The Absolute Fake is named after my book Fabricating the Absolute Fake, which, in turn, takes its title from a quote by Umberto Eco. In Travels in Hyperreality, Eco writes that "the American imagination demands the real thing and, to attain it, must fabricate the absolute fake." Although Eco speaks specifically about US American culture, I believe the concept of the absolute fake applies to all pop culture, regardless of its country of origin. Pop culture is all about "The Real Thing," to borrow the slogan of Coca-Cola. I talk about pop rather than popular culture to emphasize that its cultural artifacts are commercially mass-produced and mass-mediated, intended to make a profit (in contrast to popular culture that also includes subscultures and folklore) as well as to make an association with the Warhol-esque pop aesthetic - Pop Art's use of the language of advertising and the contineous recycling of commercial images. Instead of merely listing my publications, this website presents snapshots of my research, organized along themes listed in the top bar. When articles are available in open access, links are provided. More articles are availabe on my academia.edu page. (Image by Keith Haring 1983)
Jaap Kooijman is an associate professor in Media Studies and American Studies at the University of Amsterdam. His articles on American pop culture and politics have been published in journals such as The Velvet Light Trap, European Journal of Cultural Studies, The Journal of American Culture, Post Script, Journal of International Education, Presidential Studies Quaterly, GLQ, Celebrity Studies, and Thamyris, as well as in essay collections published by NYU Press, UP of Mississippi, Routledge, Ashgate, Amsterdam UP, Edinbourgh UP, Wallflower Press, and UP of Kentucky. He is the author of Fabricating the Absolute Fake: America in Contemporary Pop Culture (AUP 2008), for which he won the 2009 ASCA Book Award. A second - extended and revised - edition was published in 2013. Together with Patricia Pisters and Wanda Strauven, he has edited the collection Mind the Screen (AUP 2008). Kooijman is associate editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies and co-founding editor of NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies. Together with Dan Hassler-Forest, Kooijman coordinates the ASCA research group America in Global Popular Culture. (Photograph by Jelle Rietveld)
The American Culture Seminar (ACS) is organized by the research groups America in the World (coordinated by George Blaustein) and America in Global Popular Culture (coordinated by Kooijman and Hassler-Forest). Meeting three times each semester, the seminar is intended to bring together scholars from different disciplines with a research interest in American culture and to discuss work in progress. The seminar is open to scholars of all levels (including PhD students) from all universities. Contact Jaap Kooijman for more information or check out our Facebook page.