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​Coby Carner, Student, Master's degree, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Manny Pacquiao and the Limits of Identity Under Empire View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Joseph Reynoso  

This study problematizes racial identity, both in psychoanalytic and political terms. Though the psychological value of racial identity has empirical support, the presenter will argue for the continued interrogation of our unconscious participation in the perpetuation of colonial and imperial mechanisms. Focusing on Asian-American identities, the author uses psychoanalytic scholarship to complicate the academic research on racial identity.To elaborate links between traumatic loss and racial identity, the author considers the psychic appeal of the Filipino boxer-politician Manny Pacquiao for the Philippines and more broadly as a Pan-Asian signifier. Using, but going beyond, his celebrity object relationship to Pacquiao, the presenter (through an interactive video exercise) asks us to consider the fantasies and feelings the athlete activated. This program argues for rethinking our identification with figures like Pacquiao and emboldened forms of racial (and other) identities. This is thought of in terms of the limitations of projects (political and otherwise) that take recognition as a goal. The paper looks to writings from various fields that address the tensions and contradictions within and between Asian identities. The author argues for the political potential of conceiving movements to and from mania, melancholy and mourning as affective positions to mine in response to what is impossibly lost. We discuss the possibilities of transcending our investment in identity, taking up Viet Thanh Nguyen’s dare “to be both Asian American and to imagine a world beyond it, one in which being Asian American isn’t necessary.”

Compromise: Shinty-Hurling and International Rules Football as Marriages of Game Logic and Sporting Identities View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Bennett Burke  

Ireland is home to the Gaelic games: hurling and Gaelic football. The two sports represent outliers in the landscape of modern sports both in their intrinsic connection to each other via similar game logics, but also in their connection to Irish identity. This is evident both in the history of the Gaelic Athletic Association as well as the manner in which the sports are marketed to the public in the present day. An even further outlier is present in two sports that emerge from a compromise with each of the Gaelic games' rulebooks. These are shinty-hurling, played annually between Scotland and Ireland, and international rules football, played annually between Australia and Ireland. The resultant sports are a fascinating spectacle: endless frustration among the players on either side at the limitations imposed by the other sport's rulebook, but also a subtle elation among players and spectators alike at the incredibly unique phenomenon unfolding on the field. The two compromise sports occupy an obscure space in modern sport. They are a form of sporting diplomacy and take place against a backdrop of complicated, interwoven histories of conquest, colonialism, and migration. They are also obscure in their infrequency: a sporting event that occurs as a single match once per year is not necessarily sustainable as an enterprise. This unique situation is deserving of further scholarly investigation on account of the myriad lessons in sport marketing, game logic development, and informal diplomacy that lie within its existence.

Featured Women in Hell: Realizing Equality for Female Professional Wrestlers through Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension of Masculinity-femininity View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Michael Rhett Cuozzo  

Former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Vince McMahon took North American professional wrestling from a group of regional organizations in the early 1980’s to the global powerhouse and cultural phenomenon it is today. Indeed, many professional wrestlers have crossed over into mainstream entertainment including Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and John Cena. These men, among other less recognized stars, such as Triple H, Bret Hart, The Undertaker, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage, were top draws for WWE. Obviously missing from this list are the women of WWE, who until recently, served as valets, enhancement talents, or participated in bra and panties matches, pillow fights, or traditional matches where they were not given time to display their ability. The sexualized and second-class roles women played and the matches in which they participated demonstrates they were in no way equal to their male counterparts. WWE fans were fed up and in early 2015 started #givedivasachance. Consequently, Triple H became the new head of talent and in Spring of 2016 the WWE’s Divas Revolution, later and more aptly named the Women’s Revolution, began. Then, in Fall of 2016, female wrestlers were initiated into equality with the men through a Hell in a Cell match, specifically its contract signing. However, to be accepted, their initiation was completed through a masculine-centric rhetorical process as evidenced through Geert Hofstede’s masculinity-femininity (MAS) cultural dimension. Thus, in order to women to be accepted, the women needed to act and talk like men.

Digital Media

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