Oz in the News 12.16.13

20131216_627993.xml-20131122_oz_3‘Wizard of Oz’ junkie follows yellow brick road to Camden  If you need proof that Willard Carroll is the man who has everything, consider this: He outbid Michael Jackson to buy the hourglass that the Wicked Witch of the West wraps her bony fingers around to threaten Dorothy in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Carroll, whose collection comprises the entirety of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” exhibition at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, paid $80,000 for the hourglass more than 20 years ago. “Obviously, Michael Jackson could have outbid me,” said Carroll. But Jackson’s representative was authorized to bid only so high. Determined to acquire the hourglass that he coveted for years, Carroll kept upping the bid until the Jackson emissary angrily bowed out. “That is the most I’ve ever paid for anything, still today,” said Carroll.

The Wizard of Oz and the Western Cultural Imagination: A Conference celebrating and interrogating 75 years of the MGM Musical  Despite being firmly embedded in the Western cultural imagination, the legacy of The Wizard of Oz has received rather sparse critical reception. Taking place in the same month that saw the release of the film in the UK, this conference seeks to fill this void and explore the film and its legacy through a series of innovative presentations that explores ideas such as:

·       the Wizard of Oz within American and UK television programming;
·       young women’s agency;
·       representations of twisters, tornadoes, and hurricanes;
·       Technicolor and the emergence of colour film;
·       the Hollywood musical;
·       stardom and fandom;
·       intermedial history and the story’s migration to other media;
·       paratexts, advertising and memorabilia;
·       music, magic, witches and myth;
·       representations of the American rural landscape and the Depression;
·       gender and sexuality;
·       the Wizard of Oz and cultural capital;
·       carnivals, travelling shows, and fairgrounds;
·       costume and the iconography of shoes.

Proposals are welcomed from all academic disciplines and can take the form of a paper, performance, artwork or poster presentation. Innovative presentation formats are encouraged. The conference will include a fancy dress, sing-along screening of the film.

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