[Video] 2014 Ray Browne Conference Presentation: Knowing How to Live/The Magic of Friendship

Sorry for slacking off on posting recently; we’ve both been super busy with teaching and schoolwork. Last weekend, however, we were able to travel to the Ray Browne Conference on Cultural and Critical Studies at Bowling Green State University, where we gave our first official presentation using the research we’ve been doing on this site. Overall, the presentation seemed to go very well; everyone seemed very interested and we got some good questions (and even a twitter shout out) at the end.

Unfortunately, our recorder died so we could not record the presentation at Bowling Green. However, we wanted to share it with you, so we’ve re-read and recorded the paper here and synced it with the powerpoint presentation. The presentation is posted below. We hope you enjoy and would love to hear your thoughts/questions/concerns/etc.

So, without further ado, here is our 2014 Ray Browne presentation entitled “Learning How to Live/The Magic of Friendship: Ethnographic Methodology and the My Little Pony Fandom.”

3 thoughts on “[Video] 2014 Ray Browne Conference Presentation: Knowing How to Live/The Magic of Friendship

  1. Even though there were bits that I found hard to follow as a non-expert in the field, I enjoyed it!

    ~11m: Though you found that digital analytical tools “took some getting used to”, I’m not sure that even that is evidence in favor of Henry Jenkins’s assertions. It’s just as true that no one is born knowing how to get a letter published in a newspaper or magazine, or in any other way get attention via old media. Like you, I generally think Jenkins underestimates how easily people adapt, how much more easily societies adapt (where, not to put too fine a point on it, new people who grew up with new tech are continually replacing older people who didn’t), or generally how hard-wired humans are as tool-users, regardless of the sophistication of the tool. In that vein, I’ve also recently started reading Clive Thompson’s “Smarter Than You Think” – though a friend’s recent gift to me of a Marvel Unlimited subscription has significantly slowed down my reading of nearly everything else. 😉 (What was that about new media again?)
    There’s also the fact that all these tools are engineered to be used by people, and if they weren’t usable, they wouldn’t be used and they’d cease to be. And the fact that people have demonstrated similar resilience in other fields, too. In Mary Roach’s book “Packing for Mars” she describes an early fear that astronauts could literally go insane from the experience of a spacewalk. Astronauts themselves found this quite laughable, and at least one noted that in the 1800s a similar fear existed about railroads. Some believed all the tracks would need high walls around them (not sure why they couldn’t just have made cars without windows) because seeing the scenery whipping by so fast could make people literally go mad. Suffice to say, humans are far more resilient than a great many theorists seem to think.

    ~15m: Woohoo! It’s me, it’s me! XD

  2. I gotta agree with Ben here, I liked it even though I found some of the more heavy-handed anthropological terms incomprehensible. People fear change and have always done so. Change means leaving behind what is comfortable and familiar and venturing into the unknown, naturally we fear what we don’t know. This is something the music industry goes through every decade or so. Does anyone remember back in the 80’s when tape recording was going to kill music, or the 90’s when CD burning was going to kill music, or the 2000’s when downloading was going to kill music? Any emergent technology is scary and imposing to those who don’t know it, but people adapt remarkably well. A few years ago I was showing my boss how to look at his e-mail on his new computer while he looked at me with wonderment as if I were some wizard doing impossible things. Today he hosts his life on Facebook for all to see, so even the old dogs can learn the new tricks if they try.

    I really like the backgrounds you use for all the slides, but you may want to turn down the color saturation on the Pinkie Pie background. All of the others are a little more subtle and easy on the eyes, but staring at that vibrant hot pink for that long was kinda rough, just a thought.

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