbs: The Suburb in Contemporary US Film and Television promises and delivers an in-depth examination of recent representations and mappings of suburbia in film and television… What is outstanding in Vermeulen’s method of discussion and analysis is that he is not just observant of the themes and tropes of texts set in the suburbs, but also of the nature of this space.’

- Melenia Arouh, European Journal of American Studies

'Scenes from the Suburbs makes a major contribution to the study of a type of film and television programme that is frequently recognised in critical writing but often escapes critical recognition. Vermeulen’s authoritative analysis of the suburban across a range of texts invites the reader to discover new levels of debate and his writing consistently sidesteps the trap of straightforward definitions or surface generalisations. Anyone wishing to talk usefully about the suburb in film and television will need to engage with Vermeulen’s arguments.'

- James Walters, University of Birmingham, Critical Studies in Television

'Rich individual case studies make Scenes from the Suburbs a worthwhile purchase for those who are either interested in the subject matter or looking for an accessible textbook for an undergraduate or graduate course on American history, gender politics, or the remnants of Cold War culture.'

- Joshua Kierstead, University of Iowa, New Review of Film and Television Studies

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