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The Mainly Annual
20th Annual Conference
The Barrenstein Bares: Adoption, Surrogacy, and Sperm Donation as Children's Literature, a Critical Review
by Marybeth Stanjan
It wasn't as much Stanjan's paper that impressed us, but her slideshow. Apparently, surrogacy as a matter of kidfic is a visuo-fallopian wonderland, aided, (un)naturally, by modern laparoscopic techniques. As it turns out, there is a whole iconic language for awkward. But the connection to the Allies' lend-lease program during WWII was pure po-mo genius.
The Freudkins: Freud and His Circle as Collectible Smurfology
by Ana L.C. Garr
We admit that Garr's notion of infantalization was compellingly practical—and the free Freud-family figurines will get prominent places in all of our offices. But if she's right, all women are, after all, a single, and minuscule, blue archetype. The ramifications for the fashion industry astound.
The Jung Ones: British Comedy as Mythopoetic Archetype
by Bunny Belovsky
We'd like to say this parrots back a lot of established work, but that line of reasoning is dead. It's a challenge for every university to make sense of this shared language of Britcom, but as every drunken philosopher knows, the only way to police these references is with a special patrol group.
The Thickle Finger of Fame: (M)oral Outrage and the #ownership of Women's Sexuality, or Miley, Madonna, and Miss Jackson (If You Nasty)
by Norma Perfect
Starting with a demonstration, Perfect's talk was as controversial as always. With a faux "wardrobe malfunction" caused by Stan Wankey's bumbling attempt to "fix" her collar, Perfect challenged attendees to assign blame and, during the breakout sessions, to predict media coverage. Our own work failed to fit the focus-group model: knowing him as well as we do, we blamed Stan.
Snarknado: the Gawkernets as Cultural Current-cy
by Hamnode Foxx
With stories about "kittehs," rude restaurant customers, stupid drug addicts, and Floridians making up about 50% of mainstream (read "Non-Floridian") coverage, the Gawker media empire (and its brethren and sistren at Fark, Reddit, et al.), actually provide most mainstream news on TV and in print. Online, this "news" rolls eyes; on-screen and delivered to your door, it's stated with nary a snicker nor snark. Given this, is there any hope for journalism? Foxx, the Magic 8 Ball, and the baby otter all say "no."
YOLO-leeo: the Art of the Yodel as Self-Actualization
by Rick O. La
Certainly the most musical of our paper presentations, La's participatory performance piece was more convincing the louder we got. We won't ever know what Maslow would have thought, but we actualized his name all the way across the hall.
Papers, Part 2