For a full list of publications, please see my C.V.
Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of 1980s America (University of North Carolina Press, 2017)
My first book was published by the University of North Carolina Press in October 2017. It explores the U.S.-Japan relationship since the 1970s through the American consumption of Japanese products. I write about films, literature, automobiles, electronics, sushi, and anime, among other things, along with changing intellectual and popular ideas in the United States about Japan. The book can be purchased at the UNC Press site or on Amazon.
What reviewers are saying:
“Consuming Japan is theoretically sophisticated, beautifully written, judicious in its analysis and, best of all, fun to read. Anyone who grew up during the 1980s will have a blast reading this book. I know that I did.”
— Gregg Brazinsky (George Washington University)
Diplomatic History, August 2018
“Consuming Japan is a fine study that inspires larger conversations about Japan, the United States, East Asia, and the wider international community. Through creative research and interdisciplinary analysis, McKevitt makes it clear that we do indeed live in a globalizing world. As the book so eloquently demonstrates, we should not take ‘ordinary’ things—including cars, food, and TV shows—for granted. They can teach us a great deal.”
— Hiroshi Kitamura (College of William and Mary)
H-Diplo, July 2018
“From ‘the Chosen’ to the Precariat: Southern Workers in Foreign-Owned Factories since the 1980s,” in Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power, edited by Matthew Hild and Keri Leigh Merritt (University Press of Florida, 2018)
Recently I contributed a chapter to Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power. My chapter, coauthored with my Louisiana Tech colleague David M. Anderson, examines the experiences of workers in foreign-owned manufacturing facilities in the United States since the 1970s. We argue that to understand why workers in flagship-industry factories, like auto assembly plants, have rejected traditional postwar labor institutions like unions, we have to consider how the influx of transnational capital created new worker identities independent of those traditional institutions. Workers in Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, for instance, saw themselves as a “chosen” class, benefiting from the new kinds of bargains globalization afforded.
“‘Watching War Made Us Immune’: The Popular Culture of the Wars,” in Understanding the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, edited by Beth Bailey and Richard H. Immerman (New York University Press, 2015)
* A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2016
In “‘Watching War Made Us Immune’: The Popular Culture of the Wars,” I survey the Global War on Terror’s impact on films, television, music, video games, and literature. In general, I argue, the more a popular culture creation adhered to a realistic representation of the United States’ wars of the twenty-first century, the less likely it was to be successful. Instead, popular culture that addressed the war’s apocalyptic visions through allegory and metaphor– from Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy to the Battlestar Galactica television series– was more likely to find eager audiences.
“‘You Are Not Alone!’: Anime and the Globalizing of America,” Diplomatic History, 34 (5), November 2010: 893-921.
* Winner of the Stuart L. Bernath Scholarly Article Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), 2011
In “‘You Are Not Alone!’: Anime and the Globalizing of America,” I consider the first generation of U.S. fans of Japanese animation, or anime, as pioneers of a kind of grassroots cultural globalization. When scholars think about globalization, they often write about a one-way transmission of culture and commerce from the United States or the West to the non-Western world. The case of anime fans demonstrated the inverse, that popular culture could flow from Asia into the United States to remake local social and cultural life and transform individual and group identities.