2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Busby Berkely Dreams: Pop Culture in Magazines, Musicals, and 69 Love Songs
Talia C. Linneman
Dr. Bob Mielke, Faculty Mentor

In the 1930s, film musicals were mass-produced and mass-consumed. Because of this popularity, they can be seen as sketches of the prevailing attitudes and underlying assumptions of the popular culture of the time. Still popular today, their role as cultural icon has declined, partly replaced by albums and fashion magazines (including advertisements). This multimedia project will juxtapose video and song clips, along with images from fashion magazines and song lyrics. Short text (based on film criticism, interviews with artists, and my experience as an uncomfortable fan of musicals), will draw out their similar messages about social roles, especially gender divisions. I hope to show ways that subtext can subvert overt themes, but also question whether this can ethically justify their popularity. Most importantly, I hope to convey that these texts are worthy of criticism and study. They are examples from a network of socializing messages, both positive and negative.

Keywords: cultural studies, contemporary music, film musicals, The Magnetic Fields, fashion magazines, feminist criticism, popular culture

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 20-3
Location: VH 1304
Time: 10:30

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