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Irony and Illness

Recognition and Refusal

Michael Lambek

Proponents of irony can hardly propose a definite theory or even a definitive introduction to their subject. Here we intend merely to review the impetus for our volume and the suggestions we gave our bemused contributors.

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Stephen Prince

Opening this issue of Projections is a provocative article by Ted Nannicelli exploring the myriad ways viewers today may encounter movies and the issues these modes of encounter pose for conceptions of cinema that emphasize a fixed, large-screen format. One of the ironies of cinema history is that, for most of its lifetime, cinema was seen as a big-screen medium, and many of its stylistic features evolved accordingly. Now, though, small screens proliferate, and many viewers find these to be perfectly acceptable ways of viewing films. The medium’s evolution into small, capsulized viewing formats challenges some of our aesthetic and pedagogical assumptions, and Nannicelli explores these in detail.

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John Ireland and Constance Mui

There has rarely been a writer and thinker who saw his writing as more tied to his age than Jean-Paul Sartre. His notion of committed literature argued that writing and thought are anchored first and foremost in their “situation,” the period and context in which they are first produced, disseminated and discussed. One writes for one’s era, he maintained; that is when a piece of writing has its greatest impact. Almost forty years after his death, there is some irony in the fact that Sartre’s writings and thought continue to be invoked in so many different contexts far removed from their immediate cultural moment and situation. And this despite the legion of detractors on both sides of the Atlantic for whom the end of the Berlin wall and Soviet Russia sealed Sartre’s failed legacy and any possibility of his continued relevance.

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Giorgio Osti

The article aims to add a ludic perspective to those generally used for studying environmental issues in social sciences. To introduce in the debate a play/game metaphor enriches the interpretations of environmental crisis and provides a further motivation to action. The ludic perspective has a sociorelational background. That tradition of studies helps in constructing a set of categories that are then applied to environmental education (EE). The choice of such a topic is motivated by two factors: EE is an aspect generally practiced but mistreated in the main theorizations, and EE is exemplary of the potentialities of the playing games metaphor, which are the desire to create, the acceptance of slow changes, the protection of an experimental bubble, and irony toward environmental issues.