Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Center, Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Brent Malin, associate professor of Communication, director of Graduate Studies, and affiliate faculty member in Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh will present the lecture, "Post-Network Manhood: Television, Niche-Marketing, and the Rhetoric of Masculinity."
This presentation explores some important ways in which the economics of early 21st century American television has lead to a series of images of masculinity that reinforce a wide-range of traditional, hyper-masculine stereotypes. Malin will trace these changing images of manhood alongside a series of political, economic, and technological developments impacting the American television system. The growing importance of DVD sales and online viewing, a new emphasis on niche marketing, and the policy changes enacted by the Telecommunications Act of 1994, are all factors influencing the particular masculine images of the contemporary television environment. Exploring these connections demonstrates the close relationship between the political economy of television and particular kinds of gender representations.
Malin's research covers a range of contemporary and historical topics in order to understand the myriad ways in which people's identities are constituted by and through the media. Malin's first book, "American Masculinity under Clinton: Popular Media and the Nineties Crisis of Masculinity," explores conceptions of masculinity offered by a wide range of sources from the 1990's and early 21st century. Drawing together analyses of such popular culture examples as Friends, Titanic, and The Sopranos, and such political sources as Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, The Starr Report, and the debates surrounding September 11th, Malin illustrates how a rhetoric of masculine crisis has been used to support a range of economic, political, and cultural aims.
His second book, "Feeling Mediated: A History of Communication Technology and Emotion," (forthcoming from NYU Press), investigates how changes in communication technology change how people think about emotion. Focusing primarily on the early 20th century U.S. and exploring such diverse technologies as radio and the psycho-galvanometer, this book demonstrates how a set of assumptions about emotion came to dominate popular and academic thinking about the media as well as how these assumptions continue to shape our understanding of communication.
Free admission is made possible by sponsors: School of Communications; Institute of General Semantics; and Women and Gender Studies. For more information, contact Valerie Peterson, associate professor, School of Communications, at 331-2981.