Benjamin: The Digital Reboot, a roundtable discussion on Walter Benjamin's Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, in collaboration with the Department of English BrownBag Lecture Series:
Eric Berlatsky (English): Comic Books, Trade Paperbacks, Digital Comics, the Aura, and Popular/Mass Culture
Stephen Charbonneau (SCMS): Human Countenance, Aura, and Index
Michael Harrawood (Honors College): The flâneur in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Julia Mason (English): Electronic Artist and Electronic Aura Gerald Sim (SCMS): Popular Criticism and Fan Experts
Lisa Swanstrom (English): Interactive Landscape and Virtual Aura
Mike Budd, Saving Mr. Banks and Building Mr. Brand: The Walt Disney Company in the Era of Corporate Personhood
Dynamic Transformations: Celebrity, Masculinity & Hemingway. *Special Film Screening: PAPA (Work in Progress)*
There is nothing noble in being superior to your noble man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. - Ernest Hemingway
PAPA is a feature length documentary that chronicles the Ernest "Papa" Hemingway Look-alike Contest annually held in Key West, FL.
Every year, hoards of quirky middle aged men donning full white beards, sportsmen’s garb and Spanish red berets, descend into Key West, Florida for the Ernest "Papa" Hemingway Look-alike Contest, a part of the annual Hemingway Days Festival. The contest, which began in 1981, celebrates Hemingway’s tenure in Key West and runs concurrent with his birthday on July 21st. It's held at historic Sloppy Joe’s Bar and attracts enthusiastic "Wannabes," supporters, and outrageous, boisterous fans from all corners. PAPA, a feature length documentary, will chronicle the Ernest "Papa" Hemingway Look-alike Contest and spotlights a number of participants, their family members, friends, and fans. Further, the film will explore concepts of celebrity, the importance of history, and create a portrait of the eccentric and proud "Conch Republic.” PAPA will provide a curious glimpse into the private lives of ordinary men who turn into the iconic, yet troubled American writer Ernest "Papa" Hemingway for a weekend.
Post-Colonialism and Post-Communism: A Rapprochement of Discourse Practices in Eastern Europe
This paper is on research for an accepted MLA Presidential Panel paper, to be presented in Vancouver at the MLA Annual Convention in Jan. 2015.
All events take place in Room 222 of the Culture and Society Building on the Boca Campus unless otherwise stated.
Got “Green”? Social Media and Corporate Environmentalism’s War on the Public
Mark writes,"My study shows that microblogging often contradicts the longstanding belief that the Internet allows for greater public participation in important issues. Through an analysis of Twitter dialogue regarding global warming between ExxonMobil and Greenpeace USA, I provide a new way to read between the lines of corporate jargon and traditional public relations strategies. In so doing, I reveal a problem that potentially encompasses many issues and publics beyond environmentalism. Namely, although there are specific cases of microblogging in which the public benefits to some extent, those gains are either very short-lived or are more likely to exist in theory rather than practice. This is due to the fluid nature of microblogging as well as continued organizational missteps which I call ‘corporate e-jacking.’ That is, organizations coordinate their rhetorical themes and strategies to support each other, while making it appear that the public controls the conversation in particular and microblogging in general. Ultimately, the public loses, but doesn’t even realize it...until now."
Postcolonial Cinema in an Era of Global Capitalism
Situated astride Malaysian and global film culture, the late director Yasmin Ahmad’s fresh model of postcolonial poetics is both a departure from traditional hybridity tropes and an indicator of the nation’s postcolonial-global duality. Set in globalized social and cultural milieus, Ahmad stages interethnic squabbles between speakers of different languages. First, using imperfect or absent subtitles, Ahmad steers attention away from dialogue’s linguistic meaning, toward the purely acoustic pleasures of dueling cultural phonemes or prosody – what language simply sounds like. The soundscape harbors an aesthetic that transcends the hybridity paradigm associated with postcolonial culture. Ahmad’s second predilection, for highlighting characters who speak ethnically incongruent languages, does not require audience comprehension either. It offers a cinematic experience that is thoroughly aural, spatially marginalized, and yet seductively immersive. Through French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’sListening, and his eponymous writing vis-à-vis globalization, we find that the films evoke a phenomenology that speaks to Malaysia’s geopolitical “sense of the world.”
Slouching Toward Doomsday: Exploring Negotiated Gender Roles in Modern Survivalist Themes within Reality TV's "Dual Survival"
A recent proliferation of survivalist-themed reality TV shows reflects the growing presence of exaggerated “macho” masculinity performance. A more surprising development within this frame is the feminized identity performance of otherwise “macho” men assuming subject positions that signify more traditional female roles (as caregiver, as homemaker, e.g.). Within this predominantly male space, feminized identity performance re-balances power and provides a platform for championing particular types of masculinity. Such performances simultaneously reflect highly traditional gender roles even as they challenge and refine them. In this paper, I explore the interactions between the two men in Dual Survival and the way the show constructs, challenges and problematizes gender identity. Hence, this paper asks a highly exploratory question: when, and to what ends, is a “man” also a “woman?”
Faculty and Graduate Colloquia are currently being organized for Spring 2015. If you'd like to present your research on this forum, please contact Joey Bargsten .