by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford and Joshua Green
NYU Press, $29.95
If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead. This is the core argument behind a book co-written by Henry Jenkins, Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Mapping fundamental changes taking place in today’s media environment, the book challenges the prevailing frameworks used to describe contemporary media, from biological metaphors such as “memes” to the concept of “Web 2.0.” Drawing on examples from music, television and the public relations industry, the book explores how people are spreading ideas through social media and the implications these activities have for business, politics and everyday life.
From Republic to Empire
by John Pollini
University of Oklahoma Press, $60
Through visual rhetoric, leaders of ancient Rome could communicate their ideals and political programs in an empire where few could read and many different languages were spoken. In this book, John Pollini, professor of art history and history at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, delves into the complex relationship between artistic development and political change in imperial Rome. Examining works and traditions ranging from coins to statues and reliefs, Pollini explores how traditional Roman symbols of religion and power were taken over or refashioned to convey new ideological content in the constantly changing political arena.
by Mark Marino, Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample and Noah Vawter
The MIT Press, $30
This book, co-written by Mark Marino, associate professor of writing at USC Dornsife, looks at a single line of code — the concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 computer — and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not merely as functional but as a text that yields a story about its making, its purpose and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, and the influential Commodore 64 computer.