James Combs is Professor Emeritus at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. He has been active in such academic associations as the Popular Culture Association and the International Communication Association. He is author and editor of a wide variety of books and articles, primarily on subjects related to social and political communication and popular culture, exploring such concepts as political drama, phony culture, the comedy of democracy, and the expansion of social play. His current research focus is in the broad field of popular experience, particularly the importance and variety of moving pictures.
James is a returning author with Cambridge Scholars Publishing, having published five books with us to date: Movie Time (2007), Wit's End: Making Sense of the Great Movies (2010), Comic Grace: We Mortal Fools in Movie Comedy (2013), Magical Suspension: The Movies as a Fun Experience (2015) and Cinematic Schooling: Popular Learning at the Movies (2018).
His next work, provisionally titled The Lasting Picture Show: An Inquiry into the Importance of Cinematic Knowing, is forthcoming.
After over a decade of publishing with Cambridge Scholars, James sums up his experiences:
“I have used this efficient and congenial organization to look at various dimensions of moving pictures, including the temporal rhythms of movies (Movie Time), the importance of movie comedy (Comic Grace), the evaluation of the "great movies"(Wit's End), the role of motion pictures as a site of having fun (Magical Suspension), and the educative potential of moving pictures for human learning (Cinematic Learning). I am currently at work on a speculative effort about the future of motion pictures (The Lasting Picture Show).
“All in all, I hope that these works have contributed to the study of moving pictures and enhanced the library of Cambridge Scholars Publishing books, which every year becomes more and more remarkable in its apparently infinite variety and high quality. I am glad that I could be part of that grand publishing enterprise. For scholars, there are no final answers, but at least we can use our curiosity to look wide and deep in the world to see what we can find out. The true, the good, and the beautiful are as always worth knowing and expressing, and I for one just can't stop looking and asking.”
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