Slavi's Show as Transnational Communal Enterprise
Kathleen Dixon, Yuliyana Gencheva, Aneliya Dimitrova.
Slavi Trifonov, host of Slavi's Show, a late-night television talk, offers himself as a type of self-made man in the new capitalist Bulgaria. Yet Slavi's self-promotion works in the interests of the larger project of the show, which is no less than the reconstructing of a Bulgarian national consciousness. Each nightly episode is an intricately fashioned piece of verbal artistry, centering upon themes of Bulgarian history and culture. Slavi enacts new roles each evening, unlike the hosts of American late-night talk shows, who generally serve as stand-up comic and genial celebrity interviewer only. Slavi is a protean embodiment of Bulgaria's past, present, and future possibilities, a Brigadier worker of the 1950s, the "son-in-law" of Simeon, a mudra (mafia man), and so on. Around these Slavi incarnations are arrayed many other regular characters. A single guest is featured in the second half of the hour-long show, and each guest plays a part in the larger narrative of the evening's show. Finally, both the studio and home audiences are invoked as active members of the community that is Slavi's Show. This community is Bulgarian, but it is not only Bulgarian; it is Balkan, East European, Slavic, European, global capitalist, post-Communist. We propose to argue for our thesis by means of close textual analysis of one typical episode placed within two main contexts: the specifically Bulgarian language and culture, and the larger mass mediated global culture, termed "transnational" by Arjun Appadurai.
Kathleen Dixon (United States)
Associate Professor of English
Department of English
University of North Dakota
Prof. Dixon is Associate Professor of English at the University of North Dakota, where she undertakes teaching and scholarship in rhetoric, cultural studies and gender studies. She has published two books, Outbursts in Academe: Multiculturalism and Other Sources of Conflict (Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 1998) and Making Relationships: Gender in the Forming of Academic Community (Peter Lang, 1997). Currently, she is working on a book-length study of the talk on television talk shows, tentatively entitled, "Transnational Talk: Democracy and Discourse on Talk Shows in the U.S., Belgium, and Bulgaria." Scholarly essays on this topic have appeared in the Journal of Popular Culture and the European Journal of Women's Studies.
Yuliyana Gencheva (Bulgaria)
Veliko Turnovo University
Yuliyana Gencheva – graduate of Veliko Turnovo University (VTU), Bulgaria, with an MA in Applied Linguistics (English and Chinese) has taught practical English at VTU as an assistant professor (2000-2002). She is completing her second year in UND’s English MA program with a cognate area in Chinese Studies. Ms Gencheva has presented several conference papers on Chinese-American film and literature, Fifth Generation Chinese directors, and diasporic identities. Her professional interests include (trans)national cinema, East/West cultural crossing points, art history, religion.
Aneliya Dimitrova (Bulgaria)
Veliko Turnovo University
Aneliya Dimitrova is an assistant professor in American Studies at Veliko Turnovo University, Bulgaria. Currently, she is completing an MA in English with a cognate in Native American Studies at the University of North Dakota. Professional interests include Native American literature and philosophical thought, contemporary Dakota transculturation, and transnationalism in post-socialist Bulgaria. She has presented papers at several conferences in Bulgaria and the USA.
Person as Subject
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)