My first journal article

Just a quick post to share some big news: last week, I published my first peer-reviewed journal article! In addition, the article won the Fred E. H. Schroeder Paper Award at the Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association annual conference this past weekend! My (award-winning!) article “Shakespeare, Didgeridoos, and Samurai Cowboys: Remixing National and Cultural Identities in Sukiyaki Western Django” appears in the latest double issue of the Popular Culture Studies Journal, the official journal of the MPCA/ACA. If you want to read this article, you can download the issue (for free!) right here.

(please excuse the fact that I appear to have misspelled “didgeridoos” in the title of the article…I have no idea what happened there)

The Pop Culture Lens: Episode 7 – Godzilla (1954)

The Pop Culture Lens is a scholarly podcast hosted by myself and Dr. CarrieLynn Reinhard of Dominican University. In each episode, we seek to offer fresh perspectives on past media as we attempt to determine whether or not it holds any relevance to the contemporary sociocultural experience. We structure the podcast so the format loosely resembles an academic paper, but we present the information in a way that everyone can understand.

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Mobile Media Technologies at the Intersection of the Virtual and the Real

This post is based on a paper I wrote for Dr. Paul Booth‘s New Media and Culture class, which took place during the Fall 2013 quarter at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. The purpose of this paper was to synthesize three articles on mobile media technologies, and the impact they have on the physical world. Please feel free to join the conversation on mobility by leaving a comment in the comments section.

The mobility of new media technologies – in particular smartphones – has allowed users to layer the virtual on top of the physical, and thus create a third space that represents a melding of the two. This mobility has transformed how individuals interact with the physical environment around them, and this has resulted in a physical environment that is far more interactive and immersive due to the increased melding of the virtual and the physical. Indeed, users no longer need to be seated in front of their desktop computers (or even lug around bulky laptops) in order to enter the virtual space; there is no need for them to login to a virtual space that can only be interfaced through a terminal that is hooked into a wall (or is simply impractical to carry around). With mobile media technology, users can access the virtual anywhere at any time. More importantly, however, this virtual space continues to exist regardless of whether or not individuals access it, but it can only be actualized and made “real” through the use of mobile media technologies (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Mobile media technologies such as smartphones have contributed to the creation of a "third space" that exists between the physical and the virtual.
Fig. 1: Mobile media technologies such as smartphones have contributed to the creation of a “third space” that exists between the physical and the virtual.

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A Brief History of Postwar Japanese Cinema

This post is based on a presentation I put together for Dr. Michael DeAngelis‘ Cinema of Peace class that was taught at DePaul University during the winter 2013 quater. It is simply meant to serve as a brief introduction into the history of postwar Japanese cinema, and is in no way comprehensive. Any factual errors are mine and mine alone, and I welcome any and all corrections, along with any other feedback you wish to provide. Thank you.

POSTWAR JAPANESE CINEMA: REMEMBRANCE, UNDERSTANDING, AND THE PAINFUL ART OF HEALING

INTRODUCTION

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II were atrocities that would have lasting effects upon the nation of Japan and its people for decades afterward. According to Clif Ganyard, “Japan is still the only nation to have experienced a nuclear attack and so it is really the first and only post-nuclear, post-apocalyptic society.” Similarly, Mick Broderick (1996) asserts that “Hiroshima and Nagasaki evoke powerful and sombre associations of holocaust and apocalypse, a microcosm of the twentieth century’s staging ground for a global nuclear war” (p. 2). This becomes evident when looking at Japan’s national cinema; movies produced in Japan often explore the trauma that resulted from the atomic bomb attacks, even when they aren’t explicitly about the event. This post will serve as a a brief examination of Postwar Japanese cinema, with a particular focus on the themes of remembrance, understanding and healing that have been evident in Japanese films since around the end of World War II in 1945.

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