IIPC Debate 25 March

IIPC Debate 68

Wed 25 March, 12-2 pm, Janus Hall (Kaivokatu 12, Turku)

Dr Jozef Kovalcik (The Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava)
The high culture – useless concept?

The concept of high culture has been refused and criticized as elitist, hierarchical, modernistic or exclusive since sixties. High culture lost its dominant position within many western societies and it is not understood as a domain with inherent aesthetic and moral value. Moreover, it has an ironical meaning when we talk about some petit bourgeois artistic ambitions or snobbish preferences. Instead of concept high culture are used terms as art, alternative, non-commercial or even avant-garde culture. This is not to say that high culture has disappeared. It usually emerges when we start to compare traditional institutions – art schools and academies, galleries, theatres, publishers, operas – but also small cultural activities and projects with popular culture. Not to mention when we apply for foundation or when we try to defend existence of artistic study programs. Moreover, these very various and different practices, forms, texts, artworks and audiences are not any more connected to one particular class – dominant or dominated. In my lecture I will try to describe some consequences of this situation and outline possible answers for the following questions: could we consider the category of “high culture” as a valid descriptive category or is better to use it as political term? The category of high culture had unitary form which was derived form idea of exclusiveness, autonomy and/or best aesthetic quality, is there any (if any) entity which could unify so various contemporary practices? An opposition to popular culture was understood as a very core of identity of high culture, is it tenable to construct this domain alike?

Jozef Kovalcik (PhD) is a Slovakian philosopher who has focused mainly on design and popular culture in his scholarly work. He has been the vice rector of The Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava and is a founding member of the Slovakian society for aesthetics. Spring 2015 Kovalcik published the book Aesthetics of Popular Culture, edited together with Max Ryynänen, that contained texts from various European aestheticians.

Warm welcome



Call for Papers: EUPOP 2015

Humboldt University of Berlin, July 29th – 31st 2015

Deadline: Monday, April 27th, 2015

Individual paper and panel contributions are welcomed for the fourth annual international conference of the European Popular Culture Association (EPCA), to be held at the Humboldt University of Berlin (Hauptgebäude, Unter den Linden 6, Berlin) from July 29th – 31st 2015.

EUPOP 2015 will explore European popular culture in all its various forms. This could include European Film (past and present), Television, Music, Celebrity, The Body, Fashion, New Media, Comics and Popular Literature, Queer Studies, Sport, Heritage, and Curation.

The closing date for this call is Monday the 27th April, 2015.

There will be opportunities for networking, publishing, and developing caucus groups within the EPCA. Presenters at EUPOP 2015 will be encouraged to develop their papers for publication in a number of Intellect journals, including the EPCA’s Journal of European Popular Culture. Journal editors will be working closely with strand convenors – a full list of Intellect journals is available at:


Papers and Complete Panels for all strands will be subject to peer review. Proposals for individual presentations must not exceed 20 minutes in length, and those for panels – not more than 90 minutes. In the latter case, please provide a short description of the panel along with individual abstracts. Poster presentations and video projections are also warmly welcomed.

Proposals comprising a 300 word abstract, your full name, affiliation, and contact details (as a Word-file attachment, not a PDF) should be submitted to Pamela Church-Gibson (europop@arts.ac.uk – the same address is available for general administrative queries) until April 27, 2015. Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged via e-mail.

The conference draft program will be announced at the end of May, 2015, along with the conference registration and accommodation details.

Keynote speakers: EPCA President Pamela Church-Gibson (University of the Arts, London), Professor Susanna Paasonen (Media Studies & IIPC, University of Turku), and Professor John Richardson (Musicology & IIPC, University of Turku).

The European Popular Culture Association

The European Popular Culture Association (EPCA) promotes the study of popular culture from, in, and about Europe. Popular culture involves a wide range of activities, material forms and audiences. EPCA aims to examine and discuss these different aspects as they relate both to Europe and to Europeans across the globe, whether contemporary or historical.

EUPOP 2015 is organised by:

European Popular Culture Association (EPCA): http://epcablog.wordpress.com/

International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC): http://iipc.utu.fi/

Kind Regards,

EPCA President, Pamela Church Gibson, p.church-gibson@fashion.arts.ac.uk

Dr Markus Heide (Swedish Institute of North American Studies, Uppsala University, and Humboldt University Berlin), markus.heide@engelska.uu.se

EPCA Vice-President, PCA-Finland Director, Adjunct Professor Kari Kallioniemi, kakallio@utu.fi

EPCA Secretary, IIPC Coordinator, Dr Kimi Kärki, kierka@utu.fi

IIPC Debate 18 March

IIPC Debate 67

Wed 18 March, 12-2 pm, Janus Hall (Kaivokatu 12, Turku)

This is a double debate!

Dr Mafalda Stasi (University of Coventry)
Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Representations of Asexuality in Media Fandom
Dr Gemma Commane (University of Coventry)
Topographies of Acceptance: a story of a researchers sexual fluidity, positionality and self-identity in kinky-queer spaces

Mafalda Stasi is a senior lecturer in media at Coventry University and a Fulbright alumna. Her research is in the areas of fan, gender and queer studies. Previous publications in these fields include contributions to Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet (Hellekson and Busse 2006 (Eds)), Men and Masculinities (2013) and Participations (2014). Dr Stasi is currently working on developing the concept of the ‘sexed fan’ through emerging representations of gender and sexuality in media fan fiction, on new forms of online fan engagement, and on fan-based research methods.For more details, http://mafaldastasi.com/

Dr Gemma Commane is a Lecturer in Media in the Department of Media within the School of Art and Design at Coventry University. The main focus of her research is on areas of social exclusion, specifically in relation to youth subcultures, sexual deviancy, intoxication and pleasure, place and class, and gender non-conformity in alternative lifestyles. Gemma’s research interests and teaching specialisms include subcultures, youth and deviancy, fetish and BDSM clubbing cultures, LGBTQ, sexualities, class and inequality, creative protest, burlesque striptease, body modification, alternative femininities and ethnography. Gemma is currently working on several areas of research, including: ethnography and affective research, researcher positionality in sensitive research, bad girls and burlesque, and rollerderby and life history. Gemma is a reviewer for YOUNG: Nordic Journal of Youth Studies, Journal of Youth Studies, and SAGE Open. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a member of MeCCSA.