Browse Exhibits (10 total)



The essays in this exhibit explore how nostalgia shapes political rhetoric and identity of three nations, South Korea, United States, and China. Heather Andrulis, in her essay "Park Chung-Hee Nostalgia and its Relationship to Modern South Korean Politics," analyzes the contentious legacy of Park Chung-Hee, South Korea's former President, arguing that nostalgia towards this political figure is key to understanding contemporary South Korean politics.In "American Nostalgia for Rome," Hayden Sestak shows how the ideals of the Roman Republic are embedded in the very foundation of United States and reflected both in the architecture of National Monuments in Washington DC and in metaphors used in contemporary political discourse. Finally, Ruixin Lu considers Louis Cha's Martial Arts novels as an object of nostalgia amongst the young generation of Chinese. She shows how Cha's novels nostalgically evoke the romantic image of a traditional, timeless and utopian nation against the background of a fast-paced, modern, and bureaucratized China of today. 



The essays in this exhibit analyze the prevalence of nostalgia on contemporary image sharing platforms. Stephanie Irizarry Vega explores the continued reliance on the codes of analog photography on Instagram and the desire of users to experience something tangible and "real" in the pixelated environment. In "Idealization of Nostalgia," Paige Giordano connects the highly idealized and staged representations of bodies on social media with a longer history of Western painting, demonstrating historical continuity in the ways we imagine and present ourselves to others. 



The essays in this exhibit look at nostalgia from the perspective of historically marginalized and opressed communities. Alexandra Benson turns her eye to nostalgia for old Hollywood, arguing that Classical Hollywood films are structured around the white gaze. From this position, she makes a powerful case that uncritical, nostalgic enjoyment in old Hollywood movies ignores the stereotypical and limited representations of Black Americans and perpetuates the narrative of white innocence. In the second essay, Alex Armbruster makes a case for the existence of queer nostalgia, whose function is to reclaim, heal, and finally celebrate the queer past, despite the pain and discrimination that has frequently defined LGBTQA history.



This exhibit addresses various manifestations of nostalgic and retro sensibility that permeate the contemporary field of popular music in both commercial and avant-garde contexts. Samuel Castleberry explores the nostalgic mood of vaporwave, an emergent experimental genre that recycles and recontextualizes the outmoded, commercialized sounds of the recent past. In "Modern Rock and Authenticity," Sierra Jackson analyzes contradictory meanings behind authenticity and nostalgia in rock music on the example of several contemporary indie bands whose sound and style reference the punk and classic rock era. Switching the focus to the music business, Daniel Walker argues that nostalgia for classic rock and roll both crosses the generational gap and is highly profitable.



The essays in this exhibit explore the uses of nostalgia in the fashion industry. Kaityln Dubrof examines the contemporary fascination with retro and vintage clothing while recalling a longer history of style recycling in the fashion industry going back to the 19th century. Yasmine Montes explores the current nostalgia for the urban styles of 1990s and early 2000s, popular amongst the younger generations. She proposes thatbesides the historical proximity of that periodthis nostalgia is additionally motivated by the increased presence of Black and Hispanic urban styles. While acknowledging profit as the primary motivation of the fashion industry, both essays also foreground the ways in which style can take on critical social and political meanings.



This exhibit addresses nostalgia from the perspective of contemporary psychology. In the past, nostalgia has been associated with pathological behavior, but, as Yulissa Montes shows in her essay, psychology has slowly come to embrace nostalgia as a complex and potentially beneficial aspect of cognition. 


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The essays featured in this exhibit examine advertisment's relation to nostalgia. The first essay analyzes the popular AMC show Mad Men about Manhattan ad executives in the 1960s, and the show's ambivalent use of nostalgia to draw viewers and create broader cultural trends. The second essay shows how iconic advertisements, such as the 1990s Hot Pockets commercials, can function as vehicles of nostalgia by captivating the senses. 



This exhibit addresses nostalgia for games that have defined childhoods across generations. Joshua Henderson examines the afterlife of outdated video games, namely, arcades and early consoles. He argues that vintage video games have spawned a profitable industry that temporarily allows consumers to revist their childhood and to escape from responsibilities and pressures of adult life. In the essay "Only 90s Kids Will Rememember," Ethan McCarthy delves into the nostalgia for the NBA in the 1990s, espoused both by the contemporary fans and the media. He ascribes this nostalgia to two factors: the presence of basketball icons, such as Michael Jordan, whose product endorsements defined fashion on and off the court; and the perceived spontaneity of the game before it became hyper-analyzed.



An introductory essay to the exhibits. 


The essays in this section address nostalgia through cuisine.