Monday, May 16, 2011

My Big Presentation

A couple weeks ago, I presented a research paper for the AnthroExpo at CSUN. I did my research for a seminar class about festivals, pilgrimages and Victor Turner; the resulting paper was about twice the length it needed to be. At the end of the semester, I was invited to present it to the Expo, but I needed to shorten the paper to about a third the length. It was tricky (and occasionally heartbreaking!), but I finally condensed it to a 15 minute speech.

The topic: Disneyland & Secular Pilgrimage

Perfect topic, right? It combined two things I love: trips to Disneyland, and anthropology.

After spending a lot of time editing, revising a new PowerPoint, and reading aloud with a timer, at last the big day came. I had never presented something like that outside a regular classroom setting, so it was a pretty big deal to me. My mom and uncle came to see the presentation, too. And as there were some friends who wished they could attend, but couldn't, I asked my mom to record a video. The quality wasn't professional (it was recorded on her iPhone), but I've edited in the slides, as an improvement.

And now, for your illumination... Here's my presentation:

What did you think?


  1. Great to see a proper survey on this fascinating subject!

    The idea of pilgrimage makes me think about pictures that people buy of themselves in rides. People would choose their favorite Disney 'saint' or story that would best incarnate the Disney message for them. There is also all the commercial aspect, and how much consumers buy Disney merchandising and icons to tell the world 'I was there'.

    Regarding the feeling of community, I have heard once about a study demonstrating that zig-zag queues were inducing a feeling of community through interpersonal interactions, so like anything in Disney, I wonder how much the phenomena is purposively leveraged in the rides...

    Here is by the way my own project on the subject for those who are curious: