rhetorician

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Think Pieces about Think Pieces

I participated this week in a great exchange on In Media Res on the theme of "Recontextualizing Pop Songs."

The format of In Media Res allows for short, timely reflections by scholars, activists, and journalists. It's particularly cool to see the ideas develop in the comments as contributors respond to each other. 

I'm by no means a scholar of popular music as such (unlike some of my fellow contributors), but lately I've been exploring the way that all kinds of popular texts — films, tv shows, music, etc. — get recontextualized through the form of the 'internet think piece.'

I happened to be writing this post during the week that saw the release of Beyonce's Lemonade and the death of Prince. My experience of those pop music events was framed primarily through headlines in my Facebook feed posted by friends. While a few of those headlines were simple news reports, most were think pieces, reflecting on broader cultural issues like race and gender. I put together a quick slideshow to illustrate the point.  

You can find my commentary and slides here: "Rethinking Thinkpieces: Pop Criticism as Pop Culture."