Prof. Yuan-Horng CHU

31/10/2019   (Thursday) 13:00-14:00 E21B-G002

The Fun We Enjoyed Should Never Be Taken For Grante

This talk introduces how “the politics of fun” is an important issue of social and cultural research. Since the Twentieth Century, the American Strength of world domination lies not so much as a military force as it is the cultural hegemony that it becomes the empire of the fun: the Hollywood film industry, Disney animation and Theme Parks, Broadway theaters, jazz, rock, pop music, TV series and talk shows. Since the 1980s, the French Ministry of Culture has shifted the focus of cultural policy from its originally valued high culture to a media-wise fun culture that has succeeded in bringing happy crowds together in the street to celebrate the arts in carnival mood. In the Middle East, signs of underground and open defiance, primarily among the young, placed the quest for fun at the center of the nation’s political contestation. From Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and His World, we read how the long heritage of jollity, fun, humor, and amusement in western folk tradition of carnival has a profound cosmic-political role in history. This talk explains why the fun we enjoyed should never be taken for granted.

Prof. Chu is a well-known scholar in Sociology and Cultural Studies in Taiwan. He was Director of the Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, NCTU. The Institute is one of the top research institutions in the field. He is also the founding editor of the prestigious journal Router: A Journal of Cultural Studies.