What do zombies have to do with world politics? How might the Twilight saga illuminate our understanding of changes in the global political economy? How can tango dancing make the world a more peaceful place? During the fifth annual Pop Culture and World Politics conference, Nov. 9-11 at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, experts will explore these-and similar-questions.
This year’s conference will delve into the multiple ways of investigating the intersections of world politics and the production, circulation, content and consumption of various popular cultural forms. Engaging a range of disciplines, from the social sciences to the humanities to the arts, the conference provides an intimate forum where interdisciplinary methods and theoretical approaches can be developed.
Rock Music Historian Roderick Edward “Legs” McNeil will lead off the conference, offering the opening keynote address on Friday, Nov. 9, at 4 p.m. on campus. Later that evening, Anne Elizabeth Moore will deliver the second keynote, “Translocal Women’s Issues: Zines, Comics and Fashion in the U.S. and Cambodia,” at the Farmers and Merchants Bank building on Linden Street in downtown Geneva at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, a series of on-campus panel sessions will focus on a variety of themes, including gaming and geopolitics; cinema, national identity and policy; and Hollywood’s construction and deconstruction of threat. The evening will conclude with a keynote address by Rev. Billy, “The End of the World: A Sermon,” at the Cracker Factory at 8 p.m.
The symposium will conclude on Sunday, Nov. 11, with a closing keynote by Elisa Kreisinger on “Pop Culture Piracy: Putting Theory into Practice” at 9:30 a.m., as well as a roundtable discussion with all four of the conferences’ keynote speakers at 11:15 a.m.
The co-founder of Punk magazine, which debuted in 1975, McNeil is a rock music historian and journalist. He is the author of “Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk,” “The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry” and “I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir.” He is also a former senior editor at Spin magazine and the founder and editor of Nerve magazine. He is currently working on a new memoir, “Girl with the Most Cake.”
Moore is a Fulbright scholar, a UN Press Fellow and the author of several award-winning books, including “Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing and the Erosion of Integrity.” The founding editor of the Best American Comics series from Houghton Mifflin, Moore teaches in the Visual Critical Studies and Art History departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and regularly writes for The Phoenix, In These Times, Alternet.org and Truthout.org. Visit http://www.anneelizabethmoore.com for more information.
Rev. Billy is an activist performance artist, encouraging consumers to abandon the products of mega-corporations and the mainstream media. He performs his revival meeting-style services both on the street and in concert halls and theatres along with the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir. Rev. Billy has performed in both Zuccotti Park and Philadelphia as part of the Occupy movement and has appeared in several documentary films, including “What Would Jesus Buy?” For more information about Rev. Billy and the Church, visit http://revbilly.com/.
Kreisinger is a video artist and self-described pop culture pirate. Her work remixes mainstream media to create a feminist, queer-positive narrative. Her most well-known work, “Queer Carrie,” reimagines “Sex and the City” with a radical feminist plot. Kreisinger’s remix works have been featured at NYU, UCLA, MIT, the Boston CyberArts Festival and in the Boston Globe. To learn more or experience her work, visit http://popculturepirate.com.
The Pop Culture and World Politics Conference, now in its fifth year, is devoted to the study of pop culture as a means to understand the representational practices through which power relations are constructed worldwide. Additional information on the symposium, including the full schedule of events, is available online at http://www.hws.edu/pcwp2012/.