Posts tagged ‘culture’

7 June 2010


At the East Asian Institute @ Leipzig University:

Japan’s modernity has been formed in three different system-specific constellations and corresponding self- and hetero-descriptions, i.e. formations of identity discourses. For the Meiji-System they can be summarized as Japonisme or Nipponism (with the focus on an aestheticized high-culture), for the post-war system as Nihon/jin-ron (everyday and consumer goods), and the last 1 ½ decades can be labeled Cool Japan or J-culture.

Continuously, images of the “Self” have been constructed by internalizing the foreign/western perspective. At the same time, this heteronomy has always been a field consisting of three elements, that means, national identity has always been constructed via the ethnic triade “West-Japan-(East-) Asia”. There are, however, also striking differences between the J-culture discourse and the previous two discourse formations: first, the dominance of popular cultural elements, such as Manga, Anime, Games, pop music, fashion, food; and, secondly, the multitude and variety of actors engaged in this discourse, reaching from so-called “ordinary” people (not only youngsters !) up to political and other elites.

J–culture is fundamentally formed by the two semantic fields of cool and beautiful. […more…]

18 April 2010

Language and culture

Question: What percent of languages in the world are primitive in the sense of not having a system of sounds, words, and sentences that can adequately communicate the content of culture?
Answer here on the second “flashcard”.

More tutorials on human communication by Dennis O’Neil.

27 March 2009

Discourse analyst on MTV

Yes, discourse analysis is fashionable enough for MTV. Simon Lindgren, Associate Professor of Sociology at Umeå University, Sweden, is starring in four short clips on Swedish MTV.

In the first one, I say a few words about reality television as a research subject. The second one is about the fact that one can actually make a career out of analyzing popular culture. The third one will appear before episodes of The Hills, and represents an ultra brief reflection on identity work and beauty culture. The fourth and final one will air before episodes of Life of Ryan, and gives an equally brief analysis of changing ideals of masculinity.

He is also presenting an interesting paper at the upcoming CAQR2009 (2nd International Conference on Computer-Aided Qualitative Research), which combines Laclau and Mouffe’s approach to discourse with bibliometric and network analytical tools — albeit focusing analysis on the print-textual level.

1 January 2009


netEX, the [NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]:|| Cologne, has an incredible amount of deadlines for media/art symposia, festivals, meetings, competitions, and postgrad courses on its website. The selection for January includes 18 announcements.

15 September 2008

Discourse Theory and Cultural Analysis

A timely new book has just been published – the first collection of papers exporing ways in which discourse theory, as inspired by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, can aid the analysis of media and other cultural forms. Following an introduction by the editors, Nico Carpentier and Erik Spinoy (From the political to the cultural), the fifteen substantive chapters are divided into five sections: TV, Radio & Print // Arts/Film // Ads // ICT // Literature.

Nico Carpentier & Erik Spinoy (Eds.) (2008) Discourse Theory and Cultural Analysis: Media, Arts and Literature. Hampton Press

Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s discourse theory has been successfully used in the study of many areas of the political-ideological, including Apartheid, populism, fascism, new social movements, ecology and revolutionary discourses. Surprisingly, the attempts to move beyond the confines of political theory and research are still very rare.

This book’s main objective is to expand discourse theory into the realm of the cultural, by focusing on specific discursive machines and mechanisms in the fields of the media and the arts & literature. The themes vary from war to gaming culture, from new realist poetry to Mario Toral’s mural painting, and from literary history to Mexican cinema. The greater number of chapters in this volume deals with a variety of media, including television, newspapers, film, ads, press communiqués, online forums and videogames. Content-wise these chapters are majoritarily discourse-theoretical analyses of a wide range of conflicts and their representations. Although the application of discourse theory is virtually non-existent within the realm of Literary and Art Studies, a substantial number of chapters introduces key discourse-theoretical notions as antagonism and agonism, hegemony, and indeterminacy into these fields.

All in all, the operationalisation of discourse theory in the study of media, literature and other artistic fields allows for a dry-eyed, sobered-up continuation of earlier poststructuralist and deconstructionist research. It proves, moreover, to be an asset in paving the way for innovative approaches to comparative and multimedia  / interartistic research, and in doing so it offers an important contribution to scholarly debates in a wide range of disciplines.

7 September 2008

Kulturportal Russland

With thanks to, some tips for Russophiles in Berlin. All of which I’d want to see/participate in if I had time.

Discussion: Media in today’s Russia. Russisches Haus. Friedrichstr. 176. Organised by Berliner Freunde der Völker Russlands e.V.
17.09.2008 (5.30pm)

Cinema: Kawkaskij plennik – Gefangen im Kaukasus. Directed by Sergey Bodrov. Kino Krokodil.
08.09.2008 – 10.09.2008 (10pm)

Theatre: Tagebuch eines Wahnsinnigen (Nikolai Gogol). Deutsches Theater.
10.09.2008 (8pm), 15.09.2008 (8pm), 18.09.2008 (8pm)

Opera: Der Spieler (Prokofiev, after Dostoevsky). Staatsoper.
9.09.2008 (8pm), 11.09.2008 (8pm), 19.09.2008 (8pm)