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Penn Media Conference, July 17-18, 2008, University of Pennsylvania


Beyond Individual and Society:
Mass Mediated Forms of Personhood





8:30 – 9:00 am   Coffee and light breakfast


9:00 -- 11:50 am    Session I: Discussion of selections from the literature

                              Moderator: Asif Agha


                                            Papers                                                 Discussants

9:00 – 9:30 am
Williams, Raymond. 1961. ‘Individuals and Societies.’                                             Miyako Inoue 

In: The Long Revolution, London: Chatto & Windus                                               Stanford University


9:30 – 10:00 am
Rothenbuhler, Eric W. 2005. ‘The church of the cult of the individual.’                   Michael Silverstein

In: Media Anthropology, pp. 91-100. Thousand Oaks: Sage                                   University of Chicago

10:00 – 10:30 am
Carpignano, Paolo et al. 1993. ‘Chatter in the age of electronic                             Betsy Rymes
reproduction: Talk television and the “public mind”.’ In The Phantom                  University of Georgia

Public Sphere, pp. 93-100. Minneapolis: U Minnesota Press

10:30 – 11:00 am 

Xu, Janice Hua. 2007. ‘Brand-new lifestyle: consumer-oriented                              Patrick Eisenlohr

programmes on Chinese television.'  Media, Culture and Society,                         University of Utretcht

29(3): 363-376           

11:00 – 11:30 am

Scannell, Paddy. 2000. ‘For-anyone-as-someone structures.’                                  Louise Krasniewicz,

Media, Culture and Society, 22(1): 5-24                                                                     Penn


11:30 – 11:50 am    Open Discussion

12:00 – 1:00 pm      Lunch

1:00-3:00          Session II: Mythologized subjectivities

                         Moderator: Stanton Wortham  

                                          Papers                                                 Discussants

1:00 – 1:30 pm
Asif Agha, University of Pennsylvania                                                                      Robert E. Moore,  

‘Large and small scale forms of personhood.’                                                       National University of Ireland


1:30 – 2:00 pm
Miyako Inoue, Stanford University                                                                           Hoon Song

‘Stenography and the ventriloquistic imagination                                                 University of Minnesota

of the modern Japanese subject’

2:00 – 2:30 pm
Liz Erkenback, University of Pennsylvania                                                               Rachel Throop 
‘Mediating personhood through World of Warcraft'                                             University of Pennsylvania

2:30 – 3:00 pm

Michael Joiner, University of Pennsylvania                                                              Karl Swinehart,

‘Brand discourses and social roles: The consumer                                                 University of Pennsylvania

as patient in a virtual weight loss clinic’     


3:00– 3:15 pm   Break

3:15-5:15       Session III: The politics of authenticity and engagement

                      Moderator: John Jackson 


                                      Papers                                                     Discussants

3:15 – 3:45 pm

Michael Silverstein,

‘Is “message” in meltdown in the 2008 US Presidential campaign?                   Stanton Wortham 

The linguistic anthropology of candidacy.’                                                            University of Pennsylvania


3:45 – 4:15 pm

Betsy Rymes, University of Georgia                                                                        John Jackson,

‘Extending adolescence: Rejuveniles and their recontextualization’                   University of Pennsylvania


4:15 – 4:45 pm

Debra Spitulnik, Emory University                                                                          Daymon Smith,

‘Media Disengagement as refractions of generic personhood.’                         University of Pennsylvania


4:45 – 5:15 pm     

Karl Swinehart, University of Pennsylvania

‘The mass mediated chronotope, radical counterpublics and                           Luke Fleming 

dialect in 1970’s Norway: The case of Vømmøl Spellmanslag.’                          University of Pennsylvania

5:30 pm   Cash bar at La Terasse

7:00 pm   Dinner at Penne Restaurant

FRIDAY, July 18


8:30 – 9:00 am      Coffee and light breakfast

9:00-10:00      Recap of preceding day’s discussion

10:00-12:00   Session IV: Ethnic chronotopes

                      Moderator: Betsy Rymes 


                                    Papers                                                  Discussants

10:00 – 10:30 am

Robert E. Moore, National University of Ireland                                             Josh Berson

‘Mass mediated personae as shibboleths’                                                      University of Pennsylvania

10:30 – 11:00 am

Stanton Wortham, Elaine Allard and Katherine Mortimer,                            Debra Spitulnik

University of Pennsylvania                                                                                Emory University

 ‘Homies in the Latino diaspora.’         


11:00 – 11:30 am

John Jackson, University of Pennsylvania                                                      Liz Erkenbrack

‘African-American Hebrews, the biology of immortality,                             University of Pennsylvania
and constructions of diasporic difference’                     

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Hannah Vorhees, University of Pennsylvania                                                 Sue Bickerstaff

‘Inhabiting the brand: Heritage, cultural tourism,                                         University of Pennsylvania

and emergent personhood in Alaska and Bali.’


12:00 – 1:00 pm    Lunch

1:00-3:00       Session V: General discussion


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