memories of panelling....

I'm not sure this will not kill off my non-existent career but thought I'd put it up anyway

Panel 1: Should we or should we not mainstream pop culture? (and where's the mainstream when you want it?)

mainstreaming may marginalise popular culture even further—lose nuances, even when teaching.
Create a canon—this is negative. (because a negative canon fires backwards?)

one of the panellists says pop culture folks should make themselves relevant to mainstream. Gives Enloe's Bananas, Beaches and Babes (is that the name? BBB sounds better) as an example of being "relevant" to the mainstream. Pop culture as pedagogy (but a very narrow view of the role of pop culture as directly mirroring things in the world). Another example is of army folks watching Breaker Morant.

Is against intertexuality. Says it's “free floating” (ahh...the voice of the mainstream)

Sovereignty woman says she's heard all this many times before--feminism, neorealism (really? neorealism was marginal at one point? I feel a warm glow at that)

Fellowgradstudent, who also does pop culture, and I are passing notes—where's E when you need her? Actually, where was E during all the pop culture stuff?

Quotes from Roddy Doyle's A Star Called Henry. “I have to distance myself from all the words in that question”. Gives example of Jewish museum. Disruption from story and theme--having to make one's own stream. "modes of thinking create subjectivities”. Need to understand history of universities to understand IR history. We have a series of expectations—they establish norms.

SovereigntyWoman (stands up)
visual versus the verbal
concept of “remediation”: shift the political point of view...people laugh when she reads the 9/11 Commission report. Talks of “intention” a lot.

I write “practical stuff?” for FellowTUWSNBN student. He writes back “media as politics”. Neither of us makes that point.

I made a comment about meanings of pop culture texts changing in different places, different classrooms (re: my Doctor Who gig)—was ignored/misunderstood by political science guy. Later, other folks come up and talk about this, so it was good I think? The alien guy from the sci-fi book comes up to chat. Oddly enough, none of these folks are as scary as I always think they will be but are, instead, easy to talk to and rather fun. We decide the mainstream is scared of losing control of the classroom.

Panel 2: Canadian security panel: Resistance in a time of terror.

Chair: leather jacket, dark hair, dramatic—I think she does stuff on Foucault? Should check. She's not Canadian though. I suppose everyone doesn't have to be?

1st bloke: Looked rather like Shane Warne. Kept on expecting him to sound Australian. Talked of how there was “no discourse of home-grown terrorism” in 1985. But, what about the British? They had plenty of resources for talking of home-grown terrorism. Ah, Canadians! Said HGT was a “theatrical category”. Talked of why HGT has been securitised while school shootings are not? Hmm...historical understanding—school shooters have been traditionally classified as a problem of youth? Racial characters (and why does no one actually just SAY that—the kids who got arrested were all immigrant (Muslim)-Canadians; the school shooting kids are usually white). Talks of the “visible collective” project—that actually sounds interesting.

2nd bloke: Says securitisation theory is a theory of silence. Analyses resistance to the PATRIOT Act. Apparently librarians are the resistors. Who knew? Thought librarians were too busy getting their knickers in a twist about scrotums. Ends with question about “desecuritisation or fight the conception of the threat?”. I think those two do NOT go together—don't they work on different assumptions about how to understand insecurity?

PhD student: Talks...and talks...and then talks some more about Foucault, Schmitt, Agamben, etc. Goes on and on and on. People in the audience start fidgeting. Goes on. Reads and re-reads her work from the page.

AirportSecurityGuy was the discussant: wiry, thin, regular gear. Makes slightly odd point (I thought) about how 9/11 was Critical Security Studies' “1989 moment” and says “we didn't predict that”. But...but....but...since when were we supposed to predict things?

Talks of “sleeper cell” (the TV show) after I “pimped” Torchwood out to the first bloke. V small audience—five or six people. Had to say something.

The movie panel (with real movies!)
Saw films about zombies and a Bosnian one about personal/public. The first made a good point—zombies with agency instead of the “usual passive zombies”. The second was about a man who made a film. The film was accepted at a festival in America but he couldn't get a visa in time. For Nepali folks, that's really nothing new—and the idea that we are talking about in at BNC, in a tiny room packed with people, is quite amusing too.

CoolSecurityGuy's genealogy of visual images made the excellent point that we should be looking at what these do, rather than tracing their antecedents or noting connections or condemning the use of such pictures. CoolSecurityGuy is actually a good speaker--easy to follow and making all his points well.

More in Part II: BigIRFilmGuy and CoolSecurityGuy return but there're also appearances by someone completely different (when isn't there?)


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