The Midwest Popular Culture Association and Midwest American Culture Association conference takes place in Cincinnati this week. The organizations promote and foster the scholarly study of our material culture, our popular music, movies, TV programs and comics. What can we learn from a closer examination of themes running through shows about zombies and vampires, or movies about superheroes? Quite a bit, it turns out. 

The writer Mark Dery first coined the term ‘Afrofuturistic’ in his 1994 essay “Black to the Future” to describe a new cultural phenomenon but what exactly is Afrofuturism? 

Michael Gonzales of Ebony Magazine calls Afrofuturism “a cultural catchphrase to describe the world of tomorrow today in music, art, theater, politics and academics,” but the more I tried to further define the term, the more I discovered that Afrofuturistim is a concept that, by definition, defies definition.

Camille Paglia is one of todays most acknowledged cultural critics, author of provocative books such as Sexual Personae and Break, Blow, Burn, and recently released her assessment of art from earlier times right up to Star Wars. In Glittering Images, she selects more than two dozen images and provides some background on the author and the work, but also places it in within its historical context. It’s a fascinating walk through time using arts as the guideposts, and she’s on the phone to discuss this journey with Mark Perzel.

Domestica Magazine

Jan 18, 2013

Perhaps you’ve noticed a new magazine around town. It’s glossy, visual and all about Cincinnati. Domestica is the brainchild of Rachel Kirkwood. She describes it as a new shelter and lifestyle magazine promoting local eateries, farms, boutiques and non-profits in the Cincinnati region. She got it up and running with a Kickstarter campaign, and now the January issue is on the stands. Mark Perzel welcomes Rachel Kirkwood to the studio to find out her inspiration for this magazine, and what future issues will hold.