There is a Gunman on Campus: Tragedy and Terror at Virginia Tech

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Overview

In our media-saturated culture, momentous events occur quickly, as news and images are broadcast around the country and the world. We are often riveted by the news and our everyday reality is suddenly changed. Yet, almost as quickly, that critical event is replaced by a new story. The old event fades from memory, and we move on to the next thing before understanding why it commanded our attention and how our world was changed. On April 16, 2007, such an event occurred on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. That day a student killed 32 of his classmates and professors and then turned the gun on himself. The media focused their power and our attention on the campus, the students and faculty of Virginia Tech, and the gunman and his victims. But we have yet to understand fully what happened in Blacksburg. There is a Gunman on Campus brings our thoughts back to the shocking campus shootings and the public reactions to the event, shining needed light on what occurred at the university, how American society reacted, and how it all fits into contemporary culture. The contributors to this insightful and compelling volume preserve and deepen our memory of April 16th. Many of the authors are distinguished men and women of letters, and some were on the Virginia Tech campus the day when the shots rang out. From the psychology of the shooter to the role of media in covering the event to parallels to other American tragedies such as Columbine, the chapters constitute an incisive portrait of early 21st century America.
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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE, April 2009 - R. E. Barlow
Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742561304
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/27/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Agger is professor of sociology and humanities at University of Texas, Arlington. Timothy W. Luke is professor of political science at Virginia Tech.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Chapter 1: April 16, 2007, at Virginia Tech—To: Multiple Recipients: "A Gunman Is Loose on Campus..." Chapter 3 Chapter 2: Media Spectacle and the "Massacre at Virginia Tech" Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Mediated Ritual on Academic Ground Chapter 5 Chapter 4: Profiling School Shooters and Shooters' Schools: The Cultural Contexts of Aggrieved Entitlement and Restorative Masculinity Chapter 6 Chapter 5: "Victims Sought in Next Week's Shooting" Chapter 7 Chapter 6: "We Are All Seung-Hui Cho!": American Social Psychosis and the Virginia Tech Killings Chapter 8 Chapter 7: Satire, Guns, and Humans: Lessons from the Nacirema Chapter 9 Chapter 8: S/he's Lost Control?: Damaging a Body of Knowledge Chapter 10 Chapter 9: When Rhetoric Fails: The Heroic Teacher and the Basic Communications Course Chapter 11 Chapter 10: There Is an Unknown on Campus: From Normative to Performative Violence in Academia Chapter 12 Chapter 11: The April 16 Archive: Collecting and Preserving Memories of the Virginia Tech Tragedy Chapter 13 Chapter 12: Colonization and Massacres: Virginia Tech, Jamestown, Korea, and Iraq Chapter 14 Chapter 13: All The Rage: Digital Bodies and Deadly Play in the Age of the Suicide Bomber Chapter 15 Chapter 14: Is Virginia Tech an Exception? Chapter 16 Chapter 15: Baudrillard (1929-2007) & Mao: A History of Normal Violence Chapter 17 Chapter 16: Cho, Not Che?: Positioning Blacksburg in the Political
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2008

    Do not suggest for any closely situated to the shooting

    Ironically, the book critically analyzes how the American media handled the shooting at Virginia Tech, yet the cover of the book equally symbolizes the dramatic conceptualization of the event as a Massacre. I strongly suggest one does not read this book if they experienced the shooting at Virginia Tech. However, if one intends to conduct a sociological analysis by essentially ridiculing the administrations' response to the event and how the "Hokie Nation" reacted, it may fit your prerogative. If you are familiar with, and enjoyed, Ben Agger's "Public Sociology" and concepualization as his duty as a sociologist to critically engage in political discourse in the public sphere and elevate his own political radicalism, than you may equally enjoy this text.

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