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Seminar: Ambiguity and the Longevity of Creative Industries

We have a great seminar coming up: Professor Damon Philips, Columbia University

Same time, same place, (same food): January 11th, 1100-1230, room 4128 at The Business School

TITLE

Ambiguity and the Longevity of Creative Industries: The Case of Swing through the Lens of Interdisciplinary Collaboration

AUTHORS

Sonia Coman-Ernstoff, Columbia University - Department of Art History and Archaeology

Damon J. Phillips, Columbia University - Columbia Business School

ABSTRACT

In this interdisciplinary paper we propose that the ambiguity of discourse around a category - rather than being an obstacle - can improve the longevity of that category. We believe that this is especially true with categories associated with creative industries. We test this thesis through a case study focusing on swing from 1935 to 1940. Swing was simultaneously understood as a technique, an emotional response to music, a style of music, a subcategory of jazz, modern music, American music, a sub-culture of the youth, a symbol of national identity during WWII, and an ineffable aesthetic effect. Based on 2,000 articles and an analysis of a sample set of texts, definitions, and phrases, we found that 70 definitions of swing existed as a constellation of discrete meanings, along with 89 different uses of the word ‘swing'. The multiple definitions enabled various understandings of swing to come in and out of focus, contributing directly to the recurrent longevity of swing. We note that the approach, analysis, and conclusions from our interdisciplinary study allow us to extend our findings to a wide range of additional settings.

In terms of saving the date, here are the sessions for the remainder of the year, all 1100-1230 in room 4128.Light refreshments will be served. Details of the talks will be sent a few weeks prior.

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE HAVE A FINAL DATE FOR THE MARCH SESSION AND UPDATE YOUR CALENDARS

Professor Davide Ravasi, Cass Business School, March 22

Professor Xavier Castaner, HEC Lausanne, May 17th