Jonathan Gray's picture

New Shows, New Paratexts, 1: Online Quizzes and Polls

I really need to blog more often. What better excuse than the imminent start of a new television season, complete with lots of yummy paratexts to analyze and criticize?

So, without further ado, let me start by discussing the websites for the new network shows. ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

Making Men Uncomfortable: What Bayonetta Should Learn From Gaga

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Bayonetta. I gave up on it about a month ago, mostly because I found it tedious, incoherent, and punishing (purely from a receptive standpoint), but also because I felt embarrassed playing it. I found myself having to explain the indulgence to my partner, whom, while sitting next to me on the couch or passing by the TV, would reel in horror as Bayonetta’s porn star Barbie body fought doll faced angels with stripper like finesse. From an outsider’s perspective, Bayonetta is an encapsulation of all that is wrong with videogames. ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

Cultural Politics, Critique and the Digital Humanities

Word cloud image via ghbrett.

In November 2009, I had the privilege of participating in a roundtable at the American Studies Association (ASA) conference with Anna Everett, Deborah Kimmey, Tara McPherson, Lisa Nakamura, and Kara Thompson on the Digital Humanities (DH). The panel was titled “Neoliberalism, Multiculturalism, and the Means of Digital Humanities Production.” Convened by Kara Thompson, the idea was to intervene in the prevailing discourses of DH and provide a critique of DH’s productive relations from the perspective of Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, American Studies, Women’s Studies, and so on. We covered a wide range of topics: labor and racism in games, code studies, activism, violating copyrights as praxis, undergrads at USC designing K-12 curriculum, archiving MMOs, the tyranny of the new in choosing objects of study, and much more. Many of the issues we discussed could be considered standard touchstones of DH but what made the discussion unique was our shared investment in a progressive cultural politics dedicated to interrogating and reworking established structures of power. It also doesn’t hurt that I was the only white dude on the panel. ... read more »

Jonathan Gray's picture

New Shows, 5: Mercy, Eastwick, The Forgotten

More reviews after the fold, with comments on gender in Mercy and Eastwick. I’m running out of ways to say things are mediocre to piddling, though …


Mercy ... read more »