Video and podcast: “Popular Culture and the Political Imagination”


Robert Putnam has suggested that the political consciousness and civic engagement of the post-World War II generation may have taken shape in bowling alleys and other spaces where community members gathered. Might the political consciousness of the new generation be taking shape in and around popular culture? Are we seeing a blurring of the roles of citizen and consumer? Is this fusion between entertainment and news a good or a bad thing? What links exist between our cultural and our political preferences? How are activists and political leaders utilizing metaphors from popular culture as resources to mobilize their supporters? Is it possible that aspects of our popular culturemay generate utopian visions that fuel political change? These and other questions were explored by panelists Johanna Blakley, deputy director of the Norman Lear Center at USC; David Carr, media and culture writer for the New York Times; and Stephen Duncombe, associate professor at NYU and author of Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy. Henry Jenkins moderated.

Andrew Whitacre

About Andrew Whitacre

Andrew directs the communications efforts for CMS/W and its research groups. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. This work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects including website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotions.


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