Thoughts and Perspectives

Transformative Authors and Texts – One Scholar’s List

The following (by no means all-inclusive list) have in someway profoundly transformed my thinking and/or have had a big influence on the scholar I am today. A few are ones that I especially enjoy and appreciate.  


  • Emma
  • Brave New World
  • A Room of One’s Own
  • Coming of Age in Mississippi 
  • Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television
  • There is a River: The Black Freedom Struggle in America


  • Carl Sagan
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Susan Sontag
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Michel Foucault
  • Michael Wesch
  • bell hooks
  • Ferdinand de Saussure


  • “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”
  • “American Anthropological Association: Statement on ‘Race’”
  • “Behind, Beneath, Above, and Beyond: The Historical Unconscious”
  • “Beyond Compare: Comparative Method after the Transnational Turn”
  • “Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is”
  • “Race is a Relationship, and Not a Thing” 


  • Mildred Pierce
  • Germany, Pale Mother
  • The World According to Garp
  • Orlando 
  • The Hours 


  • Michelangelo
  • Artemisia Gentileschi
  • René Magritte
  • Picasso

Classical Music:

  • The Marriage of Figaro
  • Clair de Lune
  • Handel’s Messiah
  • Strauss: Four Last Songs
  • Für Elise 


  • Bach
  • Britten
  • Bogdan Ota
  • Jean Sibelius


  • Amanda Marshall (“Shades of Gray,” “Everybody’s Got a Story,” “Last Exit to Eden,” and many, many others)
  • Linkin Park (“What I’ve Done” in particular)


7 replies »

  1. My students LOVE “Mildred Pierce” when I’ve shown it in American Women’s History on Film. But, as an early Americanist, my list would definitely include “1776” and “Sweet Liberty” (if you haven’t seen “Sweet Liberty,” you should–and I know someone who would swear it’s historically accurate).


    • Thanks – will for sure check Sweet Liberty out.

      My students really enjoyed Mildred Pierce this past semester. We used it to discuss the transformation of film from the Silent Era, the era of musicals (Great Depression), to Film Noir. And discuss its various meanings about women and society. It was a fun class!


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