Cultural Studies Now, Conference Journal 2007
Alphabetical by last name. To read the papers, you will need a copy of Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat on your computer. See here for downloads. Copyright permissions cleared by authors.
Gary Anderson, University of Plymouth & Lena Simic, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, ‘A Family Protest’. This paper is written from the point of view of artists who believe that their primary task is to try to think through their arts practices and positions as family members, in the name of social and ecological justice.
Jeanne Armstrong, Western Washington University, ‘Globalization, Violence Against Women in Border Communities & Cultural Studies’
This paper is, in part, concerned with the role of cultural studies as a lens through which to understand and address forms of oppression and exclusion based on racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism and other forms of discrimination.
Daniel Ashton, Institute for Cultural Research, Lancaster University, ‘Games for Change: A Cultural studies and social impact gaming dialogue’. This paper will introduce the Games for Change movement and examples of social impact gaming. Many of these games bring together political analysis with an understanding of the importance of cultural forms, and in doing so present an instructive challenge to Cultural
Richard Cante, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ‘Judith Butler’s Relocation of the Ethical and/as Cultural Studies’ Judith Butler’s critical project has further approached becoming a fully blown “ethical” one in her last three published books: Undoing Gender,Precarious Life, and the work in which I am particularly interested today, Giving an Account of Oneself.
Mary Caputi, Department of Political Science, California State University, Long Beach, ‘Ambivalence and Displacement in Michael Haneke’s Caché’. In his review of Michael Haneke’s 2005 film Caché, critic Roger Ebert (2007) declared that the film succeeds “precisely because it leaves us hanging” (Ebert 2007). Ebert was referring to the manner in which the film’s storyline remains unresolved
Ashley Dawson, City University of New York, ‘Ecological Emergency State’. Despite its long commitment to studying the interface of culture and power, cultural studies has not been quick to dissect the institutions and structural forces responsible for the planet’s unfolding environmental crisis.
Emiliana De Blasio, University of Molise, Italy; Michele Sorice, University of Rome “la Sapienza”, Italy, USI University of Lugano, Switzerland ‘Cultural Studies in Italy and the Influence of Gramsci, Catholic Culture and the Birmingham School (CCCS)’. This paper examines the rise in academic importance of Italian cultural studies in the 1990s.
Birgitta Frello, Roskilde University, ‘Essentialism, Hybridism and Cultural Critique’. Transgression concepts – such as ‘hybridity’, ‘diaspora’, ‘creolization’, ‘transculturalization’ and ‘syncretism’ – have to an increasing extent become key concepts in various attempts
at escaping the problems of suppression and exclusion involved in notions of purity.
Dieter Fuchs, University of Vienna, ‘Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Presidential Mythology, Cultural (Mis) Representation and Actual Politics after 9/11’. The representation of the American President in contemporary culture can be traced back to a role profile that emerged in early modern England and Italy. It echoes Sir Thomas Hoby’s book on The Courtier (1561) which defines the Elizabethan political man as a ‘soldier and scholar’.
Justin Gifford, University of Nevada, Reno, ‘Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Iceberg Slim, Ralph Ellison, and the Cultural Politics of Black Crime Fiction’
At first blush, it might seem merely an extraordinary coincidence of literary history that Invisible Man author Ralph Ellison and Robert Beck (a.k.a. Iceberg Slim), one of the bestselling black American writers of all time, both attended the Tuskegee Institute at the same moment during the Depression.
Ian Glenn, Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town, ‘Bourdieu en Afrique; Cultural Studies in the Colonies’. This paper looks at Bourdieu’s attack on Cultural Studies from a double perspective: an unpublished interview with the author in which he traced his own intellectual background, and the relative influence of Bourdieu and of Cultural Studies in South Africa.
Dominique Grisard, University of Basel, Switzerland, ‘Female Hunger Strikers and Suicide Bombers in Western Media. A Transversal Genealogy of Discursive Strategies of Resistance’. A feminist perspective on what we call terrorism not only leads us to question the gendered economies of life and death dichotomies, it also compels us to read contemporary debates as part of what could be called a transversal foucauldian genealogy.
Stephanie Hart, York University, Toronto, ‘The DIY Body: A Consideration of Nan Goldin and Lydia Lunch’. In Lisa Crystal Carver’s Drugs Are Nice: A PostPunk Memoir, she characterizes American postpunk as “a promiscuous generation—with ideas as well as with the flesh” .
Robert J. Helfenbein, Indiana University Indianapolis, ‘Education writes back: On the future/present of cultural studies of education’
Cultural Studies—a controversial and contested approach to the study of the social world—embraces a theoretical approach to the study of interactions between the lived experiences and interpretations of people and the social structures that act upon and encode meaning to those experiences.
Penelope Ironstone Catterall, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, ‘“Everything You Need to Know…”: Bird Flu, Popular Science Publishing, and Neurotic Citizenship’. Viruses are not neutral objects of biomedical concern but take on meanings that demonstrate how knowledges are created and disseminated and the effects these knowledges have on lived, material experiences.
Adam Kaasa and Debra Rolfe, London School of Economics, ‘Embodiment and the city farm: potentials of cultural studies for the analysis and influence of urban environmental behaviour’. Within the past few years environmentalism has undergone a sudden transformation from a niche concern of hairy hippies to one that is mainstream and even fashionable. This is unsurprising, as we are living at a time of unprecedented global peril.
Kilian Kröll, Choreographer in Residence at Caldera (Oregon) & Charles O. Anderson. Muhlenberg College (Pennsylvania), ‘Dancing in TAR: A Dialogue About Embodied Identity’. The dance stage provides an evocative medium to explore and critique the implicit abstraction of identity and the muted racial discourse within contemporary rhetoric around “global citizenship.”
Krisztina Lajosi, University of Amsterdam. ‘Why did Faust go to Hungary? Music and “Cultivation of Culture” in Nineteenth Century Europe’. Even the most mathematical minded musicologists would agree that music is more than scattered notes printed on a piece of paper and that a musical piece is only partially identical with the score.
Stephen Maddison, University of East London, ‘The Biopolitics of the Penis’. At the 1983 American Urological Association Conference in Las Vegas, Dr Giles Brindley, a researcher from the UK, presented a paper on the physiology of the erection. At the climax of his presentation, Dr Brindley dropped his pants so that he could show the audience his erect penis.
Laura Malacart, University of East London, ‘Dis-simulation’. In 2005 an emergency services exercise took place in Milan on the wake of the London July bombings. The event was heavily publicised and a large amount of media attended joined by the media team of the police. Crowds flooded North Station Square to assist at the spectacle the atmosphere electrified by the uncertainty about the format of the event and its morbid nature.
Ana Cristina Mendes, University of Lisbon, Portugal, ‘The Brown Culture Industry: Theodor Adorno meets Talvin Singh’. What interests me here is not so much to focus on an apparent Adornian tendency to unify the culture industry, but to underscore the dynamic and conflictual makeup of the cultural industries.
Paul O’Brien, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, ‘Art, Culture & Ecology’. A number of recent artists have referenced environmental issues in their work. The most prominent was Joseph Beuys, who incorporated a commitment to political ecology and whose art was shaped by a mystical perspective.
Jason Phillips, Wilfred Laurier University (Canada), ‘Palimpsestuous Behaviour: Democracy, Resistance, Downtowns, and Skateboards or, How to Read Culture’. I reconsider the palimpsest as a conceptual tool that helps us to more effectively read culture and cultural practice. Specifically, I will show that the palimpsestuous structure of the central business district represents a threat to democratic practice and potential.
Jan Pinseler, University of Lueneburg (Germany), ‘Power and Hegemony in Reality Crime Programmes’.Images of crime constitute an important part of every day media output. Both, fictional and real crime stories do more than just represent crime. Rather, they provide us with knowledge about crime.
Stephanie Polsky, Goldsmiths, University of London, ‘The Resistance to Visual Culture’. Visual Culture has taken its cue from Culture Studies by placing its emphasis on the experiential, extratextual element within the visual media encounter.
Aljosa Puzar, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea – University of Rijeka, Croatia. ‘Whispering so radically: Croatian Cultural Studies and Liminal University’. Almost seventeen years after the act of independence and over a decade after the war in Croatia, questions can be made about the real impact of transitional state (and of adjunct identity politics) on the collective spirit of solidarity and change such optimistically depicted by Turner’s communitas.
Vincent F. Rocchio. Northeastern University. ‘Attacking ‘Support Our Troops’: The Crisis of Cultural Studies in Confronting Militarism’. I would argue that Cultural Studies, the Cultural Studies we have known for over 20 years now, is already dead, we just don’t realize it yet. More precisely, the historical role of Cultural Studies has already passed, but we keep acting it out: Cultural Studies is in a paradigmatic crisis but does not seem to realize it.
Lee Rodney. University of Windsor, Canada. ‘Visual Culture and the Politics of Edutainment’. Edutainment is a neologism that came into use with a genre of educational television programming in the 1980s and 1990s, a sector which has grown exponentially into specialty channels too numerous to mention. More recently, the term as been appropriated to criticize the shifts within higher education that have taken place as universities recast themselves as major players in global economy where knowledge production is one commodity among many.
Nancy Schiesari. The University of Texas at Austin. ‘Fort Hood Diaries‘. There are 15,000 licensed tattoo parlors in the United States. River City Tattoos in Killeen, Texas home to Fort Hood, the largest military base in the free world is unlike any one of them.
Urszula Terentowicz-Fotyga. Maria Curie-Sklodowska University. ‘The Great Divide over Culture and Politics: Cultural Studies and Semiotics of Culture’. The idea behind the paper was to compare two different approaches to the study of culture: the British tradition originated by the Birmingham Centre and semiotics of culture formulated by Yuri Lotman. The two schools, of very different paradigms, underlying interests and goals, developed alongside and yet in relative disregard of each other.
Ricky Varghese, University of Toronto, ‘Deconstructions, Reductions, Speculations: Toward a Rereading and Re- writing of Cultural Studies in a Time of Empiricism’. There is a tendency in contemporary university pedagogy against the notion of lyricism. The lyrical text is banished, put aside, and the quantitative aesthetic is becoming almost fanatically privileged.
Daniel White, Florida Atlantic University, ‘The Spiraling Circuit (Kreislauf) of Signification: Nietzsche’s Ecologic Creativity’. Entropy is defined by the degradation of order toward chaos; negative entropy is the increase of order by the reduction of disorder (chaos). For Nietzsche the two are paired in a cascading river of generation and destruction that ever loops back on itself.