8-10 participants.

Please send your abstract (max. 1000 characters, Word, rtf or pdf-format) by March 1, 2017 to tiina.rosenberg@teater.su.se. Please include your name, contact information and affiliation at the top of your submission (and also a short CV at the end).

About the Symposium "Show Time: Bodies, Spectacle and Unpopular Culture" 

Over the past decades popular culture has shifted in terms of platforms, circulation, audiences and in relation to social media. While the “popular” in popular culture in the past depended upon distinctions between high and low culture and named entertainment texts that appealed to the many rather than edifying texts that addressed the few, nowadays the popular and the avant-garde have been rewritten as sites for resistance, complacency, capital investment and seduction. Can we still use a term like the “popular” in an era when the popular is not necessarily that which appeals to a majority or even a large faction? What is the relation between the popular and new populism? How does culture circulate now and what difference do virtual platforms make to the consumption and production and display of block buster films, popular novels and popular art? Is the popular still considered the site of degraded cultural production or are there few distinctions left between popular and elite texts? How does queer cultural production intersect with these new platforms and what constitutes queer art, popular culture and trans culture in an era of media empires?

The conference invites junior and senior scholars to discuss reformulations of the popular in relation to a range of topics including but not limited to:

  • New media
  • Virtual worlds
  • New populism
  • Fascist aesthetics
  • Affect studies
  • Diverse forms of embodiment
  • The human, non-human and inhuman
  • The visceral
  • Racial materiality
  • Disability

Jack Halberstam

Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at USC. Halberstam works in the areas of popular, visual and queer culture with an emphasis on subcultures. Halberstam’s first book, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (1995), was a study of popular gothic cultures of the 19th and 20th centuries and it stretched from Frankenstein to contemporary horror film. Her 1998 book, Female Masculinity (1998), made a ground breaking argument about non-male masculinity and tracked the impact of female masculinity upon hegemonic genders. Halberstam’s last book, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005), described and theorized queer reconfigurations of time and space in relation to subcultural scenes and the emergence of transgender visibility. This book devotes several chapters to the topic of visual representation of gender ambiguity. Halberstam was also the co-author with Del LaGrace Volcano of a photo/essay book, The Drag King Book (1999), and with Ira Livingston of an anthology, Posthuman Bodies (1995). Halberstam regularly speaks on queer culture, gender studies and popular culture and publishes blogs at bullybloggers.com. Halberstam published a book in 2011 titled The Queer Art of Failure in August 2011 from Duke University Press and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal from Beacon Press in 2012. Halberstam is currently working on a project about queer anarchy tentatively titled: The Wild.

The symposium is funded by Literature as a Leading Research Area at Stockholm University.