Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cuture Combat! grad student conference

We've been having quite an interesting conversation on line about the title of the upcoming Cultural Production graduate student conference, scheduled for March 14, 2009: "Culture Combat: Provoking the Social Imaginary." Some CP-ers are a bit concerned over the militarist-sounding word, "Combat." Especially given the extensive militarization of language and culture in our recent history, what precisely does it mean to deploy this term so "provocatively"? (It certainly has a more edgy in-your-face quality than, say, "Culture as Contest" or "Culture Conflicts" would have had.) Are there some echoes of the Bismarkian "Kultur Kampf" (Culture Struggle) as well as the video game "Mortal Kombat" in the phrase?

In any event, there seems to be unanimous excitement over Cp graduate student Bryce Peake's poster design ( see above) which recasts the Boston skyline in urban gritty wall art mode, with the energy of a sunburst playfully radiating out of the hard core city. And much anticipation over the keynote address by Wayne Marshall (ethnomusicologist and DJ extraordinaire):

Learn more about the conference at:

Submissions are most welcome!

1 comment:

bjonpeake said...

I'd like to preface this by saying that I made the poster the way I did because the artistic style appeals to me- I had no "meanings" (consciously) in mind.

However, taken in context with the title and subtitle, I find it only appropriate that the city be included, as it is the site of MANY culture combats. In a more material reading, there is "combat" occuring between the visuality of the city and the visuality of the "art work" that would be the poster. Combat, in this sense, is not etymological but metaphorical.