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Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood and Frank G. Karioris

As noted in our introduction, the Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities hopes to do things differently. One of these differences, which perhaps may not be all that different, is that our journal will have a rotating cover image. Each issue will include a different image that is reflective of the journal or perhaps of a particular article in the issue. One goal behind this practice is to promote spaces and places that may be unknown to scholars working in the field; as such, we will work with various archives to acquire images that we can freely disseminate, and in each issue we will provide a brief overview of the archive consulted to obtain the cover image. Too often archives work in isolation; sometimes they are funded by private sources and are not part of the academy.

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Beyond the Individual Body

Spinoza's Radical Enactivism and You Were Never Really Here

Francesco Sticchi

Since the emergence of embodied cognitive theories, there has been an ever-growing interest in the application of these theories to media studies, generating a large number of analyses focusing on the affective and intellectual features of viewers’ participation. The body of the viewer has become the central object of study for film and media scholars, who examine the conceptual physicality of the viewing experience by associating body states with parallel intellectual and moral constructions. In this article, I contribute to the study of embodied cognition and cinema by drawing upon Baruch Spinoza’s philosophy, especially from his process-based notion of the body. I will put this ecological and dynamic concept of the body in connection with recent studies on enactive cognition, and define a radical enactivist approach to be applied in the discussion of the experiential dynamics of Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here.

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Elizabeth J. McLean, Kazuki Yamada and Cameron Giles

Michael Anesko. Henry James and Queer Filiation: Hardened Bachelors of the Edwardian Era. (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 111 pp. + xv. ISBN: 978-3-319-94537-8. Hardback, $54.99.

Jane Gallop. Sexuality, Disability, and Aging: Queer Temporalities of the Phallus (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019), 137 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4780-0161-4. Paperback, $23.95.

Rob Cover. Emergent Identities: New Sexualities, Genders and Relationships in a Digital Era (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019), pp. 164 ISBN: 978-1-138-09858-9. Hardback, $129.

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Gianni Barchiesi, Laura T. Di Summa, Joseph G. Kickasola and Peter Verstraten

Paul Taberham, Lessons in Perception: The Avant-Garde Filmmaker as Practical Psychologist (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018), xii + 214 pp., $120 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-78533-641-6. [Also available for free under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license with support from Knowledge Unlatched, ISBN: 978-1-78533-642-3].

Catalin Brylla and Mette Kramer, eds., Cognitive Theory and Documentary Film (London: Palgrave McMillan, 2019), xxi + 343 pp., $119.99 (hardback), ISBN: 9783319903316.

Julian Hanich, The Audience Effect: On the Collective Cinema Experience (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2019), 256 pp., $29.95 (paperback), ISBN: 9781474431774.

Frank Hakemulder, Moniek M. Kuijpers, Ed S. Tan, Katalin Bálint and Miruna M. Doicaru, ed. Narrative Absorption (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2017), 319 pp., $149.00 (hardback), ISBN: 9789027234162.

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Alan Voodla, Elen Lotman, Martin Kolnes, Richard Naar and Andero Uusberg

Do cinematographic lighting techniques affect film viewers’ empathic reactions? We investigated the effect of high- and low-contrast lighting on affective empathy toward depicted actors. Forty one participants watched short clips of professional actors expressing happiness, anger, and disgust, and rated the valence and intensity of their own and actors’ emotional states. Affective empathy was assessed through the extent of the facial mimicry of actors’ emotional expressions and quantified through electromyographic activation of expression-specific facial muscles. We managed to elicit facial mimicry for happiness and anger, but not for disgust. High-contrast lighting further amplified empathic mimicry for happy but not for angry expressions. High-contrast lighting also amplified subjective feelings elicited by angry and disgusted but not happy expressions. We conclude that high-contrast lighting can be an effective means for influencing film viewers’ empathic reactions through the low road to empathy, even as the overall impact of lighting also relies on the high road to empathy.

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Lowry Martin

In the last decade, Franco-Moroccan directors have begun to explore culturally taboo and unrepresented sexual communities within Morocco. This article examines how two pioneering films, Abdellah Taïa’s Salvation Army and Nabil Ayouch’s Much Loved, contribute to an emerging cultural politics in the Arab-speaking world that is reframing marginalized or invisible sexualities. While these films address issues of sexual tourism, incest, and prostitution, among others, the focus of this article is on the films’ critiques of internalized homophobia, sexual tourism, and the sociopolitical power structures that occlude, marginalize, or shame those males outside of the heterosexual matrix. Analyzing the films’ portrayal of the semiotics of forbidden desire, internalized homophobia, and the circulation and spatialization of queer sexualities in Morocco, this article argues that Salvation Army and Much Loved complicate our understanding of Arab masculinities and add to a growing queer visibility that stretches from the Maghreb to the Gulf.

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Ted Nannicelli

Welcome to our second three-issue volume of Projections. As with the first issue of the previous volume, I would like to acknowledge everyone who served as a referee for Projections last year. A list of their names follows below. I would also like to emphasize my gratitude for the outstanding work that associate editors Tim Smith and Aaron Taylor have been doing to make the review and production processes seamless.

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Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood and Frank G. Karioris

Men’s prostate orgasms, cuckold culture, breastfeeding fathers, and erectile dysfunction technologies have epithetically signaled how men’s bodies, sexualities, and masculinities have exceeded the gender and sexual order of modernity. A proliferation of practices, discourses, and affects that appear to denaturalize and decenter Western epistemologies of the erotic have generated a number of sociocultural uncertainties around how we understand men and their bodies. Gender and sexual identities that have been veridically located within and on the body are becoming increasingly dispersed. Jeffrey Weeks (2007) suggests that the unifying ideologies about sexuality and gender, promulgated through traditional authorities of the church, the family, and conventional morality, have acted to stabilize the norms and values in place. He suggests that the ideological hold of such authorities has become broken “by decades of challenge and change and eroded by the dissolving powers of global flows, economic modernization, and cultural transformations, as well as by the will for change represented by the everyday choices of countless millions” (2007: 109). The impact of such shifts has been realized in the form of broader social and cultural realization and public reflexiveness about the ontological myths that have pervaded men’s identities and practices. In short, the mimetic connection between men’s bodies, identities, and practices has been fractured, resulting in increasing awareness of the heterogeneity of what it means to be a man. One of the impacts of this development has been attempts to nostalgically re-establish the old ontological certainties about men and reconstruct a truth of gender and sexuality. It is at this moment, in the slipstream of increasing media scrutiny, political concern, and broader social and cultural interrogation about what it means to be a man, that this journal locates itself.

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Jonathan Frome

Over the last thirty years, Noël Carroll has elaborated his theory of erotetic narration, which holds that most films have a narrative structure in which early scenes raise questions and later scenes answer them. Carroll’s prolific publishing about this theory and his expansion of the theory to issues such as audience engagement, narrative closure, and film genre have bolstered its profile, but, despite its high visibility in the field, virtually no other scholars have either criticized or built upon the theory. This article uses Carroll’s own criteria for evaluating film theories—evidentiary support, falsifiability, and explanatory power—to argue that erotetic theory’s strange position in the field is due to its intuitive examples and equivocal descriptions, which make the theory appear highly plausible even though it is ultimately indefensible.

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Minority Report

Perceptions and Realities of Black Men in Heterosexual Porn

Darryl L. Jones II

Black men are an integral part of the American pornographic industry, but their participation requires confronting and navigating a variety of simplified categorizations and assumptions that favor their sexuality over their humanity. Utilizing interviews with twelve prominent heterosexual black male figures (also known as “talent”) currently active in the industry, this article seeks to offer insight into the realities that the men face while participating in an industry viewed as taboo by mainstream society. Among the issues explored are their reasons for joining the industry, interracialism and racism, and moral and ethical dilemmas. Also employed are Lewis Gordon’s concept of “epistemic closure,” or the cessation of inquiry, and Frantz Fanon’s concept of the “phobogenic object,” or “stimulus to anxiety.”