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“Culture Jamming: Ideological Struggle and the Possibilities for Social Change ”

November 20, 2008

The Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies presents a talk by Radio Television Film PhD candidate Afsheen Nomai.

Monday, November 24, 12-1pm
E. P. Schoch building – EPS 1.128
University of Texas at Austin

Culture jammers tend to critique dominant ideologies and ways of life by appropriating the languages, images, and texts of the dominant and inflicting them with a critical bent. It can be a rather nuanced and subtle way of attempting to bring about social and cultural change. How the activists associated with the Yes Men, Adbusters Media Foundation, and the Billboard Liberation Front critique the prevailing modes of globalization, consumerism, and advertising is the focus of analysis here, with special attention paid to the challenges their tactics face. Can consumerism be challenged by selling a shoe? Can prevailing policies overseeing world trade be changed by a World Trade Organization “official” suggesting people eat hamburgers made of reconstituted human waste? These are only a few questions raised when considering the actions of culture jammers who, in their quest to bring about progressive change, mimic what they wish to alter.

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