BOOK DATA Caetlin Benson-Allot, The Stuff of Spectatorship: Material Cultures of Film and Television. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2021. $85 cloth, $29.95 paper, $28.45 e-book. 354 pages.

Deftly argued, personal, and detailed, Caetlin Benson-Allott’s The Stuff of Spectatorship: Material Cultures of Film and Television makes the field of “material culture” significant to media critics, theorists, and historians. The “stuff” that she defines as material culture—TV guides, VCRs, DVDs, peripheral promotions, drugs, public pronouncements—is all those sorts of entities scholars often shove to the periphery in investigations of movies and television and digital media but that, as Benson-Allott points out, affect people’s “reception practices and their interpellation as spectators” (214).

This book is an important and cutting-edge contribution to thinking about all the angles—from the industrial to the phenomenological, to name just two—from which scholars need to consider these phenomena. While not everyone—indeed, maybe only a strand of academics—has...

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