Popular Culture

BGSU professor Nancy Spencer was on the line at Battle of the Sexes

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Nancy Spencer was offered the chance to be a line judge at the tennis match dubbed the Battle of the Sexes, she at first demurred. Now a professor at Bowling Green State University, she was a 24-year-old at Corpus Christi, Texas, when former men’s tennis champion Bobby Riggs challenged women’s champion Billie Jean King to a match. But a few months earlier Riggs, as much as showman as an athlete, had defeated Margaret Court. Spencer said she was so “devastated” by that outcome “I had told myself I wouldn’t watch the next match.” Technically she wouldn’t be watching the match, the official said, she’d be watching the lines. He sweetened the deal by offering her a couple complementary tickets for friends and a pass that would allow her to tour the Astro Dome, then “the eighth wonder of the world,” where the match was being held. So on Sept. 20, 1973, she was at the center line making calls for a match that made history. She was one of three women officiating the match. In the wake of the release of the major motion picture “Battle of the Sexes,” starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, Spencer will give a talk on her experience at the match Monday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in room 111 in Olscamp Hall on the BGSU campus. The match, Spencer said, was big news. Making the four-hour drive from Corpus Christi she stopped to get gas, and the attendant asked her out of the blue who she thought would win the match. Few people followed tennis at the…

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Popular culture scholars to mine the resources of Jerome Library during summer institute

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Lynn Bartholome first heard about Professor Ray Browne of Bowling Green State University when she was teenager in the late 1960s. She read a magazine article about Browne’s pioneering work at BGSU creating the academic discipline of popular culture. “This is incredibly cool,” she thought. Here was a way of explaining to her father why she spent so much time watching television. After raising her children, Bartholome went on to earn a doctorate in humanities, studying the popular culture of classical times. A former president of the Popular Culture Association-American Culture Association, she is directing the association’s Summer Research Institute that runs Sunday through Thursday at BGSU. Popular culture, she explained in a recent telephone interview isn’t just about what’s popular now, — that would best be called “pop culture” – but rather the culture of everyday life in any time period. Bartholome said she once talked to Ray Browne, and he said he regretted terming the phrase “popular culture,” thinking that the phrase “common culture” would be best. Bartholome never studied with Browne. Instead she attended Florida State, where she worked with one of his close colleagues Jerome Stern. “Popular culture is something we’ve had since the beginning,” she said. “It’s the culture of the average man and the average woman.” That means the scholar not only studies Van Gogh, but the street painters of his time. One of Browne’s own favorite topics was wallpaper because it reflects the way people thought of their lives and the times they were living in. Browne’s work, Bartholome said, is still “very pertinent.” “Ray Browne and…


Scruci sends message of caution regarding “13 Reasons Why” to all BGCS families

Caution for Families about Students Viewing “13 Reasons Why” BGCS staff has heard, and many families may be aware from recent media reports, about concerns that have been raised about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.  Many youth, including BGCS students, are watching the Netflix series, which was adapted from a popular book of the same title by Jay Asher.  The book and series follow a group of students as they piece together a story left behind by a classmate who died by suicide. While the story touches on important topics, the content is very graphic in nature. Critics have raised concerns that the series romanticizes or glamorizes suicide but gives no healthy alternative to kids struggling with emotional problems.   Although we do not encourage viewing, we believe it is critical for our children and youth to process this information with a trusted adult if they have watched this series.  For this reason, we encourage you to talk with your children about what they are watching, either at home or elsewhere in the company of their friends. BGCS resources related to suicide prevention are available through the Wood County Children’s Resource Center – links can be found on school websites. Finally, as always, we want to remind families that all of our school counselors, school psychologists and staff are available whenever you have questions or concerns.     Precaución para Familias Sobre la Serie “13 Reasons Why” El personal de BGCS está consciente de las preocupaciones sobre la serie de Netflix, “13 Reasons Why.” Usted tal vez ha escuchado estas mismas preocupaciones mediante los recientes informes de prensa. Muchos jóvenes,…


Record Store day is a hit at Finders

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News National Record Store Day has turned into a record-setting day for sales at Finders Records in downtown Bowling Green. “The last three or four years for Record Store Day have been record-setting days for us in the history of Finders,” said the shop’s founder and owner Greg Halamay. He was standing inside the door greeting people as he let them in. With 200-300 people waiting outside the downtown Bowling Green shop for the 10 a.m., opening he was controlling how many people were in so the store didn’t become too crowded. The most popular area was the crates of vinyl records. In its 10th year, Record Store Day was founded to celebrate the resilience of the local record store. Getting ready for the day is a lot of work, Halamay said. “But it’s a celebration of what we are, who we are, and where we’ve been down the path.” The beginning of Record Store Day coincided with the rediscovery of vinyl records, the music format of choice when Finders first opened its doors in 1971. “Vinyl is back,” Halamay said. “Vinyl has been embraced at Record Store Day with all the special editions that’ve come out and created a lot of enthusiasm for the record collectors.” Some of the earliest arrivals were from Columbus and Cincinnati, Halamay said. And collectors travel from Michigan to shop. Zachary Weymer drove up from Sidney with his best friend from childhood for Record Store Day. They’d previously gone to a store in Lima, but decided the extra miles were worth a trip to Bowling Green. “These guys have…


BGSU Arts Events through April 12

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS March 31 – Jazz Week continues with a trombone performance from Jazz Lab Band I with Grammy-nominated guest artist Alan Ferber. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, by phone at 419-372-8171, or online at www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. April 1 – Bravo! BGSU celebrates the very best of the arts. Experience a magical evening of vocal, instrumental and theatrical performances, plus exhibitions and demonstrations by student and faculty artists in glass, ceramics, metals and digital arts. Enjoy a festive atmosphere and an array of appetizers and tasty treats. The celebration will begin at 7 p.m. in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. To purchase tickets to the event, contact Lisa Mattiace in the President’s Office at 419-372-6780 or by email at lmattia@bgsu.edu April 1 – Students from BGSU’s College of Musical Arts will be featured in an afternoon chamber music concert at 1 p.m. at the Way Public Library, 101 E. Indiana Ave., Perrysburg. Hosted by Pro Musica, friends of music at the college, the program will feature students who have received travel grants from the organization. The concert is free and open to the public. April 2 – The Gish Sunday Matinee series kicks off with the 1945 film “And Then There Were None,” directed by René Clair. Agatha Christie’s celebrated who-done-it “Ten Little Indians,” under the deft guidance of French director…


Browne Conference deemed a success

BY BINCY ABDUL SAMAD Culture Club: Cultural Studies Scholars’ Association The Ray Browne Conference on Cultural and Critical Studies is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Ray Broadus Browne (1922-2009), a visionary and pioneer in the academic study of popular culture. A folklorist and literary scholar, Dr. Browne was instrumental in the expansion of popular culture studies and founded the Center for Popular Culture Studies, the BGSU Department of Popular Culture, the Popular Press (now at the University of Wisconsin), the Popular Culture Association, the Journal of Popular Culture, and the Popular Culture Library, which now bears the names of he and his wife, Alice Maxine “Pat” Browne (1932-2013). The 2017, fourth annual Ray Browne Conference on Cultural and Critical Studies is co-hosted by the BGSU Culture Club: Cultural Studies Scholars’Association and the Popular Culture Scholars’ Association at BGSU. Bincy Abdul Samad, president of Culture Club and Courtney Bliss, president of PCSA were the co-chairs of the program. This year’s conference is titled, “Intersections of Identities: Difference and Coalition in a transnational Context.” And the conference theme draws on multiple perspectives of difference and coalition, as well as how we write about, discuss, and even experience them in our own lives. It was held from March 17-19, at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union in Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and there were over 127 participants for this year’s conference, which also included interesting events such as Safe Zone training, the Latino Student Union, and Black Student Union workshops, Scholar works workshop, discussion on Sanctuary campus, the second Annual Ray Browne film festival/screening, and also the tour of the Ray and Pat Browne Popular Culture…


Music rings out up & down BG’s Main Street

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Music brought people together in downtown Bowling Green Friday night. On South Main Street more than 100 people gathered at Grounds for Thought for “Singing for Our Lives: Empowering the People through Song” a protest song singalong led by three of the four members of the Grande Royale Ukulelists of the Black Swamp. A couple blocks north more than 100 people celebrated the ageless power of rock ‘n’ roll with The Welders, who for more than 30 years have been staging a spring break show at Howard’s Club H. Mary Jane Saunders, co-pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, opened “Singing for Our Lives” at Grounds by explaining her rationale for suggesting the event. Many are feeling stressed and uncomfortable in the current political climate, she said. That’s been expressed in several rallies, most held in the green space next to the Presbyterian Church.             The sing-along of classic songs was offered as an occasion “to have fun together” while not forgetting the cause that has united so many in the community. “Music has the power to empower and to energize us,” she said. Pop music historian Ken Bielen gave a brief introduction to protest music, much of it by simply quoting memorable lines. He recalled that it was gospel singer Mahalia Jackson who urged Martin Luther King Jr. to deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech. “When people get together in the right combination, history is made.” He then recalled Country Joe McDonald’s admonition to the throngs at Woodstock singing along to “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die…