Presenter Information

Joseph Price, Whittier College

Location

Panel 12: Kearney 323

Start Date

27-10-2012 8:30 AM

End Date

27-10-2012 10:00 AM

Description

Beyond the seemingly obvious historical, architectural, and situational aspects of a ballpark, what are other dimensions that can be routinely explored or perspectives that can be repeatedly adopted to read a ballpark? Drawing inspiration from Mortimer Adler’s classic How to Read a Book and following the insight of semiologist Christian Metz, who questioned the notion that the meaning of films is transparent, I correspondingly note that a ballpark “is difficult to explain because it is so easy to understand.” Simply, while its design and purpose appear to be forthright—to situate baseball games and to orient fans’ views—a ballpark evades easy interpretation. Its semantics and syntax are much more complex. They include rituals and signs in multiple languages ranging across verbal and visual media and appealing to aural and olfactory senses as well. Because a ballpark is not static space, its design and rituals generate a range of unanticipated meanings beyond their intended function.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 27th, 8:30 AM Oct 27th, 10:00 AM

Out on a Wing: Reading Frontier Field

Panel 12: Kearney 323

Beyond the seemingly obvious historical, architectural, and situational aspects of a ballpark, what are other dimensions that can be routinely explored or perspectives that can be repeatedly adopted to read a ballpark? Drawing inspiration from Mortimer Adler’s classic How to Read a Book and following the insight of semiologist Christian Metz, who questioned the notion that the meaning of films is transparent, I correspondingly note that a ballpark “is difficult to explain because it is so easy to understand.” Simply, while its design and purpose appear to be forthright—to situate baseball games and to orient fans’ views—a ballpark evades easy interpretation. Its semantics and syntax are much more complex. They include rituals and signs in multiple languages ranging across verbal and visual media and appealing to aural and olfactory senses as well. Because a ballpark is not static space, its design and rituals generate a range of unanticipated meanings beyond their intended function.