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Dr. Carl Peters, author most recently of Studies in Description, gives two papers at the annual convention of the Modern Languages Association, which will be held in New York City from January 4–7, 2018. Also see the full convention program online.
Saturday, January 6
8:30–9:45 a.m., Madison Square, Sheraton
462. Complex TV: Texts, Viewers, and Fan Engagement
Program arranged by the forum TC Popular Culture
Presiding: Ellen McCracken, U of California, Santa Barbara
1. “Transmedia and Telenovelas: Parodying Latinx Melodramas for a Transnational and Hemispheric Latinx Audience,” Yari Cruz, Indiana U, Bloomington
2. “The ‘Tina’ Phenomenon: Bob’s Burgers and the New Riot Grrls,” Kira Boyko, U of Victoria
3. “Against Cognitive Philosophies of Film Experience: An Archaeology of Image: Rethinking Jason Mittell’s Cognitivism,” Carl Peters, U of the Fraser Valley
4. “The Transmedial and Synontological Complexity of Castle,” Rhona Trauvitch, Florida International U
Abstract of Dr. Peters’s talk:
Complex TV-Film: Slicing Up Eyeballs
“What I want is for you not to like the film, to protest. I would be sorry if it pleased you.”—Buñuel
Albert Camus asserts that neither man nor world are absurd but the relationship that happens between them is. In film there is the depiction and the viewer who watches. Neither is absurd in itself but each confronting the other produces an absurd experience. Guy Debord called it spectacle. I call it “image.” Camus said “a novel is never anything but a philosophy expressed in images,” and that in a good novel the philosophy disappears into the images. In a good film philosophy disappears into the images. Woody Allen, in “My Philosophy,” writes:
I remember my reaction to a typically luminous observation of Kierkegaard’s: “Such a relation which relates itself to its own self (that is to say, a self) must either have constituted itself or have been constituted by another.” The concept brought tears to my eyes. My word, I thought, to be that clever! (I’m a man who has trouble writing two meaningful sentences on ‘My Day at the Zoo.’) True, the passage was totally incomprehensible to me, but what of it, as long as Kierkegaard was having fun.
Sunday, January 7
8:30–9:45 a.m., Sutton North, Hilton
735. Rhetoric in Post-Factual Times
Program arranged by the forum LSL Language and Society
Presiding: Rebecca Dingo, U of Massachusetts, Amherst
Speakers: Lindsey Albracht, Graduate Center, City U of New York; Jason Maxwell, Penn State U,
University Park; Carl Peters, U of the Fraser Valley; Kurt Spellmeyer, Rutgers U, New Brunswick; Daniel Valella, U of California, Berkeley; John David Zuern, U of Hawai‘i, Mānoa
Since the recent election scholars have reexamined the best practices of argumentation and how
they are teaching students to assess information and make arguments about it. Panelists examine how we perform textual analysis when facts and evidence are no longer the marker of good argumentation and offer historical, theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical perspectives.
Abstract of Dr. Peters’s talk:
“Argument is to me the air I breathe”—Gertrude Stein
This panel asks “How to perform textual analysis in a time when facts are no longer the marker of good argumentation.” Who says, “Facts are no longer the marker of good argumentation”? What this ‘false news’ business is all about – aside from the idea that facts are neutral – is how to define propaganda. A discerning reader will always be able to do the work of discerning. What I wish to analyze is that the way this question is framed already begins to normalize, and therefore legitimize, “alternative fact.” The idea is to understand what a text says, where it lies, and the question of how to perform textual analysis in a time when facts are no longer the marker of good argumentation; it is an ideological question – that is a fact. The problem in an age of mass media, advertisement for consumer goods, the way news is used, and the need to control news and package news, is that no one is innocent of using facts to claim truth.
From Oral to Written is a study of Native literature published in Canada between 1980 and 2010, a catalogue of amazing books that sparked the embers of a dormant voice. Leading Aboriginal author Tomson Highway surveys the first wave of Native writers published in Canada, highlighting the most gifted authors and the best stories they have told, offering non-Native readers access to reconciliation and understanding, and at the same time engendering among Native readers pride in a stellar body of work. On Meta-Talon, read a selection from Highway’s prologue.Thursday August 10, 2017 in Meta-Talon
August 12 is Buy a Quebec Book Day – and have we got books for you! Browse our list of 12 august and recently published Quebec books – any of which we would, of course, recommend. Read the list, and then get out to your local bookstore this Saturday and show la belle province some literary love!Friday June 23, 2017 in Meta-Talon
The Gorge: Selected Writing by Nancy Shaw launched in April, 2017 at the Western Front in Vancouver. To launch Shaw’s book, published posthumously, editor Catriona Strang read from The Gorge, and then this video was played to a rapt audience. In the video, you’ll hear the voice of Nancy Shaw, reading poems from her book Cold Trip (2006; co-authored with Catriona Strang).Tuesday April 18, 2017 in Meta-Talon
By R. Kolewe
Inspecting Nostalgia is a new collection of poetry by R. Kolewe. This, his second collection, brings together found text and fragments of various writers’ work with scraps from his own journals.
In this third week of National Poetry Month 2017, and in advance of Kolewe’s Toronto launch on May 8, please enjoy two poems from the collection on Meta-Talon.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.