Date of Award
Professor Brenton Good
Spectacle lives a double life, straddling both the realms of academia and entertainment, both a subject of critical theory and mass-mediated culture. It is simultaneously dissected by scholarly writing and applied by critics and layperson alike to aesthetically stimulating films, musicals, and the lights of Vegas. Generically, spectacle is understood as an impressive visual presentation, grand in scale, and is often associated with either the theater or circus.1 In popular culture, the word spectacle is frequently used to describe the media phenomena of professional sports, television productions, blockbuster movies, musical concerts, etc. This term’s widespread application makes it flexible yet culturally entrenched, and therefore challenging to define concisely.
Mehringer, Lindsay, "The Dazzling Grotesque: Spectacle, Popular Culture, and Contemporary Art" (2010). Honors Projects and Presentations: Undergraduate. 122.