The aim of this thesis was to examine the way Richard Nixon and the Watergate Affair, in which of course he was deeply involved, have been portrayed in Americanpopularculture, specifically in literature and film. Because there was an overwhelming number of Nixon and/or Watergate inspired works of popularculture, it was not possible to study all of these works. Instead, a carefully selected number of works have been examined in great detail. The underlying assumption for this decision was that if one studied a small, but varied sample of these works it should be possible to trace the various developments in the depiction of Nixon and Watergate, also present in other works. This sample consisted of the following works, in the order in which they have been discussed in this thesis: Philip Roth's Our Gang: Starring Tricky and his Friends (1972), Gore Vidal's Burr (1974), Alan Pakula's All the President's Men (1976), Lars Muller's The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004), Robert Altman's Secret Honor (1984), Oliver Stone's Nixon (1996) and Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon (2008). When these works were adaptations their originals have been examined too, but only when those achieved some degree of fame or recognition, such as Peter Morgan's play
People become keen learners, researchers, or critics of a particular culture when they find personal meaning in it, even if the culture in question is not necessarily that of their own. What can Indonesian students, for example, make of American chicklit, movies, sitcom, reality shows, window shopping, U. S. branded products, etc.? How relevant is it to bring such films as Judas Kiss, Milk, Brokeback Mountain in an American Studies classroom in a country where the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender residents have hardly had civil rights protections? How do we relate studies in economics in the United States with the “Black (berry) Friday” in November 2011 when Jakarta‟s gadget-craze middle class crowded and jostled for the latest discounted smartphone in stupid frenzy? It is thus worth asking as to whether the study of AmericanPopularCulture (henceforth APC) may attest to the need and hope of the Indonesians with which people may find connections between (foreign) culture and life.
On October 1, 1960, Nigeria became independent. Needless to say, the birth pang was very painful for the country experienced several military coups and the county was run by the military from 1966 to 1999. Civilians came back firmly to power after that date. Nigeria also experienced a vicious civil war (1967-1970) when the Igbos in the East wanted to secede; this was unacceptable because the eastern part contained huge deposits of crude oil. The East lost the war, peace prevailed but until today, the healing process is incomplete. Three main tribes occupy the front of the stage: Yoruba in the West, Hausa/Fulaani in the North, and Igbo in the eastern part of the land. There are myriads of smaller tribes and ethnic groups referred to as “minority groups”: Ijaw, Itsekiri, Calabar, Ibibio, Igala, just to name a few. The case of Nigeria, as described above, is emblematic of all African countries. It is also worth emphasizing that pre-colonial African societies shared many common features and the same culture crucible; of course, there were differences and customs among and between them since there were customs that were specific to each society. Likewise, both colonial and postcolonial African societies and countries do share similar traits.
The last decade has witnessed a proliferation of lesbian representations in European and North Americanpopularculture, particularly within television drama and broader celebrity culture. The abundance of ‘positive’ and ‘ordinary’ representations of lesbians is widely celebrated as signifying progress in queer struggles for social equality. Yet, as this article details, the terms of the visibility extended to lesbians within popularculture often affirms ideals of hetero-patriarchal, white femininity. Focusing on the visual and narrative registers within which lesbian romances are mediated within television drama, this article examines the emergence of what we describe as ‘the lesbian normal’. Tracking the ways in which the lesbian normal is anchored in a longer history of “the normal gay” (Warner 2000), it argues that the lesbian normal is indicative of the emergence of a broader post-feminist and post-queer popularculture, in which feminist and queer struggles are imagined as completed and belonging to the past. Post-queer popularculture is
That same year William E. Studwell published “AmericanPopularCulture, Music, and Collection Development in Libraries: Some Comments and Five Examples.” Studwell describes the relationship between Americanpopularculture and popular music with the intent to demonstrate that this music is worth saving and studying (i.e. ranges far beyond just the “salon music” status referred to in Saul’s article above). Patriotic music, classical music, hymns, foreign origin popular songs, and Christmas songs are used to illustrate this relationship from which he concludes that librarians must recognize the deep roots that popularculture has in music (Rossini’s William Tell Overture used in “The Lone Ranger” radio and television series, for example—some wags say that if you can hear the tune without thinking of the Masked Man, you are a true classical music connoisseur). He provides a bibliography of music reference books that give adequate information regarding his five examples. Studwell’s ideas still apply: for example, hip hop music, which has deep roots in African Griot music (music of West Africa), Caribbean traditions (like toasting), American blues, and rock and roll. Archival collection of popular music is just one additional step in the ever-developing line of musical progression and terribly important to provide a context for future and present music scholars.
This is no doubt allied to the sense prevalent in France of the uniqueness of her national culture, expressed in the phrase ‘exception culturelle’, in marked contrast to other ‘developed’ nations, for instance the UK, where arts funding is capable of polarising the political left and right. Looseley’s book traces the influence exercised by the French Culture Minister Jack Lang during the 1981–1993 Socialist administration. Lang’s promotion of popularculture aroused the fury of high-culture intellectuals like Alain Finkielkraut, in part perhaps because some popular genres like pop music are not native to France. The earlier condescending attitude to Hammett’s fiction, as shown by the summary translations accorded to it, may stem partly from the same cause, as well as from the elitism discussed above that sixty years ago saw detective fiction as devoid of literary merit.
increasingly filmable, with various consequences from repurposing as porn to use as evidence (McGrath, 2004). And, while some have argued for the need to regulate surveillance and protect privacy, others have suggested that exhibitionism and voyeurism can be seen precisely as responses to surveillance that, by sexualizing it, challenge its representational power (Bell, 2009; Koskela, 2003). In much the same way as George Michael’s ‘Outside’ sought to take back surveillance and turn it into pop culture, the subgenre of surveillance porn can be seen to tackle head-on the intrusions of surveillance into our lives, not by hiding but by (over-)exposing ourselves. Even that potent symbol of surveillance penetration today, the drone, has been repurposed as a sexual technology, not least in the porn movie Drone Boning (2014). Here, staged scenes of public sex, often in remote and natural settings such as
In his twenty-seven year reign (1978-2005), Pope John Paul II created not only more saints than any other pope in history, but also more saints than all the other popes put together since Pope Urban VIII centralised control of saint-making in 1634. This article argues that the elevation of ‘celebrity saints’, such as Padre Pio and Mother Theresa, can be seen as an attempt on the part of the Catholic Church to strengthen its presence within the arena of popularculture. Through a sustained programme of ‘strategic canonization’, John Paul II promoted models of sanctity that conveyed very clear social and political messages. Such messages were amplified through extensive Catholic media and, where ‘celebrity saints’ were involved, through the secular media too. These processes are analysed first, in relation to the general area of sexual politics; and secondly, to the Church’s historic relationship with Nazism. Whilst John Paul’s programme may not have achieved all that it intended, it clearly demonstrated the Catholic Church’s unique capacity to reinvent very old forms of cultural policy for changing times.
scholars have been willing to concede, and he ably demonstrates how it relates to contemporary cultural experience and meanings. One of the book’s major strengths lies in its comprehensive scope and the broadening of the parameters of our vision of what constitutes public history. The reading of a range of marginalised elements of culture (only some of which are mentioned here), including Reality History, living history, gaming, urban exploration, as well as the discussion of the role and impact of the internet and digitisation are particularly useful in this regard. In addition, de Groot offers fresh insight into more well- known genres, such as television history and museums, situating them within contemporary cultural trends. As for the question of who should read this book, Consuming History has valuable things to say to both historians and scholars of cultural and media studies. What the book shows is how history pervades contemporary culture, illustrating how it is used, consumed and exploring what it might mean for our understanding of the past. ‘Recognising this’, Ludmilla Jordanova has written, ‘should help historians see their own activities in a wider perspective and to raise broad questions about the practice of history’.(4) In this sense, Consuming History has some unsettling implications for the profession, as not only does it highlight the fact that academic history has no monopoly on historical knowledge, but that popular forms of historiography signal a diffusion of academic authority, or ‘an undermining of authoritative, legitimised History in favour of multiple histories’ (p. 249). This is a provocative and disputable thesis, which is sure to raise levels of anxiety amongst historians.
Judith Chalmers is the name of a television celebrity best remembered for her role as the host of a popular television holiday travel show that ran from the mid 1970’s to 2003: Wish you were here. Her on screen persona was that of a respected and knowledgeable travel expert who was a rather larger than life, late, middle-aged woman noted for her confident rather excessive style; platinum blonde hair, heavy makeup, brightly coloured and boldly patterned clothing. The Judith Chalmers’ to name Jack sets up an incongruity. On screen Jack appears to be the antithesis of Judith Chalmers, being a young man casually dressed in jeans, his shirt outside his jeans, sloping shoulders and a mop of hair with a heavy unkempt matted fringe. It sets up a contrast that involves an element of ridicule; Jack has none of the signs that are associated with the model of a knowledgeable and dynamic travel expert that Judith Chalmers stands for. The humour provides an opportunity for viewers to laugh at Jack and thereby to generate a community of laughers who feel superior to him by way of his positioning as an outsider and align themselves with the judge who has set the terms of the character of Jack. 31
Patton (2002) noted that qualitative research does not have statistical significance and it is difficult to make generalizations about the findings of qualitative data because of this. But, the concept of generalizability, or external validity, is framed differently when comparing quantitative and qualitative research. The purpose of qualitative research is to help us understand the human experience. Specific to this study, the purpose was to describe the portrayal of disability on a popularculture television show. While direct, pre-framed generalization should not be made, because I provided thick description of the cases, transferability will be aided. That is, readers of the research will be able to explore the findings and may “themselves determine the extent to which findings from [the] study can be applied to their context” (Merriam, 2002b, p. 29).
My own goals have always been clear and simple. I see the point of examining law and popularculture as part of a mission to explore how the phenomenon of law affects people in their daily lives, both the positive as well as the adverse impact. I do this in the substantive law classes I teach, working in the tradition developed from realism and now found in critical legal perspectives. Here, in my own case, the classes examine how the protections for those in poverty or who are homeless or subject to discrimination operate using social science data beyond the skeleton of the formal rules and regulations. In countries where inequality abounds and oppression on the basic of class, sexuality, disability, gender and ethnicity are rampant, how is law actually able to challenge those practices? Insofar as the protections offered may be totemic do these imperfect legal solutions buttress the positions of those with lawful authority? Specifically, in relation to popularculture, what is their role in suggesting to us that we are genuinely protected by fine phrases like
The content in a game like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas involves poverty, an African-American community, and crime. However, the game play involves solving problems strategically, problems like how to ride a bike through city streets so as to evade pursuing cars and follow a map to end up safely where you need to go. In games like this, elements of content could be changed without changing the game play; for example, in some cases, taking pictures of people instead of shooting them or secretly planting a message rather than a bomb in their car would leave the problem solving and its difficulty pretty much the same. Critics of games need to realize that players, especially strategic and mature players, are often focusing on game play more than they are on content per se.
However, most of the key fi gures of mainstream cultural studies were never re- ally caught up in this wider post-structuralist moment. The previous year, Paul Gil- roy had published his seminal study The Black Atlantic (1993), which posited black culture as a geo-historical continuity inseparable from the experience of slavery and its aftermath, but he argues that black culture should not be understood simply as an expression for some essential African identity. Gilroy’s There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The Politics of Race and Nation (1987) had already proved highly signifi cant in putting issues of race at the heart of the cultural studies agenda, and The Black Atlantic did much to open up cultural studies to an approach less fi xated on national cultural contexts than it had previously been. Hall had been an admirer of Laclau’s earlier work towards an anti-essentialist theory of politics (Chen & Morley 1996: 146), and he had infl uenced the broader anti-essentialist turn, but he vocally declined to follow Laclau and Mouffe down the path they had taken in Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Hall, like many others, thought that this book ended up with a problematic position which ignored the material constraints on political struggles. Laclau and Mouffe themselves offered perhaps their most brilliant work in respond- ing to such charges, providing a sophisticated defence of their own materialism in the essay ‘Post-Marxism Without Apologies’ (Laclau 1990: 97–132), but neither their critics nor they themselves showed much interest in pursuing the resultant line of enquiry into the 1990s. Hall, in the meantime, continued to work in a number of veins. He was instrumental in developing a tremendously sophisticated model of the rela- tionship between race and class which was to infl uence an entire generation, inspir- ing a generation of young artists and fi lm-makers to explore complex questions of identity, belonging and exclusion, and re-shaping the ways in which British intellec- tuals understood the postcolonial status of their own culture (Chen & Morley 1996: 411–503). He was infl uential in shifting the focus of cultural history and cultural studies away from apocalyptic pronouncements about the end of history or narrowly economistic accounts of late capitalism, focussing attention instead on the histori- cal specifi city of emergent and residual forms of modernity (Hall 1992). Perhaps most importantly, he remained a key voice on the left arguing for the possibility of a populist, democratic, inclusive vision of an alternative modernity to that proposed by Thatcher and Reagan (Hall 1988).
32 / TRM, December 2011 characterizations of Romeo and Juliet in various rock and roll songs from the 1950s forward. Ultimately, Buhler examines these changing characterizations in relation to the ways in which they participate in or attempt to distance themselves from mass-market strategies. I want to build on his observations to show that even though the depictions of Romeo and Juliet in these songs have changed radically over time, they still construct youths as members of a culture that embraces and owns tragic love. Initially, songs about Romeo and Juliet demonstrate the lovers’ genuine desire for each other. Prior to the rock and roll era--in the popular music of the 1930s and 1940s, that is--Romeo had been cast, Buhler notes, as “the embodiment of suave insincerity,” but he came to be depicted during the early years of rock as "increasingly more sincere."  In songs like
has been valuable for bringing into focus the continuities and challenges to the use of the term ‘archive’ to refer to the official repository of the papers of State. The ‘official’ archive encompasses also the material cultural heritage and materials of the nation state’s past, manifest most obviously in the establishment of national museums, archives, galleries and libraries. A survey of the archival turn then might account for the extension of methods across fields devoted to documenting and preserving the materiality of memory, the past and history. In tandem with the democratising and creative impulse and expression of public history we might also account for how this turn embodies a troubling of traditional boundaries and conventions of the archive and how interested parties understand it. William J. Maher, then President of the Society of American Archivists (1997-‐8), took issue with what he saw as the misuse and ‘bastardization’ of the term ‘to cover all manner of information gatherings that really are quite clearly not archives’. 15 One site in which
The sexualisation of girls in popularculture has captured both scholarly and public attention in Australia. Almost as soon as Emma Rush and Andrea La Nauze’s reports, Corporate Paedophilia (2006a) and Stopping the Sexualisation of our Children (2006b), presented evidence that corporations were sexualising children through their advertising practices, others heralded these claims as obsolete (Egan & Hawkes, 2008). The concerns articulated in the Rush and La Nauze reports, however, have not abated; instead, activists from a range of backgrounds have mobilised against
One could also argue that the average ‘gamer’ is younger than the survey’s target audience (18+ years). Therefore, the sample cannot provide reliable information and understanding of the gaming behaviour. However, this view of the age is a common misconception. Many studies show that the average age of a gamer fluctuates between 29 and 35 (Chaney, Lin, & Chaney, 2004; Cole & Griffiths, 2007; Kuss, Griffiths, & Pontes, 2017; Milliron, Plinske, & Noonan-Terry, 2008). According to the national research with a random sample of 1606 Australian households prepared by Bond University for the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, playing computer games competes with other media such as TV, movies and music (Brand, 2007). The high consumption rates of popular movies and TV shows could be associated with the reduced time spent gaming. A similar assumption can be made regarding comic books, manga and graphic novels, though there is less evidence supporting this opinion.