Symbolism Saturday: Communication Resources

Welcome to Symbolism Saturday! For anyone new to Symbolism Saturday, this is a bi-monthly Saturday special that I originally started sharing on Instagram and Twitter. In these posts, I highlight an example of symbolism in pop culture in a bite-sized exploration. Today, we're taking a look at a symbol from The Powerpuff Girls series from the 90's.

Exploring Love Through Fan Culture [OWLS September Blog Tour: Lover]

This month, the OWLS are talking about our favorite couples in pop culture as we explore the theme "lover". If you've ever shipped characters in your favorite anime, book, video game, or other narrative work, then you've participated in what reception studies terms decoding and sense-making. When we take in a creative work, we have the opportunity to form our own version of its happenings. These fan-made versions give us a chance to explore meaning in our own lives. For this month's blog tour, I'll be taking a look at fan interpretation related to romance.

The Magic of Hands-on Learning [OWLS July Blog Tour: Mentor]

Not every mentor is spectacular, but sometimes we come across one that is out of this world. Today, I'm writing about an out-of-this-world teacher from pop culture who never fails the kids she's in charge of educating: Ms. Frizzle of The Magic School Bus...

Envisioning Worlds Without Hate [OWLS June Blog Tour: Pride]

Pop culture acts a platform for self-expression and provides a space for the LGBTQ+ community to find visibility. There are a number of pop culture works that include and revolve around LGBTQ+ characters. A number of these works focus on overcoming hate and discrimination, raising awareness for what individuals in the community experience in the … Continue reading Envisioning Worlds Without Hate [OWLS June Blog Tour: Pride]

Dramatic Irony: What They Don’t Know, But You Do

Recently, we took a look at verbal and situational irony in Futurama. Today, Futurama returns for another foray into a third type of irony: dramatic irony. Now that you're used to thinking of irony as the opposite of reality (kind of), stick a pin in that. Dramatic irony throws this rule out the window. Dramatic irony  creates the kinds of moments that cause you to start yelling at the characters on the screen to stop what they're doing right away...

Verbal and Situational Irony: Putting the Funny in Futurama

Comedy shows offer many great examples of irony because the comedy genre often takes advantage of irony in order to produce hilarious or unexpected outcomes. Futurama is especially good at using irony, and even talks about irony in the episode "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings"...

Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deux ex Machina 6 & 7: Rick & Morty, and My Little Pony

Nearly every holiday has some sort of festival celebrating a miracle that saved its practitioners in some way. Miracles such as these are almost always worth celebrating, and people generally like to celebrate. In honor of the many December holidays (not all revolving around miracles), we're exploring eight examples of narrative miracles through the literary … Continue reading Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deux ex Machina 6 & 7: Rick & Morty, and My Little Pony

Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deux ex Machina 5: Gravity Falls

Happy Chanukkah and happy holidays, everyone, and welcome back for the fifth night of Deus ex Machina. We're celebrating the eight nights of Chanukkah and other December holidays with this literary device. Tonight, let's take a look at Gravity Falls...

Tropes: When You’re Fairly Certain You’ve Seen These Odd Parents Before

Anybody that watches cartoons or anime is familiar with today's topic: the trope. Tropes act as a visual way for the creator of a work to quickly and easily convey a concept to their audience. They can take many forms-- a figure of speech, a character type, a plot device, a location or location type, a pattern of storytelling, a sub-plot. If you've seen the concept before, it is most likely a trope. Let's take a look at a few examples of tropes found in Butch Hartman's The Fairly Odd Parents.

Finding LGBTQ+ Pride in Pop Culture (Part 3)

In recognition of this colorful month, I’ve put together a miniseries recognizing different creative works helping to raise LGBTQ+ visibility. The more that mainstream media includes our voices, the stronger our voices grow. Visibility helps make our movement...