Cultural Studies >> Newsletters >> Spring 2000 Newsletter

Cultural Studies
Newsletter, Vol. 5
   Spring 2000

Issue Contents

Cultural Studies Conference

New CS Director

Recent Events

Upcoming Events

Pat Brantlinger to teach C601

CS Adjuncts at Large

Recent Work

'Archive Fever'
     The topic of the cultural studies conference this year is Versions of the Archive - the concept of the archive and archival research methods as both encouraging interdisciplinary projects and also as a site of disciplinary conflicts between competing notions of what constitutes archival research, its value, and its function. Given the importance of cultural studies scholarship in the production of new or alternative archives, cultural studies also functions as an important site for theorizing 'the archive' in new ways. Lynne Joyrich, a specialist in film/ television studies and feminism at Brown; Mary Layoun, a post-colonial scholar from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Sue-Ellen Case, who chairs UC-Davis' Contemporary Performance & Culture program and has written on new media and questions of sexuality, will join IU faculty and graduate students on the following three panels: 
Concepts of the "Archive": Interdisciplinary Implications and Disciplinary Tensions
This panel will consider the relationship between archival research and interdisciplinary research projects. What different concepts of the archive circulate in different disciplines? Can or should we reconcile these differences? Is the archive only a textual metaphor, or can the concept of the archive be adapted to ethnographic research, audience studies, and work on material culture? What are the limits of archival research? 
Recovering and (De)Classifying Archives: Lessons for Cultural Studies 
The 1990's seem to be the age of the limitless and transparent archive in which the right keyword will retrieve data from the secrecy, duplicity, and conspiratorial darkness of the cold war, into the light of the new world order. What does this fantasy of universal access and transparency obscure? Archival access does not so much make possible a more complete, or finally correct picture of the world, however, but also raises the question of access and power, as new historical accounts are being composed. What role should cultural studies play in this process of (de)classifying, studying, and institutionalizing archival knowledges? 

Issue Contents

Archival Transformations: New Technologies of Cultural Memory 
What will the archive become in the next century? If archives function as technologies of cultural memory, how do technological changes - such as the shift from print to electronic and visual media - affect the concept of the archive? Under the heading, "transforming archives," we want to explore not only the effects the new electronic data storage and retrieval systems have on our concepts of and relations to knowledge, but also how these technological changes transform and embody that "us" by altering categories of perception and notions of space and identity. The conference will be held on Saturday, February 19th at the Faculty Club in the Indiana Memorial Union. To receive a packet of readings relating to each panel, please complete the registration form (on the back page of the newsletter), the electronic registration page on our web site, or e-mail this info to before January 31st. 

New Director of Cultural Studies

Tom Foster, Associate Professor of English and Adjunct Professor of American Studies took over as the new director of Cultural Studies this fall.  Tom has been a cultural studies adjunct for four years and has been active in organizing past cultural studies events such as the "Unthinking America" conference.   His research interests include American postmodernism and popular culture, especially science fiction and technoculture; women's writing and feminist theory; post-colonial and transnational studies. As director of Cultural Studies, Tom advises graduates interested in or actively pursuing a Ph.D. minor in Cultural Studies and serves as the liason for Cultural Studies Adjuncts campus-wide. If you haven't already met Tom at past events, feel free to e-mail him or stop by during office hours. 

Recent Events
     From its new post in Ballantine Hall, Cultural Studies has co-sponsored a number of events this fall. In league with the East Asian Studies Center, Cultural Studies co-sponsored a lecture by Stephanie Donald, Prof. of Media Studies at Murdoch University in Australia, on "Women in Chinese Films: From the Cultural Revolution to the Present." The lecture was just one segment of the exhibit, "Picturing Power," which featured roughly 70 pieces of pictoral propaganda from the era of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).  Jeff Wasserstrom (History) was co-organizer of the exhibit with important contributions to the project from graduate students (such as Sarah Stevens) and faculty (such as Sue Tuohy). The poster above was issued to mark the hundred-year anniversary of the Paris Commune and is representative of efforts made in Chinese official propaganda of the time to link China's Revolution to past and present upheavals in other parts of the world. 
     The exhibition, "Behind the Iron Curtain: Poster Art from Poland and Romania," featured cultural posters from Poland and rarely seen propaganda posters from Ceausescu's Romania - such as the anniversary poster of the former National Day of  Romania in the following column.
(Recent Events continued)

New Cultural Studies Office 
& Contact Info
Thomas Foster, Dir., Cultural Studies Program 
468 Ballantine Hall 855-5546 
web site:
Cultural Studies Office, 419 Ballantine Hall 855-0088 
Laura Shackelford, Project Coordinator 

Recent Events(continued)
The exhibit was organized by cultural studies adjuncts Maria Bucur-Deckard (History) and Timothy Wiles (English) with support from the Russian and East European Institute, the Polish Studies Center, and others.
     The Arts Resource Consortium, an undergraduate organization headed by Kathleen Connors, received support from both the Indiana University Student Association and Cultural Studies to bring Curtis White to Bloomington to read from his forthcoming novel, America's Magic Mountain, and to speak about the canon debates. As director of the creative writing program at Illinois State University and the editor and founder of the alternative publishing venues, Fiction Collective 2 and Black Ice Books, White is at the crossroads of theorizing, publishing, and writing postmodern fiction. Cultural Studies also joined the Department of English, the Institute for Advanced Studies, the Institute for Biblical and Literary Study, and others in sponsoring Peter Stallybrass's eye-opening lecture on "The Materiality of Reading 1450-1650"" in early October. Later in the fall, Medea Benjamin, economist and co-founder of Global Exchange, an organization that aims to strengthen ties between First and Third World citizens, spoke on sweatshops and the collegiate licensing industry. The lecture was part of an ongoing effort by local activists to improve working conditions at sweatshops that produce the University's sportswear. Those interested in future Global Exchange activities can contact Purnima Bose (English).

Upcoming Events
On March 2nd, Susan Jeffords, Prof. of English and Women's Studies at the University of Washington-Seattle, will lecture on "The Face of Terror: Why We Are Afraid of White Men."  Jeffords' visit is a part of the American Studies Colloquium, "Militating the Millennium: Reflections on War, Public Memory, and U.S. Foreign Policy," organized by Eva Cherniavsky (English). Other lectures in the series that may be of interest include Wahneema Lubiano's lecture on "Race and Nationalism" (Feb. 4) and Michael Rogin's lecture on "Representations in W.W. II" (April 13). Winner of the MLA first best book award, Deidre Lynch (SUNY- Buffalo), will present a lecture on "Gothic Libraries and National Subjects" on March 6th. Per Jauert, Dir. of the Institute for Information & Media Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark, will lecture on the media in Scandinavia (April 18th) and on contemporary Danish cinema (April 19th). Several lecturers will also come to IU for three dialogues on "Thinking Materiality: Epistemology, Language & Embodiment." More details on these lectures are available at ~thinkmat/

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Cultural Studies Adjuncts at Large
Michael Curtin (CMCL) is currently a Fulbright Research Fellow at Academia Sinica in Taipei where he is working on a book about globalization of the media in East Asia. Jesse Goodman (Education) is traveling to Bergamo, Italy to present work on the nature and distribution of power in the U.S., which is part of a larger project focused on re-describing class and class-conflict in a post-Marxist context. Stephanie Kane (Criminal Justice) is doing research on a project entitled "Biography and Counter-Memory: The Hustling Wars and Other Events in The Exemplary Life of M." Jim Naremore (CMCL) presented the Distinguished Faculty Lecture for the Institute for Advanced Study, which was titled "Film and the Reign of Adaptation," and was also a plenary speaker at the centennial conference on Alfred Hitchcock at NYU. Radhika Parameswaran (Journalism) received a Summer Faculty Fellowship from the Research & University Graduate School, IU, for Summer 2000. She is currently researching the impact of imported popular literature on women's identities in India. Jeff Wasserstrom published "Michael Jackson, Mickey Mouse, and the Man-Who-Faced-the Tanks" in the INDEX on Censorship among other articles, and continues as associate editor of the American Historical Review
Intro to Cultural Studies in the Fall
   Pat Brantlinger (English) will be teaching C601, Introduction to Cultural Studies, a survey of main issues, theories, and methods in cultural studies, in Fall 2000.  His research interests include Victorian studies; history of literacy and reading, aesthetics; and postcolonial studies.  He is presently working on a sequel to his last book that is tentatively titled Who Killed Shakespeare?  Further Reflections on English and Cultural Studies.  Drawing from this recent work, his C601 will consider the relation between cultural value hierarchies ("high" vs. "mass" culture) and social class.  The course will include a unit devoted to postcolonial studies/theory and a unit that will explore the convergence of universities, technology, and informatics imagined by "science studies."  A required course for the cultural studies minor, C601 is taught by cultural studies adjuncts from a number of departments and will now be offered each semester.  This semester, C601 is being taught by Beverly Stoeltje (CMCL/Folklore).
Recent Work / In the Works
Bose, Purnima. "Feminism on the Screen: South Asian Diaspora, Identity, and History." Jumpcut (forthcoming).
____. "Reading Mississippi Masala, South Asian Activism, and Agency," in collaboration with Linta Varghese. In Wendy Hesford and Wendy Kozol, eds., The "Real" Crisis: Authenticity and Agency in the Twentieth Century
Brantlinger, Patrick. "Anti-Theory and its Antitheses: Rhetoric and Ideology." In Thomas Rosteck, ed., At the Intersection: Cultural Studies and Rhetorical Studies. Guilford Press, 1999. 
____. "Apocalypse 2001: Or, What Happens After Posthistory?" Cultural Critique 39 1998. 
Bucur-Deckard, Maria. "Between the Mother of the Wounded and the Virgin of Jiu: Romanian Women and the Gender of Heroism during the Great War." Journal of Women's History (forthcoming 2000). 
____. "State, Education, and Society: Russia and Eastern Europe since 1989," in collaboration with Ben Eklof. In Robert F. Arnove and Carlos Torres, eds., Comparative Education. Rowman and Littlefield, 1998. 
Cherniavsky, Eva. "'Karmic Realignment': Transnationalism and Trauma in The Simpsons." Cultural Critique 41 (Winter 99). 
____. "Visonary Politics: Feminist Interventions in the Culture of Images." Feminist Studies (forthcoming 2000). 
Foster, Thomas. "'The Souls of Cyber-Folk': Performativity, Virtual Embodiment, and Racial Histories." In Marie-Laure Ryan, ed., Cyberspace Textuality: Computer Technology and Literary Theory. Bloomington: Indiana U. Press, 1999. 
Naremore, Jim. "Authorship." In Robert Stam, ed., A Companion to Film Theory. Oxford: Blackwell Press, 1999. 
____. "Hitchcock at the Margins of Noir." In Richard Allen, ed., Alfred Hitchcock Centenary Essays. London: British Film Institute, 1999. 
Watt, Stephen & Cary Nelson. Keywords: A Devil's Dictionary for Higher Education. London: Routledge, 1999. 
Watt, Stephen. Postmodern/Drama: Reading the Contemporary Stage. Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1998.

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Cultural Studies >> Newsletters >> Spring 2000 Newsletter