Posts Tagged ‘popular cultural semiotics’

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American Sniper: Or How To, and How Not To, Do Cultural Semiotics

posted: 2.5.15 by Jack Solomon

It is hard not to be aware of the kerfluffle over the many Oscar nominations for the movie American Sniper—especially its nod for Best Picture.  The whole thing was quite predictable: take a controversial book about a controversial topic and have it directed by Hollywood’s successor to John Wayne in the hearts of American conservatives, and you have all the makings of a Twitter Tornado (just ask Seth Rogen and Michael Moore).  Thus, American Sniper is a natural choice for semiotic attention in your popular culture classes.  The only question is how to approach it. [read more]

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Categories: Jack Solomon, Popular Culture, Semiotics
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Semiotics Begins at Home

posted: 12.4.14 by Jack Solomon

The practice of popular cultural semiotics has much in common with both anthropology and sociology: after all, cultural semiotics, too, analyzes human behavior.  But it is important to point out that there are a number of methodological differences that distinguish the semiotic from the sociological or anthropological approaches, one of which I wish to explain here. [read more]

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Categories: Jack Solomon, Popular Culture, Semiotics
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Transfer: or, Without Which Nothing

posted: 11.16.14 by Jack Solomon

My topic this time should be a familiar one to anyone involved in composition instruction:  this is the concept of “transfer,” the notion that students should take what they have learned in their composition classes about writing and make full use of it in their subsequent university career, and beyond.  Applicable, of course, to all learning in a formal educational setting, transfer is (or at least ought to be) a fundamental concern, and goal, of all educators. [read more]

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How Not To Do Popular Cultural Semiotics

posted: 3.27.14 by Jack Solomon

Back in December 2013 I wrote a complete Bits blog entry on the then just released Disney animated film “Frozen.”  Briefly touching upon the fact that, like the Marvel superhero Thor, here was another popular cultural phenomenon featuring archetypally  “white” characters—look at those gigantic blue eyes, those tiny pointed noses, the long ash blonde hair of one of the princesses (the other is a redhead) and the blonde mountain man .  .  . you get the picture—I focused on the continuing phenomenon of a bourgeois culture producing feudal popular art: you know, princesses in their kingdoms, princes, that sort of thing. [read more]

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Categories: Jack Solomon
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