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2016 Postmodern Village
Conference Report and Product Update
Slaughter Horse 5: Sagebrush Revolutionaries, Public Land, and Scorched Earth, a Standoff Unstuck in Time
by Sojourner Bass
At a time when the Bundy family is finally being brought to account for taking over a national wildlife refuge and Donald Trump surges in the polls, Bass's paper reminds us of the sad fact that the history of the white man in the American west is a history of destruction and genocide dressing up as freedom and opportunity. Hard on the hoofs of her presentation begins the standoff against the Dakota pipeline, revisiting, yet again, the future past.
Critical Ass: Simon Cowell, Lady Bey, and Newclear Frisson in the Great Pop Culture Ratings Game
by Stefani Levine
The advent of shows like The Voice and American Idol demonstrate what, Levine contends, we really all knew but hate to admit: we watch these shows not because of the quality of the contestants but because of the critiques by the hosts. This is catharsis in the form of direct appraisal, sociological sorting of relative human value in the guise of talent show. It's the same, sick thrill of gladiatorial combat revisited as kinder, gentler, jerkitude.
The Song of Higher Wattage: Alternative Energy as the New American Poetry, Dispatches from Solar City
by Tallman Muskie
Acknowledging that American poetry has always been obsessed with its own landscape, Muskie demonstrates the rhythmic and sonorous qualities of the wind farms and solar arrays that now dot this great land of ours. Steeped in nativist progressivism, Muskie's paper devolved, at times, into a rant on energy independence with a futurist edge. But our destiny, manifest or not, never looked brighter when powered by the metaphors of sustainability.
Tesla Cool: Popularity, Pollution, and the Electric Car, Second Acts and Direct Currents in Public Life
by Nicole Lief-Scott
Nikola Tesla is largely thought to have lost the war on whether power should be delivered via alternating or direct current, but he seems to have won the peace, as solar, wind, and electric cars now come on line. Lief-Scott places this idea squarely in the framework of that other great American pastime, reinvention of the self on the new(est) frontier, the traditional stage for American second-acts.
One Flew Over the Cuckold's Nest; Madness, RINOs, and the RNC, a Comments-Section Trolling-Session
We've never been more fascinated by an hour-long diatribe about the evils of liberals, political correctness, "statist" solutions to social problems, and how women need to smile more. But deep exposure to, and of, the Republicuck's worst nightmare, the online troll, reveals the scattered thoughts and miserable emotional condition of the greatest force in US politics.
Grace Jones Period: Black Female Aggression of the '70s and '80s as American Folk Tradition
by Angela Lomax
Generally relegated now to old, white men with graduate degrees and dobro fetishes, American folk traditions, Lomax argues, exist in every era, color, and personal style. Buttkicking Black gurlz 30 and 40 years ago paved the way for buttkicking White gurlz of today, and just like the unsung blues heroes of the '30s and '40s who paved the way for White boy rock 'n' roll, the lesson got lost over time. It's long past time for a revival.
Pitches, Part 4