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About the Pie

The Pie - America and Celebrity Culture

For nearly three decades, the American Studies Department at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, published "The Salad Bowl", a magazine of student and faculty works that celebrated a different theme in American culture each year, in recognition of the nation's great diversity. After several years without production, the decision was made to convert The Salad Bowl, a paperbound publication, into The Pie, an online journal of American Studies with the same mission of embracing the rich cultural heritage of the United States and featuring the high quality scholarly work of some of the department's finest students and faculty.

Now in its second edition, the works in this year's volume of The Pie revolve around the theme of "America and Celebrity Culture". A fascination with the rich and famous is nothing new in America, nor particularly unique to our nation, but the widespread proliferation of powerful and sometimes intrusive media technologies over the last several decades has undoubtedly raised the level of exposure given to celebrity personalities and lifestyles. In a variety of styles and theoretical perspectives, the included works of students from the American Studies Department are thoughtful and well-written analyses of various manifestations and implications of celebrity culture in American life. Each piece stands as a fine example of the valuable and relevant academic work produced every year in the dozens of courses offered throughout the department. It should be noted, as well, that the inspiration for this year's theme came from a Fall 2007 course taught by Dr. Michael Rockland, "America as a Celebrity Culture", with several of the featured writings initially penned for that class, now serving as a foundation for the 2008 edition of The Pie.

Dig in and enjoy!

Editor In Chief
Garrett Broad

Thank You

Special Thanks to:

Faculty and Staff of the American Studies Department
Professor Ben Sifuentes Jauregui
Professor Angus Kress Gillespie
Professor Michael Aaron Rockland
Professor Leslie Fishbein
Helene Grynberg
Eddie Konczal
Alex Rabinowitz and the American Studies Association
Rutgers University School of Arts & Sciences

Editorial Board:

Garrett Broad - Editor In Chief
Kate Burkholder -  Associate Editor

Departmental Information

The American Studies Department at Rutgers University was founded by Professor Michael Aaron Rockland in 1969 as a small department affiliated with Douglass College.  It has since grown in scope and size, incorporating students from all of the New Brunswick-Piscataway colleges at Rutgers.  American Studies provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the culture and history of the United States.  Core and affiliated faculty specialize in a variety of academic disciplines, including, but not restricted to, African American studies, ethnic studies, art history, film studies, folklore, the history and culture of New Jersey, the history of sexuality, Jewish studies, Latino studies, literature, popular culture, popular music, historic preservation, technology, print culture, urban history, visual culture, and women’s and gender studies.

For more information, visit the website of the American Studies Department.


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