Second Brown Bag of the Semester – February 6, 2015


Mona Malacane, PhD student, and Sean Connolly, PhD Student, Department of Telecommunications, Media School

Women’s Role in Action Movie Trailers: A Content Analysis Examining Sexual and Agentic Portrayals, 1982-2013

A content analysis of 155 theatrical trailers for action movies was conducted to examine the frequency and nature of women’s role in promotional materials and how this role has evolved over the past 30 years. The results show that fewer women were included in early action movie trailers (i.e. before 2000). When women were observed in action movie trailers, they were often physically sexualized and, in later years, more likely to be shown participating in the action elements of the trailer. Female agency and physical sexualization peaked at the turn of the century and has been followed by several blockbuster female-lead action films. Implications for how women in action movie trailers can affect box office sales are discussed.


Everything You Never Knew You Needed

By Edo Steinberg

singing gondolier

Singing Gondolier for your pool!

Long before they met each other, Mona Malacane and Michelle Funk had developed the same hobby. They both love looking through SkyMall, the catalogue you’ll find in the seat pocket in front of you on most flights in the United States. They haven’t bought anything yet, though.

For Michelle, her love of SkyMall started as a child. “It was more important to me than reading how to get out of the plane in an emergency,” she says. “Reading which pool floats are available was really cool.”

Mona also got hooked at an early age. “When we lived overseas, we would go on very long flights across the ocean, so I would sit there and read SkyMall catalogues three times,” Mona says. “I would read every single thing, all the descriptions, hoping one day to be able to afford them with my allowance.”

Recently, Mona and Michelle discovered that they shared this passion and started looking through the catalogues together. “I went to visit my boyfriend Matt in Tallahassee,” Mona says. “I took SkyMall with me, because it’s free. It had been the first time I had flown in a long time, so I had to look through it. When I was back in town I told Michelle, ‘you have to see this thing that I found.’ It might have been a life-sized Bigfoot garden statue. Then Michelle said she loves SkyMall, too, so that’s how we knew that we share this love.”

Wrinkle reducing face belt!

Wrinkle reducing face belt!

Both Michelle and Mona are about to attend NCA in Washington, DC later this month. Of course, they are very excited about the opportunity to present their academic work, meet fellow researchers, learn about the latest studies in our field and tour the city. However, they are also looking forward to their flight, when they will be able to get their hands on the fall issue of SkyMall.

One of the things they love about the catalogue is how ridiculous some of the products are. Would you like a Porch Potty, with a scented fire hydrant to attract your dog? Perhaps you’d like a hair rejuvenation system with headphones and a built in MP3 player?

Michelle compiled a list of six real items sold by SkyMall and six products she made up. Can you figure out which is which? Take our SkyMall Quiz!

Sine Qua Nonsense

The Halloween Report

Isaac and the roasted pig (photo courtesy of Alicia Eckert).

Isaac and the roasted pig (photo courtesy of Alicia Eckert).

Halloween may officially be tomorrow, but the Telecom costume party took place last weekend. Rachel Bailey hosted the shindig. Isaac Knowles and his friend John Killian, a professional chef, roasted a pig, decapitated it and placed its head on a spike for all to see and fear.

The costumes varied wildly, but I believe they were all meant to convey subliminal messages. Teresa Lynch, for example, dressed as Executioner Miralda, a character from the video game Demon’s Souls. This is her attempt to promote the death penalty, especially by beheading. The bodiless pig’s head drove her point home.

Dustin as Captain Morgan (Photo Courtesy of Michelle Funk).

Dustin as Captain Morgan (Photo Courtesy of Michelle Funk).

While Dustin Ritchea, Mona Malacane and Yongwoog Jeon wore very different costumes, their underlying message was the same. Dustin as Captain Morgan, Yongwoog as Sherlock Holmes, and Mona as the government shutdown were embodiments of the libertarian worldview. Less government is better. Private citizens like Captain Morgan could do a better job roaming the high seas than taxpayer-mooching Navy SEALs. The best detective in literary history was a private investigator, solving the crimes the inept official police couldn’t. And again, the main course helped convey the message that if Telecom students can cut the pork, so can Congress!

Nancy Tyree dressed as a bearded artist. Her boyfriend Jon was a canvass. They brought markers and encouraged others to draw on the canvass. Just like Tom Sawyer got his friends to paint a fence, Nancy got her own friends to do her job for her. I believe she was trying to teach us to delegate authority – if you’re smart enough to get others to do what you’re supposed to do, you aren’t being lazy.

Yongwoog as Sherlock Holmes and Michelle as an alien (photo courtesy of Michelle Funk).

Yongwoog as Sherlock Holmes and Michelle as an alien (photo courtesy of Michelle Funk).

Irene Van Driel and Mariska Kleemans brought a taste of the Netherlands to the party. They wore orange wigs and red, white and blue clothes. Orange is the Dutch national color, and red, white and blue are the colors on the Dutch national flag. This was a veiled attack on American Exceptionalism. They tried to subliminally remind us that the flag of the United States is not unique in its choice of colors, which it shares with about 30 other countries. This was also a pro-monarchist, pro-House of Orange message. They may be planning to topple our government.

Edo as the High Road (photo courtesy of Michelle Funk).

Edo as the High Road (photo courtesy of Michelle Funk).

Dan Levy promoted peace and tranquility as The Dude from “The Big Lebowski”. He wore a blond wig and a bathrobe. He also walked around with an empty carton of half and half. That carton really tied the costume together.

I conveyed my own message to the world, as well. I wore yellow and white stripes, a hippie vest, an Interstate sign and buttons with the peace sign, psychedelic colors and the word “love”. I also held a comically large joint with fake marijuana made out of green pompoms. I was “the high road”. Get it? Oh, you had to be there.

And no, my subliminal message had nothing to do with drug legalization. I was trying to promote the use of puns while raising awareness of the flimsiness of our nation’s infrastructure.


Welcome Mona, Our Newest Blogger!

By Edo Steinberg

This semester Mona Malacane is joining the Telecom blog team. The always cheerful second year graduate student will be a great addition to the blog. Since she’s positive and easy to talk to, she is sure to put interviewees at ease and get the best stories out of people.  And just so you know a little bit about her before Mona starts asking you about yourselves, here are a few facts about her. She likes to knit, talk about wine and conduct research on children’s sexual socialization in the media. As a University of Georgia graduate, she will also continue Teresa Lynch’s tradition of having someone on the team rooting for the UGA Bulldogs.

Go Dawgs!

SEC Rivalry Comes to IU

by Ken Rosenberg

Hundreds of miles away from home, two Telecom grad students revel in nostalgic rivalry with each other. Dan Levy and Mona Malacane are fans of a team in the Southeastern Conference (SEC)—but not the same team. Dan, a first year M.S. (design & production) student from University of Florida (UF), loves his Gators. Mona, a first year M.A. student from University of Georgia (UGA), is still a member of the Bulldog Nation. These football teams are cornerstones of their universities’ identities and, by extension, the students that graduate from there. Mona and Dan proudly wear their colors here at IU.

Mona with her Bulldog colors, Dan with the Gator chomp.

“Football is huge. Football is king in the south,” Mona said. “It’s a thing, it’s a culture.” The SEC is a Division 1 conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and both UF and UGA are part of the east half of the conference.

“Arguably, it’s the best conference in football,” Dan said. “We’re the most competitive. SEC schools consistently have the most championships, year after year. It makes the rivalries really big. It makes people go all out.” In their respective home states, everything – from doormats, to flags, to indoor decorations – is either orange and blue, or red and black.

A couple of weeks ago, in a piece on our grads from Georgia, Mona that a true Bulldog bleeds red and black. Even Teresa Lynch, a fellow Georgian and Telecom M.A. student, roots for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, despite the fact that she did not go to UGA. They’re not just acculturated as freshmen – “you know it before you get there,” Mona said.

Dan, too, was well aware of the fandom surrounding his team. “The Gators won the national title my senior year of high school,” Dan said, “and that’s the year I applied to the school. That’s when it took hold.” In a show of devotion to his undergrad alma mater, Dan flew home three weeks ago to see a game against Kentucky State. (Mona will be visiting a friend to see the Bulldogs take on Kentucky State, as well.)

“It’s not like here,” Dan said, “where there are fields for tailgating and the rest of the city is quiet. At Florida, they don’t really have that space. I woke up on game day and walked outside my dorm, and every square inch of green space was covered. They have tables and people grilling, drinking and playing games. It’s just a sea of people. It’s like nothing I’d ever seen. The entire city is gridlocked – you don’t drive. You can’t escape it on game day.”

They’re culturally and geographically close, but Florida and Georgia fans have a century-strong rivalry between them, to the point that  neither team will venture onto the home field of the other. When they play against each other, they meet in Jacksonville, Florida – “neutral territory,” as they both put it.

“They suspend open container laws that weekend, they send out cops on horses,” Dan said. “It runs the whole city.” Dan says that people call it “the largest outdoor cocktail party.”

“You make a weekend out of it,” Mona said. “At UGA, you have that Friday off and call it a ‘Fall Break,’ because people really want to go to that game. It’s a big deal.”

Just talking about the game can reveal one’s allegiance. Dan says “Florida-Georgia;” Mona says “Georgia-Florida.” At these games, it is common to hear terms like “Dog food” and “Gator bait.”

“It’s scary how far people can take it,” Mona said. An ardent Bulldogs fan, she still urges anyone who is tied up in the rivalry to “take it all with a grain of salt.”

Georgia has won the game these past two years but, before that, Florida had won several more in a row. “You take wins when they come,” Dan said, “but, when we lose, it’s always ‘we’ll win tomorrow.’” Mona is staunchly against fair-weather fandom and, despite a few seasons of sub-optimal performance, she’s still excited to follow her beloved Bulldogs.

Both agree that the game will be very close. It will take place on October 27 at 3:30pm.

Georgia on Their Minds

by Ken Rosenberg

When most people hear the song “Georgia on My Mind,” they are very likely to think of Ray Charles’ 1960 rendition but, actually, the song was composed by Howard Hoagland “Hoagy” Carmichael, 30 years earlier. Hoagy played piano and his jazz-influenced pop songs have placed him in the annals of music history. He was a Bloomington native and a graduate of Indiana University, where he studied law. In memory of her beloved son, Bloomington hosts a plaque downtown, as well as a statue next to the IU Auditorium, complete with piano. So, whenever you pass by the bronzed figure of a man intimately playing at the keys and wondered about his story, now you know: Hoagy was a man with great talent – and had a sister named Georgia. His co-author, Stuart Gorrell, wrote the lyrics (Hoagy composed the music) for Carmichael’s sister but, to the public, the ambiguous lyrics quickly linked the sweet sentiments to the state, as well.  In fact it is now the official state song of the state of Georgia.

Telecom building overlooks Hoagy’s statue. This is fitting, as our cohort most certainly has Georgia on their minds. Hundreds of miles away from the state of Georgia, four grad students cheer for the Bulldogs: Teresa Lynch, Mona Malacane, Nic Matthews, and Sade Oshinubi. They have a rare bond, borne of a common set of backgrounds and cultural references. I sat down for some roundtable reminiscing last week with Mona, Nic, and Teresa (and a follow-up phone call to Sade), in order to understand just what their home state means to them.

Mona and Sade are both taking T501 this semester and, during the requisite round of first-class introductions, Sade perked up when she heard that Mona had arrived from the University of Georgia (UGA).  “I remember sitting there,” Sade said. “I couldn’t wait to talk to her about it.” Mona, like Sade before her, was about to find out what it means to be a fellow Georgian at IU. Sade’s sister went to the same college as Teresa, Armstrong Atlantic State University – a small institution of about 3,500 students – and, in Teresa’s experience, “I don’t know anybody outside of Savannah that knows about that college,” she said. Mona got her degree only twenty minutes drive from where Teresa and Nic grew up.

In the beginning many grad students try to return home for each break, “but the longer you’re away,” Nic said, “you realize it’s just not possible. You have to get this new group to share your successes with, because the phone can only do so much.” Every student who moves away from home must adopt a new social circle, but it helps to have friends who know about what things were like ‘back home’ because “there’s this weird disconnect in leaving and coming here, then meeting all these people,” Teresa said. “They’re from all over the world … and that’s great, and it’s an incredible experience but, at the same time, it’s really awesome to get to meet people from a similar area, that get you in that way. You can make references to places that you’ve been, or things that you’ve experienced that are similar.”

(For the full discussion between three-fourths of the cohort that “bleed red and black,” click here: On Georgia: Mona, Nic, and Teresa.)

clockwise, from top left: Nic, Teresa, Mona, and “Hoagy” Carmichael (pictured here in statue form)

What is referenced most often? Sports, since the whole state is apparently dubbed ‘Bulldog Nation’ and everyone – regardless of the school they went to – hangs a flag to honor the University of Georgia’s football team. “I do miss the solidarity of game days,” Mona said. “Those were so much fun; it was a sea of red and black. But, when you’re away from that … where everyone is a Georgia fan – and then you find fans when you move eight, thirteen hours away, it brings back that solidarity. You feel like you’re part of the group, still. It’s pretty great.” Teresa is not a UGA alum, but she still roots for the Bulldogs. According to Nic, “all of Georgia is called ‘the Bulldog Nation.’ It’s everywhere, anywhere you go. On their porch, everybody has a Georgia flag. It’s crazy.”

Besides rooting for the home team, Georgia denizens identify much more with their local background. “I don’t really think of the state as being where I’m from,” Nic said. “I think of Athens and Savannah, because Georgia to me, I think ’Oh, yeah. Sixteen electoral votes …’ Georgia, to me, it’s just a name and a state. It’s the cities that I really think of, because those – that’s what defined me. Where you stay, and who you stay with.”  It is only the tourists who try to unify Georgia’s essence into a feature-defined buzz word. Many have called Atlanta “Hotlanta,” based on an old marketing campaign. (For the record, when you visit: don’t do that.) While those people were wrong to use the pointless amalgam of words, they were right to choose the word “hot” as a primary component.

“If there’s one thing I don’t miss, it’s the weather,” Mona said. “I love Bloomington. The weather here is incredible. I’m wearing a sweater at the end of September – this is awesome.”

“It’s still beach weather, down in Georgia,” Teresa replied. Weather in the south is “one temperature, one humidity, all the time,” she said. “Bloomington is a beautiful place to be outdoors.”

“Talking about home kind of makes me miss it,” Mona said, “but I do not miss that weather. I only applied to schools that were far enough north that they would get me the heck out of that humidity and heat.” Mona equates walking outside to stepping into a sauna – while placing a hot, wet towel over one’s mouth.

“There are parts of the day where you just don’t go outside,” Teresa said. Mona explained that, during the worst months, the pollen and heat indexes are broadcast every ten minutes.

Another “weather” phenomenon: love bug season. “Yeah, that’s its own season,” Nic said.

Despite the harsh climate, there is still plenty to love about Georgia. “Food is a bigger deal,” Nic said. “It just is.” Fortunately, he and his wife both enjoy cooking. “I love to make southern food,” Teresa said, “and, so far, any time I’ve made southern food for people up here, they love it.” Sade loves when people cook good soul food, and even considers that one of Georgia’s best , most defining features. “I could be anywhere at any time,” Sade said, “and the people I was with would always have good food.” This includes cornbread and greens, as well as a dish that both she and Nic made a point to mention:

As they lived near the coast, Nic and Teresa fondly recall the freshness of catch-of-the-day seafood, as well as the lifestyle afforded by a coastline’s beaches. While Teresa misses the live oaks, Mona misses the ‘tree that owns itself’ (seriously, look it up). Mona is more interested in the facts and stories that surround historic locations – like presidents’ houses and Civil War-era landmarks – while Teresa is more enamored by the macabre tone set by Georgia’s plethora of cemeteries. Sade, on the other hand, misses downtown Atlanta and the culture of its museums, art galleries, and music festivals.

Beyond the cultural trappings, though, “I think there’s kind of a similar hospitality to people, in the Midwest,” Teresa said. The Georgia natives stated that it was difficult to decipher the demeanor of Hoosiers, but that the town now feels like a modern and welcoming place. That new feeling of home, while never quite the same, is part of what makes it possible for people to make it through grad school in a sane, emotionally fulfilled fashion. It’s what unites our whole cohort as a family that, while from many different states and countries, will always have a little peace – with (yup, you guessed it) Georgia on its mind.

Play on, Hoagy.