Popular Culture and IR – With Robert A. Saunders

Popular Culture and IR, curated by Robert A. Saunders, focuses on the relationship between popular culture and international relations. Posts will predominately focus on current affairs, with the aim of providing timely interrogation of events in the news. However, other posts will consider larger issues in popular culture and geopolitics, especially how pop-cultural production is emerging as site of diplomacy, economic control, foreign policy, and the exercise of so-called ‘soft power’. Through guest blogs by scholars associated with the newly-developed SUNY-Leeds-Copenhagen Digital Popular Geopolitics Network, and affiliate networks of popular geopolitics researchers, this blog adds to the burgeoning literature on the popular culture-world politics continuum.

Did RT Influence the 2016 US Elections?

Did RT Influence the 2016 US Elections?

Rather than forcing RT to register as a foreign agent, efforts should be spent on making RT clarify any opaque business and editorial structures.

Pop-Culture & Trump: Interviewing R. Sikoryak, Creator of the Unquotable Trump

Pop-Culture & Trump: Interviewing R. Sikoryak, Creator of the Unquotable Trump

Comics – and particularly some of the more epic battles between superheroes and super-villains – present an attractive medium for satirizing Trump.

Why IR Scholars Should Try to Write Fiction

Why IR Scholars Should Try to Write Fiction

We should be aware of the ways in which real life can start to mirror genres or even the way politicians will shape politics to meet the rules of certain popular genres.

Pop-culture & Trump, Part I: Five Sci-Fi Films to Watch during the Trumpocalypse

Pop-culture & Trump, Part I: Five Sci-Fi Films to Watch during the Trumpocalypse

Five speculative/science fiction movies can help us reflect on Donald Trump, his times, and his presidency.

International Relations of ‘A Tribe Called Red’

International Relations of ‘A Tribe Called Red’

Turtle Island–based electric-pow-wow superstars, A Tribe Called Red, allows students and scholars of IR to experience what a decolonial IR might look and sound like.

Iceland: A Pop-culture Powerhouse at the Top of the World

Iceland: A Pop-culture Powerhouse at the Top of the World

Buttressed by countless media products touting Iceland’s harsh beauty, Iceland is now a meaningful quotient in everyday geopolitical understanding of millions of people.

The Memes of Our Lives, or How the Internet Shapes Reality in the Current Year

The Memes of Our Lives, or How the Internet Shapes Reality in the Current Year

Memes are much more than just funny (or not) pictures and gifs flooding the Internet every day. They are strange occasions of synchronicity.

Amazon, American, or Israeli?  The Pitfalls of ‘UN-iversalising’ Wonder Woman

Amazon, American, or Israeli? The Pitfalls of ‘UN-iversalising’ Wonder Woman

There is no shortage of reasons why the choice of Wonder Woman as Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls is a dangerous one for the UN.

Commercial(ized) Nationalism on Display at the Olympics

Commercial(ized) Nationalism on Display at the Olympics

Overseas corporations are taking an increasingly important role in telling Americans exactly who they are, as in the case of several ads broadcast during the Olympics.

The Audience in Popular Culture and World Politics

The Audience in Popular Culture and World Politics

Paying attention to the way that meaning is negotiated can contribute to our understanding of the relationship between popular culture and world politics.

Is It Time for an Iranian-American Buddy Film?

Is It Time for an Iranian-American Buddy Film?

Challenging dominant IR narratives and reworking the US geopolitical imaginary of Iran via popular culture is possible. Stranger things have happened.

Making ‘remain’ the Cool Vote – Wolfgang Tillman & His Posters

Making ‘remain’ the Cool Vote – Wolfgang Tillman & His Posters

What’s at stake in Wolfgang Tillman’s Brexit posters is the imagined community of Europe itself.

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