CFP: Entertainment (9/20/06; KSU CSC, 3/8/07-3/10/07)

full name / name of organization: 
michele janette
contact email: 

Call For Papers:

16th annual Cultural Studies Conference at Kansas State University

TOPIC: Entertainment
CONFERENCE DATES: March 8-10, 2007

Keynote Speaker: Judith Halberstam, author of _The Transgender Moment:
Gender Flexibility and the Postmodern Condition_, _The Drag King Book_,
_Female Masculinity_, _Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of
Monsters_, and _Posthuman Bodies_.

Live Performance by El Vez, "the Mexican Elvis"

Conference Description:

"Anyone who tries to tries to distinguish entertainment from education
doesn't know the first thing about either" –Marshall McLuhan

Entertainment and the entertainment world continue to vex academics,
even after the rise of Cultural Studies and its willingness to break
down cultural hierarchies. It is time to address this often
marginalized topic head on. Despite our disciplinary anxiety, there
are increasing attempts to theorize entertainment and "entertainment
value," as Richard Dyer has done for the musical. What is it exactly
that happens when we say we are "entertained?" And what does this
experience have to do with all our usual categories and criterias"
aesthetics, politics, culture, identity, ethics, value? When video
games are used to train troops, journalism goes for ratings and pretty
faces, and political parties and corporations manufacture seductive and
pleasurable images? Do we find ourselves perforce choosing between a
liberatory "fandom" and the horrors of the seductive, distracting,
capitalist 'culture industry?" Is there a progressive understanding or
use of entertainment for democracy and the public sphere? We welcome
papers and panels on any topics and modes of entertainment, from any
culture, in any historical period.

Some topics and questions for possible consideration, not intended to be
an exclusive list:

* "infotainment"
* entertainment in the high "arts" (theater, opera, classical music
and art)
* docudrama and "reality" entertainment
* education and entertainment, education vs. entertainment
* "children's" vs. "adult's" entertainment (cartoons, animation, etc.)
* the "adult entertainment" industry
* elevating the stupid and shallow (Jackass, Paris Hilton)
* Hollywood and anti-Hollywood
* Bollywood
* Rupert Murdoch
* global television
* entertainment and propaganda
* Barthes, Debord, Baudrillard, Zizek
* early modern entertainment (jigs, bear-baiting, public execution,
* serious clowning: Michael Moore, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert
* jokes, racial and ethnic and misogynist
* "The Aristocrats"
* violence, cruelty, and sadism
* religious entertainment and ritual
* entertainment, fear, and national security
* entertainment with social messages
* the construction and use of boredom
* material entertainment: sugar, caffeine, drugs
* eco-tourism
* amateurism and the local
* transnational entertainment and cultural imperialism, from Disney
to Macdonalds
* spectators and participants, couch potatoes and athletes
* critics and reviewers
* horror, gothic, perversity
* parody

Standard conference format: panels of three papers; each paper a 15
minute oral reading/presentation. Alternate session formats may also
be proposed.

Please send a 1 pg proposal (or 1 pg per paper for a panel proposal) to
Michele Janette, Director, Program in Cultural Studies, English Dept,
Kansas State University, Manhattan KS 66502. Email submissions
strongly encouraged: Please include return email
address for all submissions.

Proposal Deadline: September 20, 2006

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Received on Sat May 20 2006 - 10:09:11 EDT