CBC’s Jesse Wente to deliver keynote speech at international conference

CBC Radio broadcaster and film critic Jesse Wente will deliver the keynote address at the international conference, Popular Culture and World Politics III (PCWP III), on Thursday for registered conference goers.

Wente is a programmer for the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival and president of Native Earth Performing Arts, Canada’s oldest Aboriginal performing arts company. He will deliver his keynote, which is open to the public, “Reel Injun: P.A. (Post-Avatar)”, as part of an evening of dance, discussion and film on the first day of the conference on Nov. 4 at 5pm in the Robert R. McEwen Auditorium, Seymour Schulich Building, Keele campus. A screening of Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian will follow the keynote as will a dance performance by the Canadian Tamil Congress – “We Are All Connected by a Thread”.

Right: Jesse Wente

The conference seeks to continue the growing conversation about how various forms of popular culture intersect with the study of world politics from a range of disciplines and practices in the social sciences, humanities and the arts. Hosted by the York Centre for International & Security Studies (YCISS), it will take place from Nov. 4 to 6 at the York Research Tower, Keele campus.

Some 100 scholars and academics from across Canada, North America, Europe, Asia and beyond will attend the conference. In addition, the event will also be screened to over 40 academic institutions across the world via an Internet link. There will be a live video conference link to the University of Newcastle, former host of the PCWP conference, allowing academics and students at Newcastle to participate in the panel discussions.

There is a growing movement in and around the study of international politics to think about the intersections of world politics and the production, circulation, content and consumption of various popular cultural forms. This burgeoning scholarship has reached the point where it is possible to move well beyond the important initial forays, those which emphasized the content of cultural forms-as-text, seeking metaphorical connections between the cultural and the political and into an exploration of the interwoven possibilities and limits of the cultural and political.

As such, the conference will involve performances, screenings, panels or individual papers on various aspects of world politics and popular culture. Some of the many panels taking place over the three days, include Cinema and the US National Security State, Race and Empire, Architecture: “Building” World Politics, Art and Activism, Sustainable Peacebuilding through Popular Music, Audience II: Reading, Writing and Teaching, and Playing at World Culture.

Anyone interested in attending the conference can register here by Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Visit the YCISS website to view the conference program and abstracts.

For more information, e-mail pcwp@yorku.ca.