Monday, November 7, 2011

Worst Academic Press Catalog Cover Image Ever

So there I was, looking for publisher information about a certain book a professor thought was representative of the type of academic press where he might try to place the book he is working on, when I’m confronted with what may be the worst choice ever for a book catalog cover (image after jump):

Patricia Piccinini - The Long Awaited, Vanderbilt University Press Catalog Cover Fall and Winter 2011-2012

What the hell is that thing? I’m going to have nightmares for weeks. Turns out its from the cover of Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination and - Oh my God! its not just an illustration, but a sculpture from the exhibit for which this book serves as a catalog. The artist is Patrician Piccinini and that specific work is here.

The giant mutant sea lion thing is weird enough, but some of her other work, conveniently listed here on another site, is even more disturbing. But the more you look at it, the more compelling the pieces are.

Still, a strange choice for the Vandy press catalog cover. Why couldn’t they have used this cover image instead:

Embodied Resistance: Challenging the Norms, Breaking the Rules

From the description:
Embodied Resistance engages the rich and complex range of society's contemporary "body outlaws"--people from many social locations who violate norms about the private, the repellent, or the forbidden. This collection ventures beyond the conventional focus on the "disciplined body" and instead, examines conformity from the perspective of resisters. By balancing accessibly written original ethnographic research with personal narratives, Embodied Resistance provides a window into the everyday lives of those who defy or violate socially constructed body rules and conventions.
That’s actually a book I would want to read.

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