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Civilization versus Barbarism

The Franco-Prussian War in French History Textbooks, 1875–1895

Jörg Lehmann

In French history textbooks published after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871, the presentation of the war and its outcome frequently include the myth of France's revanche and depictions of the Prussian enemy as barbarians. Other textbooks presented a narrative of progress in which the French Third Republic is shown as the endpoint of a process of advancing civilization. While the idea of a French revanche can be regarded as a founding myth of the Third Republic, the narrative of progress can be seen as an echo of this myth, cleansed of the concept of the enemy as barbarian, which constitutes a national master narrative.

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Off the Beaten Path

Non-Metropolitan Representations of Homosexuality in Three French Films

Romain Chareyron

This article offers a reflection on the ways in which the representation of gays and lesbians in contemporary French cinema has mostly focused on specific and limiting traits. With their choice of locales (Paris and other cities) and bodily characteristics (young, fit), these films convey a restrictive view of homosexuality. Such portrayals have gained traction due to their numerous iterations in films and in the media. By focusing on the works of three directors who have adopted a radically different perspective in their portrayals of homosexuality, this article will highlight the close ties that exist between sexuality and topography. Providing a more true-to-life account of homosexuality, the films move away from cities to investigate the geographical margins. In so doing, they question the tenets of France’s republican ideals, where differences tend to be smoothed out in favor of unity and homogeneity. These films reinstate diversity and individuality at the heart of their narratives.

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Marcus Otto

This article analyzes how the fundamental challenge of decolonization has resonated in history textbooks published in France since the 1960s. It therefore contextualizes textbook knowledge within different areas of society and focuses on predominant discourses that influenced history textbooks' (post)colonial representations in the period examined. These discourses encompass the crisis of Western civilization, modernization, republican integration, and the postcolonial politics of memory. The author argues that history textbooks have thus become media, as well as objects of an emerging postcolonial politics of memory that involves intense conflicts over immigration and national identity and challenges France's (post)colonial legacy in general.

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Mireille Estivalèzes

French society is pluricultural and multireligious, and Islam is its second largest religion. For this reason, schools have to promote better understanding and greater tolerance among pupils. In this context, the history curriculum and history textbooks serve to de ne knowledge and historical memory. In this article, I will analyze the treatment of Islam and the Muslim world in a sample of French textbooks, and identify some of the bias and stereotypes they still convey. I will also explain how this depiction of Islam and the Muslim world has evolved over the last ten years.

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What You See Is What You Get

The Algerian War, French Textbooks and How Violence Is Remembered

Alexandra Binnenkade

French history textbooks occupy a pivotal position in the colonial fracture. They impart difficult knowledge about the Algerian War of Independence, knowledge that impacts the relationships between the communities of memory in France today. Textbook analysis has focused on their verbal content and, recently, in the work of Jo McCormack, on corresponding teaching practices. This article highlights graphic design as one layer of visual knowledge production and primarily contributes to the methodology of textbook analysis with an exemplary multimodal analysis. It reveals a hidden narrative about the postcolonial relationship that is not expressed in words.

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Annamari Vänskä

Debates about little girls' loss of innocence, and the sexualization of girls have become an integral part of media in contemporary culture. Fashion advertising representing young girls and certain types of clothes are specifically prone to generate debates about sexualization. This article looks at the sexualization argument through two sets of fashion editorials, one in a December–January 2011 issue of French Vogue, and another in the December–January 1978 issue of the same magazine. The article exposes the problem of sexualization discourse that relates images to lived experiences of girls even though fashion advertising rarely, if ever, is interested in depicting reality. Sexualization is revealed to be a value statement—the Other of innocence which is set up as the norm. Furthermore, fashion photography is shown to be intertextual; images refer to other fashion photographs. In looking at these issues this article opens up space for discussing the visual and sartorial history of the sexual girl.

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Béchir Oueslati, Marie McAndrew, and Denise Helly

This article examines the evolution of the representation of Islam and Muslim cultures in textbooks in Quebec. Results indicate signicant improvements in the new secondary school history textbooks, both quantitatively (for they contain more information about pillars, key concepts, and relations with Christianity and Judaism) and qualitatively (on account of their depth of coverage, fewer negative views than in the 1980s, and fewer factual errors than in the 1990s). The positive role played by Muslim scientists in preserving old knowledge and enriching is also recognized. However, textbooks still view Islam as a religion of submission, proscriptions, and forced conversion, failing to recognize the diversity within Islam and Muslim cultures.

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How Motion Shapes Thought in Cinema

The Embodied Film Style of Éric Rohmer

Maarten Coëgnarts

visual film style of the French filmmaker Éric Rohmer. From both the angle of film style and the angle of embodiment, Rohmer's work makes an interesting case study for a number of reasons. The first reason has to do with Rohmer's reputation as a

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Esther Rashkin

What facilitates the psychic process of grieving a traumatic loss, and what happens when that process is blocked? Forbidden Games is, on one level, an intimate film about childhood trauma. When viewed from a psychoanalytic perspective informed by concepts such as introjection and pathological mourning, however, it emerges as a complex allegory that reflects, through its narrative and filmic elements, on the sociocultural and historical dynamics of France's troubled response to the loss of its identity as a democracy during World War II. The film also reflects on the even more shameful history of the rise of French anti-Semitism under the Vichy regime and France's history of silencing or repressing the drama of its willing collaboration with the Nazis' Final Solution. Private trauma thus screens public, political trauma as Clément's film becomes both a medium for sociocultural commentary and a memorial to loss that could not be buried or mourned.

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The Editors

As we complete our second year of publication, we notice how international our journal has become. We now receive submissions and publish writing from France, Italy, England, Scotland, Israel, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Australia, and the United States. We imagine that this list will continue to grow because of the ubiquitous nature of both film and the disciplines we bring to bear on the subject of the motion picture. This internationalism is made possible by new technologies in communication, and also by the continuing internationalism of the English language. Film has been the most international of art forms since its origins and it seems only fitting that film studies should be a joint collaboration of writers from around the globe.