Print

Print


>
>
>*POP THEORY: CRITICISM'S RELATION TO TELEVISION AND POPULAR CULTURE*
>
>EDITED BY MICHAEL EBERLE-SINATRA AND DINO FELLUGA
>
>CONTRACTED FOR PUBLICATION BY WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY PRESS
>
>This  collection will examine the fraught relationship between =20
>critical theory and popular culture, examining not only the recent turn=20=
>of theory  to mass entertainment (thanks to postmodernism, cultural=20
>criticism, and Lacanian criticism) but also those instances when=20
>popular entertainment  addresses high theory (from the Matrix=92s=20
>conversation with Jean  Baudrillard=92s  Simulacra and Simulation to=20
>Buffy the Vampire Slayer=92s consistent  implementation of Freudian and=20=
>Lacanian theory). In what ways, we will  ask, do such crossings affect=20=
>assumptions between =93high=94 and =93low=94 culture  or between the=20
>avant-garde and mass-market kitsch?
>
>Here is the challenge  of this collection: we have been conditioned not=20=
>to think seriously  about popular entertainment. Such fare is designed =20=
>to offer up easily  consumable packages: direct narratives, transparent=20=
>cinematography, unchallenging  scenarios. This fact has led earlier=20
>critics to dismiss pop culture altogether,  sometimes attacking it for=20=
>its enervating effects on an unsuspecting and  easily misled public=20
>(eg. Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin,  Jean=20
>Baudrillard,  and Fredric Jameson). Of course, much of that criticism=20
>is correct in its  assumptions. It is clear that most Hollywood fare,=20
>whether on television  or the big screen, follows extremely rigid and=20
>unthreatening general parameters: 1) a reliance  on highly conservative=20=
>principles of compositional unity, character  motivation, sequential=20
>linearity, and narrative closure; 2) a transparent presentation  of =20
>scenes that does not interrupt the mimesis of a story line or call=20
>attention  to the technology of the medium; 3) an acceptance of=20
>masculine hierarchies  and values (conservative gender roles, the=20
>objectification of women=92s  bodies, the conferral of agency to the male=20
>gaze). However, it is also  a fact that pop  culture represents a=20
>fantastically varied field of study, one that, because  of the=20
>financial rewards, has attracted all sorts of very smart writers  and=20
>directors.  The question we will explore in this collection is not only=20=
>how theory might  help us to make sense of the conservative bulk of=20
>cinema and television but  also how we might make sense of those=20
>moments in pop culture that resemble,  or at  least invoke, the=20
>avant-garde.
>
>A fuller description of the collection is available online at:
>
>http://www.mapageweb.umontreal.ca/eberlesm/projects/pop_theory.html
>
>Please send  completed essays (5000-8000 words; prepared to the Chicago=20=
>   Manual of Style) by 1 July 2004 to Michael  Eberle-Sinatra or Dino =20
>Felluga. Potential contributors are encouraged to approach the  editors=20=
>with an outline of their essays. The MS will be submitted  to the press=20=
>   for evaluation in September 2004, with  an  expected  publication  in=20=
>2005.
>_____________________________________
>Dr. Michael Eberle-Sinatra
>Director of Graduate Studies
>Departement d'etudes anglaises
>Universite de Montreal
>CP 6128, Station Centre-ville
>Montreal, Quebec H3C3J7 - Canada
>_____________________________________

--

*******************
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Karen Eng
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://www.missouri.edu/~graswww/resources/gerlistserv.html