“Grasshopper Cup” is staying at the Beach for another year

Photo by Raya Torres

A team of CSULB journalism students took top prize in the Asian American Journalist Association’s collegiate “Trivia Bowl” fundraiser Friday night.  See attached photo.

The trivia bowl is ultra-competitive, super fun and a southern California journalism tradition. The contest brings together corporate teams (Los Angeles Times, KTLA, KPCC, Nielsen, for example) and students from more than 15 universities including UCLA, USC, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Occidental, Claremont, CSU, CSULA and Cal Poly. UCLA had dominated the College Bowl until CSULB won for the first time in 2019. CSULB took the top prize again last year and this year’s victory officially makes CSULB a collegiate trivia powerhouse.

Congrats to 2021 trivia bowl faculty advisors Chris Karadjov and Richard Chang and the team of students that represented three JPR extra-curricular organizations, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and Daily Forty-Niner!

Geography Welcomes New Faculty Member

Dr. Wenjie Ji will be making his professorial debut this fall when he joins the department of geography. 

In 2010, Dr. Ji earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering, geo-information science and technology at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. Soon after, he moved to New York to pursue his doctorate in geography at the University of Buffalo, where he also gained experience as a research assistant. 

Dr. Ji has been presenting his research at conferences and lectures since 2014. He has appeared as a guest lecturer at New Mexico State University and Buffalo State University, where his teachings focused on remote sensing and plant diversity. Additionally, he has shared his research with fellow academics at conferences like the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting and NASA Terrestrial Ecology Science Team Meeting. 

Before joining the CSULB faculty, Dr. Ji was a postdoctoral research associate at New Mexico State University. In that capacity, he was involved in two NASA-funded research projects using light detecting and ranging satellite systems to measure the vertical structure of plants from space. He believes that getting involved in research is extremely important for students. 

“[I want to] inspire one or two of them to take part in scientific research and in a community,” Dr. Ji says.  “The world really needs it right now.”

He decided to switch gears and  become an educator because he wants to lead his students by example. He says he looks forward to building a community of researchers and scientists at CSULB. 

“I feel that having a good education is essential to any student,” Dr. Ji says. “I think a good class, or even just one good instructor, changes a lot. I want to inspire the next generation of scientists.” 

Chicano and Latino Studies Welcomes New Faculty Member

Dr. Dario Valles, an anthropologist in Latinx studies, joins the department of Chicano and Latino Studies as an associate professor this fall. 

Most recently, Dr. Valles was a teaching and lecture fellow at Columbia University. He was also a postdoctoral research associate in race and ethnicity at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Affairs/Center for Study of Race and Ethnicity in America.

Joining the faculty at CSULB marks a return to Southern California for Dr. Valles, who received his bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and political science from USC and his master’s degree and doctorate in anthropology from Northwestern.

“As a first-generation Latinx student who grew up in Los Angeles County, I have seen the impact of the Cal State system on providing educational access, creating equity and supporting engaged research,” Dr. Valles says. “Being able to teach and serve at home in a public university in Southern California has been a number one goal.” 

Dr. Valles conducts ethnographic research with a focus on methods that include visual and digital tools and is currently completing a documentary, “No Separate Survival,” that grew out of digital storytelling workshops he held with Guatemalan, Honduran, Salvadoran and Haitian asylum seekers in Tijuana.

He looks forward to continuing his research at CSULB and to working with students as they discover how “different ethnic studies and other social science readings apply to everyday life.”

“My first and foremost goal is to contribute to CHLS students and those in ethnic studies courses in ways that help each participant grasp the value of Latinx and ethnic studies scholarship and apply it to their various personal, professional, and community-oriented goals,” Dr. Valles says. “CHLS has also made an intentional effort to include Central American and Caribbean communities as part of Latinx studies, and I look forward to both centering this in my courses and in events I help bring to campus, as well as supporting related student groups.” 

Chicano and Latino Studies Welcomes New Faculty Member

Marlene Nava Ramos (She/Her): Chicano and Latino Studies

Marlene Nava Ramos, a Los Angeles native, will join the Chicano and Latino studies department this spring.

At CSULB, Ramos hopes to continue her research centered around immigration detention and pursue solidarity work between Latino studies and the fight against anti-Black racism in the classroom. She finds these conversations “really timely,” especially among her students. 

“People were really thinking, especially now, with all of the social unrest happening in our country,” Dr. Ramos says. “It’s conversations inside the classroom. [They’re] very fruitful and very generative. Young people have a lot of ideas for how to make things happen.” 

Ramos earned her bachelor’s degree in labor and industrial relations at Cornell University. After graduation, she returned to L.A. to serve her community as an environmental justice organizer. Soon, though, she was drawn back to New York to pursue her master’s in public health in urbanism and the built environment at Columbia University.  

She is currently working toward her doctorate in philosophy at the City University of New York graduate center. She hopes to develop her dissertation into a book. 

Ramos is no stranger to the classroom; she has taught at Lehman College and the New School in New York, as well as in the correctional setting, which, she says, has been the “most rewarding.” 

She says she was drawn to CSULB as an Angeleno and an intellectual. While teaching in the CUNY system, Ramos was inspired by students who took a “nontraditional route” to get their degrees. She says she looks forward to learning from her students at CSULB.

 

Faculty Publications: Geography – October 2021

GEOGRAPHY

Twenty entries from the Department of Geography. Scholarship includes studies of the politics of urban Southern California, fires in the African savanna, the Mars rover exploration, Equity in honors education, and Error-based Uncertainty in geospatial analyses.

Hytrek. Gary. 2021. “Borrowed social performance: Labor and community organizations in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.”  In Mark Pendras and Charles Williams (eds.) Secondary Cities: Exploring Uneven Development in Dynamic Urban Regions. Bristol: Policy Press. 

Hytrek, Gary, and Andres Temblador. 2021. Best Start Central Long Beach: PB 2020-2021 Report. First 5 Los Angeles. 

Hytrek. Gary. 2020. “Space, power, and justice: the politics of building an urban justice movement, Long Beach, California, USA.” Urban Geography.  41:5. 736-759. 

Andres Temblador, Gary Hytrek, Sheyla Diaz*, Adriana Ochoa*, Taylor Karp*, Eduardo Vaca*, and Vanndearlyn Vong*. 2020. Best Start Central Long Beach: PB 2020 Report. First 5 Los Angeles. 

 (*CSULB Undergraduate Student.) 

Laris, Paul.  2021. On the problems and promises of savanna fire regime change. Nature Communications 12, 4891. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25141-1

Laris, Paul, Yang, L., Dembele, F., Rodrigue, C.M. 2021. Fire and Water: The role of grass competition on juvenile tree growth and survival rates in a mesic savanna. Plant Ecology 222, 861–875 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-021-01149-x. 

Laris, Paul, Seymour, C., Mills, M. 2021. What a long term, repeat study can tell us about California’s native prairie landscapes. Rural Landscapes: Society, Environment, History (In Press).

Caillault, S., Laris, Paul, Fleurant, C., Delahaye, D., and Ballouche, A. 2020. Anthropogenic Fires in West African Landscapes: a Spatially Explicit Model Perspective of Humanized Savannas. Fire 3, 62; doi:10.3390/fire3040062

Laris, Paul, and Jacobs, R. 2020. On the problem of “natural” savanna fires: Commentary on Veenendaal et al, 2018, New Phytologist https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.17138. 

Laris, Paul, Jacobs, R., Kone, M., Dembele, F. Rodrigue, C.M. & Camara, F. 2020. Determinants of fire intensity and severity in a mesic savanna of Africa. Fire Ecology  16, 27. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42408-020-00085-x.  

Laris, Paul S.; Yang, Lilian; Dembélé, Fadiala; and Rodrigue, Christine M.  2021. Fire and water: The role of grass competition on juvenile tree growth and survival rates in a mesic savanna.  Plant Ecology (forthcoming). 

Laris, Paul S.; Koné, Moussa; Dembélé, Fadiala; Rodrigue, Christine M.; Yang, Lilian; Jacobs, Rebecca; and Laris, Quincy.  2021. Methane gas emissions from savanna fires: What analysis of local burning regimes in a working West African landscape tell us.  Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences (forthcoming).

Laris, Paul S.; Jacobs, Rebecca; Koné, Moussa; Dembélé, Fadiala; and Rodrigue, Christine M. 2020.  Determinants of fire intensity in working landscapes of an African savanna. Fire Ecology 16: Article 27. doi: 10.1186/s42408-020-00085-x.

Siwabessy, Andrew G.; Rodrigue, Christine M.; and Anderson, Robert C. 2020. Geologic map of Terra Cimmeria, Mars. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 51: 2766.

Rodrigue, Christine M. 2020. K-means clustering and mapping of all four Mars rovers’ APXS oxide and element relative abundance data. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 51: 1262.

Siwabessy, Andrew G.; Anderson, Robert C.; and Rodrigue, Christine M. 2020. Preliminary 1:1 M geologic map of Terra Cimmeria, Mars. Planetary Geologic Mappers 2020: 7033.

Siwabessy, Andrew G.; Rodrigue, Christine M.; and Anderson, Robert C. 2020. Remanent magnetization signatures in Terra Cimmeria and Terra Sirenum, Mars, as a result of far-field tectonic and hydrological effects of the early uplift of the Tharsis Rise. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 51: 1996.

Rodrigue, Christine M. 2020. Richness and equitability measures applied to a K-means classification of all four Mars rovers’ APXS oxides and elements data. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 51: 1607.

(student authors underlined)

Brenda Pulido Villanueva, Alejandra Priede, and Deborah Thien. 2021. Racial Equity and Healing in Honors. In Honors Education and the Foundation of Fairness: a Question of Equity, edited by Graeme Harper,p. 46-65. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Wechsler, Suzanne. (2021). Error-based Uncertainty.  The Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge (3rd Quarter 2021 Edition), John P. Wilson (ed.). DOI: 10.22224/gistbok/2021.3.3. (link is external).

Faculty Publications: Environmental Science and Policy – October 2021

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLICY

Three entries from the Environmental Science and Policy program. Scholarship includes studies on the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders, the effects of road traffic on infant health, and the attempt to offset carbon emissions via restaurant surcharges.

Long, Dede, West, G., Nayga Jr., R. (2021) “Consumer Willingness-to-Pay for Restaurant Surcharges to Reduce Carbon Emissions: Default and Information Effects.” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 1-29. https://doi.org/10.1017/age.2021.7

Long, Dede, Lewis, D., Langpap, C. (2021) “Negative Traffic Externalities and Infant Health: The Role of Income Heterogeneity and Residential Sorting.” Environmental and Resource Economicshttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-021-00601-w

Li, L., Long, Dede, Rohi Rad, M., Sloggy, M. R. (2021) “Stay-at-home orders and the willingness to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic: A stated-preference discrete choice experiment.” PLoS One 16(7): e0253910. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0253910

Faculty Publications: English – October 2021

ENGLISH

Thirty-nine entries from the Department of English. Scholarship includes studies of modernist literature, Black Mountain and Beat poetry, composition, late-nineteenth-century U.S. women’s writing, and U.S. abolitionism. Also featured are works of creative writing in book form and in literary journals, as well as a new edition of a recovered early-eighteenth-century play.

Blankley, Elyse. “Gendered Violence and Narrative Complicity in Katherine Mansfield and Leonard Woolf.” Forthcoming in Kathrine Mansfield: International Approaches (Routledge, 2022).  

—. “Katherine Mansfield and the Reader’s Horizon.” Forthcoming in Katherine Mansfield and Children (Edinburgh UP, 2022).

—. Review of Shattered Objects: Djuna Barnes’s Modernism in Modernism/Modernity (January 2021).

Dilts, Tyler. “You Have Time,” Air/Light, Issue 3/Summer 2021. https://airlightmagazine.org/airlight/issue-3/you-have-time/

Guffey, Robert. Donald Trump’s Operation Mindfuck. OR Books, 2022. 

“If You’re Into Eating Children’s Brains, You’ve Got a Four-Year Free Ride: A QAnon Bedtime Story (Part 4).” The Evergreen Review (June 30, 2021). <https://evergreenreview.com/read/if-youre-into-eating-childrens-brains-youve-got-a-four-year-free-ride-4/>

“If You’re Into Eating Children’s Brains, You’ve Got a Four-Year Free Ride: A QAnon Bedtime Story (Part 3).” The Evergreen Review (June 24, 2021). <https://evergreenreview.com/read/if-youre-into-eating-childrens-brains-youve-got-a-four-year-free-ride-3/>

“If You’re Into Eating Children’s Brains, You’ve Got a Four-Year Free Ride: A QAnon Bedtime Story (Part 2).” The Evergreen Review (June 16, 2021). <https://evergreenreview.com/read/if-youre-into-eating-childrens-brains-youve-got-a-four-year-free-ride-2/>

“If You’re Into Eating Children’s Brains, You’ve Got a Four-Year Free Ride: A QAnon Bedtime Story (Part 1).” The Evergreen Review (June 14, 2021). <https://evergreenreview.com/read/if-youre-into-eating-childrens-brains-youve-got-a-four-year-free-ride-1/>

“Her Wounded Eyes.” Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Vol. 6. Red Room Press, 2021.

Bela Lugosi’s Dead: A Novel. Crossroad Press, 2021.

Widow of the Amputation & Other Weird Crimes: Four Novellas. Eraserhead Press, 2021.

“Old Man on a Bus.” The Mailer Review Vol. 14, No. 1 (Fall 2020).

“Donald Trump’s Operation Mindfuck.” The Evergreen Review (November 2, 2020). <https://evergreenreview.com/read/donald-trumps-operation-mindfuck/>
 
“Dark Twins of a Distorted American Dream: Gary D. Rhodes’ Offed and Steve Erickson’s Shadowbahn.” Medium (October 25, 2020). <https://medium.com/curious/dark-twins-of-a-distorted-american-dream-gary-d-rhodes-offed-and-steve-erickson-s-shadowbahn-bb84190f5338>
 
“What Are the True Goals of QAnon? It’s the 21st Century’s Ultimate Catfish Scheme.” Salon (September 13, 2020). <https://www.salon.com/2020/09/13/what-are-the-true-goals-of-qanon-its-the-21st-centurys-ultimate-catfish-scheme/>
 
“Decoding QAnon: From Pizzagate to Kanye to Marina Abramovic, This Conspiracy Covers Everything.” Salon (September 7, 2020). <https://www.salon.com/2020/09/07/decoding-qanon-from-pizzagate-to-kanye-to-marina-abramovic-this-conspiracy-covers-everything/>
 
“Making Sense of QAnon: What Lies Behind the Conspiracy Theory That’s Eating America?” Salon (August 30, 2020). <https://www.salon.com/2020/08/30/making-sense-of-qanon-what-lies-behind-the-conspiracy-theory-thats-eating-america/>
 
“The Deep, Twisted Roots of QAnon: From 1940s Sci-fi to 19th-century Anti-Masonic Agitprop.” Salon (August 23, 2020). <https://www.salon.com/2020/08/23/the-deep-twisted-roots-of-qanon-from-1940s-sci-fi-to-19th-century-anti-masonic-agitprop/>
 
“What Is QAnon?: A Not-so-brief Introduction to the Conspiracy Theory That’s Eating America.” Salon (August 16, 2020). <https://www.salon.com/2020/08/16/what-is-qanon-a-not-so-brief-introduction-to-the-conspiracy-theory-thats-eating-america/>

“Her Wounded Eyes.” New Reader Magazine #10 (June 2020).

“The Loser.” Black Cat Mystery Magazine #6 (June 2020).

“The Pharmacy” and “The Lemon Thief.” Rosebud #67 (Spring 2020).

“Watch Out or You’ll End up in My Novel: The Lost World of Ask the Dust.” John Fante’s Ask the Dust: A Joining of Voices and Views. Fordham University Press, 2020.

“A Scarcity of Angels.” Selene Quarterly Magazine Vol. 2, No.4 (February 2020). 

Hart, George. Finding the Weight of Things: Larry Eigner’s Ecrippoetics. University of Alabama Press, forthcoming, Spring 2022. 

—. “‘To Open Your Ears’: Typing, Time, and the Body in Beat and Black Mountain Poetics.” The Beats, Black Mountain, and New Modes in American Poetry, Matt Theado, editor. Clemson University Press, forthcoming, Spring 2022. 

—. Momentous Inconclusions: The Life and Work of Larry Eigner, co-edited with Jennifer Bartlett. University of New Mexico Press, 2020. 

—. “The Dark Ecology of Naked Lunch.” Humanities, vol. 9, no. 4, 2020, https://doi.org/10.3390/h9040130 

Hernandez, David. Hello I Must Be Going. University of Pittsburgh Press, Forthcoming Spring 2022.

Margrave, Clint. “After Watching the Challenger Documentary on Netflix,” The Journal of American Poetry, forthcoming.  

—. “Camus Takes a Train” and “Monk Dies in Greece without Ever Seeing a Woman,” Gargoyle, forthcoming. 

—. “Pessoa Died a Virgin,” In the Footsteps of a Shadow: North American Literary Responses to Fernando Pessoa, forthcoming.    

—. Visitor (poems), NYQ Books, forthcoming.

—. “Middle-Aged Slam Pit,” Without a DoubtPoems Illuminating FaithNYQ Books, forthcoming, 2021. 

—. “Rat Trap,” Sterling Clack Clack, forthcoming, 2021. 

—. “After Rereading Beowulf ” and “Jumping Spiders Can See the Moon,” Spillway, Oct. 2021.   

—. “Bulgarian Necrologues,” One, Issue 24, 2021. 

—. “Claes Oldenburg: Alphabet in Form of a Good Bar,” “Alexej von Jawlensky: Still Life with Flowers and Oranges,” The Ekphrastic Review, 2021/2020. 

—. “Dostoevsky Takes a Selfie,” Artillery Magazine, Sept/Oct. 2021. 

—. “Fellow Traveler,” “The Quest for Perfect Armor,” Bird of Prey,” International Literary Quarterly, 2021. 

—. “Jesus Never Laughed,” The Moth, Spring 2021. 

—. “Origins,” Oikos: Poeti per il future, 2021 (Italian translation).   

—. “Sad Animals,” Sterling Clack Clack, 2021.  

—. “Toad Dies and Goes to Heaven,” Rattle, Poets Respond, 2021. 

—. “Tropic of Cancer,” Short Edition, 2021.   

—. “Visitor” and “Call to Prayer,” New York Quarterly, Issues 67.1, 67.2. 2021.

—. “Brave New Literary World,” Areo, October 2020.  

—. “Italians Singing from Balconies,” Areo, March 2020.  

—. Lying Bastard (a novel), Run Amok Books, 2020. 

—. “A Supermarket in California.” Another Chicago Magazine. (Dispatches from the Pandemic series). 2020.

—. “The Tyger King.” Poets Reading the News, April 2020. 

McDevitt, David, editor. Mary Pix’s The Conquest of Spain. 2021. https://www.amazon.com/Conquest-Spain-Mary-Pix/dp/0578997916/

Scenters-Zapico, John T. Identity: A Reader for Writers. 2nd ed., Oxford UP, 2021.

—. “Small m to Big M-Mobilities: a Model.” Mobility Work in Composition, edited by Bruce Horner, Megan Faver Hartline, Ashanka Kumari and Laura Sceniak Matravers, Utah State UP, 2021.  

Tayyar, Paul Kareem. Daydreaming & Other Essays. J. New Books. Forthcoming, December 2021.

—. Let Us Now Praise Ordinary Things. Arroyo Seco Press. June 2021.

Treviño, Rene H. “Frederick Douglass Beyond the United States – Transatlantic Activism and Correspondence.” One More Voice, an imprint of Livingstone Online, new dawn edition, 2021, www.onemorevoice.org/html/essays/douglass_beyond_us.html.

—. “Yda H. Addis (c. 1857-?): An Annotated Bibliography.” Resources for American Literary Study, vol. 42, no. 2, 2020, pp. 256-305.

Wegener, Frederick. “‘Talking Against Time’ in The Age of Innocence.” Afterword to “The Age of Innocence at 100,” special issue of Edith Wharton Review, vol. 36 (2020): 165-80.

CLA AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: BLACK LIVES MATTER

In light of the recent protests and statements in support of Black Lives Matter and other anti-racist organizing efforts, the College of Liberal Arts is highlighting how its courses incorporate issues related to Black Lives Matter. We will highlight one course each month.  You can view all of our courses here: https://cla.csulb.edu/black-lives-matter/

See the description below detailing how CLA faculty advance the anti-racist messaging of Black Lives Matter through assignments, readings, and pedagogical practices that affirm the lives, history, and culture of Black people across the globe. Descriptions fall into one of three categories—Long-Standing Practices, Recent Changes, and Future Plans—designed to demonstrate the ongoing nature of anti-racist efforts:

Instructor: Marcus Young Owl
Course: ANTH 315: Human Variation

In ANTH 315 I cover the race concept, its history, and discuss how it has been misused and show why it is considered invalid by modern science, ending that section with the official statement from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists stating that race is no longer considered valid.

In the next section of the course I do a survey of the history, legalities, and experience of several American ethnicities including the Black population, American Indians, and Mexican-Americans.  Asians and Europeans are also covered, but not as in depth as the other three groups.

The basis of human variation – genetic mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, and gene flow – is discussed.  The last fourth of the course begins with current ideas regarding the origin of modern humans and the genetics of migration.  The rest of the course looks at acclimatization and biological adaptation, including limb lengths and body morphology, skin color, hair structure, unique adaptations of some human populations to such things as high altitude, finishing with a critique of studies that try to equate intelligence with ethnicity.

Chicano and Latino Studies Welcomes New Faculty Member

Dr. Jacqueline Lyon, whose research focuses on the intersections of race and citizenship, has been hired as an associate professor of Chicano and Latino studies. 

Dr. Lyon will be teaching the new ethnic studies course, along with Asian and Latino Migration Since WWII. Previously, she’s taught Latin American anthropology, looking at the ways scholars in the Americas generated anthropological theory that responded to the histories, cultural production, and societies in the region; a course titled Race, Racism, and Redress that considered theories of race and racialization, racial violence, and activist efforts; and a class on Citizenship, Borders, and Belonging, which used an intersectional perspective to understand how citizenship is experienced for migrants and non-migrants alike. 

She is excited to join the CSULB faculty, where she will be able to ground her teaching and scholarship in ethnic and Latino studies. 

“CSULB offers the opportunity to work with a student body to which I am personally and professionally committed,” Dr. Lyon says. “In particular, joining the Chicano and Latino Studies department and being part of the new ethnic studies initiative allows me to collaborate with scholars and teachers of color who understand and value both scholarly and community work.”

Dr. Lyon is currently working with a group of Dominicans of Haitian descent who are struggling to assert their citizenship rights after the government decided to retroactively eliminate birthright citizenship. She is writing a book based on this research, and plans to soon begin a new research project looking at the ways Puerto Rican ancestry researchers construct narratives about colonialism, migration, and race.

“As a scholar who studies Blackness in Latin America, I hope to strengthen the connections between Africana Studies and Chicano and Latino Studies,” Dr. Lyon says. “I see the new ethnic studies course as part of this effort.”

Call For Papers: 56th Annual Comparative World Literature Conference

Culture Jamming and the Art of Subversion: A Multidisciplinary Perspective
Venue: California State University, Long Beach. Mainly in person with some sessions on Zoom.
April 13 and 14, 2022

Coined in the eighties, the term “culture jam” refers to the appropriation by social activists of the linguistic trends characteristic of consumerist, capitalist societies. In an effort to disrupt mainstream cultural institutions, culture jamming organizations and the individuals behind them subvert and expose the tactics used by media culture and its affiliates. In so doing, the jammers borrow the very language of corporations, political discourse, and mass advertisements. Identity correction, media pranks, modification of billboard advertisements, memes, pastiches of company logos, street protests, hoax news, fake commercials, are some of the activities geared towards disrupting the status quo and questioning egregious political and social realities. The Yes Men, Burning Man, Cacophony Society, Guerilla Girls, Graffiti Research Lab, Billionaires for Wealthcare, Billboard Liberation Front, Church of the SubGenius, Regurgitator, The Bubble Project—, Those are some examples of culture Jamming organizations that have emerged over the last three decades.

A 2017 collection of papers titled Activism and the Art of Cultural Resistance (New York University Press) demonstrates that the concept of culture jamming, far from being dépassé, has continued to be deployed in a variety of ways, notably in 2020/2021, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and global movements. Have cultural jammers succeeded in undermining the social firms targeted?

This conference invites paper and panel proposals on all aspects of culture jamming. Possible topics can include but are not limited to:

  • Borat the character and Ali G
  • Intellectual impostures and the Bricmont
  • Sokal hoax
  • The Yes Men and their hoaxes
  • Memes, counter memes, and meta memes
  • Underground presses
  • Meme hackers of the 70s and 80s
  • Reality as simulacrum
  • Pranksters and tricksters in art and literature
  • Epic pranks in Greek mythology
  • Cyberspace and the end of privacy
  • Banksy’s street art and the politics of space
  • Corporate satire in popular culture
  • The Guerilla Girls
  • Occupy Tahrir
  • The poetics of subversion
  • The Yes Lab and Me
  • Covid19 vaccination as metaphor
  • Marcel Duchamp’s LHOOQ
  • Harry Potter and real magic
  • Civil disobedience as art form
  • The art of appropriation
  • Activism and speaking truth to power.

We are thrilled to announce that the Plenary talk will be delivered by Jacques Servin, co-founder of the Yes Men on Wednesday, April 13th, at 2PM. The title of his talk is: “Never Lie, Little One: The Use of Humor in Telling the Truth.”

Proposals for 15-20 minute presentations should clearly explain the relationship of the paper to the conference theme, describe the evidence to be examined, and offer tentative conclusions. Abstracts of no more than 300 words (not including optional bibliography) should be submitted by January 15, 2022. Please submit abstracts as a Word document in an email attachment to comparativeworldliterature@gmail.com. Please do not embed proposals in the text of the email.

The conference committee will review all proposals, with accepted papers receiving notification by February 10th, 2022. Please indicate which mode you prefer(Zoom or in person) for planning purposes.