Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cool Event for UofT Students: "Inappropriate and Inarticulate: Public Childhoods, Education, and New Media Poetics"

As announced on the course mailing list, this upcoming talk may be of interest to some of you. Announcement cut+pasted from original: **********
We are pleased to invite you to a joint Graduate Colloquium in Music Education and Ethnomusicology Roundtable. The event will take place on Thursday, October 29. We will be hosting a presentation titled Inappropriate and Inarticulate: Public Childhoods, Education, and New Media Poetics by Dr. Tyler Bickford (See below for Tyler's bio). The event begins at 3:30 pm in Room 130 of the Edward Johnson Building, and will be followed by a casual reception.

Inappropriate and Inarticulate: Public Childhoods, Education, and New Media Poetics Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork at an elementary school in New England, this talk explores how schoolchildren produce themselves simultaneously as children and as members of a public through everyday performances of mass media texts. Because elementary school’s pedagogical emphasis on literacy and communication already privileges expressivity as a field of action, expressive repertoires from music and entertainment media provide a powerful resource for children to challenge adult authority and claim childhood as a space of opposition, intimacy, and solidarity. By contrast with literacy education’s decontextualized, monologic, and non-indexical modes of essayist writing and Interaction-Response-Evaluation classroom routines, children’s everyday performances reveal distinctive poetic registers linked to digital technology and entertainment media that emphasize intimacy, interactivity, and embodied indexicality: “inappropriateness” and “inarticulateness.” 
Kids pass digital music players and earbuds among friends while relishing childish and “inappropriate” lyrics as they participate in a dense overlap of sociable talk, touch, and gesture; they loudly vocalize melodies and sound effects from television, the internet, and video games to disrupt, comment on, or shift the social frame of classroom lessons; and in some cases they refuse language altogether, using their devices’ affordances for showing and sharing to directly replace speech, creatively exploring the possibilities for digitally mediating even present, face-to-face interactions. Putting educational anthropologist Ray McDermott’s account of the social power of “inarticulateness” in dialogue with critical public sphere theory, in this presentation I argue that as children use consumer media to politicize language and expressivity in school, they reimagine the standards of public participation to assert publicness and childishness as mutually constitutive—articulating their intimate childhoods as intrinsically public childhoods—and to pose a publicness based around exuberant sociable consumption as a powerful counter to the hegemony of school’s bureaucratic official publicness.

Tyler Bickford is an assistant professor of children’s literature and childhood studies in the Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his PhD in ethnomusicology from Columbia University in 2011. His research focuses on contemporary children's media and has appeared in WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Popular Music, Ethnomusicology, and several edited volumes. He is currently writing a book about the children’s music industry.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 5 Lecture Prezi

Hello Barbie as Just Another Controversial Children's Toy, or as a Threat to Children's Privacy and Communication Rights?

In follow up to last week's class, I wanted to point you all to that Web-enabled Barbie we were talking about, as a great example of a recent controversy in children's media/culture. This article by Ethan Zuckerman for The Atlantic in particular delves into why the doll is attracting so much criticism, and the larger trends it is part of. I would argue that unlike the recurring controversies reviewed last week, however, the discourses around Hello Barbie diverge from the usual good vs. bad effects debates, as the issues involved here are somewhat new (to the information age, at least), and have implications far beyond the usual focus (on children's optimal development and socialization, etc.). For instance, the privacy implications are staggering, as are related questions about access, surveillance and commercialization of children's inner worlds.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Crayon Creators Club - Sept. 19th (2015)

From the Lillian H Smith website, news of an upcoming workshop for young creators:
Crayon Creators' Club Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 120 mins Lillian H. Smith Small Print Press is kicking off their Fall 2015 season of big programs for little storytellers at Lillian H. Smith Library with a day of stories, crafts and thinking outside the box, for artists aged 2-6. Materials will be provided. Space is limited. Sign up early! Small Print Toronto is proud to present this free family-friendly event in partnership with Toronto Public Library.

Welcome Fall 2015 Class

Fall 2015 Updates are Coming SOON!!!!!