The Ron Knoth Fashion: Now & Then Keynote Speaker
October 20, 2012
9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
DO DO THAT VOODOO! Sex, Sin, Snakes and "The Dusky Other" in 20th Century Popular Culture presented by Amanda Hallay, LIM College
From the turn of the 20th century onward, popular culture has fallen under the spell of Voodoo, its mysterious African origins having little to do with the West’s reinvention of the faith as an instantly recognizable signifier of all that is exotic, all that is sinful, all that is sexy. Professor Hallay’s lecture will trace the various interpretation of Voodoo through 20th popular culture, explaining why it was particularly embraced by certain eras, and finishing off with today’s obsession with Zombies, discussing the challenges she faced when writing her book on the subject, The Popular History of Voodoo (The History Press, 2013) in terms of sourcing material; whilst Voodoo as religion is well archived, its place in popular culture is harder to disinter. Is it the ‘taboo’ nature of Voodoo the reason for its lack of presence in pop culture archives, or was it seen as too silly, sexy, cheap and ‘sensationalist’ to be considered of any lasting cultural value?
Amanda Hallay, Assistant Clinical Professor at LIM College, is an author and cultural historian specializing in various aspects of 20th century popular culture and how each acts as a catalyst to another (as explored in her courses Cultural Connections to Fashion, Pop Century and Who Wore What When, created and taught exclusively at LIM College). The author of several books exploring 20th century pop culture, Professor Hallay’s book, The Popular History of Voodoo will be released by The History Press in 2013, and she will be presenting her research (and the challenges she met due to the lack of archiving of what many in the 20th century perceived as ‘lowbrow’) in her talk, DO DO THAT VOODO! Sex, Sin, Snakes and ‘The Dusky Other’ in 20th Century Popular Culture.
Amanda is the former International Fashion Editor of Couture and Men Mode magazines, and was at one time European Trend Analyst for the Doneger Group, a fashion forecasting service. She is a graduate of the American University of Paris and England’s Bath Spa University.
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