NECS 2014: Animate Toys as Engines of Imagination

NECS_image This year I presented at the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies’ annual conference in Milan. I’d never been to NECS (or to Milan, for that matter!) and it was a great trip. Our panel was called “Playing with Media: the Challenge of Children’s Unproductive Creativity” and featured a lot of exciting work (including Kinderspiel, a new project about kids as media archaeologists). I presented new work I’m doing on talking dolls. For this paper, I looked at a few historical and contemporary examples (including some of their patents and promotional materials). I was curious both about the changing technologies that have animated dolls (and given them a “voice”) in various contexts, as well as analyzing the [often negative] responses to talking dolls in popular culture. It was productive and fun to present this project (in its development) within the context of such a great panel. Other conference highlights included fascinating keynotes by Jason Mittell (on TV authorship) and Janet Wasko (on Disney).

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NECS 2014: Animate Toys as Engines of Imagination

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