Friday, February 28, 2014

The Stuart Hall Project

Newly available in the Annenberg Library is the much anticipated John Akomfrah film, The Stuart Hall Project. This film, about one of the founding figures of cultural studies, received a lot of buzz at this year's Sundance and Sheffield Documentary festivals.

"Stuart Hall, one of the most preeminent intellectuals on the Left in Britain, updates this definition as he eloquently theorizes that cultural identity is fluid—always morphing and stretching toward possibility but also constantly experiencing nostalgia for a past that can never be revisited. Filmmaker John Akomfrah uses the rich and complex mood created by Miles Davis’s trumpet to root a masterful tapestry of newly filmed material, archival imagery, excerpts from television programs, home movies, and family photographs to create this lyrical and emotionally powerful portrait of the life and philosophy of this influential theorist. Like a fine scotch, The Stuart Hall Project is smooth, complicated, and euphorically pleasing. It taps into a singular intelligence to extract the tools we need to make sense of our lives in the modern world."
--Sundance Film website

You can view the trailer here.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February CommQuote

Go to Google BooksLet's go with another poem for our February Commquote (since April is approaching which we know is Poetry Month, how's that for logic?).  The poet is Rae Armantrout, who is coming for a visit to the Kelly Writers House later this Spring.  The poem is called Cursive from her 2007 collection, Next Life.


In my country,
in "Toy Story,"

sanity meant keeping
a set distance

between one's role
as a figurine
and one's "self-image."

This gap
was where the soul
was thought to live.


When he thought of suicide, he thought,

"It ends here!"


"Let's do it!"

As if a flying leap
were a form of camaraderie.

As if a cop and his
comic relief partner
faced off'
against moguls.

Crossed wires released such
hope-like sparks.


This thing was called
"face of the deep,"

this intractable blank
with its restless cursive


Monday, February 10, 2014

Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics

The Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics is a three volume work from Sage that explores the rise of social media effects on politics in the United States and around the world. 

Edited by Kerric Harvey of George Washington University, the work carries over 600 essays that fall in general topic areas: Celebrities and Pioneers in Social Media; Congressional Social Media Usage, Measuring Social Media's Impact; Misuse of Social Media in the Political Arena; Social Media, Candidates and Campaigns; Social Media, Politics and Culture; Social Media and Networking Web Sites; Social Media and Political Unrest, Social Media and Social Activism; Social Media Concepts and Theories; Social Media Regulation, Public Policy and Actual Practice; and Social Media Types, Innovation and Technology.  

Volume III includes not only a good resource guide of related books, journals and websites but  a detailed appendix tracking social media usage by U.S. Senators and Congressmen--what platforms they use, and the number and frequency of their posts.

These volumes are a good place for beginners and more seasoned researchers to start their investigation of this rapidly transforming area of two interlocking fields, communication and political science.  Available in the Reference section of the Annenberg Library.

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