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Womack Offers Fresh Look at The Beatles

Kenneth Womack, Ph.D., dean of the Monmouth University Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and co-editor Katie Kapurch, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at Texas State University, provide fresh academic insights into one of the world’s most enduringly popular bands in “New Critical Perspectives on the Beatles: Things We Said Today.”

The interdisciplinary collection of original essays published by Palgrave Macmillan, situates the band in its historical moment of the 1960s, but argues that artistic innovation and cultural ingenuity account for the Beatles’ lasting popularity. Spanning a range of theoretical approaches that bridge the study of music with perspectives from non-music disciplines, the essays break new ground in Beatles’ scholarship.

“Writers about music and popular culture have long attempted to understand the mystery at the heart of the group’s longevity,” Womack says. “The Beatles’ ability to enjoy a kind of rebirth and discovery across successive generations is primarily because of the resounding nature of their music.”

While The Beatles are the subject of numerous biographical studies, a surprising lack of academic analysis on the multi-generational influence of the Fab Four makes the book a welcome addition for scholars and ardent fans alike.

Contributing writers wrestle with under-examined Beatles texts, and provide new critical perspectives on familiar works offering lively insights into the Beatles and their multi-generational audiences.

Womack is the author or editor of four previous Beatles books, including “Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and the Fab Four,” “Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles,” the “Cambridge Companion to the Beatles,” and “The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four,” which was honored with a silver medal at the annual INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards in 2015.

He is also the author of three award-winning novels, including “John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel,” The Restaurant at the End of the World,” and “Playing the Angel.” He also serves as editor of Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory, and as co-editor of the English Association’s Year’s Work in English Studies.

Kapurch has published essays on popular youth culture in scholarly journals and edited collections. She is the author of a forthcoming monograph, “Victorian Melodrama in the Twenty-First Century: Jane Eyre, Twilight, and the Mode of Excess in Girl Culture.”