Words of the semester

Posted by Tim Posada On 1:48 PM
This is my second semester at Claremont Graduate University in the cultural studies program. I'll be finishing up my second master's degree this fall and hopefully moving into the PhD right after. My former degree in theology and culture gave me a very different take on cultural studies, thus I learned much about the discipline last year, learning about such key ideas as the culture industry, understandings of the bourgeoisie, subaltern studies, and many other concepts. I though it'd be fun to list those special key terms that continually come up this semester and have guided my research.
1. Cultural capital: my thesis focuses on fan studies, specifically fanboy culture, and the idea of cultural knowledge attained that provides various groups with power and status keep appearing everywhere I turn.
2. Authenticity: through studying Digital Storytelling and other forms of media that focus on portraying groups, the idea of something being "authentic" provides me with new ways to analyze not just non-fiction but fiction as well.
3. Diaspora: sure I'd heard the term before but my Transnational Media Theory course provided deeper insight into its use.
4. Double consciousness: D.E.B. Du Bois coined phrase provides exciting possibilities for my future studies on various groups and migration but also can be used for my specific focus in superhero studies, examining the duel role of a costumed hero and an "everyday" person moving through life split between two opposing identities.
5. Reappropriation: like the work "juxtaposition," I was just really excited to learn how to use it in a sentence.
6. Agency: understanding the role media texts play in people's lives, moving past simple explanations of escapist consumption.
7. Hybridization: I'm still working on what it means exactly in reference to idealized understandings of the effects of globalization, but its use continues to intrigue me.
8. Participatory culture: I've already learned about active reading and the more I read by Henry Jenkins and John Fiske help me understand this idea of engaging culture and making it a more active, rather than passive, part of daily life.
9. The Lesbian gaze: I've heard and read about the male gaze, but learning hot to distinguish between a lesbian and transgender gaze in cinema was new and incredibly helpful for understanding how the camera function in film.
10. Visual culture: I didn't know the phrase existed before this semester and I continue to want to know more about it. I did an video essay on an aspect of visual culture at the beginning of the semester and I'm a little bummed because I really would've loved to write more about it.

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