Introduction: The Crying Game—David Lavery

Brief Tears (I). Gin Talking—Will Brooker

Part I: Crying at Music and Art

1. The Water is Wide: Risking Tears in the Met, and Elsewhere—Bruce B. Janz

2. El Sentimiento TristeAlina Gharabegian

3. Cry Me a River—Sophie Mayer

Brief Tears (II). Coleridge's Tears: How the Poet Explained Our Crying at Television Shows and Movies in 1817—Paul Levinson

Part II: Crying at the Movies

4. Afterthoughts on Disability: Crying at William Wyler's Best Years of our LivesLance Duerfahrd

5. Let's Go Swimming: (Not) Crying at the Movies—Johnson Cheu

6. A Tale of Two Labyrinths: The Emotional Experience of Pan's LabyrinthDouglas L. Howard

7. Philadelphia, Mainstream Cinema-Inspired Tears, and the Social Re-Construction of the AIDS Pandemic—Kylo-Patrick R. Hart

8. David Lynch's Triptych of TearsSteven Peacock

Brief Tears (III). Mirrors—Laura Nathan-Garner

Part III: Crying at Television and Popular Culture

9. "It's a Thing We Do": Crying with Buffy and AngelCynthea Masson

10. Crying at the "Slick" Stuff: The Development of a Pop Culture Scholar—Heather Urbanski

11. Good Grief, Intimate Strangers, and The Office: Tearful Laughter in the Postdocumentary Age—Christopher Kocela

12. Death of an Icon, Wrath of a Fan—Brennan Thomas

Brief Tears (IV). Broken (by) BlossomJoseph S. Walker

Brief Tears (V). Public Tears and Private Moments: Saying Goodbye to Sex and the CityDeborah Jermyn

Part IV: Crying at Literature and Drama

13. I Weep therefore I Am: The Eighteenth-Century Invention of the Tearjerker—Cecillia Feilla

14. Tears and Interpretation in Titus AndronicusD. C. Jellerson

Brief Tears (VI). For Crying Out Loud—Marni Stanley

Part V: Crying at The Real World

15. Cracking—Jimmy Dean Smith

16. Waiting for the End of the World: Crying at Disaster after "9/11"—Michele Byers

Works Cited




Michele Byers is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology and Graduate Coordinator of Women and Gender Studies at Saint Mary's University. She has published extensively in the area of television studies, including on shows such as The O.C., Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City, Degrassi, Dexter, Arrested Development, Roseanne, Beverly Hills, 90210, Part of 5, Buffy, Ready or Not, and She has edited or co-edited the books Growing Up Degrassi: Television, Identity and Youth Cultures and Dear Angela: Remembering My So-Called Life (with David Lavery), and has a co-edited book in progress about CSI (with Val Johnson). Her new work focuses on the production of ethnicities in popular culture, with a particular emphasis on the Jewish Princess. David Lavery is professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University and the author/editor/co-editor of numerous essays and over twenty books, including Joss Whedon: Conversations (U P of Mississippi) and volumes on such television series as Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Sopranos, Lost, Deadwood, Seinfeld, My So-Called Life, Heroes, and Battlestar Galactica. He co-edits the e-journal Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association and is one of the founding editors of Critical Studies in Television: Scholarly Studies of Small Screen Fictions. He has lectured around the world on the subject of television. [Contributors continued below]


Will Brooker is Reader and Director of Research for Film and Television at Kingston University. He is the author of several books and articles on popular culture and audience, including Batman Unmasked, Using the Force and Alice's Adventures; he edited The Blade Runner Experience and co-edited The Audience Studies Reader for Routledge. His most recent monograph is the BFI Film Classics volume on Star Wars.

Johnson Cheu is a Fixed-term Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures at Michigan State University, where he also serves on the Asian Pacific American Studies Advisory Board. His scholarly work has appeared in publications such as the Journal of Popular Culture, and most recently, Difference on Display: Diversity in Art, Science, and Society. His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous publications. He serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies and is currently editing a critical book on representations of diversity in Disney features to be published by McFarland.

Lance Duerfahrd received his Ph.D in Comparative Literature from Yale University. He is currently Assistant Professor of film and visual culture at Purdue University. Some of his published work includes "Extras to the Extraordinary: the 'Other' Actors in the Marx Brothers films" in A Century of the Marx Brothers, and an essay on actor Klaus Kinski in The Cambridge Companion to Werner Herzog (forthcoming). He is completing a manuscript on destitution and the work of Samuel Beckett.

Cecilia A. Feilla received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University and is currently an assistant professor of English at Marymount Manhattan College. Her work on eighteenth-century literature has appeared in numerous academic journals and collected volumes. She is currently completing a book on the sentimental theatre of the French Revolution, and serves as Director of British Literature for the Northeast Modern Language Association.

Alina Gharabegian is an Assistant Professor at New Jersey City University where she teaches writing and literature in the English department. By training, she is a Victorianist. Poetry is her first love, but the tango clears a really close second. She lives, writes, reads, and dances in New York City.

Kylo-Patrick R. Hart (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Plymouth State University, where he teaches courses in film and television studies, video production, and popular culture. He is the author of The AIDS Movie: Representing a Pandemic in Film and Television and editor of Film and Sexual Politics and Mediated Deviance and Social Otherness: Interrogating Influential Representations.

Douglas L. Howard is currently Assistant Academic Chair and an Associate Professor in the English Department at Suffolk County Community College in Selden, NY. His publications include articles, essays, and book chapters in Literature and Theology,, The Chronicle of Higher Education, This Thing of Ours: Investigating The Sopranos, The Gothic Other: Racial and Social Constructions in the Literary Imagination (co-editor and contributor), Reading The Sopranos, Reading Deadwood, Reading 24, Milton in Popular Culture, Modern and Postmodern Cutting Edge Films, The Blackwell Companion to the Bible in English Literature, The Essential Cult TV Reader, and Dexter: Investigating Cutting Edge Television (editor).

Bruce Janz is chair of the Department of Philosophy, and the Director of the Center for Humanities and Digital Research at the University of Central Florida in Orlando Florida. He writes on contemporary culture, particularly on the human experience of place. He also writes on African philosophy, as well as the history of mysticism. The thread between all these interests is a concern with the ways which humans find to articulate what matters most to them, how those ways are rooted in the places that are familiar to them (both real and desired places), and how those places can be creative spaces for new ideas and new experiences.

Donald Jellerson is Lecturer in English and Gender Studies at Vanderbilt University, where he recently received his doctorate. He writes about ghosts in sixteenth-century literature. He is currently transforming his dissertation into a book, entitled "Ghost Complaint: Historiography, Gender, and the Voices of the Dead in Elizabethan England.".

Deborah Jermyn is a Senior Lecturer in Film and TV at Roehampton University and has written numerous articles about 'American Quality Television'. Her co-edited collections include Falling In Love Again: Romantic Comedy in Contemporary Cinema (IB Tauris, 2008) and she is the author of Sex and the City (Wayne State University Press, 2009).

Christopher Kocela is Associate Professor of English at Georgia State University, where he teaches contemporary American literature, theory, and popular culture. His essays have appeared in Postmodern Culture, LIT, Genders, Pynchon Notes, and in critical volumes devoted to The Sopranos and to the work of John Steinbeck and Tim O'Brien..

Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), and The Plot To Save Socrates (2006). His science fiction and mystery short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. His eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), and Cellphone (2004), have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, WIRED, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into nine languages. He has appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" (PBS), "Nightline" (ABC) and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. He is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City.

Cynthea Masson holds a Ph.D. in English from McMaster University.  She teaches medieval literature and composition in the English Department at Vancouver Island University (British Columbia).  Her academic research and publication areas comprise medieval visionary literature, medieval alchemical poetry, and the contemporary works of Joss Whedon, including Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. Her fiction includes The Elijah Tree (Rebel Satori, 2009), a novel that combines theories of medieval mysticism with contemporary issues of faith and sexuality.

Sophie Mayer teaches film studies and creative writing. She is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound, and the author of The Cinema of Sally Potter: A Politics of Love (Wallflower, 2009) and the co-editor, with Corinn Columpar, of There She Goes: Feminist Filmmaking and Beyond (Wayne State University Press, 2009). Her writings on texts and affects have appeared in Reconstruction, University of Toronto Quarterly, SAIL, Masthead, thirdspace, SubStance, Vertigo, and literary magazines in Europe, USA, and Canada.

Laura Nathan-Garner is a freelance writer and editor. She has contributed to publications such as Redbook, Cooking Light, True/Slant, The Writer's Chronicle, and Screwball Television: Critical Perspective on Gilmore Girls (Syracuse University Press) and is the author of the Insiders' Guide to Houston (Globe Pequot Press, 2009) and Day Trips from Houston, 13th edition (Globe Pequot Press, 2010). She received an MFA in creative nonfiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Steven Peacock is lecturer in film at the University of Hertfordshire. He is the editor of Reading 24: TV against the Clock, the author of numerous articles on small-screen aesthetics, and co-editor of The Television Series (Manchester University Press).

Jimmy Dean Smith is a Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program at Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky. He has recently published articles about T.S. Eliot, Loretta Lynn, and the much-despised war poet Jessie Pope. He is currently researching a book on poets and novelists' responses to the damming of Appalachia's rivers.

Marni Stanley teaches English and Women's Studies at Vancouver Island Unviersity College in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Her academic research and publication areas include Nineteenth Century women travellers, television, cinema, and graphic narrative.

Brennan Thomas is currently an assistant professor of English at Georgia Southwestern State University, and teaches courses in first-year composition, professional writing, technical writing, document design, and grammar. She received her Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Communication Education from Miami University, a Master of Arts in English from the University of Dayton, and her doctorate in Rhetoric and Writing from Bowling Green State University.

Heather Urbanski has had a diverse career, on a long journey from accountant to technical writer to academic; she earned a Master of Arts in Writing from Rowan University and a Ph.D. in English, specializing in Composition and Rhetoric, at Lehigh University. Her first book, Plagues, Apocalypses, and Bug-Eyed Monsters: How Speculative Fiction Shows Us Our Nightmares was published by McFarland in 2007 and her second, an edited collection entitled Writing and the Digital Generation: Essays on New Media Rhetoric was released in January 2010. Those works, like this one, allow her to combine her passion as a fan with her career as an academic. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Director of Composition at Central Connecticut State University.

Joseph S. Walker received his doctorate in contemporary American fiction from Purdue University. He has published a number of essays on contemporary fiction and film, and has a special interest in representations of crime and violence. He lives in Indiana, where he works as a freelance writer and scholar.