Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Presentations on 4/25

Posted by taylorbelcher on April 27, 2017

I was able to attend the Popular Culture Studies Capstone Presentations on Tuesday, April 25th. Each speaker presented very interesting and relevant topics. I took a few notes on each of the presentations. 
The first presentation by Garrett Hunt titled “Not Merely Entertainment: Japanese Anime and Manga” brought up some interesting facts that I had not known before. I had seen a few Japanese anime and manga growing up, but I never knew the history behind them or how they were made. Garrett talked about Osamu Tezuka, who created a lot of animes. Something interesting that I had learned was that he was inspired by the bombings in Japan, so he included that in his creations. Garrett also talked about different approaches people take in making anime and manga. One that he explained was the social sciences approach, which is examples of science versus religion within the anime. Another approach that he discussed was dramatic and literary criticism. This one focuses on universal themes and storytelling. The last one that Garrett talked about was the cultural documents approach, which allows the discovery of elements of Japanese culture through anime and manga. Like I said, I really enjoyed this presentation because I learned new information that I did not previously know and wouldn’t have researched on my own.
The second presentation was “Bob Dylan Rocks… The High Arts?” by Alissa Kendrick. Alissa discussed the controversy over whether or not Bob Dylan should have won the Nobel Prize in 2016 for his songs. She brought up a few interesting questions. One: Is music really literature? In my opinion, I think that all songs are poems; therefore, music is literature. Another question she asked was why did they award him now? Why not back then when the songs had just come out? When another person had asked the same question, Alissa had responded that she had done research and said, “The Swedish were leaning more towards American, and 2016 was leaning more towards politics.” Finally, going back to the “is music literature” question, Alissa stated that “if he said he was a poet and wrote his songs as a book of poems, then it probably would have had less controversy.” Alissa brought up a lot of great questions during her presentation, and I agreed with her opinions.
Marshall Metcalf gave a very interesting presentation over the connection between Alice in Wonderland and drug culture. He explained the history of Alice, when the book was published, and when the Disney animation came out. He brought up a good point saying that when it came out in the 50s, people didn’t like it because they thought it was too colorful; however, it became more popular in the 70s because of drugs. Marshall also explained how LSD became known as Alice. Even though it was not intended, it was easy to relate the two. Lewis Carroll originally intended for it to be the criticism of society’s view of children. Marshall’s presentation was about things that I have heard before, but he did a good job and still made it entertaining.
Lastly, Ariel Moore’s presentation “A Burger and a Dream” was also very interesting to hear. She compared the average American family that was on tv in the 50s compared to today and how different they are. She mentioned examples that had a minimum of two kids with at least one boy and all Caucasian, such as Leave it to Beaver; however, she also mentioned examples of shows today such as Blackish, which shows a different ideal family than ones shown in the 50s. Ariel then went through and talked about each of the characters on Bob’s Burgers. She said that Tina was the icon of millennials, and she did a poll on Twitter asking who they related and connected to more. Ariel stated, “52% most identified with Tina.” I thought that this was very creative and smart for her to do. She also talked about how Linda’s character had a Thanksgiving song that went viral on Facebook. This also shows how pop culture has influenced tv and technology.  


One Response to “Presentations on 4/25”

  1. vene131 said

    I really love how she used Twitter as a way to collect information with that poll on who people related to the most in Bob’s Burgers! That is something I have never really thought could be useful, but I am totally going to try it for a project that needs some kind of opinion base evidence to it.

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