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The Poetry of William Carlos Williams

Analyze his short poems, specifically, The Red Wheelbarrow, A Sort of Song and This is Just to Say. Talk about its historical placement in modernism, but also, how we can understand his work living in a post-modern world? How can we continue to learn from such brevity?

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    Mark Twain and Racism

    Called both the most racist book of all time, and also a book that fights against racism, analyze Huckleberry Finn and its cultural implications. Is calling Twain a product of his time excusing his racism? Is Jim a complicated black character? Can the repeated use of the "n" word exclude this book from being a great piece of American literature?

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      Disney's Live-Action Remakes: A Good Choice for the Studio?

      Discuss Disney’s decision to remake several of their classic films into live-action such as Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Dumbo, Alice Through the Looking Glass, an Aladdin prelude, The Jungle Book, Pinocchio, and Tinker Bell. Why do audiences find live-action version of stories they’ve already been told so appealing? Will the live-action prequels or sequels be considered canon with the animated films? Is this a good strategy to make a lot of money? Maybe touch on the previous live-action retellings such as Maleficent, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland and how they led Disney to making so many more.

      • The only problem with Disney constantly remaking there animated films into live action is that some other films seem a tad unnecessary. On one hand, The Idea of a live action Mulan is very interesting because of how diverse the cast would be with it taking place in China. On the other hand, do we really need a Night on Bald Mountain movie, Because the original version from Fantasia is fine the way it is. Disney should feel obligated to remake there older films only if they feel it needs improvement. – Aaron Hatch 17 hours ago
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      • Another unfortunate trend with Disney's live-action remakes is how they too often tend to change the story or characters from their animated films. Particularly in the case of Maleficent, the title character was rewritten to be a positive force in Princess Aurora's life even though Aurora was supposed to have been cursed by Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. As a result, many of Sleeping Beauty's other characters no longer resembled themselves as they once were; King Stefan got made the villain to replace Maleficent, Prince Philip was relegated to a bit part, the three good fairies became incompetent twits, etc.So logically, such changes could lessen the live-action films' claim of being connected to Disney's animated films and cause fans to lose support since fans of the originals would be the most expected draw for an audience to watch any live-action remake. The fans would mistakenly be expecting a straightforward transition from animation to live-action of their favorite Disney film and end up feeling disinclined to see another which might hurt Disney's live-action films' financial success in the long run. – dsoumilas 11 hours ago
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      • Also discussing the limits live-action would place on a story originally told through the more liberating medium of animation would enrich your analysis. – Luthien 4 hours ago
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      • On a more positive note these live action remakes are introducing these stories to a newer generation. Younger folks might prefer to watch a newer films rather than the older 2D animated film. – Cagney 2 hours ago
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      Science in the Silver Age of Comics

      Oftentimes comic book historians will talk about the variety of eras in comic book history. For example the Silver Age is said to have taken place from 1950s to the 1970s. In this era comics began to turn into hardcore science fiction stories. Stan Lee starting creating comics during this period and many of his creations, like the Hulk and Fantastic Four, are scientifically based. What were the conditions (socially and culturally) that led to the creation of this era? Both Marvel and DC should be discussed.

      • This is a topic that includes so many aspects that it could lead to some interesting discussions. I think one important reason for the use of science was the end of WWII going into the Vietnam War. People in a short amount of time saw the use of science to destroy the world. People felt the real trauma and pain that could be caused through experimentation. Art tends to blossom after tragedy because people need to understand it in some form. This plays a critical point in the focus on science in comics. There are many interviews with Stan Lee where he discusses this is exact point that are easily found. The world had seen the use of an atomic weapon. These comics struggled with the idea that we could create our own demise and what do we do with that information? – Celeste Reeb 24 hours ago
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      The "Running Gag" of Antagonists' Families in Rick and Morty

      It seems to be a prevailing joke in Rick and Morty that the often-alien antagonists frequently have domestic families and lives that even humanize these supposed antagonists. Even the Freddy Kuger-esque dreamscape killer has a quaint domestic life.

      In some ways, it also reminds us that these creatures have stakes too. It parallels in some way to Rick’s family man status. Rick, though a sociopathic, self-centered scientist, is also a family man. How does the existence of their domestic lives ultimately cement how chaotic and complex the multi-verse is and mirror upon Rick’s domestic life?

      • This is really interesting, I never thought about it much until now but you are right, they give a lot of antagonists backstories. A good way to look at it in a neutral way is that it promotes the idea "we do things for others." Although Rick is selfish he cares deeply about Morty and his happiness as seen in him killing the Jelly Bean King that sexually harassed Morty. It's an easy thesis to support considering the end of season 1 Rick gives up the Wubalubadubdub phrase when he finds fulfillment in being with his grandchildren. – Slaidey 1 day ago
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      The Rise of YouTube

      Explore the history and growth of YouTube. What is the cultural and societal impact of YouTube? YouTube is now more than memes and funny videos, it is a career for certain individuals. There is a plethora of YouTube celebrities whose main job is to upload viral videos. Their fame in different than that of a movie star. Explore the reasons as to why this has come to be and what does it say about culture and society?

      It may also be interesting to look at popular viral videos. Viral videos tend to be popular for a short period of time (Harlem Shake) and then the fad fades. How do these videos impact YouTube in general, and what it may say about our evolving society?

      • I feel that this topic is a good one, and is relevant, but perhaps this topic could be better with some analysis on the personality of such YouTubers and how they influence their viewers to make a difference in the world. – BethanyS 11 hours ago
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      Afraid to commit (fictional) murder

      In an interesting trend media throughout its existence seems to be afraid to kill off characters, especially important ones. From "Superman" to "Sherlock Holmes" key characters die, only to return due to some thought-up Deus Ex Machina in order to both have a sad catharsis followed by triumphant victory. But is it a true victory when the loss of death is negated? In a world where characters cannot die (IE, Digimon or Pokémon), versus one where characters do meet their permanent untimely end (Game of Thrones) what difference (in message or otherwise) does the audience experience as a result and what is the overall effect each technique causes for understanding of the stories?

      • Being unable to commit to the ending of a character definitely hurts plot development... anime is notorious for it; nothing changes ( maybe something minor in 100 episodes or so). Some people (usually concerned parents not fighting against the violence in shows) address this issue saying it creates an unrealistic perspective and even de-values life itself. Kids who grow up watching these shows where characters always come back don't register the severity of certain brutalities, and in an extended way are those who don't think through their actions before resorting to gun violence (for example?). I do like how Sherlock deals with the circumstance though. John's acting clearly shows the hurt and pain behind losing someone, he keeps it realistic when Sherlock is re-introduced. – Slaidey 4 days ago
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      • An interesting note with Sherlock Holmes is that he was intended to die. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wanted to end him. However, the pressure from the fans for him to return was so big that eventually Dues Ex Machina was forced to come in an save the day. While looking at this topic, consider the role fans play in preventing their favourite character's deaths. – OddballGentleman 4 days ago
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      • OddballGentleman's observation is super important. I think genre is also super important in determining how much leeway we, the audience, give to Deux ex Machina. With comedies, like The Threepenny Opera (a takeoff of The Beggar's Opera by John Gay), because it's a dark comedy, we grant it the ridiculous ending. But for a realistic drama-- like Sherlock-- we need it to make sense. – meganhennessey 14 hours ago
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      Possible Explanations for the Explosion in Popularity of YouTube Let's Play Channels

      The explosion of Let’s Play gamers on YouTube is no secret to anyone. Currently the most subscribed to channel on YouTube belongs to a Let’s Play channel; they are well known and tremendously popular. I think it would be interesting to see if anyone could explore the question of why this is the case. What happened that made this genre of video uploaders so popular? Why are people so drawn to it, even though some don’t play video games themselves? The answer could be simple, or it could be more complicated; I personally don’t have enough knowledge on the topic to know. But regardless it’s a question I find interesting, and haven’t heard discussed often. I’m curious as to what others may think.

      • Looking at the personality of Let's Play producers/creators is a key factor I think. The top producers of Let's Play content stand out from others in terms of their acting behaviour/spin they put on it. The Angry Video Game Nerd or the Game Grumps use emotion to point out flaws in a game in a review style, while others like Rooster Teeth's Achievement Hunter simply play and illustrate points gamers can follow in their own playing or just sit and watch someone else play a game rather than buying it themselves. I think it's one of the biggest factors in which Let's Plays become more watched and why Let's Plays took off, games people wanted combined with not having to worry about wasting time playing themselves and guaranteeing enjoyment at the performance of another. Like the childhood experience (if like me you had older siblings) of watching your brother play games and cheering him on during the interesting parts. An adventure right at home. – smartstooge 4 days ago
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      • I think of it more as entertainment. A lot of these gamers are comedians and always crack jokes while playing. We might find humour in their failures, or just enjoy their commentary. The audience can play these games themselves, but it's more interesting to see a funny person play it. – YsabelGo 4 days ago
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      • I agree with the above commentators that Let's Play is a form of entertainment. I would even say it is a form of performing arts due to its entertainment-centric production. It would be interesting to see what are the criteria for the Let's Play to be widely entertaining, and what similarity they share with other form of performing arts, such as improvisation comedy. – idleric 3 days ago
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      Film

      John Hughes Remains Relevant: Don’t You Forget About Me
      John Hughes Remains Relevant: Don’t You Forget About Me
      The Work of Quentin Tarantino: Quality Over Quantity
      “Cultural Labour”: The Fabricated Fantasy of NYC Fashion Culture
      Do We Need the Author’s Approval in a Film Adaptation?

      TV

      Refusal to Settle: Why I Love Skyler White
      Refusal to Settle: Why I Love Skyler White
      America’s Next Top Monster
      An Introduction to The Fosters
      Firefly: A Freudian and Jungian Analysis

      Animation

      10 Mature Moments in a Pixar Film
      10 Mature Moments in a Pixar Film
      Peter Pan: The Seven Standards of Disney
      Canadian Animation: The Struggles of Earning Recognition from its Audience
      Five Animated Musicals That Are Not Disney

      Anime

      Psycho-Pass: The Ethics of an “Ideal” Society
      Psycho-Pass: The Ethics of an “Ideal” Society
      Hayao Miyazaki: The Art of Repetition
      My Love Story!!: More Than Meets The Eye
      How Takeo Broke the Mold in Ore Monogatari!!

      Manga

      Eyeshield 21: The Treatment of Opposing Teams
      Eyeshield 21: The Treatment of Opposing Teams
      14 Sai no Koi: The Manga Manual to Puberty
      Love in Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto
      Cyborg 009: The Long Road to an Ending

      Comics

      Vertigo’s Fables: Fate, Duty, and Redemption in the Modern World
      Vertigo’s Fables: Fate, Duty, and Redemption in the Modern World
      Female Superhero Representation in Comics
      Super Indian: The Making of a Superhero “Rez” Style
      Superheroes: Are They Really Heroes?

      Literature

      Clarifying Current Understandings of Fairytales: The Princess or the Goblin?
      Clarifying Current Understandings of Fairytales: The Princess or the Goblin?
      Neil Gaiman and Stephen King: The Power of Realism in Postmodern Fantasy
      The League Of Extraordinary Librarians
      Oscar Wilde: Social and Sexual Commentary in “The Harlot’s House”

      Arts

      An Overview of Cosplay: Exploring the Subculture
      An Overview of Cosplay: Exploring the Subculture
      The Art of Francesca Woodman: Haunting, Evocative, Personal
      Banksy: The Elusive Street Graffiti Artist
      Alfred Stieglitz: Meet the Artist Who Popularized Photography in America

      Writing

      Fanficton: A Practice in the Art of Storytelling
      Fanficton: A Practice in the Art of Storytelling
      Attention Writers: The Myth of Writer’s Block
      Working with The Shadow: A Writer’s Guide
      Critical Judgement: A Personal Perspective