Please note that our meeting day and time has changed to Mondays at 5:15 PM in order to prevent clashes with other seminars, in particular our friends at the History of Childhood seminars. We will still meet in Room 11 of the English Faculty Building. All are very welcome! A map and directions to the English Faculty Building can be found here.
Monday, 4 May (week 2):
Barack Obama, Superhero: U.S Presidents, Comic Books, and the Heroic Imaginary
Brian Johnsrud, Hertford College, Oxford
Hertford graduate student and Rhodes Scholar Brian Johnsrud discusses Barack Obama’s disproportionate coverage in graphic novels and superhero television programs such as Heroes and Smallville. This talk suggests that America’s election of President Obama may have revealed not only a new historical precedent, but also a glimpse of how the cultural view of heroes is evolving.
Monday, 18 May (week 4):
Dark Horses: The Lives of Anna Sewell and Black Beauty
Dr Adrienne Gavin, Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University Reader in English Literature and Sewell biographer Adrienne Gavin discusses the lives of metaphorical dark horse Anna Sewell and her dark horse creation, Black Beauty, which became a phenomenon in fiction.
Monday, 1 June (week 6):
Low-Rent Boyfriends and Social-Climbing Sisters: Class, Sexuality, and Transgression in Gossip Girl
Ryan Richard Thoreson, Hertford College, Oxford
Rhodes Scholar Ryan Thoreson, a graduate student at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, examines the concept of transgression in the teen television dramedy Gossip Girl. He focuses especially on the roles of class and sexuality in both establishing boundaries and providing ways to cross them.
Monday, 15 June (week 8):
Disney's Alice, Hello Kitty's Alice, and Carroll's Alice: An Aspect of Children's Cultures in the US, UK, and Japan
Yasuko Natsume, Tsuda College, Tokyo
This talk examines American and Japanese animated film adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as a means of accessing children's cultures in the US, UK, and Japan. Natsume's paper focuses on Disney’s self-supporting, independent Alice (who stands in contrast to the majority of early Disney princesses) and Sanrio’s 1993 Hello Kitty™ version, in which Kitty, a Japanese symbol of cuteness, plays the part of Alice.