Film Strip image from Wikimedia Commons

Film Strip image from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 12: Graduate Student Panel

Please join the Chicago Film Seminar at 6:30 pm on Thursday, February 12 to welcome Mary Adekoya (University of Chicago) for her talk, "Narrating Nollywood, Narrating Nigerian Modernity: Observations on the Restless Lives and Reckless Lovers in Nollywood Narratives," and Laura LaPlaca, (Northwestern) for her talk, "Mapping Mayberry: A Re-Appraisal of the Sitcom Mise-en-Scene."  Jake Smith (Northwestern) will provide the response. The CFS will be held at DePaul's Loop Campus in the Daley Building at 14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room LL 102, using the State St. entrance located at 247 S. State.

Thursday, February 12 at 6:30pm
Mary Adekoya, Ph.D. Candidate, U.Chicago
"Narrating Nollywood, Narrating Nigerian Modernity: Observations on the Restless Lives and Reckless Lovers in Nollyood Narratives,"
Laura LaPlaca, Ph.D Student, Northwestern
Mapping Mayberry: A Re-Appraisal of the Sitcom Mise-en-Scene"
Respondent: Jake Smith, Northwestern

Adekoya describes her talk as follows:

In this second chapter, from my dissertation “Shadows of Film: Nollywood and the Vernacular Revolution in African Cinema,” I argue that beyond its relation to homegrown modes of artistic expression, Nollywood cinema presents itself as vernacular through, one, – its reflection of what many scholars and cultural critics have identified as the often perplexing nature of everyday life in urban Africa, and two, – its mirroring of the way in which morality has become central to the questions surrounding Nigeria’s potential for full emergence into the world of neoliberal modernity. In essence, this chapter focuses on how Nollywood cinema offers a potent reflection of the everyday discontent and popular discourse on African modernity currently taking place in Nigeria. Its final argument is that this mirroring helps us to understand the “Nollywood revolution” more exactly as a revolution in which the links between cinema, everyday experience, and popular consciousness in Africa have become more solidified and been made remarkably more clear.

LaPlaca describes her talk as follows:

This talk treats the sitcom mise-en-scene as an architectural environment that can be animated by our perceptual play inside it. Sitcom storyworlds are not merely backgrounds for narratives, but generators of rich material and aesthetic resources that audiences can draw on as they navigate their everyday domestic experience. At the most extreme, these spaces can serve as detailed blueprints for viewers engaged in sitcom home re-creation – a practice that is much more prevalent than might be imagined. Using televised domestic storyworlds as models, fans engage in elaborate spatial exercises through dollhouse play, miniature making, virtual world building, and even full-scale custom home construction. However, sitcom home re-creation does not begin with a fan’s devotion, but with the very possibility that these televised spaces might be accurately measured and mapped. This possibility is not inherent to all televised spaces, but is particular to the ways in which the sitcom genre stylistically and discursively presents its storyworlds as accessible and inhabitable. That sitcom architectures are electronically transmitted makes them no less “real,” and certainly no less significant, than other historical structures; following Baudrillard, the “real” becomes that of which it is possible to give an accurate reproduction. Focused on one fan’s remarkable re-creation of The Andy Griffith Show’s mise-en-scene, I will explore some of the ways that sitcom storyworlds have historically been designed to not only represent domestic spaces, but to be domestic spaces.

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