The Academic Minute for 2016.09.05-09.09

Academic Minute from 9.05 – 9.09

Monday, September 5th
James Kimble – Seton Hall University
Who was the real Rosie the Riveter?
Most of my scholarship involves domestic propaganda and the way it helps to construct a rhetorical community even as it fosters depictions of an enemy or Other. The discourse of the World War II home front draws most of my attention, although I have also published research on the Civil War era and the Cold War.

Tuesday, September 6th
Frank McAndrew – Knox College
Why High School Never Ends
To the extent that there is a common theme tying my research together, it is that I study human social behavior from an evolutionary perspective. I am especially interested in understanding the psychology of everyday life. Why do we enjoy gossip about celebrities? Why do some people name their children after themselves while others do not?

My current research projects are concerned with aggression, gossip, and creepiness, and I write a blog for Psychology Today Magazine titled “Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.” I am also interested in environmental psychology, which is the study of the relationship between people and their physical environments, both natural and human-made. I have written a successful textbook in this area, Environmental Psychology, that has been translated into Chinese.”

Wednesday, September 7th
Vanessa Brown – Nottingham Trent University
Why Fashion Models Don’t Smile
Vanessa’s research is focused around visual culture and the relationships between identity and the potential meanings of everyday designed objects within modernity. For example, femininity, feminism and the image of the ideal 1950s housewife (published in Polkey and O’Donnell 2000), sunglasses and cool (the subject of her PhD, completed 2010), and most recently kitsch, cool and the tastes of a British subcultural elite (awaiting online publication). She is currently working on publications from the PhD.

Her work is characterised by a multi-disciplinarity that is increasingly necessary to untangle the web of historical and contemporary associations, ideologies and loosely held beliefs which do so much to constitute the potential meanings of designed objects, which in turn can help to answer the big questions for fashion culture – why do so many people want to be ‘cool’? How do taste and power relate to one another? More general areas of knowledge are modernity, postmodernity; twentieth century design history (special additional interest in pattern/illustration); fashion theory, popular culture, celebrity culture.

Vanessa is also interested in innovation in teaching and learning, and has developed a range of innovative strategies to encourage diverse design students to aim high in their research and writing, including: the visual dissertation, options to produce publications/exhibition derived from dissertation study, an undergraduate symposium showcasing student progression and staff research; a competition for placement with Hemingway Design, writing workshops based on life-drawing techniques; an online seminar project; as well as innovative ways to exhibit ‘written’ work.

Ideas for future work: to draw on new developments in material cultural studies and fashion theory to consolidate methods for ‘reading’ texture and pattern; and to apply the findings of the PhD about the significance of ‘cool’ in modern life to more sustainable design and consumption.

Cool theory (and knowledge of visual culture) could have many potential applications to areas like health promotion, education and sustainable consumption.

Thursday, September 8th
James Roberts – Baylor University
Is Cell Phone Addiction Real?
Dr. Roberts is a well-known author with approximately 75 articles published in the academic literature. He is currently a Professor of Marketing and the W.A. Mays Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University in Waco, Texas where he has been a faculty member since 1991. His research regularly appears in many of the top marketing and psychology journals and has received two “Paper of the Year” awards. Additionally, he has been recognized for excellence in the classroom where he has taught his brand of marketing and the social ramifications of our consumer culture to thousands of graduate and undergraduate students.

A primary focus of Dr. Roberts’ work over the last ten years has been the psychology of consumer behavior. He is somewhat of an anomaly among marketing scholars in that his research is largely focused on the “Dark Side” of consumerism and marketing. Current research efforts focus on the topics of materialism, compulsive buying, credit card abuse, and self-control.

Friday, September 9th
Jessica Pabon – SUNY New Paltz
Graffiti Grrlz
Dr. Jessica N. Pabón is Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at SUNY New Paltz. As an interdisciplinary feminist scholar, she teaches courses including Gender and Sexuality in Hip Hop, Performing Feminism, and Latina Feminisms. She is published in Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, and TDR: the journal of performance studies. She was an AAUW Dissertation Fellow (2012-13) and a speaker at the 2012 TEDWomen Conference. Her most recent publication “Ways of Being Seen: Gender and the Writing on the Wall” appears in the Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art (2016), and in October 2016 her essay “‘Daring to Be ‘Mujeres Libres, Lindas, Locas’: An Interview with the Ladies Destroying Crew of Nicaragua and Costa Rica” will be published in La Verdad: The Reader of Hip Hop Latinidades (The Ohio State University). Her book, Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora is under contract with NYU Press. She blogs at and tweets from @justjess_PhD.