JOSEPH VOGEL is an Assistant Professor at Merrimack College, where his research and teaching interests include contemporary American literature, film, popular music, popular culture, environmental studies, and the 1980s. He is the author of several books, including Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson (Sterling), James Baldwin and the 1980s: Witnessing the Reagan Era (University of Illinois Press) and This Thing Called Life: Prince, Race, Sex, Religion, and Music (Bloomsbury Academic). His work has appeared in the James Baldwin Review, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Review, The Journal of Popular Culture, The Journal of American Culture, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies, as well as popular news sites, including The Atlantic, Slate, The Huffington Post, and PopMatters. He holds a PhD from the University of Rochester.
Get your copy of This Thing Called Life!
“I wrote a book about Prince, so I know how hard it is. This Thing Called Life is a great one. Smart, thorough, and illuminating, Vogel's book is a must-have for fans of Prince.” —Touré, author of I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon (2013)
“What a welcome and inspiring addition to the pages devoted to Prince's life! A rare and complex artist is better understood when viewed through his art, and not just his personal history. Vogel chooses this route to explore the extramusical dialectic that Prince helped to shape, including gender, race, sex, and religious views. This Thing Called Life is erudite, accurate, and, above all, entrancing.” —Susan Rogers, Professor of Music Production and Engineering, Berklee College of Music, USA, and Prince's recording engineer
“Tackling a notoriously private musician of hieroglyphic complexity, Vogel deconstructs Prince's astounding body of work with refreshing clarity and remarkable insight. Meticulous and thoughtful, Vogel brings a scholarly richness to the study of an icon who deserves the royal treatment.” —Jason King, Director of Global Studies at The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, New York University, USA
Get your copy of James Baldwin and the 1980s!
"Clearly and concisely written with a snap in his prose. No one has focused on this era and its unique importance in the way Joseph Vogel has done." —Ed Pavlic, author of Who Can Afford to Improvise? James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listeners
"While scholars have started to chip away at the critical consensus that James Baldwin lost his way as a writer after the mid-1960s, very few critics have paid attention to the last decade of the writer’s work. As Vogel argues in this insightful and elegantly written book, Baldwin remained a vital force in American letters." —Douglas Field, author of All Those Strangers: The Art and Lives of James Baldwin
Get your copy of Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson!
“Joseph Vogel has brilliantly cracked the DNA, the code of the work, the artistry of Michael Joseph Jackson.This is the book I have been long awaiting — a pointed, intelligent dissection of an epic body of work.” —SPIKE LEE
"The only comprehensive and critical rundown of Jackson's solo material." —ROLLING STONE
"Vogel takes the reader album-by-album, song-by-song and examines in exhaustive detail how Jackson produced a lifetime’s worth of music that became a soundtrack to the lives of millions." —ASSOCIATED PRESS
"Don’t be surprised if it makes you go back and listen…with a whole new outlook on the King of Pop.” —ZACK O'MALLEY GREENBURG, FORBES
"[Vogel] is a writer of wit, wisdom, insight and poetic finesse. [His] MJ work is the gold standard." —BARRY MICHAEL COOPER