My blog is back in production again after my summer hiatus. I wanted to provide some updates. I am going to be spending the fall in Washington DC as the Kluge Chair of Modern Culture at the U.S. Library of Congress. I will be up to my elbows in archives as I return to a project I started several decades ago only to be derailed but which has continued to haunt me—a historical account of children's media (and discourses regarding "permissive child-rearing") in the 1950s and 1960s. It means returning to texts which had meant a lot to me growing up in that era but also getting a better sense of what the adults were reading and talking about at the same time. I will be looking at Benjamin Spock, Margaret Mead, and others, as well as everything from Dennis the Menace to Mr. Roger's Neighborhood to Room 222.
Billy Proctor has agreed to step in and help me manage content flow. Proctor is a kindred spirit and a good friend. Proctor is killing it with work on remakes and reboots, media franchises, and horror media. Proctor hosted a round table about "Toxic Fandom" on the blog last spring and wrote three essays on Disney's Star Wars and The Last Jedi.
I still expect to have some one off posts showcasing our current research efforts and other resources that will be of interest to some of you, but I am structuring things so that we will spend much of the fall on two series which grew out of this Spring's State of Fandom series.
First, I have worked with Diane Winston and Sarah McFarland Taylor to organize some exchanges focused on Popular Religion and Participatory Culture. I had discovered how much work in Cultural Studies is taken up and engaged with in religious studies and yet very little of that work is known within Media and Cultural Studies. So, I wanted to use this series to fret greater awareness across disciplines, pairing people who are working on similar themes and topics.
In the second part of the fall, Billy Proctor will be conducting a series of one on one interviews with an international mix of scholars who re working on horror and cult media. This topic is close to my own heart having taught a Horror class off and on during my time at MIT. I grew up in the Monster Culture of the 1960s as I recently talked about during Proctor's podcast, The Death and Resurrection Show. So I am looking forward to reading Proctor's interviews. He's shared a few with me already and they are nothing if not provocative.
How Do You Like It So Far?, the podcast I co-host with Colin Maclay. will be back this fall for a new season and we have some great things planned there as well. I hope many of you had a chance to check out some of our episodes over the summer dealing with, among other things, Black Panther, The Last Jedi, Ready Player One, K-pop, Wyonna Earp and Sherlock.