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The Editors

Were Israel Studies Review a monthly, or even a quarterly, journal, we would have commented at some length on—and perhaps even dedicated a forum discussion to—the important proposed ‘ethics code’ for Israeli institutions of higher education that was prepared by Professor Asa Kasher at the request of the Ministry of Education and made public in June of this year. However, since we come out only every six months (a schedule that is going to change), we know that the situation will be different by the time you read this. Nevertheless, we cannot completely ignore this unprecedented phenomenon.

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Editors' Note

Threats to Academic Freedom

The Editors

As we prepare this issue to go to print, the Association for Israel Studies is facing a serious challenge. The Israeli government recently escalated its measures against the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and announced that it may ban BDS supporters belonging to specified organizations from entering Israel. This escalation is supported in Israel not only by the government coalition but also by the opposition parties, most of the public at large, and the media.

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Introduction

Comics, the Social World and Challenging Consensus

The Editors

Comics, and in particular European comics, has always engaged with the social world, whether to contest or to uphold its norms. From its antecedents in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century caricature, it inherited a strong current of satire and critique. In the adventure genre that marked the emergence of European comics in its modern form in the first part of the twentieth century, engagement with the world was no less evident, but most often served, rather, to defend the dominant order, colonial or anti-communist, as heroes set off to right wrongs in far-flung places.

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Editorial

Perspectives on Authors, Perspectives from Authors

The Editors

Creation and criticism, in comics, as in all types of artistic expression, become intertwined, and all the more so as the form develops self-awareness and seeks defi nition. One of the main precursors of the tradition of graphic storytelling, William Hogarth (1697–1764), told of the social tribulations of the London in which he lived via multi-image series such as A Rake’s Progress (c. 1735) and A Harlot’s Progress (c. 1732), but was also known for his Analysis of Beauty (1753), in which he elaborates the notion of the central S shape as key to the visual expression of attractiveness; this serpentine ‘line of beauty’ can still be detected in the characters of comic books today.

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Introduction

Boundary Crossing

The Editors

The preparation of European Comic Art 8(1) has been overshadowed by the shocking and tragic murder of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists Cabu, Charb, Honoré, Tignous and Wolinski on 7 January 2015. As a way of memorialising these artists, we have invited Jane Weston Vauclair to contribute an article to this issue, assessing the significance of the magazine in the history and current state of French social and political satire. Indeed, beyond doubt is the iconic status of Charlie Hebdo as representing a distinctively French, but known to an international readership, tradition of disrespect for the sacred and the hypocritical, and for beaufitude in all its forms. However, the very untranslatability of that term, invented by Cabu, suggests that comic art, and perhaps satire in particular, may not always travel easily across borders. Mark McKinney has argued in his blog post on the Berghahn Books website2 that the meanings of the Charlie cartoons are far from transparent and universally readable, but have to be understood within a particular cultural and political context and reference system.

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The Editors

This edition of European Comic Art has no overarching theme, but a number of questions recur in the work of our contributors, including the nonlinearity of the comics reading process, the power of the graphic line to satirise and demythologise, and the complex issue of readership and interpretation. We are very happy to be able to include an interview with the young Bangalore-based comics artist Kaveri Gopalakrishnan, who gives us insights into the small-press Indian comics scene and discusses her own themes, influences and techniques.

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The Editors

As we launch this journal, we think of the scene in Citizen Kane when Orson Welles, as the young Kane, reads the “Declarations of Principle” he has just written for his newspaper The New York Daily Enquirer. We do not claim the same aims—nor anticipate the same future—but we feel something of the same excitement. Journals are not easy to get started, but this one came into being in a short amount of time after we conceived its goals. A number of very fine journals are already published on film, but none, we feel, puts film (and the visual arts in general) into the dynamic and developing intellectual current of our time.

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The Editors

Our journal did not come into the world with authority and certainty but did so, instead, with some hesitation and tentativeness. The narrator of Jonathan Swift’s eighteenth-century satire on modern learning, A Tale of a Tub (1704) claims for himself “an absolute authority in right” as the “last writer” and “freshest modern.” We make no such claim. At this point we may be both new and fresh, but we need to feel our way, to discover what is out there and what we might realistically expect to come into our own purview. But tentativeness is good. It allows us to be responsive to a variety of articles so long as they satisfy our goal of exploring film and mind. Tentativeness also allows us a sustained and continuing debate.

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The Editors

We at Projections have stated our purpose as being to ‘facilitate a dialogue between people in the humanities and the sciences’ (not a modest goal for a little journal first making its way in the world). We have intended to do this through what seems to us the medium that best synthesises art and technology and opens itself up to scientific investigation because of its complex perceptual nature—film. Our focus, at the same time, has been on the mind/brain, since that seems to us the place were science and film best meet.

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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.