Neoliberalism's Usable Pasts: Media Representation, Cultural Memory and Privatization
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Seattle, March 19-23, 2014
No political or economic system builds hegemony without the support of culture, yet scholars are only beginning to examine the emergence of neoliberalism through cultural forms and practices. This panel will bring together scholars engaged in examining the role of film and media in the development and consolidation of neoliberalism. What pre-existing discourses did the logics of privatization enlist to promote themselves in film and television? How were these linkages expressed on screen or in paratexts such as advertisements, film reviews, branded merchandise, and guides on how to screen these stories for educational purposes? What did audiences make of these texts, and to what purposes did they deploy them? Exploring these questions will address important gaps, not only in media studies, but also in allied fileds. For example, what is perhaps the most widely-read text on the subject, David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism, focuses on global political economy to the exclusion of in-depth cultural analysis. Meanwhile, studies of cultural memory have indicated that the stories we tell about the past, not just through well-researched historiography, but also through more popular media representations, convey justifications for the regimes that orchestrate the present. Scholars that link neoliberalism and collective memory have tended to focus less on media representations than on memorials, material culture, photography, museums, or literature. Marita Sturken’s recent work on the relationship between consumer culture, cultural memory, and American nationalism is one example.
Please send paper proposals of about 300 words to Ami Sommariva at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday August 5. Please include a short 2-3 sentence bio and 3-5 bibliographic sources.
University of California, Davis
Cultural Studies Graduate Group
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