Dr. Michael D. Dwyer, assistant professor of media and communication, recently published Back to the Fifties: Nostalgia, Hollywood Film, and Popular Music of the Seventies and Eighties (Oxford University Press).
In the years when conservative icon Ronald Reagan emerged, American pop culture helped transform the 1950s into “the Fifties”, a cultural construct with social and political power. Characterized by prosperity, security, and family values, the Fifties continues to influence American elections, culture wars, and national identity. Examining films like Back to the Future and Blue Velvet and pop music acts like Michael Jackson and Morrisey, Back to the Fifties reveals how the ideal of the Fifties was constructed through pop culture from 1973 to 1988 and how social and political conditions of that time shaped cultural memory.
Dr. Dwyer has been invited to speak at Jiangsu University, China, and at the meeting of the International Association for Media and History in Bloomington, Indiana. His book is available through Amazon, Google Play, and Barnes and Noble.