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Global Economies of Art and Entertainment
Roanoke, VA, September 2002

Scholarly papers are invited from any academic discipline. Send a 500-word
abstract and short CV to conference organizer Janell Watson, Electronic submissions only, please. Submission deadline:
June 1, 2002.

"Cultural Diversity for Sale: Global Economies of Art and Entertainment"

September 20-21, Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, VA


Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroonian Filmmaker), Steven Feld (Music and
Anthropology, Columbia University), Amitava Kumar (Postcolonial studies,
Penn State), Jordan Sand (Japanese History and Culture, Georgetown), Rick
Mattioni (News Director, WVTF public radio), Frederick Thomas (Exec. VP
and General Manager, MHz Networks)

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Virginia Tech (Humanities program,
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
Humanities Symposium Award, Department of English, Department of
Communication Studies, University Honors Program, Office of Multicultural

While globalization enhances cultural diversity by bringing together
people from many countries and traditions, it also threatens cultural
diversity by creating an international mass culture through film,
television, and advertising. This paradox has become familiar in
globalization studies.  Economic considerations often drive both the
migration of people and the spread of the new mass culture. What is the
relationship between economics and culture? What is the place of art and
cultural traditions in a world dominated by a market-driven global mass
media? Must cultural diversity offer itself for sale, in order to survive?

The ever accelerating pace of globalization in what seems to be all
spheres further complicates the already daunting task of drawing
intelligent connections between economics and culture. Culture, high and
low, seems to be but one more product circulating unevenly among rich and
poor, first world and third world, North and South, East and West.
Cultural products, along with their producers, marketers and consumers,
are marked by differences of many kinds: gender, class, race, ethnicity,
nationality, religion, political affiliations, sexuality. The global
economy is itself multiple: there are global economies of goods, services,
and equities, but there are also global economies of music, film, plastic
and performing arts, ideas, language, fashion, food, lifestyle, tourism,
sexuality, sports, psychic structure, belief, and even environment (i.e.,
the trade in pollution vouchers). Academic disciplines likewise comprise
global economies, involving transnational exchanges of scholars and
publications (print and electronic) which rely on a global circulation of
funding.  Cultural difference informs each of these economies.

Papers are invited which address the relationship between the global
economy and cultural difference in specific areas of art, literature or
culture, from a contemporary or historical perspective.

Dr. Janell Watson
Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures
Virginia Tech
315 Major Williams Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
Phone: +1-(540) 231-9009
Fax:   +1-(540) 231-4812