New Episode of ‘Serious Fun’ Offers Critical and Psychological Insight Into The Popular ‘WandaVision’ Series

“Serious Fun” celebrates 40 episodes on the Phoenix Studios podcast network this week with an in-depth discussion about the Disney+ streaming sensation “WandaVision”. Prof. Bryan Carr (Communication, Information Science) welcomes two special guests on to talk about the first proper Marvel Studios streaming TV show – the Director of Oregon State’s General Psychology program and former UWGB faculty Prof. Regan Gurung as well as UWGB undergrad and Serious Fun research and production assistant Emily Fecteau. The trio discuss the psychology of the series and how we consume streaming media, how its use of old sitcoms as a framing device is more clever than you might think, and whether grief or love is the driving force beyond the strange events in WestView, NJ. And for the record: there are spoilers aplenty, so make sure you’re caught up first! You can download “Serious Fun” via your favorite podcast platforms like Apple, Stitcher, and Spotify or on Soundcloud at this link.

New ‘Serious Fun’ Explores the Complex Legacy of Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee

There is no question that Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee occupies an outsized role in our contemporary popular culture, whether as the credited “creator of the Marvel Universe” or as the aviator sunglasses-wearing friendly comics grandpa who appeared in just about every movie based on Marvel’s output. But how much of Lee’s legacy is true, and how much of it is fiction? Did he really steal credit for the characters that bore his name? What was Lee like when the spotlight wasn’t on? Are there some legends so big they defy easy categorization at the same time they encourage deification? Serious Fun is back, and in this episode Communication/Information Science Associate Professor Bryan Carr sits down with journalist and author Abraham Riesman about his new book “True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee”. Download the episode now for a thought-provoking discussion about the fraught relationship between Lee and co-creators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, the role of copyright in maintaining celebrity mythology, and the elusiveness of a person’s true nature (among lots of other things). The episode is available now in your favorite podcast aggregator apps like Apple Podcasts and Spotify (just search “Serious Fun”) and SoundCloud.

NEA Big Read launches virtually in Door county with help of UW-Green Bay faculty/staff

Door County Library is launching its newest NEA Big Read festival this upcoming week with all events being available virtually to the public for free, including a Keynote discussion from author Emily St. John Mandel set for February 11 at 7 pm. The library received an NEA Big Read grant along with financial support from the Women’s Fund Endowment of Door County, Carol Coryell Charitable Fund, Adele and Ed Douglass Charitable Fund, and the Kerley Family Foundation of the Door County Community Foundation, Inc. and was underwritten by the Door County Library Foundation, Door County Medical Center and the Friends of the Door County Libraries, all supporting the community reading program featuring the novel “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel.

Panelists include: Rebecca Meacham author of two award-winning fiction collections as well as professor of English and Humanities and founding member of UntitledTown Book and Author Festival. Kelli Strickland the Executive and Artistic Director of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Alan Kopischke a university lecturer in both Theater and Arts Management and founding member of the Big Read Door County among other organizations and festivals. And Bryan J. Carr an Associate Professor in the Communication, Information Science, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies programs at UW-Green Bay specializing in Mass Media and Game Studies and is one of the co-directors of the University’s Center for Games and Interactive Media.

Source: NEA Big Read launches virtually in Door county – Door County Pulse

Monday Evening Quarterbacking: Reviewing the Big Game Ads

The only thing bigger than the “Big Game” are the big commercials! On Monday, Feb. 3, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Christie Theatre, join Austin E. Cofrin School of Business Associate Prof. Sampath Ranganathan (Marketing) and Associate Lecturer Kathy McKee, as well as Associate Prof. Bryan Carr (Communication and Information Science) for a fun, informative and interactive multimedia discussion of the best and worst commercials of the 2020 Super Bowl and the economic and media motives behind them! Bring your questions and be ready to vote for the ad you think was the year’s best. This event is free and open to the public.

Public is invited to live podcast tapings of ‘Serious Fun’ Saturday, Oct. 5 at Brown County Library Comic-Con

For the third year in a row, three live podcast tapings of the Phoenix Studios podcast “Serious Fun” will be presented at the Brown County Library Comic-Con Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, at the Central Library location. The podcasts will begin at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. All tapings are on the first floor of the Popular Library section. Below are the descriptions of each planned podcast.

10:30 p.m. – Artist and Author Gene Ha 

Ha is an artist and writer best known for his work on the series “Top 10,” the Batman graphic novel “Fortunate Son,” and “The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix,” as well as numerous other projects for DC, Marvel, Vertigo and other companies. He has also won four Eisner Awards and is currently working on the all-ages series “Mae.” 

1:30 p.m. – Author Martha Wells 

Martha Wells is a Hugo and Nebula award-winning author who has published numerous fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and non-fiction essays; she has also worked on stories for the card game “Magic: The Gathering” and her works have been translated into eight languages.

3 p.m. – “Anyone Can Wear the Mask” 

After decades of the same kinds of heroes under the mask, our superheroes are finally becoming more diverse on the page and screen – and it’s about time! In this special Serious Fun/Psych and Stuff collaboration, Prof. Bryan Carr (Communication, Information Science and Women’s and Gender Studies) and Prof. Ryan Martin (Psychology), and special guests talk about the economic, psychological and moral reasons why representation in superhero narratives matters, inspired by the Academy Award-winning “Into the Spider-Verse” and the character of Miles Morales. Audience members will also be encouraged to share their own thoughts and experiences.


About Serious Fun: Take a journey into the frivolous with “Serious Fun,” a podcast by UW-Green Bay Communication and Information Science Prof. Bryan Carr. Hear from the scholars, professionals and fans that interpret and create pop culture. Whether it’s comic books, video games or reality TV, “Serious Fun” examines the media that shapes and reflects our lives. For more information, visit

New ‘Serious Fun’ podcasts are ready for your listening pleasure

Serious Fun Podcast Art
Serious Fun Podcast

Do you want to have some “Serious Fun”? Associate Prof. Bryan Carr (Communication, Information Science, Women & Gender Studies) announces that two of his Serious Fun podcasts are live:

The first is a recording of a post-screening discussion of the film “BlacKkKlansman” with Carr and UW-Green Bay Professor Vince Lowery (History) and several members of the UW-Green Bay community.

The second is a discussion of the brand new film “Captain Marvel”, its feminist themes, and the complex comics history of the character with CU-Boulder media studies professor J. Richard Stevens.

Serious Fun is available on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and probably other places you can get podcasts too. You can also check out the other Phoenix Studios network podcasts at

Turkiewicz named WiSys Campus Champion

First big event is Innovation in Aging Competition, March 1

UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Katie Turkiewicz (Communication, Information Sciences) has been selected as the WiSys Campus Champion for UW-Green Bay, and through this role plans  to help promote a strong sense of innovation on campus.

Associate Prof. Katie Turkiewicz

Turkiewicz was referred to the role by Dean Susan Gallagher-Lepak (College of Health, Education and Social Welfare) and after speaking with WiSys campus representative, Assistant Prof. Brian Walsh, it was determined that the role would be the perfect fit.

As the WiSys Campus Champion for UW-Green Bay, Turkiewicz has been part of the Innovation in Aging organizing committee. The WiSys Innovation in Aging Competition student idea competition will be taking place on Friday, Mar. 1, 2019 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at UW-Green Bay’s Christie Theatre, located in the University Union.

“As campus champion, I work with the competition planning committee leading up to the event. I have also been supporting student team recruiting efforts,” she says.

This student idea competition, now in its third year, involves teams comprising of three to five UW-Green Bay students. Each team comes up with innovative solutions that address challenges that aging presents. Solutions can come in many different forms — a product, service or anything that can be seen as an innovative concept that attempts to solve a challenge brought on by aging. The competition’s best solution will win a $500 prize.

The WiSys Campus Champion role caught Turkiewicz’s interest because of her primary research and teaching focus being health communication.

“This role was an excellent opportunity to merge these interests with those of the broader campus community,” she said. She will hold the role of Campus Champion for the Spring 2019, Fall 2019, and Spring 2020 semesters.

Turkiewicz says innovation is already present and thriving on the UW-Green Bay campus.

“We just need to find new ways to spotlight what students and faculty and doing,” she says. “And we are really focused on getting the entire campus community to recognize that the projects they are working on are innovative and compelling to a larger audience than they may realize.

WiSys also sponsors other events that compliment these efforts, including the upcoming WiSys Quick Pitch Competition, which will be taking place on campus on Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2019. The Quick Pitch competition aims to encourage innovative and entrepreneurial thinking at UW Comprehensive Campuses by inspiring students to consider the impact of the research they are currently undertaking or other innovative ideas they may have and how such ideas could ultimately benefit the local economy (e.g. development of a new product, technology or service) and/or society (e.g. changes in public policy and/or benefits to the environment).


Latest episode of ‘Serious Fun’ focuses on anime

The latest episode of “Serious Fun” by Associate Prof. Bryan Carr (Communication, Information Science) is out now. In this episode, Associate Prof. Carr talks to UW-Green Bay Anime Club representatives Ntxhee Yee Thao and Jacob Huempfner about their favorites shows, the business and process of creating anime, as well as their fandom and the friends they have made along the way. Listen to the podcast.


Newest episode of ‘Serious Fun’ focuses on Frankenstein

The newest episode of the Phoenix Studios podcast “Serious Fun” is dedicated to all things Frankenstein. This episode stitches together two presentations by Associate Prof. Bryan Carr (Communication and Information Science) on the legacy of Mary Shelley’s work as part of our on-campus celebration of the novel’s 200th anniversary. Listen to the podcast.

Cofrin Library celebrates 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein with FRANKENtalks, Oct. 23

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s David A. Cofrin Library will host FRANKENtalks, an evening of mini-lectures presented by UW-Green Bay faculty, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the Library’s fourth floor. The event is free and open to the public.

FRANKENtalks will focus on conversations about Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the classic novel. Attendees will be invited into the discussion and will be able to enjoy light refreshments. One lucky attendee will win two tickets to the performance “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” at the Weidner Center on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Faculty will lead attendees through topics relating to the novel’s creation and lasting cultural impact:

  • Re-animating the Monster: Reinvention of the Frankenstein Myth in Pop Culture, Associate Prof. Bryan Carr (Communication and Information Science)
  • In Praise of Female Creativity: Feminist Interpretations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Associate Prof. Jessica Van Slooten (English)
  • Patagonian Giants, Frankenstein’s Creature, and Contact Zone Catastrophe, Associate Prof. Rebecca Nesvet (English)
  • How Geology and Climate contributed to the Creation of One (Actually Two) of the World’s Greatest Literary Works, Associate Prof. Steve Meyer (Natural and Applied Sciences)

For more information about this event, please visit the Cofrin Library website.

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to nearly 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit