2018 MLT Aikins St. Paul’s College University Affiliation Lecture
Pop Culture, Peace and Resistance: From Harry Potter to the Hunger Games
Dr. Siobhan McEvoy-Levy, Professor, Political Science, Butler University
Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Fr. Jensen SJ Theatre, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba
Dr. McEvoy-Levy’s lecture explores youth subcultures, including fan activism, and fan fiction communities. The lecture will consider the pop-cultural contexts of liberal peacebuilding and how these blur with militarism, and identify the cultural sources of positive peace and resistance in youth culture.
Militarism and processes of militarization shape the international political system and the lives of people around the world, and popular entertainment is a part of those processes. But complex notions of peace and resistance – and forms of peacebuilding – also exist in pop culture stories and practices. Exploring how children’s entertainment is given new life in youth subcultures, including in fan activism, and fan fiction communities, the lecture makes a call for peace researchers and practitioners to collaborate on a research agenda for critical peace studies focused on entertainment cultures.
Pop culture analysis helps identify the “commonsensical” narratives and “self-fulfilling prophecies” (Weldes) of violence in world politics; uncovers the domestic pop-cultural contexts of liberal peacebuilding and how these blur with militarism; and helps locate the cultural sources of positive peace and resistance in discourses and practices that bridge local lives and global structures.