Taylor Swift x Intimate Publics with Margaret H. Willison
Given last week's release of 1989 (Taylor's Version), we just had to have Swiftie and Tay-lore expert Margaret H. Willison (she/her) on the show to talk about one of the (if not THE) most influential pop stars of the last decade. We start with a conversation about Taylor as an artist and Margaret provides context to help us understand how and why Taylor's Eras Tour and the 10 studio albums that led to it have created such a buzz. Then Marcelle leads Hannah and Margaret through Lauren Berlant's theory of intimate publics with an eye towards the Swiftie fandom and Taylor's fluid feminist politic. We finish the episode with Marcelle's incredible thesis and a discussion about capitalism, what makes an icon and what might be next for Swift.
Margaret H. Willison is a frequent guest on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, a freelance writer and cultural critic, and one of three women behind the beloved Substack Two Bossy Dames. She is a friend of the show and if you want to know more about her, you can find her @MrsFridayNext on Instagram!
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Material Girls is a new show that aims to make sense of the zeitgeist through materialist critique* and critical theory! Each episode looks at a unique object of study (something popular now or from back in the day) and over the course of three distinct segments, Hannah and Marcelle apply their academic expertise to the topic at hand.
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*Materialist Critique is, at its simplest possible level, a form of cultural critique – that is, scholarly engagement with a cultural text of some kind – that is interested in modes of production, moments of reception, and the historical and ideological contexts for both. Materialist critique is really interested in the question of why a particular cultural work or practice emerged at a particular moment.
“Shopping Mall”: by Jay Arner and Jessica Delisle ©2020
Used by permission. All rights reserved. As recorded by Auto Syndicate on the album “Bongo Dance”.
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