BACS held its 13th annual Pop Culture Workshop on Saturday, January 21st in the L. S. Wing.
Fifteen students gave research presentations on a variety of topics related to music, literature, history media and cultural studies. A keynote lecture by Professor Sumiko Shirai of Shirayuri University in Tokyo closed the event.
Third-year BACS students were joined by four conference participants from Nagoya University. Topics included the culture and politics of World’s Fairs, cultural policy in Canada and the theme of the road in American film and literature.
A number of talks focused 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, also known as the Columbian Exposition: the ferris wheel as a symbol of the fair, the experience of native Americans at the fair, the lively appeal of the fair’s midway plaisance, and “the war of the currents” between inventors Edison and Tesla.
Attendees were also treated to the macabre story of America’s first serial killer, who stalked the fair grounds. Other presenters dealt with Canada’s support for its music industry, the origins of Canada’s French immersion education and its Canadian flag, and the situation of aboriginal youth today.
A special session focused on the road in American film and literature with discussions of John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath, Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
Other highlights included a talk on the influence of Japanese ukiyo-e prints on European art and the distorted image of aboriginal people in North America.
Professor Shirai, chair of the Department of Children’s Culture at Shirayuri University in Tokyo, gave a lively and informative talk entitled “Canadian Culture through Anne of Green Gables,” delving into a number of fascinating aspects of the classic Canadian–and internationally famous–novel published in 1908.
Staff from Chukyo University’s publicity office were on hand to take photographs while a camera crew taped portions of the event.
Pop Culture Workshop is BACS’ annual student conference, which is open to students across the program. 2016 marks the 13th year the conference has been held. The event is supported by BACS and the Chukyo English Society.