About the Contributors
john bloom
My work on baseball card collecting begins from an in-
terest in the ways that sports provide images, icons,
spectacles, and cultural references through which
people understand their daily lives. Of course, I would
like to say that my interest in sports stems from my su-
perior athletic talents; that after being offered generous
scholarships in football, baseball, basketball, and track,
after turning down a promising career as a major league
pitcher, and after winning a bronze medal in the two-
man luge in Innsbruck, I decided that I was tired of
being treated like a piece of meat, and that I wanted
to search for greater meaning in life. In actuality, my
greatest athletic achievement was a chin-up I managed
to sweat out in eighth grade during those terrible Pres-
ident’s Physical Fitness tests. However, I have long had
an active fantasy life in which I have been all of the
things mentioned above and more. Perhaps it is the
wide disparity between my skills on one hand, and my
desires and passions for sports on the other, that has led
me to examine their social meanings.
John Bloom is the author of A House of Cards: Base-
ball Card Collecting and Popular Culture and To Show
What an Indian Can Do: Sports at Native American
Boarding Schools, both published by the University of
Minnesota Press.
gerry bloustien
Where does my love of film and my passion for its
magic and mimetic transformative power come from?
Perhaps it emerges from my early childhood in England
when Saturday afternoon at the cinema was a regular
step into the fantasy and drama of other worlds. The
quiet and dutiful daughter of migrant parents, I lived
the usual schizophrenic existence of such a life; inside
the home was noise, color, and drama. Outside the
home was the studied attempt to emulate British refine-
ment and Otherness. Excitingly, the cinema seemed to
blend these two separate worlds for me. Every weekend
I vicariously explored the complexities of these other
ways of seeing and being until I felt that only a thin
veneer of respectability divided my experiences from
those of the Stars; I would wait and watch tremulously
and expectantly (though inevitably with mounting dis-
appointment!) for the moment when my determinedly
refined family would suddenly throw aside their public
facades and, like my fabulous icons on the screen, sud-
denly launch into spontaneous song and dance in the
street. I don’t think I have ever lost that expectation that
under the normal and the explicable lies the imaginary
and the uncanny—if we could but see it! My ethno-
graphic research, grounded in the disciplines of an-
thropology and cultural studies, continues to explore
the ways in which the mimetic power of film, music,
and play facilitates that experience of wonder and magic
in so many everyday lives and cultures.
Gerry Bloustien is a senior lecturer and program
director of Communication, Culture, and New Media
Studies at the University of South Australia. Her writing
on youth, film, and popular culture, published in the
United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe, fo-
cuses on youth cultures, fandom, and aspects of repre-
sentation and gender, particularly those that intersect
with music and new technologies. Her essay is drawn
from her larger ethnographic study of teenage girls, Girl
Making: A Cross-Cultural Ethnography on the Processes
of Growing Up Female (Berghahn Books, 2003).
aniko bodroghkozy
My life has been a series of border crossings. Literally.
I’ve hopped back and forth between the United States
and Canada since I was seven years old. Pittsburgh for
three years during my childhood. New York City during
my early and mid-twenties. Wisconsin in my early thir-
ties. Every border crossing, either south or north, in-
volved a culture and identity shock. “Who am I now?”
“Where is here now?” Each return to Canada following
a period of living in the States forced me to reconsider
what my “Canadian-ness” meant on home territory.
Whenever I found myself back in Canada, either on a
visit or for an extended stay, I voraciously consumed
Canadian television shows—public affairs and news
shows to try to catch up on all the Canadian politics
and current affairs I’d missed, but also entertainment
programming. Watching Canadian television allowed
me to “play at being Canadian” and served as one useful
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