As we begin a new decade, popular culture studies continue to illuminate the past and hopefully provide some guidance for what is to come.
Peter Steeves’ brilliant analysis of “Robert Eggers’ The Witch: A Feminist Folktale of Fear and Floating” sees it as “a tale told by a culture—our culture that knows it has done something horrible, but can’t quite come to terms with it.” Clearly, no matter what the era, to be a woman is to be a witch. In the end, the heroine Thomasin transcends the patriarchy, floating above the trees.
In the equally well documented “The X Fantastic” Daniel Ferreras Savoye successfully argues that “the series The X-Files is much closer to the fantastic mode than to science fiction, for the narrative tension upon which most episodes rely is the result of the opposition between what can be accepted as possible and what defies our understanding of reality rather than of the defamiliarization created by an entire new universe.” He further argues that the fantastic narration is rooted in the limitations of our own inability to fully confront the unknown.
“But If It Dies, It Produces Many Seeds”: Ritual Sacrifice in the Film Midsommar and the Spanish Bullfight” is Danielle Meijer’s fascinating exploration of how the fiction of Midsommar and the reality of bullfighting reveal the horror of sacrifice as well as its potential moral necessity, relating them to our daily lives.
Law Professor Tracy Reilly provides an insight into fan culture and explains how the fans and not the band were the wrong doers in the Napster Debate in “Sad But True”: Why Metallica’s Fans Continue to Fail Them (and Not Vice Versa) Twenty Years After the Napster Lawsuit.” In “Ambassador of Cajun Music: Jimmy C. Newman, 1927-2014,” Michael Green discusses the undeniable role that Newman played in the popularity and acceptance of all things Cajun from music to food to the Cajun version of Mardi Gras
Eleanor DeSousa and Regina Judge make clear that body worn cameras are only one factor in much needed greater police surveillance in “Police Body Worn Cameras: We See What You See, but is it Helping?”
Using film to teach multiculturism, interculturalism, and intercultural communication is explored in Erika Engstrom’s “Entertainment as Education: Multiculturalism and Interculturalism in Eytan Fox’s 2004 film, Walk on Water.” Brianna Whiteside takes us inside her classroom as she successfully introduces a somewhat reluctant student body to black science fiction in “Octavia in Vegas: Teaching Octavia Butler in a Las Vegas Classroom.”
In “Archetypal Development in One Body, One Image: Female Theatricality in Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Names Desire, Raluca Commanelea explores the many archetypal female roles assumed by Blanche Dubois manifesting William’s own aesthetic sensibilities. Finally, in “The Princess is a Whore,” Erin Fleet examines the many manifestations of Freud’s “Madonna Whore” dichotomy that still often define women.