“This shark, swallow you whole”

Essays on the Cultural Influence of Jaws

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About the Book

One of the most influential thrillers in media history, Jaws first surfaced as a best-selling novel by first-time novelist Peter Benchley in 1974, followed by the 1975 feature film directed by Steven Spielberg at the beginning of his storied career. Jaws is often considered the first “blockbuster,” and successive generations of filmmakers have cited it as formative in their own creative development.
For nearly 50 years, critics and scholars have studied how and why this seemingly straightforward thriller holds such mass appeal. This book of original essays assembles a range of critical thought on the impact and legacy of the film, employing new perspectives—historical, cinematic, literary, scientific and environmental—while building on the insights of previous writers. While varying in focus, the essays in this volume all explore why Jaws was so successful in its time and how it remains a prominent storytelling influence well into the 21st century.

About the Author(s)

Kathy Merlock Jackson, a professor of communication at Virginia Wesleyan University, teaches courses in media studies and children’s culture. She is the author or editor of eleven books and former editor of The Journal of American Culture. She has served as past president of both the American Culture Association and the Popular Culture Association.

Philip L. Simpson is a Dean at Eastern Florida State College. He is the author of numerous books, chapters, journal articles, and reviews.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson and Philip L. Simpson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7745-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4758-6
Imprint: McFarland