Jaap Kooijman (Amsterdam 1967 / PhD American Studies Amsterdam 1999)
- Associate Professor Mediastudies and American Studies
- author of Fabricating the Absolute Fake: America in Contemporary Pop Culture (revised and extended
edition, AUP 2013)
Jaap Kooijman is associate professor in Media Studies and American Studies at the University of Amsterdam, vice-director of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), and author of Fabricating the Absolute Fake: America in Contemporary Pop Culture (AUP, 2013), which has been published in open access. His articles on American popular culture have been published in journals such as The Velvet Light Trap, Postscript, GLQ, The Journal of American Culture, Celebrity Studies, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Popular Music and Society, VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture, Cinema Journal, and Critical Studies in Television, as well as in edited collections such as Unpopular Culture (AUP, 2016), A Companion to Celebrity (Wiley, 2016), Revisiting Star Studies (Edinburgh UP, 2017), Music/Video: Histories, Aesthetics, Media (Bloomsbury, 2017), and Beyoncé: At Work, On Screen, and Online (Indiana UP, 2020). His audiovisual essays have been published in [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies, NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, and 16:9. Together with Glyn Davis, Kooijman is editor of The Richard Dyer Reader, forthcoming with BFI in 2022.
The pageantry of Oprah Winfrey's daytime talk show, the Coca-Cola empire, Michael Jackson's turn from the King of Pop into an iconic global recluse: American pop culture - Hollywood cinema, television, pop music - dominates the rest of the world through its hegemonic presence. Does that make everyone a hybridized American, or do these elements find mediation within the other cultures that consume them?
Fabricating the Absolute Fake applies concepts of postmodern theory - Baudrillard's hyperreality and Eco's "absolute fake," among others - to this globally mediated American pop culture in order to examine both the phenomenon itself and its appropriation in the Netherlands, as evidenced by such diverse cultural icons as the Elvis-inspired crooner Lee Towers, the Moroccan-Dutch rapper Ali B, musical tributes to an assassinated politician, and the Dutch reality soap opera scene. A fascinating exploration of how global cultures struggle to create their own " America " within a post-9/11 media culture, Fabricating the Absolute Fake reflects on what it might mean to truly take part in American pop culture.
A brilliant, thoroughly enjoyable work of cultural
critique, Fabricating the Absolute Fake takes
seemingly exhausted concepts like "Americanization" and turns
them on their head. Refusing simple binaries between the fake
and the authentic, or between cultural imperialism and native
resistance, Kooijman demonstrates just how flexible the
signifiers of Americanness can be when they circulate
Anna McCarthy, Cinema Studies, New York University
Most daring and persuasive is Kooijman's ability to move
between and connectthe most delicious pop and the most searing
political events (9/11, the murder of Pim Fortuyn),never
evading the seriousness of entertainment nor the spectacle of
politics. A book that is a pleasure for what it conveys of its
subject and for its intellectual rigor, managing to be at once
subtle and straightforward, complex and lucid.
Richard Dyer, Film Studies, King's College London
This book will be an eye opener for its readers.
Fabricating the Absolute Fake shows that pop culture is
more than ephemeral entertainment. When looked at with
Kooijman's cosmopolitan eye, pop culture can be seen as a
continuing ritual in celebration of national identities,
America 's identity for sure, but also, intriguingly, a Dutch
or even European sense of self.
Rob Kroes, American Studies, University of Amsterdam