“Be careful of what you wish for when you announce your political ambitions on TV,” wrote Grant Farred, professor of Africana studies, in “The Zelensky Method,” his new analysis of actor-turned-wartime president. Published as a monograph by Westphalia Press, this extended essay focuses on the figure of Volodymir Zelensky, locating Russian’s war-making within a global context and examining the intersection of pop culture and politics.
The College of Arts and Sciences talked with Farred about the piece.
Q: How do entertainment and world politics meet in your essay – and in the world today?
A: With Trump, the now happily-departed Boris Johnson and others of their dictatorial ilk, ascending to the highest office in their lands, the intersection between media prominence (and control) and the ability to win national office, it is necessary to be ever more vigilant about who has a nationally-rated TV show. The road from “The Apprentice” runs, apparently, straight to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Can our first Tik-Tok president or prime minister be far behind?