News coverage of Rosanne’s “Dr. Who and Culture” Presentation

A few links are popping up from various news sites to the talk on Doctor Who and Culture.

Watch the complete video, Doctor Who and Culture with Dr. Rosanne Welch

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Photo: Tom Zasadzinski, Cal Poly Pomona

Photo: Dr. Rosanne Welch – Doctor Who Talk

‘Doctor Who’ and Culture lecture at Cal Poly Pomona from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Video: Doctor Who and Culture with Dr. Rosanne Welch at Cal Poly Pomona University Library

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education discusses Doctor Who and how the show has changed television writing. Doctor Welch will further discuss how society looks at culture and gender roles with the use of the Doctor and his companions’ adventures.

Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

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Tons of Doctor Who products on Amazon.com

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

A few scenes from the video in animated GIF form

  

Photos: Doctor Who and Culture presentation by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.  Video of this talk will be available in a few days.

This talk was based in part on my essay, “When white writers write black” in the anthology, Doctor Who and Race.

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“Doctor Who and Culture” presentation at Cal Pol Pomona with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Beau Yarbrough posts this Storify article about Rosanne’s presentation at Cal Poly Pomona today. You can click through a slide show of pictures, quotes and other links below.

Surprised by the Good Read GIDGET turned out to be!

While I have much grading to do as always, I was drawn to spend the weekend reading Gidget (by Frederick Kohner) thanks to my friend Ken Lazebnik’s book Hollywood Digs which includes an interview with the real life Franzie Kohner who IS Gidget.  In fact, she kindly appeared with Ken at a book reading he did in Malibu recently.

Before actually reading the book I didn’t know gidget stood for “girl midget” since she was so small on her surfboard (and now wonder how many women were named Gidget without now that); I didn’t know her father was a refugee from Nazi Germany who came to LA to be a screenwriter; and I didn’t know the book was going to be so good (both Gidget AND Hollywood Digs! – which I  knew would be good because Ken is such a wonderfully evocative writer). I suggest them both.

Turns out when it was released  Gidget was compared favorably to Catcher in the Rye by book critics… and probably  lost its edge in readers’ minds thanks to the bubblegum reputation the films gave the story – compounded by the fact that it was a girl’s coming of age story and not a boy’s.  I learned long ago in teaching American Literature, to an all girl high school of all things, that educators believe girls will read about boy protagonists (in an effort to understand them enough to hook them) but boys will not be as enthusiastic about reading the story of a girl protagonist).  So schools adjusted and chose mostly books with male protagonists for high school students of both sexes to study, which means boys lost the chance to learn the lessons first generation immigrants surviving economic hardship from A Tree Grows in Brooklynamong other losses.

Of course, the advent of such things as The Hunger Games trilogy seems to belie that idea — but you’ll notice publishers felt that in order to engage boy readers Katniss needed to wield a weapon, not merely master a craft like surfing.  Another reason to return to reading Gidget.

And all of this mulling reminds me of a TED Talk on How Movies Teach Manhood that  I showed students the other day by Colin Stokes, director of communications for the non-profit Citizen Schools.  He compares the heroine of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy Gale from Kansas, to Luke Skywalker of everyone’s much beloved Star Wars and finds that Dorothy triumphs by mastering the leadership skills of working with others and bringing them together toward a common goal that benefits all while Luke triumphs as an individual by mastering a violent skill that requires killing the enemy to win.

My comparison between Gidget and Catcher seems similar in that Gidget experiments in the world of romance and sex without needing to make the acquaintance of a hooker – yet high schools read Holden’s story as literature and are never exposed to Gidget’s story at all.

Video: “How the Growing Popularity of the English Who-niverse (including Torchwood) Effected American Television: A Catalog of Changes in Cross-Continent Collaboration, Diversity in Casting and Methods of Distribution”

“How the Growing Popularity of the English Who-niverse (including Torchwood) Effected American Television:  A Catalog of Changes in Cross-Continent Collaboration, Diversity in Casting and Methods of Distribution”

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At the 2013 Screenwriting Research Network Annual International Conference at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Dr. Rosanne Welch presented this paper examining the cross-continent collaboration of Russell T. Davies and the largely American staff of the 4th season of Torchwood, known as Torchwood: Miracle Days well as the ways the international popularity of Doctor Who and Torchwood address questions of diversity in media and cross-cultural audience reception, production and distribution. The paper makes the point that words make a difference/words cross cultures. It tracks the changes created in American television in terms of production partnerships (as when Torchwood’s 4th season was co-produced by the BBC in America with Starz), programming (as when the annual Christmas Day showing of Who was rescheduled in America to avoid internet spoilers), and cross-continental casting production partnerships (as when Torchwood’s 4th season was co-produced by the BBC in America with Starz) and programming (as when the annual Christmas Day showing of Who was rescheduled in America to avoid internet spoilers) and cross-continental casting” caused by the arrival of the new Who (circa 2005) and its unprecedented success in the United States.

 

Audio: My Word On Books: Doctor Who and Race with Dr. Rosanne Welch

I was recently interviewed for my husband’s podcast about the book and wanted to share it here. — Rosanne

From My Word with Douglas E. Welch…

 I interview my wife, Dr. Rosanne Welch on her recently published essay, “When White Boys Write Black: Race and Class in the Davies and Moffat Eras” in the collection, Doctor Who and Race published by Intellect.

Listen to this interview

Read Rosanne’s interview with Doctor Who Producer and Writer, Russell T Davies for Written By Magazine.

More info on Doctor Who and Race book – Now available in the UK


Life, Doctor Who, and ComBom recently posted a story on Doctor Who and Race, a new book essays in which Rosanne’s writing appears. Here is their take on the book an the controversy that has sprung up around it.

“Intellect Books have just released Doctor Who and Race, an anthology of essays about, well, the depiction of race in Doctor Who. Blurb: “Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction television series in the world and is regularly watched by millions of people across the globe. While its scores of fans adore the show with cult-like devotion, the fan-contributors to this book argue that there is an uncharted dimension to Doctor Who. Bringing together diverse perspectives on race and its representation in Doctor Who, this anthology offers new understandings of the cultural significance of race in the programme – how the show’s representations of racial diversity, colonialism, nationalism and racism affect our daily lives and change the way we relate to each other. An accessible introduction to critical race theory, postcolonial studies and other race-related academic fields, the 23 contributors deftly combine examples of the popular cultural icon and personal reflections to provide an analysis that is at once approachable but also filled with the intellectual rigor of academic critique.” Copies are available for £19.95.

Editor Lindy Orthia has created a blog to talk about the book: it currently features short biographies of the contributors, useful links, and a few articles, including a comment on the pre-publication controversies (the Radio Times piece on the book offering the most neutral explanation on what issues concerned the authors and what the BBC had to say in response. Racialicious strongly defended the book and the Daily Mail strongly defended the BBC, rather uncharacteristically of the tabloid, so that about runs the gamut of reactions.)”

Read the entire article

Rosanne’s writing appears in book, Doctor Who and Race

Rosanne’s essay is entitled “When white boys write black: Race and class in the Davies and Moffat eras”.

Available August 15, 2013 – Pre-Order Your Copy Today via Amazon.com

Dw race cover front Dw race cover back

Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction television series in the world and is regularly watched by millions of people across the globe. While its scores of fans adore the show with cult-like devotion, the fan-contributors to this book argue that there is an uncharted dimension to Doctor Who. Bringing together diverse perspectives on race and its representation in Doctor Who, this anthology offers new understandings of the cultural significance of race in the programme – how the show’s representations of racial diversity, colonialism, nationalism and racism affect our daily lives and change the way we relate to each other.

An accessible introduction to critical race theory, postcolonial studies and other race-related academic fields, the 23 contributors deftly combine examples of the popular cultural icon and personal reflections to provide an analysis that is at once approachable but also filled with the intellectual rigor of academic critique.

Lindy Orthia is a lecturer at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, the Australian National University. She has examined intersections between science, ideology and Doctor Who in several publications.

All proceeds for royalties for Dr Who and Race will be donated to Médecins Sans Frontières and AVERT.

Writers:

Emily Asher-Perrin
Alec Charles
Vanessa De Kauwe
Linnea Dodson
Fire Fly
Erica Foss
Stephanie Guerdan
Amit Gupta
Marcus K. Harmes
Mike Hernandez
Quiana Howard
George Ivanoff
Kristine Larsen
Leslie Mcmurtry
Catriona Mills
Rachel Morgain
Kate Orman
Lindy Orthia
Richard Scully
Robert Smith
John Vohlidka
Rosanne Welch
Iona Yeager

Rosanne’s Top 5 Books for Film Buffs

Here are my Top 5 picks for the best books for film buffs.

Dunne, John Gregory. Monster: Living Off the Big Screen. New York: Random House, 1997.

Even though it’s about a film made in 1996 that even die hard Robert Redford fans have not likely seen (Up Close and Personal), this book about writing a blockbuster film by John Gregory Dunne discusses Hollywood honestly – especially as it deals with married screenwriters like he and his wife Joan Didion.

Harmetz, Aljean . The Making of Casablanca: Bogart, Bergman, and World War II. Hyperion, 2002.

You don’t need to love the film to like this book about how a classic came together. I like the way Harmetz gives backgrounds on all the supporting characters and we learn how many were refugees from Nazi regimes.

McGillligan, Patrick. Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.

McGillligan has 4 more books in this series – each one containing long, interesting interviews with screenwriters from a particular era from the 1920s to the 1990s. And as we all know, writers are highly entertaining conversationalists!

Messenger, Chris. The Godfather and American Culture: How the Corleones Became “Our Gang.” Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.

What’s to say except this is a great book if you love The Godfather – but even if you don’t it is a good reminder of how certain movies become entrenched in our national culture – and can do things like make us more comfortable with minorities so that they soon become majorities.

Norman, Marc. What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting. New York: Harmony Books, 2007.

This is the history of how screenwriters got screwed out of being considered the legal ‘authors’ of the works they write!