WGS271Y1: POP Culture Exam Review
January 10th: Space, Race, and Alien Invasions
R: Be Afraid: America’s paranoid history
HOOD: a covering for the head and neck with one opening for the face; a gangster or
similar violent criminal (short for hoodlum)
NEIGHBOURHOOD: ones own neighbourhood
This sense that the frame implicitly guides the interpretation has some resonance with the
idea of the frame as a false accusation.
ALLEGORY: a story, picture, etc. which uses symbols to convey a hidden or ulterior
meaning, typically a moral or political one; a symbolic representation; an extended or
continued metaphor; or, a narrative “in which the agents or actions, and sometimes the
setting as well, are contrived by the author to make coherent sense on the „literal,‟ or
primary level of signification, and at the same time to communicate a second, correlated
order to signification.
“But they‟re fucking monsters aint they? “
METAPHOR: a figure of speech in which a name or descriptive work or phrase is
transferred to an object or action different from, but analogous to, that to which it is
Metaphor is “doubly alien”: it is a name that belongs elsewhere and one which
takes the place of the word, which “belongs”.
What is at stake is the „cutting off‟ of figured from the social and material
relations which over determine their existence, and the consequent perception that such
figures have a „life of their own‟. Stranger fetishism is a fetishism of figures; it invests the
figure of the stranger with a life of its own insofar as it cuts ‘the stranger’ off from the
histories of its determination.
Encounters with aliens are bodily encounters, encounters in which slime and skin
slide off one another: we are already touched by alien forms (we are touched, in our very
withdrawal from the slime of the alien skin). Our disgust at the abjection of alien forms
allows us to contain ourselves. WE shiver and tremble and pull our hands away; it is a
January 17th: Zompocalypse Now, Part 1
R: World War Z
It had happened when the boy and his father were moon fishing, a term that describes
diving for treasure among the sunken ruins of the Three Gorges Reservoir. With more
than eleven hundred abandoned villages, the hope of recovering something valuable.”
The last one to be exposed was a withered old woman…she was shaking her bony fist at
the doctors. This is your punishment, she shouted. This is revenge for Fengdu.
The ZOMBI(e) in American Cinema: a brief history
Expoliation: a figure of exploited labout became the exotic backdrop for American
melodrama. Zombie master. The threat as no central source of authority attached to it.
Consumption: used as a critique of American Consumer culture. Lose the zombie
master- end of order as we know it- uprising
Infection: Faster, smarter, full of rage Connected to capitalism, emotion, rioting.
The Politics of Disposability…
- millennial zombies are the kind of economic waste
- they are the ones that are rendered redundant
- they are the group that is growing
He believed that to try to protect everyone would stretch the government‟s resources to
the breaking point, thus dooming the entire population. He compared it to survivors from
sinking ship, capsizing a lifeboat that simply did not have room for them all. Redeker had
even gone so as far as to calculate who should be “brought aboard”. He included income,
IQ, fertility, an entire checklist of „desirable qualities‟, including the subjects location to a
potential crisis zone. This first causality of the conflict must be our own „sentimentally‟
was the closing statement for his proposal, for its survival will mean our destruction.
January 24: Zompocalypse Now, Part 2
R: World War Z
THE OUTBREAK NARRATIVE: the repetition of particular phrases, images and story
lines produced a formula that was amplified by the extended treatment of these themes in
the popular novels and films that proliferated in the mid 1990s. Collectively, they drew
out what was implicit in all of the accounts: a fascination not just with the novelty and
danger of the microbes but also with the changing social formations of a shrinking world.
Disease emergence dramatizes the dilemma that inspires the most basic of human
narratives: the necessity and danger of human contact. Human networks become the
conduits of viral destruction. The routes traveled by communicable disease light up the
social interactions- the spaces and encounters, the practices and beliefs- of a changing
Human Life Threats to like…
The epidemiological precedent of an „index case‟ responsible for subsequent outbreaks
quickly transformed [those first infected] from victims to agents- and embodiments- of
the spreading infection”
The metamorphosis of infected people into a super spreaders is a convention of the
outbreak narrative, in which human carriers rhetorically bring the virus itself to life.
The US intended to go permanently on the offensive marching forward every day, until
every trade of sponged and purged and it need be blasted from the face of the Earth.
January 31st: Fairytales, Fantasies and Fascism
R: The Girl Can Help It *
Allegory is the story where what happens at the level of plot has a coherent meaning and
there‟s a separate meaning at different levels. (characters, etc) Symbolic interchange
between actions, choices and limits of characters. Constrained by genre and the actions,
choices and limits of characters; constrained by circumstance (what characters do,
decisions that they make, historical context)
Fairy tale: a story involving fantastic forces as beings; a story in which improbably events
lead to a happy ending
Magic Realism: a kind of modern fiction in which fabulous and fantastical events are
included in a narrative that otherwise maintains the reliable tone of objective realistic
report, designating a tendency of the modern novel to reach beyond the confines of
realism and draw upon the energies of fable, folk tale. The fantastic attributes given to
characters in such novels- levitation, flight, telepathy, telekinesis- are among the means
that magic realism adopts in order to encompass the often phantasmagorical political
realities of the 20th century
The Hero‟s Journey: a hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of
supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won:
the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on
his fellow man.
I very deliberately designed the idea of the fantasy world to be extremely uterine. We
used a fallopian palette of colours: we used crimsons and golds, and everything in the real
world is cold and straight. You can see it in the not-so-subtle entrance to the tree.
Theweleits central contention is that the Freikorps soldiers were afraid of women. Indeed,
not just afraid, they were deeply hostile to them and their ultimate goal was to murder
them. Women, in their view, came in only two varieties: Red and White. The White
Woman was the nurse, the mother, the sister. She was distinguished about all else by her
sexlessness. The Red Woman on the other hand, was a whore and a communist. She was
a kind of distillation of sexuality, threatening to engulf the male in a whirlpool of bodily
and emotional ecstasy. This, of course, was the woman, the Freikorps solider wished to
kill, because she endangered his identity, his sense of self as a fixed and bounded being.
In this manner, Mr. Theweliet links the Freikorps soldiers‟ fantasies of women to their
practical life as illegal anti-communist guerillas: the republic had to be destroyed of
because it empowered the lascivious Red woman, while it failed to protect the White
woman‟s sexual purity.