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Over the course of more than twenty years, the cartoon series South Park has not shown a great measure of interest in or empathy with the plight of the working class. It therefore came as a surprise when they aired the double episode “Unfulfilled”/“Bike Parade” in December of 2018, taking aim at Amazon.com Inc. and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. The two episodes are remarkable for their awareness of American labor history and for drawing parallels to the robber barons of the industrial era.
Swiss literary scholar Christian Hänggi will present his thoughts on the change South Park has undergone in its depiction of the working class in those two episodes. The talk will largely be based on an article that appeared in the most recent issue of SPELL (Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature).