The Wire, Baltimore as Character, Annotated Bibliography

Preliminary annotated bibliography for research paper on an episode of The Wire that examines how it depicts the City of Baltimore as social location and geographic character in the episode.

Bowden, Mark. “The Angriest Man in Television.” The Atlantic, Jan/Feb 2008. 13 September 2009
This article focuses on Simon’s distrust of the “political structure” and disenchantment with the newspaper as well as television industries and how he has turned his anger into a fictional vision of what he knows as the City of Baltimore. This article reflects on Simon’s personal and professional confrontations and tells how one affects the other. I anticipate that this piece will answer the question of motivation for the series The Wire.

Burns, Ed, et al. “The Wire’s War on the Drug War.” Time, 5 March 2008. 25 October 2009,8599,1719872,00.html.
An article by the major writers on The Wire, including Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Richard Price and David Simon contextualizes the drug scene in Baltimore and on a national level and names the resultant consequences such as high incarceration numbers among society’s most marginalized populations. This information will add perspective to the drug piece of The Wire pie.

Kinder, Marsha. “Re-Wiring Baltimore: The Emotive Power of Systemics, Seriality, and the City.” Film Quarterly Winter 2008-09, 50+.
This article joins the institutional processes and practices with the characters from The Wire to produce a synthesized view of the City of Baltimore as the symbol for all urban communities. Kinder posits that the city presents the foundation for the stories told in The Wire. This discussion will support my analysis of one episode of The Wire and how it depicts Baltimore through its storytelling mechanisms.

Massood, Paula. Black City Cinema: African American Urban Experiences in Film. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003.
While the book focuses on film, it offers some insight as to how spatial temporal locations are used to convey certain narrative sensibilities and representations. Its premise will speak to the motivation of choice of location for The Wire and shed light on the urban trope played out in black television culture.

Rose, Brian. “The Wire.” The Essential HBO Reader. Eds. Gary Edgerton and Jeffrey Jones. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2008.
This essay focuses on the motivations of Simon and Burns to turn the cop genre on its head and focus on “urban sociology … politics and … macroeconomics” (82). The essay posits that Simon and Burns wanted to create a more comprehensive storyline that reflected the reality of the urban socio-economic-cultural-political mix. I anticipate that this information will help construct my argument of the City as a central character of The Wire.

Simon, David. “Transcript: David Simon on Why He Created The Wire.” TimesOnline, 13 October 2009. 13 October 2009…
This is a new piece from the London TimesOnline that is in reality an excerpt from a 2004 book by Rafael Alvarez, a former Wire staffer which includes this essay by Simon. I’ve ordered the book, however, this excerpt gives Simon’s overriding purpose and reasons and his view of the City as the new Western frontier to be explored, revealed and settled. I look forward to more in the book about the symbolism of the City in the postmodern age.

Taylor, Sara. “The Wire: Investigating the Use of Neoliberal Institutional Apparatus and a ‘New Humanist’ Philosophical Apparatus.” Darkmatter Journal, May 2009. 25 October 2009
The premise of this article centers on The Wire as an expression of neoliberalism and a new humanist culture in broadcasting circles. Neoliberalism as a “conversion of global cultures into market cultures” is one definition used to characterize the motivations of HBO programming executives. From this article, I hope to find a theoretical context in which to place my discussion.

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