Daily Archives: September 2, 2014

Aegyo (HUM415)

Remember that we’ve dropped Bourdieu and the reading assignment for Thursday is limited to Arundhati Roy’s “Capitalism: A Ghost Story.” Shades of Karl Marx! you might say. And that’s exactly right. The Manifesto begins with the famous assertion that “a spectre is haunting Europe” and Roy, who has spent time with Maoist guerrillas in the back country of India (see Walking with the Comrades) riffs on such metaphors.

We really need to nail down the Harvey and Hall articles, which more or less survey the same terrain, though “After Neoliberalism” is a political manifesto and A Brief History of Neoliberalism is a popular history of the last 30-odd years of capitalism. Try not to let yourself be intimidated by the language. You’ll run across terms that may not be familiar but we will definitely address any gaps in knowledge in class.

I really enjoyed the discussion about “Gee”. As we go more deeply into the (shallow?) pleasures of K-Pop those of you who have training (or a good ear) should never hesitate to draw the class’s attention to the music. And speaking of that, don’t forget to watch Channel 32-6 (or some cable equivalent) for an intermittent dose of Kpop.

The cultural value of cuteness is referred to in Korean as aegyo. Look at this:


Today (HUM425)

I know we punched it today in class in an effort to cover a lot of material. For those of you dazed from the velocity here’s a recap:
1. Pop Quiz on a sentence from Mitchell’s “Image” (We need to discuss this on Thursday very briefly. I think of the Mitchell article as a kind of touchstone. When we have more “theory” experience his essay will seem more open to our understanding. In any case, we should at least know the significance of the figure in this article.)

2. We screened More, a short film by Mark Osbourne, and performed a somewhat chaotic but deeply (for me) interesting analysis of it. It’s very heartening to witness people step up. The thing is that everyone already has a BA in media by the time they arrive at university. All of us in the room have extensive experience with film texts. What we need to do is hone our critical intuition and also develop a critical vocabulary. The formal terms I introduced are a good start: low camera angle, iris shot, sound track, etc.
3. Some preliminary remarks on Hall’s Representation. Stuart Hall is interesting not just for his work in cultural studies and sociology but because he kicked in a lot of doors back in the 50s and 60s: a lower middle class kid from the West Indies works his way into a world class education in the UK and proceeds to challenge a very white, very Eurocentric academic status quo. This reading is CRUCIAL in my opinion and will form part of the foundation of Essay One.
4. And Essay One is due Sunday Sept. 7 at 8pm to ilearn. No hard copy necessary. Check the Paper Guidelines page of the blog to get a sense of what I’m looking for.