The Media Studies Working Group
                           which brought you


                      B R A I N W A T C H I N G:
                Intellect and Ideology in Media Culture

                       an International Conference
                             May 6-7, 2000
               at Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto

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                             GUEST SPEAKERS
  VIVIAN SOBCHACK (University of California at Los Angeles), on Jim Carrey
   STUART EWEN (Hunter College / CUNY Graduate Center), on The Public mind
    GARTH JOWETT (University of Houston), on Francis the Talking Mule and
                  Other Mental Handiworks of the 1950s
     MARK CRISPIN MILLER (New York University), on Evil Genius

This conference will examine representations in film, television and
popular culture of mental life and social control, specifically: images of
"intelligence" and "stupidity" and the relation of these to broad-based
systems of cultural and state control.  We are interested in papers from
across disciplines that examine in contemporary or historical context:
types of intelligence and genius, wisdom, wit, emotionalism, dullness,
opinion-formation, misinformation, hegemony, the creative imagination, the
scientific attitude, intelligence-gathering, mystification and other
notable states of mind as related to our culture.

We are interested in the growing representation of the knowledge
industry; with particular emphasis on knowledge, thought, and creativity
as forms of capital.

We would hope to see papers on any of: FRANKENSTEIN, CLUELESS, the idiot
savant, OBLOMOV, films about filming, DUMB AND DUMBER; intelligence,
media, and social capital; PINKY AND THE BRAIN, BRAINSTORM, AMERICAN
HISTORY X; the figure of the mad professor, the dumb blond(e), the evil
genius, the brawny blockhead, etc.; FORREST GUMP, THE STUNT MAN, Homer
Simpson, OF MICE AND MEN, witty dialogue and witty situations; THE
MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, evil scientists, intelligent aliens, THE MILLION
DOLLAR BRAIN, films and other narrative materials about psychiatry,
various versions of INVASION OF THE BODY-SNATCHERS, the teacher-student
relationship, anti-intellectualism, and the school experience;  HENRY,
KOTTER, depictions of intellectuality in relation to gender, social class,
and race; THE X-FILES; PHENOMENON; Sherlock Holmes, RAIN MAN, the filmic
personae of Woody Allen and Jerry Lewis, Lassie, AMADEUS, Marilyn Monroe,
THE TRUMAN SHOW . . . . . all these are possibilities among many others.

Papers might consider how intellect is made visible; what import is borne
by pop cultural anti-intellectualism; how heroism and intellect are
related historically and/or contemporarily; the relation in popular
culture, television or film between intellect and morality; the appeal of
popularized stupidity and goofiness, etc.


Proposals for either (a) individual papers or (b) preconstituted panels
should include the following:  (1) a title, (2) an abstract NOT TO EXCEED
300 WORDS, and (3) a brief one-paragraph biographical statement about the
presenter, including academic affiliation and email address.  Proposals
may be sent by email to [log in to unmask] or regular mail to Keith
Hampson, Department of Sociology, A-809, Ryerson Polytechnic University,
350 Victoria Street, Toronto ON Canada M5B 2K3 and must arrive by noon,
local time, Wednesday December 1, 1999.  WE WILL NOT ACCEPT PROPOSALS BY
FAX. Notification of acceptance will be sent by December 31, 1999.

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