Baseball still holds a grip on America. It serves a quasi-religious function, as shown by its central story, a journey story of hope: "safe hit," "touching base," "coming home." And, more pragmatically, baseball has been a surprisingly innovative engine of social change, as shown by its recurring episodes of inclusion, an emblem of many journey stories from the Irish to Ichiro. To highlight these themes, historian William Woodward will lead a conversation using metaphors of hope, homecoming and meaning-making through baseball to trace the history of the game -- and our nation. Whimsical and informative, this program will prompt us to discuss how baseball is emblematic of American culture. Jennifer Stuller, Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology From Wonder Woman to Buffy Summers, Emma Peel to Sydney Bristow, Charlie's Angels to the Powerpuff Girls, superwomen are more than just love interests or sidekicks who stand by their men. In this lively multimedia presentation, pop-culture historian Jennifer K. Stuller will help us explore how the female hero in modern mythology has broken through the boys' club barrier of tradition. Using comics, television and film, we will discuss female action and super heroines from the 1930s to the present day. do social and political forces affect pop culture -- and vice versa? This conversation will examine women's representations in media and women's roles as media makers, inspiring us to think deeper about popular culture, media, gender images and storytelling.

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