Jonathan Judd

Jonathan Judd

Six years into the academic system and I'm firmly held to a vow of poverty as a dedicated student and intellectual. Areas of study and devotion are Art and Cultural History.

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics

    5
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    Images of Terror and Terrorism in the Age of Trump

    Recent events in London and abroad raise questions of how we should be representing terrorist attacks and the victims of those attacks. The visualization of difference is crucial to our popular understanding of these events as they unfold and reverberate throughout the world. Discuss the way major news organizations like CNN, Fox and MSNBC visualize these events. What differences arise between these televised news sources? How can stations visualize the aftermath of these attacks and the victims in tasteful ways that don’t compound the trauma?

    • It would also be interesting to explore the way the Manchester attack was reported by American sources (releasing information before the UK, reporting false information, etc). Also, the lack of reporting terrorist attacks in non-western countries. Could this be due to the fact these sources don't want the US sympathizing with the middle-east? They want us to view them only as the terrorist and not as the victim? – BreannaWaldrop 3 weeks ago
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    • An interesting spin-off on this topic would be to explore the way in which news outlets are manipulated for PR reasons by both terrorist organisations and celebrities to manage their public profile. For example, the controversial decision of Grande to "go home" to the US was quickly followed by an announcement of the One Love benefit concert and return to Manchester. The decision of Noel Gallagher not to attend also resulted in a PR issue, which he felt compelled to then "explain". – bethlauren 3 weeks ago
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    Taken by bethlauren (PM) 3 weeks ago.
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    Surrealism USA and the Cartoon Fever Dream

    Surrealism was introduced into the U.S. through a series of exhibitions in the early to mid 1930’s at the height of the Great Depression. For the most part Surrealism existed in the popular consciousness as a sideshow act, a cartoonish form of entertainment. Discuss some of the works shown at these early Surrealist exhibitions and compare them to American cartoons of the time. Do they actually mirror elements of the Surrealist aesthetic? What is it that is potentially surreal about cartoons in the first place? Paintings by Dali can be compared to Walt Disney, etc.

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      Visualizing the Hard Times: Images of Economic Strife in Pop-Culture

      With every new economic downturn, recession, depression, American pop-culture tends to churn out a new slew of cultural products that deal with the impact of these shifting economic conditions. The material reality is what matters here, the impact on everyday life, it also tends to produce interesting film, television and art. The most recent film to do this is out in theaters now, "Going Out in Style." Discuss a few cultural products, from ideally a few different periods of economic strife in America (there are plenty), from the Great Depression (1929-1941) to the Recession of 2008-9, analyzing what they have to say about these periods in American history and the harsh realities they portray.

      • Examples: basically all of The Grapes of Wrath, maybe a converse example in Gatsby, the homeowner of The Big Short that ends up living in his car, 99 Homes. Just a few that might help narrow this topic! – elroddavid 2 months ago
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      celebrity appeal: how celebrity endorsement galvanizes the cause

      Choose a celebrity or multiple celebrities and discuss the phenomenon of celebrity appeal in America. Do celebrities have an obligation to use their popularity and appeal to speak out against things like global warming and war? Also, their great and often rapid accumulation of wealth, should this obligate them to support social justice causes, and in what ways? Some clear examples to discuss are Dicaprio and Pitt or even Mortensen and Michael Moore. Recent developments revolving around the presidential inauguration and celebrity refusals to participate, could provide good points for discussion.
      One more point for discussion would be to evaluate the effect that certain celebrities have had on the social or political causes they’ve endorsed, in our contemporary moment or in the past.

      • This is an interesting topic. I think it might also be interesting to examine the effects of public social/political advocacy on celebrity popularity. At the risk of sounding cynical, it seems to me that a celebrity publicly stating opinions about political/social issues can work either for or against him/her - depending largely, of course, on whether or not people LIKE the opinions he/she is stating. This is admittedly just a casual observation on my part, but from what I gather, when people LIKE the message, they tend to cheer the celebrity on and praise him/her for sharing the message - but when they DON'T like the message, they tend to trash the celebrity, call for boycotts of his/her work, and/or declare that celebrities in general should "just shut up" about politics. The various reactions to Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech are a good new example. – OBri 6 months ago
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      • Celebs are damned if they do or if they don't. If they speak out about social justice causes, they're labeled as phonies or ppl say that they're only speaking out because it's the 'trend' to do so. However, if they don't speak out they're criticized for not using their public roles properly. – seouljustice 6 months ago
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      • I think another important point to discuss in this is how much the celebrities actually do for the organizations they promote versus just talking about them. This goes a long with the affect they have had on those issues. I think drawing a clear line between the movements/organizations growing because of the groups own efforts and what the celebrities have actually contributed. – JenniferRobinMc 5 months ago
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      Political Satire and Presidential Decorum: How to Take a Joke

      Discuss the ways in which past elected officials in the U.S. have found themselves the center of one comedic play or another. How have these individuals, from presidents to senators, reacted to the satirical jabs directed at them? Is it possible to maintain the decorum of an elected official in face of a grinning Voltaire? Be specific and really focus in on one or a select core of presidential and or political figures that really fit the bill. Focus on a genre or style of humor like satire and really explore the mechanics of this humor as used for substantive critique. Great potential here, enjoy the adventure.

      • just an awesome topic considering the political season is coming to an end. Use things such as late night comedy to analysis deeper. Saturday Night Live does an awesome display of political satire and persuasion. It also holds a bias that makes it even more interesting. – Brittanie 7 months ago
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      • Don't leave out Amos and Andy. A political satire about the trial of Rodney King. – Munjeera 6 months ago
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      Netflix Originals: an Emergent Space for the Counterculture

      Analyze the depth and breadth of shows ranging from various genres that Netflix as a platform has facilitated. On the whole, the cultural products emerging from this Netflix Originals platform are daring and experimental with a progressive bent. Discuss this choosing a particular set of shows or genre. For me it is striking how many fantastic documentaries they are facilitating. Documentaries that otherwise wouldn’t be produced or would be extremely obscure. The recent documentary on the 13th amendment is amazing, also the recent one covering the minimalist movement shows interesting aspects of countercultural realities.

      • You could also explore where this counterculture comes from and why. Many of the shows are British, but are they more inclusive, less? Is it based on creators? Age? Or even sex? This could all be explored in a study of the counterculture. – TheSwampThing 6 months ago
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      • It would also be interesting to look at the politics of such shows in connection to ist audience. Who watches which Netflix prodcut? Who is reached by Netflix/ Who can enjoy ist content? – Laura Jungblut 6 months ago
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      Latest Comments

      Jonathan Judd

      wow, who knew video-games had such complex issues behind them, you almost forget that their just superficial games devoid of any real consequence or meaning in lived socio-political reality.

      For Honor? Problems in the Rhetoric of Skill in Games
      Jonathan Judd

      great discussion of the different and various iterations of this infamous comic character. The image of Mark Hamill is absolutely priceless.

      "The Flash" as the Modern Equivalent of 1960's "Batman"
      Jonathan Judd

      great piece, I like the connections you made between the older narratives and the new technological imaginings produced in the hollywood cinema realm.

      Ex Machina, Frankenstein and Modern Deities
      Jonathan Judd

      I agree, and actually considered referencing American Horror Story in this essay. The series is groundbreaking in its focus on uniquely American occult myth and legend, beside the outstanding cinematography and cast. Definitely an important part of the evolving genre.

      New Horror: An Evolving Genre
      Jonathan Judd

      Excellent piece, well written and extremely relevant to our current socio-political moment. Your line on Atwood’s ‘glorious attempt’ to shake us from our stifling apathetic mentality is on point! Certainly, she remains important especially with the recent adaptation of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ on Hulu – an amazing show.

      Oryx and Crake: Why Atwood Matters
      Jonathan Judd

      Exactly! I completely agree, its all about timing, dramatic acting and the pace of the narrative, such a great film.

      New Horror: An Evolving Genre
      Jonathan Judd

      Definitely, that’s what the “New Horror” is really, the emergence of well written and acted independent films changing the genre. Those reboots are a crime against horror, haha.

      New Horror: An Evolving Genre
      Jonathan Judd

      Awesome, I wrote this with horror junkies in mind and hope for some it gives new depth to their passion for the genre.

      New Horror: An Evolving Genre