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.

Fantasies of Occupation: ‘Occupied’ and ‘the Man in the High Castle’

Fantasies of Occupation: ‘Occupied’ and ‘the Man in the High Castle’

The Man in the High Castle is the perfect ‘distraction’ for a country riven by increasingly bitter culture wars, and a complete breakdown in civil discourse.

The UN through the Pop-Culture Looking Glass

The UN through the Pop-Culture Looking Glass

At 70 years of age the United Nations barely registers in the history of either the big or the small screen, and when it does the results are markedly unflattering.

The Art of Living with Difference: Contemporary Troubles Fiction

The Art of Living with Difference: Contemporary Troubles Fiction

The social benefits of the Troubles novels lie in their deeper understanding of the ethics of ‘the other’.

On Putin, Politics, and Popular Culture: An Interview with Alexander J. Motyl

On Putin, Politics, and Popular Culture: An Interview with Alexander J. Motyl

Alexander J. Motyl discusses his new book, Vovochka, as well as politics, popular culture, and the subject of this satirical romp, Vladimir Putin.

Homeland’s Popular Geopolitics Gets Punked

Homeland’s Popular Geopolitics Gets Punked

The graffiti prank on the set of ‘Homeland’ is an act that represents a physical realization that the pop-culture canvas can be subverted even in the process.

VVP: Is Vladimir Putin the Super-Villain We’ve All Been Waiting For?

VVP: Is Vladimir Putin the Super-Villain We’ve All Been Waiting For?

Like Osama bin Laden circa 2000, Vladimir Putin, while real enough, is more a figment of our popular-geopolitical imagination, and one which we cannot live without.

Chapo ‘El Bandito’ Alger

Chapo ‘El Bandito’ Alger

If we come to see the drug epidemic as the health issue it is, el Chapo may become a genuine pop-cultural icon for the masses, not just a hackneyed Mexican ‘Robin Hood’.

‘Warm Bodies’: A ZomRomCom Discourse on Counterinsurgency

‘Warm Bodies’: A ZomRomCom Discourse on Counterinsurgency

The hit 2013 zombie movie ‘Warm Bodies’ offers a means of understanding counterinsurgency strategies, as well as a critique of such strategies.

Making Feminist Sense of ‘The Americans’

Making Feminist Sense of ‘The Americans’

Reading ‘The Americans’ through an Enloe inspired lens offers an example of the potential to explore the feminist critique of the public/private divide.

The Congress of EuroVision: Building European Community One Bricolage at a Time

The Congress of EuroVision: Building European Community One Bricolage at a Time

By taking on the kitschy blandishments of the Eurovision and by contributing to the construction of shared experience, post-Soviet nations brand themselves as European.

The Forgotten Story of ‘Me Llamo Martina Sola’

The Forgotten Story of ‘Me Llamo Martina Sola’

Outside of Latin America telenovelas are perceived as a generic product. But each country possesses a unique form of telenovela, identifiable by its stylistic attributes.

Sláinte: The Performative Geopolitics of the Irish Pub

Sláinte: The Performative Geopolitics of the Irish Pub

With the internationalisation of the Irish pub one should note the performative geopolitics that typically characterise the space: historic maps, flags and rebel songs.

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