Kathleen Collins, "From Rabbit Ears to the Rabbit Hole: A Life with Television" (UP of Mississippi, 2021)

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In her new book From Rabbit Ears to the Rabbit Hole: A Life with Television (University of Mississippi Press, 2021) TV scholar and fan Kathleen Collins reflects on how her life as a consumer of television has intersected with the cultural and technological evolution of the medium itself. In a narrative bridging television studies, memoir, and comic, literary nonfiction, Collins takes readers alongside her from the 1960s through to the present, reminiscing and commiserating about some of what has transpired over the last five decades in the US, in media culture, and in what constitutes a shared cultural history.

In a personal, critical, and entertaining meditation on her relationship with TV—as avid consumer and critic—she considers the concept and institution of TV as well as reminiscing about beloved, derided, or completely forgotten content. She describes the shifting role of TV in her life, in a progression that is far from unique, but rather representative of a largely collective experience. It affords a parallel coming of age, that of the author and her coprotagonist, television. By turns playful and serious, wry and poignant, it is a testament to the profound and positive effect TV can have on a life and, by extrapolation, on the culture.

Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.

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