Annenberg Research Seminar: Buy More, Be More: Spiritual Neoliberalism and Latter-day Screens

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 12:00pm USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (ASC), Geoffrey Cowan Forum (ASC 207)

For many years, scholars have insightfully shown how media and cultural texts participate in the formation of neoliberal subjects, asking them to become good citizens through marketplace objectives, like investing in the self, making smart consumer choices, and emphasizing individual restrictions rather than systemic oppressions.  Using mediated Mormonism as an example and referring to a larger field of cross-platform mediation that I call latter-day screens, I open a new category that I call spiritual neoliberalism.  While neoliberalism often looks to marketplace success to determine its endpoint, spiritual neoliberalism mandates loftier, more spiritual, goals as markers of achievement – personal well-being, enlightenment, heavenly happiness, the godhead.  These are no small aspirations.

Lunch will be served.