Last Sunday I gave a talk at the Stumptown Comics Festival titled “The Joker: The Politics & Performance Art of Post-Humanity.” Here is the audio I recorded (in MP3), and here are the presentation slides I used to structure the lecture (as PDF). This was the second year PNCA’s Continuing Education program asked me to be part of the scene at Stumptown, and I have had nothing but incredibly positive experiences both times.
My analysis of The Joker in this talk is that he is an example of what Marx and Engels termed the lumpen proletariat, and his class/social position as such is a big part of what makes him both endearing and dangerous. I enjoyed researching this project quite a lot, and am mulling over developing it into a paper to present at the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association‘s annual conference next year. I’d be thrilled and grateful for your feedback.