6 Writers With A Deep Knowledge Of Popular Culture
Popular culture is a broad umbrella that covers many beloved pieces of media, from comic books to songs. While some think of them as mindless entertainment, others find meaning beneath the surface of these works, and feel that it's worth taking the time to analyze and discuss these properties that many take for granted. The people listed here have written fascinating essays, books, and more on various aspects of pop culture. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
Talented Writers Who Delve Into Pop Culture
|R. Eric Thomas||Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America|
|James Zahn||The Rock Father|
|Dr. Edmond Y. Chang||“Drawing the Oankali: Imagining Race, Gender, and the Posthuman in Octavia Butler’s Dawn” in Approaches to Teaching the Works of Octavia E. Butler|
|Jared A. Ball||I Mix What I Like!: A Mixtape Manifesto|
|Adrienne Shaw||Rainbow Arcade: Over 30 years of queer video game history|
|Jonathan Schroeder & Janet Borgerson||Designed for Hi-Fi Living: The Vinyl LP in Midcentury America|
Does Pop Culture Need To Be "Popular"?
6 Conventions That Celebrate Pop Culture
- Wizard World in various North American cities
- J1-Con in Atlantic City, New Jersey
- Comic Con Revolution in Ontario, California
- FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah
- ThunderCon in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
- Motor City Comic Con in Novi, Michigan
Arts Education in America
- 91% of Americans agree that the arts are "part of a well-rounded education"
- 93% to 94% believe that students in elementary, middle, and high school should receive an education in the arts
- 74% agree that the arts help students to perform better academically
- Nationally, more than 40% of secondary schools did not require arts courses for graduation for the 2009-2010 school year
- Federal funding for arts & humanities is around $250 million a year, while the National Science Foundation is funded at around the $5 billion mark
- Arts and music education programs are mandatory in countries that rank near the top for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands
- According to a nationwide study, 63% of eighth-graders took a music class, and 42% took a visual arts class
- Students in the Northeast were twice as likely (68%) to have taken a visual arts class than students in the South (35%)
- Students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, which is often used as a proxy to identify low-income students, scored an average of 26 points lower in music than those not eligible and 22 points lower in visual arts
- In the District of Columbia, 75% of white students took an art course, compared to 49% of black students
What is the Social Role of Popular Culture?
For lovers of pop culture, which runs the gamut from music and movies to sports and gaming, there are a number of writers producing in depth works that examine these subjects in thoughtful and insightful ways. Here, in no particular order, are authors, essayists, and creators producing books, articles, and columns that display expertise and appreciation for their chosen topics.
Coming in at #1 is R. Eric Thomas, a playwright and the long running host of The Moth in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. He is a senior staff writer for Elle, where he writes Eric Reads the News, a column covering pop culture, politics, and current events. He has been published in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Man Repeller, Newsworks, and ThinkingDance.
Thomas is the author of a memoir in essays, Here For It, or How to Save Your Soul in America. His play, Time is on Our Side, was commissioned by Simpatico Theater Project and developed with PlayPenn, winning two Barrymore Awards, including Best New Play. He is an alumnus of The Foundry, a Philadelphia playwrights lab, as well as InterAct Theatre Company, where he was a Lambda Literary Fellow.
His play, Time is on Our Side, was commissioned by Simpatico Theater Project and developed with PlayPenn, winning two Barrymore Awards, including Best New Play.
At #2 is James Zahn, a media personality and commentator. He is the owner, publisher, and editor in chief of The Rock Father Magazine, which covers the toy and game industry, movies, and television. He serves as senior editor of The Pop Insider, a destination for all things pop culture. His work has been featured in USA Today and the New York Post.
Zahn serves as an ambassador and spokesperson for several globally recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands, in addition to consulting for a number of toy and consumer products. He has appeared at Comic Con International in San Diego, and in such movies and television shows as Ocean's Twelve and Prison Break.
Entering the list at #3 is Dr. Edmond Y. Chang, an assistant professor of English at Ohio University. His areas of research include race, gender, video games, and popular culture. Among the presentations he has given include Brown Skins, White Avatars: Racebending and Straightwashing in Digital Games, and The Seductions of Gamification.
Among the presentations he has given include Brown Skins, White Avatars: Racebending and Straightwashing in Digital Games, and The Seductions of Gamification.
Chang's publications include Drawing the Oankali: Imagining Race, Gender, and the Posthuman in Octavia Butler's Dawn, Playing as Making in Disrupting the Digital Humanities, and Queergaming in Queer Game Studies. He also contributed to the book Gaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games.
In the #4 spot is Jared A. Ball, professor of communication studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is also the founder and curator of imixwhatilike, a multimedia hub of emancipatory journalism, beat reporting, radical broadcasting, and the mixtape. Among his panels and presentations are Agency and Agencies: Still More on the Politics of The Black Panther Film.
Ball has served as opinion writer and columnist for the Atlanta Black Star, and a programmer, host, and producer for Pacifica Radio in Washington, D.C. for such shows as Decipher: The Blackademics, Mid Day Jazz and Justice, and The Super Funky Soul Power Hour. Among his professional affiliations are the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies and Scholars for Social Justice.
Ball has served as opinion writer and columnist for the Atlanta Black Star, and a programmer, host, and producer for Pacifica Radio in Washington, D.C. for such shows as Decipher: The Blackademics, Mid Day Jazz and Justice, and The Super Funky Soul Power Hour.
Filling the #5 slot is Adrienne Shaw, associate professor in Temple University's Department of Media Studies and Production. She is the author of Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture, founder of the LGBTQ Game Archive, and co curator of Rainbow Arcade, the world's first exhibit of LGBTQ game history.
Shaw serves on the editorial and review boards for the International Journal of Cultural Studies and Not Your Mama's Gamer. She created a collection of academic comics for the International Communication Association conference, which later won the Best Visual Display Prize. She was also part of the award winning CYCLES project, which developed games to train users to identify and mitigate cognitive biases.
Finishing up the list at #6 is the creative team of Jonathan Schroeder and Janet Borgerson, authors of Designed For Hi Fi Living: The Vinyl LP In Midcentury America. The duo's work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Cool and Strange Music and World Financial Review. They've given presentations at the London School of Economics and the Flint Institute of Arts.
They've given presentations at the London School of Economics and the Flint Institute of Arts.
Borgerson is senior Wicklander Fellow at the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics at DePaul University and was a Trustee for George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York. Schroeder is William A. Kern Professor of Communications at Rochester Institute of Technology. The duo has also written the book, From Chinese Brand Culture to Global Brands: Insights from Aesthetics, Fashion and History.