If it weren’t for a Shakespearian scholar from Virginia, the deepest question to be posed regarding Gilligan’s Island could still be: “Ginger or Mary Anne?” Professor Paul Cantor invokes Rousseau’s Second Discourse on ‘man’s place in nature’ in a striking new anthropological analysis of Gilligan, the Skipper and their five passengers who set sail that day in 1964. He calls them icons of the cold war nation-state, who sub-consciously reassured Americans of their power in the world. As contrast, Cantor fast forwards 30 years to Springfield, USA, introducing the idea of de Toqueville’s America to Homer and Bart Simpson, his champions of globalization. It’s “Gilligan Unbound”; sitcom as sociology, and all compressed into a one hour tour, a one hour tour
Paul Cantor, author of “Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization”
and Bob Denver, actor who played the role of Gilligan.