Disney Curriculum: Call for Proposals

Jenny Sandlin and Julie Garlen Maudlin are co-editing a new book oriented to the study of Disney as an Educational, Cultural, and Social Curriculum. Sharing from a poster in Institute for Critical Animal Studies.

Call for Proposals

The Disney Curriculum: Education, Culture, and Society

Edited by
Jennifer A. Sandlin, Arizona State University
Julie Garlen Maudlin, Georgia Southern University

The purpose of this edited volume is to explore the Disney Corporation and the myriad ways its curricula and pedagogies manifest. Disney is a major multinational entertainment corporation, represented in almost every media platform (Wasko, 2001). Disney generates over $37.8 billion dollars per year through animated films, live-action films, theme parks, television stations, radio, publishing, licensed merchandise, schools, museums, sports, music, urban development, at least one community, and myriad other products and entertainment arenas—all while maintaining a corporate image of wholesome, innocent, nostalgic entertainment. These various products and experiences are consumed by hundreds of millions of people each year across the globe and have a significant impact on shaping individual and group cultural identity. Giroux and Pollock (2010) argue that Disney is a “teaching machine” that “exerts influence over consumers but also wages an aggressive campaign to peddle its political and cultural influence” (p. xiv). Disney is thus a kind of public pedagogy extraordinaire.

We envision Disney not only enacting a broad-reaching [corporate] public pedagogy (Savage, 2010), but also position it as part of a “big” curriculum (Schubert, 2006; see also Cremin, 1976 and Schubert, 1981) that permeates cultural discourse in myriad ways. This “big” curriculum of public and private spaces resides in both liminal and distant proximities to formal educational institutions such as schools (Stearns, Sandlin, & Burdick, 2011). As such, we argue that Disney, which is an increasingly salient part of individuals’ everyday life practices and identity formation—as well as a major cultural force that helps shape conceptions of family values, gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, “Americanness”, childhood, pleasure, entertainment, education, and community—must be recognized as an influential element within the big curriculum. Schubert’s (2006) perspective on the big curriculum aligns with Pinar’s (2004) perspective on curriculum theory as an “interdisciplinary study of educational experience,” with curriculum broadly defined as the educational experiences gained both through and in spite of the structures of formal schooling. We posit that Disney constitutes and enacts just such a curriculum–both inside and outside of schools–that helps to shape the ways we think, learn, and live. In a recent volume on Disney, Giroux and Pollack (2010) encourage citizens to ask themselves, “How does the power of a corporation like Disney affect my life and shape my values as a citizen, consumer, parent, and individual?” (p. xv). While acknowledging Disney’s ubiquitous potential to craft social and cultural norms and influence identities, we also recognize our own investments in Disney as a source of entertainment and pleasure. That is, we posit that Disney can also provide “opportunities to venture beyond mundane, everyday experience while laying claim to unrealized dreams and hopes” (Giroux & Pollack, p. 7). Therefore, we do not seek only to criticize and/or deconstruct Disney products and perspectives but also to appreciate and understand the ways that the Disney corporation operates to influence education and popular culture in the United States and beyond.

We thus invite educational scholars to engage with the Disney curriculum in a variety of ways that may include critical works on Disney films and/or theme parks, how Disney has been taught and resisted in schools, critical activism focused on Disney, ways in which fans and consumers develop and negotiate their identities through and with their engagement with Disney, and how race, class, gender, sexuality, animality, and consumerism are constructed through and within the Disney megaverse. We seek diverse methodological approaches including but not limited to those that take up perspectives of political economy, ethnography, textual analyses, audience reception and interpretation analyses, and/or approaches that combine one or more of these perspectives. We also welcome theoretical perspectives to studying Disney that include but are not limited to socioeconomic, political, cultural, psychoanalytic, feminist, posthuman, and ludic postmodern approaches to Disney.

Prospective contributors should submit a one-page overview of their proposed chapter, including a brief abstract including a description of the chapter’s central argument, and a potential list of references.

Please send proposals by Monday, April 21, 2014 to: Jennifer Sandlin, jennifer.sandlin@asu.edu

“Toxic Wars” vs. Conscientious Feminism

Originally posted on Media Diversified:

by Minna Salami
Minna Salami

Ms Afropolitan

In July 1992, an international conferenceWomen in Africa and in the African Diaspora (WAAD) was held in Nigeria. WAAD was a rare event: an interdisciplinary and international conference about African women in Africa.

The conference, which took place in the Eastern town of Nsukka, during an unusually dry week in July (precipitation for this month is normally high in the region) kicked off jubilantly, matching the expectations of the excited delegates.

The camaraderie was short lived however. On day two of WAAD, all hell broke lose. Unexpectedly, the programme convenor, professor of women’s and African studies, Obioma Nnaemeka,found herself having to respond to the question of whether or not white women (about one fifth of the seven hundred or so participants) should be able to “present papers on black women’s experiences”. Some delegates felt that white women, complicit with…

View original 1,815 more words

The Veil of Naivety: Religion & Misogyny


I’ll just add that I am not against wearing hijab, niqab, burqa etc. Some garments are seen as cultural while these are labelled religious. That wearing something (women not being allowed to wear pants in other christian countries) is legally or societally enforced is a different matter.

Originally posted on The Fire Breathing Feminist:

The fact that Salman Rushdie and MF Hussain were threatened by mobs of religious bigots for what were works of literature and art respectively, and that Asaram Bapu was defended from the law by similar mobs, for being a predatory paedophile, might be an absurd, yet amusing paradox to some. But to me, it is a manifestation of everything that’s wrong with the way society perceives religion.


Religious misogyny is a kind that has been particularly hard to call out and address, for multiple reasons. Firstly, it is because religious texts can be dissected, re-interpreted, misinterpreted, and completely bastardised to suit the message of the hour. Euphemisms like ‘family values’ allow religious organisations to tread the fine line between enshrining heteronormative and sexist gender roles in society on the one hand and claiming just to be innocuously prescriptive in the face of criticism on the other hand. Interpretive flexibility allows…

View original 1,593 more words

Oppression against women

So it’s International Women’s Day; as many surely realise apathy towards sexism and sexism itself are still winning, everywhere and here. A petition to Google. Relatedly I’d be keen to know how many women of colour feature in these 17% women total we see in films, currently I only have TV and sporadic internet here (multiracial country with a POC majority) and even in adverts I see few women of colour (counting South African ads, otherwise I recall 2 local ads with WOC and can’t help but notice 1 hair type). I was mostly sharing the petition, I’m not writing more about this today.

I’ll write about yesterday’s obvious oppressiveness towards women by national TV director on the occasion of Women’s Day, and the oppression by a vegan group to celebrate Women’s History Month 2012 for the sake of ‘sexist white imperialist gurus’ PeTA or who knows what. Among the consequences of which are this blog but also the fact that there are among local followers, only 2 veg*n women perhaps. This article about sexism and its reinforcement in the Indian context is worth a read if you’re not familiar enough with Gandhi.

[...]the issue goes way beyond Gandhi. What really matters now, and it matters deeply, is how we respond to what Gandhi did!
Today we like to believe that we are far more progressive in terms of recognizing and condemning the abuse of power by men for sexual exploitation and abuse. And yet, I repeatedly find every time I bring this up [for eg. in this article Gandhi to Asharam: Who Empowers the Sex-Crimes of Gurus?] most people’s responses are defensive and regressive!

Why did MBC director Dhanjay Callikan have to speak at the launch of the Art Exhibition of women artists, for Women’s Day hosted by their corporation, when the vice director of the national TV channels is a woman? On the news, I saw one woman, the organiser of the exhibition, speaking after several men. Then Callikan was quoting Gandhi at the end of his speech.

The second case is about this advert (description included) which promotes sexism and glorification of domestic violence as well as misrepresentation of a part of Indian culture by PeTA. Merely saying the first part of this about the advert got me insulted, then character-bashed and banned from the Vegan Society-Mauritius (VSM) whose image I had built up as an administrator. I got unfairly banned from the group by sexists who support domestic violence and patriarchy. My posts and comments in response got repeatedly deleted (I can only guess by Harry Pillay) and all this seemed widely tolerated. Last year my fake facebook profile that almost no one knew of and who only participated in one VSM discussion very casually, with a different tone and absolutely not knowledgeably, long before, got banned too.

The VSM are not endorsed by Vegan Society UK, if they were it would need rectifying even if merely for the fact that they, for years, have or had photos of animal tested products (Australian brand Gaia, without any certified bunny or vegan logo, not listed on any organisation’s website) alleging they are cruelty-free; and that they give false and dangerous information on B12 (alleging aloe has B12) in a country where a blood test needs to warrant the need for a B12 injection. If you’ve been vegan a while, you would know about B12 analogues in spirulina etc. and know that a blood test may be misleading. A non-vegan friend of mine just died from some sort anemia, some cases of anemia can be serious and give rise to irreversible and grave physical effects. Everyone on a bad or sanitized diet is at risk of B12 deficiency, modern agriculture (manure needs to be washed off veggies to avoid E-Coli etc.) and medicine makes us all conducive to it. Another post.

CN for photos linked: Ableist/disablist slurs, I’m ‘lame’ and yet I didn’t know better than to use the term to mean ‘pathetic’ 2 years back.

Snapshot 1 where I’m being defended by someone I later came to know is a Men’s Rights Advocate or something, but she was allegedly defending my right to free speech after I was banned.

Snapshot 2 of my post about the unfairness of getting my comments deleted repetedly by an admin who didn’t even come forward to admit to doing this. Nor did other admins try to figure it out. The value of females in this society is use-them-then-kick-them-to-the-curb, what to do!

Can non-facebookers see these? Usually one has to click cancel on the sign-up request and can read public pages.

Day of Mourning for Murdered Disabled people

March 1, worldwide day of mourning for disabled people murdered by caregivers. There is an online vigil beginning at 3:00 PM EST. I usually use GMT but I’ll leave the conversion to you, due to limited interweb today.

Disabled people have lives already strictly confined and limited by institutions and society; our voices are perpetually erased and forgotten. Let us not forget those whose lives have been ended brutally, may their stories live on.

For the online vigil: https://sites.google.com/site/pwddayofmourning2014/

For a list of public vigils: http://autisticadvocacy.org/2014/02/day-of-mourning-2014-2/

Relatedly, I have started (I’ve a private invite-only one, not sure if it will be the same) or am starting a new personal blog following the high levels of apathy around extremely disabling circumstances in which I have been living – because of close ones for the first time ever, at 32, I have to be concerned about my health in the context of life expectancy. I recently moved to a place where I probably have no friend solely because of my nationality. The blog will be a testimony that disablism too can kill. Every little bit may well count, and it adds up. I’ll probably not mention it further. I’ll put a contact detail up (though isn’t my facebook email straightforward?) and interested readers can ask me about it.

Animaux et Religions Abrahamiques

J’ai souvent dit aux religieux, avec qui j’ai eu l’occasion de d’aborder ce sujet, de voir le documentaire A Sacred Duty (version avec sous-titres sur YouTube, voir plus bas). Je reprendrais désormais les citations ci-dessous, de Marguerite Yourcenar et de l’archevêque Desmond Tutu, face à certaines défenses d’abus des animaux.

L'oeil vert d'un carnivore et texte: L'homme est l'espèce la plus insensée - il vénère un Dieu invisible et massacre une Nature...

L’oeil vert d’un carnivore et texte: L’homme est l’espèce la plus insensée – il vénère un Dieu invisible et massacre une Nature visible, sans savoir que cette Nature est ce Dieu invisible qu’il vénère — Hubert Reeves

“J’ai été témoin de la façon dont l’injustice est effacée quand elle est à l’encontre des victimes vulnérables et sans pouvoir, quand celles-ci n’ont personne pour faire entendre leurs voix et aucun moyen de se représenter au pouvoir. Les animaux sont précisément dans cette position. Si nous ne sommes pas attentifs à leurs intérêts et si nous ne parlons pas pour eux à haute voix, l’abus et la cruauté se seront pas contrés.” Desmond Tutu – The Global Guide to Animal Protection

Il y avait dans le christianisme tous les éléments d’un folklore animal presque aussi riche que celui du bouddhisme mais le dogmatisme et la priorité donnée à l’égoïsme humain l’ont emporté. Il semble que sur ce point un mouvement supposé rationaliste et laïque, l’humanisme, au sens récent et abusif du mot, qui prétend n’accorder d’intérêt qu’aux réalisations humaines, hérite directement de ce christianisme appauvri, auquel la connaissance et l’amour du reste des êtres ont été retirés.

Ce qui me paraît importer, c’est de posséder le sens d’une vie enfermée dans une forme différente. C’est déjà un gain immense de s’apercevoir que la vie n’est pas incluse seulement dans la forme en laquelle nous sommes accoutumés à vivre, qu’on peut avoir des ailes au lieu de bras, des yeux optiquement mieux organisés que les nôtres, au lieu de poumons des branchies. Ensuite il y a le mystère des migrations et des communications animales, le génie de certaines espèces [...] Et puis, il y a toujours pour moi cet aspect bouleversant de l’animal qui ne possède rien, sauf la vie, que si souvent nous lui prenons.

Marguerite Yourcenar (qui, visiblement, était aussi consciente que le lait est issu de l’exploitation des vaches)

J’aurais commencé par citer Al-Ma’arri si je parlais d’arabes végétalien-n-e-s mais parmis les sites musulmans je n’ai trouvé que ce blog marocain, deux sites en anglais dans mon article précédent – à noter que je fonctionne nettement plus en tant qu’anglophone sur les réseaux sociaux, comme sur la toile; voilà des années que le français n’est plus ma première langue.

Animals and Abrahamic Religions

I often refer religious folks to documentary A Sacred Duty and I’ll now remember these quotes by Marguerite Yourcenar and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Original quotes (I translated these from) by Yourcenar will be in the next post.

“I have seen firsthand how injustice gets overlooked when the victims are powerless or vulnerable, when they have no one to speak up for them and no means of representing themselves to a higher authority. Animals are in precisely that position. Unless we are mindful of their interests and speak out loudly on their behalf, abuse and cruelty go unchallenged.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu – The Global Guide to Animal Protection

There were all the elements of an animal folklore, almost as rich as that of Buddhism, in Christianity but dogmatism and the prioritising of human selfishness took over. It seems that a movement allegedly rationalist and secular, humanism, in the recent and abusive sense of the word, which pretends to be concerned only about human realisations inherited from this watered-down christianity from which knowledge and love for other beings have been removed.

What, to me, seems to matter is to have the concept of life enclosed in a different form. It is an immense gain if we can realise that life exists not only in the form we experience, that one can have wings instead of arms, optically more sophisticated eyes, gills instead of lungs. Then there is the mystery of migrations and communication between animals, the genius of certain species [...] Then there is always, I think, the moving fact that an animal possesses nothing but their life that, too often, we snatch from them.

Marguerite Yourcenar

There’s a number of specifically vegan muslim communities on facebook in English, Arabic or both. Otherwise see this section of the IVU website among others and this blog which speaks of veg*nism. Easter 2014 edit: see this discussion on Christ and Buddha at Sistah Vegan. I’m reminded of Yourcenar’s quote but I’m not familiar with the religions or texts.

Note: I have linked the blog for those who may be interested but can’t see the above documentary.