As part of the university-wide open day on Jan 30, 2019, Dr. Nele Sawallisch, Dr. Damien Schlarb, and Julia Velten, M.A. (together with our student assistants Ana Elisa Gomez Laris and Amina Touzos) welcomed high school students to the Obama Institute and introduced them to the opportunities and study programs available here. Over coffee and cookies, the prospective undergraduates were able to engage with staff members and lecturers and got an impression of what studying English or American Studies at the Obama Institute has in store, from possible research topics to career options.
This talk comes from a larger research project that asks how gender and culture matter in creating age-friendly environments. Understanding that austerity thought warps age advice, making it anything but friendly, I will explore the WHO Age-Friendly framework as a form of 21st century advice literature. The research situates the focus on “active aging” within neoliberal processes and discourses of responsibilization. I will illustrate how humanities perspectives meaningfully challenge that model and o er promising paths to critical work on equity and diversity within the Age-Friendly movement.
Sally Chivers is Full Professor of English and Gender & Women’s Studies at Trent University, Canada, where she teaches about illness, disability, and aging in literature, film and popular culture. She is the author of The Silvering Screen: Old Age and Disability in Cinema (2011) and From Old Woman to Older Women: Contemporary Culture and Women’s Narratives (2003), and the co-editor of Care Home Stories: Aging, Disability and Long-Term Residential Care (2017) and The Problem Body: Projecting Disability and Film (2010). Her ongoing research focuses on the gerontological humanities, care systems, and media studies of age, gender and disability based on the belief that there are new and better stories to tell about aging, disability and care.
June 20, 2018, 4 p.m.–6 p.m. (c.t.), Philosophicum II, 00-212
When President Trump announced a reduction of protected federal land in two of Utah’s national monuments, clothing outfitter Patagonia, protested, changing their homepage to a black-and-white motto “This Land is Your Land?” and joining a lawsuit against the president. The move continues the privately held company’s tradition of fighting for environmental causes. Its founder, Yvon Chouinard, distinguished himself as a documentary filmmaker with Mountain of Storms (1968) in a way similar to Bruce Brown’s father of surfing documentaries, The Endless Summer (1966). Both documentaries feature young male Californian drop-outs travelling to remote locations of natural beauty with little regard for the geopolitics of the time, setting the tone for a tradition of documenting the often politically naïve, individualistic and rebellious reactions to suburban America’s mainstream and pursuing a vague countercultural notion of escaping consumer culture while piggybacking on American imperialism’s opening up routes to remote locations.
The talk discusses the reverberations of these documentaries’ environmental and geopolitical imaginaries in two recent engagements with the tradition: Chouinard‘s 180º South: Conquerors of the Useless (2010) and William Finnegan‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life (2015).