Professors discuss celebrity culture

Bejan Siavoshy

The second part of the Humanities Department’s “Teaching and Learning in the Age of Media Spectacle and Celebrity Culture” panel discussion took place on Wednesday in the Whittsett room in Sierra Hall.

Six professors discussed culture, violence and genocide with a room packed full of students and faculty for the second installment of the discussion series.

Pictured to the right, Cinema and Television Arts assistant professor Dianah Wynters spoke on how the rise in celebrity idolization is leading to the decline of the value of intelligence. Wynters said that this process will “kill the mind, (and only) leave the body standing.”

Wynters brought up examples to back up her claims, saying that in an academic environment such as CSUN, learning facilities like the Oviatt Library, which was recently used for the filming of the upcoming movie “Fiercely,” is so easily surrendered for the use of a movie set with little regard for the disruption of the learning process for students.

She also said in her speech that a professor can be held in less regard than a celebrity, making reference to Central American Studies professor Alicia Estrada being escorted out by a private bodyguard from a forum after questioning Mel Gibson about his historical research for the movie “Apocalypto.”

Five other professors on the discussion panel spoke on a range of topics, from the production of movies about the Holocaust being used for political gains to the injustices and misrepresentation of native cultures taking place in Latin America.