Tag Archives: television

May 2016 New Zealand talks

I am in Dunedin and Wellington over the next two weeks, speaking at the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington on my Marsden funded research in both Nicaragua and Aotearoa New Zealand.

I am attending the Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age conference at the University of Otago where together with Kevin Glynn I am presenting a paper (on 7 May) that explores the intersections and interactions between indigenous people, the criminal justice system and the media through a focus on innovative reality series Songs from the Inside broadcast on Māori Television and on Tame Iti’s mediated activism. I am also going to pick up on these themes at Victoria University of Wellington in the Social Theory Spatial Praxis workshop . I am also running a master class on decolonial theory with a group of geography postgraduate students at the University of Otago on 5 May.

I am speaking about our Nicaraguan research in the Department of Geography at Otago University (Monday 9 May at 1pm) and School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington (Thursday 12 May at 4pm) and giving the following paper (co-authored with Kevin Glynn).

Shifting Nicaraguan mediascapes: Authoritarianism and the struggle for social justice

Abstract

There are two main threats to the authoritarian rule of the Nicaraguan government led by Daniel Ortega: the first is the Managua-based NGO and civil society sector led largely by educated dissident Sandinistas, and the second is the escalating struggle for autonomy and land rights being fought by Nicaragua’s indigenous and Afro-descended inhabitants on the country’s Caribbean coast. In order to confront these threats and, it seems, secure indefinite political tenure, the government engages in a set of centralizing and anti-democratic political strategies characterized by secrecy, institutional power grabs, highly suspect electoral practices, clientelistic anti-poverty programmes, and the control through purchase or co-optation of much of the nation’s media. The social movements that threaten Ortega’s rule are however operating through dispersed and topological modalities of power and the creative use of emergent spaces for the circulation of counterdiscourses and counternarratives within a rapidly transforming media environment. The primary response to these mediated tactics is a politics of silence and a refusal to acknowledge or respond to the political claims made by social movements. In the current conjuncture, we can therefore identify a struggle for hegemony whose strategies and tactics include the citizenship-stripping activities of the state and the citizenship-claiming activities of black, indigenous and dissident actors and activists. This struggle plays out in part through the mediated circulation and countercirculation of discourses and the infrastructural dynamics of media convergence.

Thanks to everyone for the speaking invitations, especially Marcela Palomino, Christina Ergler, Tony Binns and Holly Randall-Moon and to the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand for the funding that has made this research possible.

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Negotiating and queering US hegemony in TV drama: popular geopolitics and cultural studies

Gender Place and CultureWe have just published another article as part of our Geographies of Media Convergence research project (funded by the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand).  This article is a critique of dominant approaches in the field of popular geopolitics which in our view have not paid sufficient attention to existing and well-established debates within media and cultural studies. It also aims to expand the feminist critique of critical geopolitics initiated within feminist geography a number of years ago. While there is no doubt that popular geopolitics has become a lot more interesting in recent years, there is still a tendency to ignore television to focus on other kinds of media and popular texts and to gloss over the negotiations, complexities and contradictions associated with contemporary televisual texts. The second half of the article discusses the ABC TV drama Commander in Chief, which follows the first female president of the USA, and is set in a post-9/11 world wherein the struggle for US geopolitical domination has become a much more complex endeavor. We end by wondering whether entertainment television might provide us with imaginative resources for queering US hegemony. The article is now published in the journal Gender, Place and Culture and can be found here:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2013.855711

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