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A new bibliographic guide to academic literature compiled by two Texas Tech University librarians shows that Michael Jackson’s influence stretched beyond pop culture into the halls of academia.
Their list of scholarly papers and peer-reviewed articles, culled from more than 100 databases for a special issue of The Journal of Pan African Studies, found the King of Pop referenced in psychology, medical, chemistry, mass communications and even engineering journals.
Yet “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’: MJ in the Scholarly Literature: A Selected Bibliographic Guide” merely scratched the surface of scholarly content related to Jackson, noted Texas Tech Associate Librarians Susan Hidalgo and Rob Weiner. They called the breadth of Jackson’s influence truly astounding.
“I was surprised by a lot of what I read – I just thought I knew Michael Jackson,” said Hidalgo, also head of access services for the Texas Tech University Library in Lubbock, Texas.
Hidalgo and Weiner said they avoided works they deemed sensationalist, saying such literature would defeat the purpose of honest investigation.
Instead, they focused on peer-reviewed or scholarly works with unique Jackson content that might shed light on the way people view larger-than-life celebrities – including one of the most sensational and contentious figures ever to grace the cover of a tabloid.