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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.

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The Editors

This is the second issue of Aspasia. The inaugural volume, focussing on Central, Eastern and Southeastern European feminisms, was published in 2007. As editors, we are proud of the breath and richness of the essays and Forum contributions in that first issue. We hope this volume lives up to the standard of excellence set by the premier volume.

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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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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

Among the many new books on comic strips published in the past year one of the most provocative has been Nicolas Rouvière’s Astérix ou la parodie des identités [‘Asterix or the Parody of Identities’].1 Rouvière provides a fascinating analysis of questions of national identity in René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s famous series of albums. Grosso modo, he suggests that the strips undermine hard nationalist prejudices, to create universal understanding between peoples. Rouvière contends that the Astérix series encourages the French to question the myths of their own national identity, and satirises their stereotyping of their neighbours (the French image of the British, the Belgians, the Swiss, etc.). He concludes that Astérix runs counter to a world based on the ‘clash of civilisations’ model famously employed by Samuel Huntington.

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The Editors

With this issue, Contributions to the History of Concepts, a publication of the History of Political and Social Concepts Group (HPSCG), relaunches under the auspices of a new publisher and new sponsorship, and with a new editorial team. Berghahn Journals, the new publisher, is an independent scholarly publisher in the humanities and social sciences. The new host and sponsor is the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, an intellectual center for the interdisciplinary study and discussion of issues related to philosophy, society, culture and education.

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The Editors

The treatment of cultural difference and diversity by French-speaking cartoonists has changed radically over the last few decades, as four articles in this special issue demonstrate. What has not changed since the nineteenth century is the centrality of these themes to comics, which have been a globalizing medium in a shrinking world throughout the period. French-language comics are exemplary of these transformations, insofar as France was a major imperialist power during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Moreover, France has long been home to ethnic and religious minorities, and was a major center of immigration during the twentieth century. These socio-historical trends have left a huge imprint on comics within France itself, but the French also exported the form along with their language to most of their colonies, which has given rise to (post-)colonial traditions of cartooning in French-speaking regions across the globe.

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The Editors

One of the great anthems of the romantically famed 1960s was Dylan’s ‘The times, they are a-changing’. But are they ever not? They certainly are right now, and radically. As a subject concerned with what one might, in slightly old-fashioned terms, describe as ‘the human condition’, anthropology ought to pay attention to and engage with these changes. That attention and engagement ought to be visible in the pages of its journals, and across the spectrum of journals, it certainly has been. For small journals like AJEC, this poses particular challenges. When the editorial board met last year during the EASA conference in Tallinn, we discussed these challenges and how best to respond to them. The journal has been doing exceptionally well in a difficult publishing climate, and the changes to the management and of format of AJEC, agreed in Tallinn and complemented by subsequent consultation, will build on this success.

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Introduction

Caricature

The Editors

The history of European comic art is closely intertwined with that of caricature. The comic books by Swiss cartoonist Rodolphe Töpffer – his romans en estampes [‘novels in engravings’] – which are foundational to the medium, are essentially extended caricatures of social types (they have been called romans en caricatures [‘caricature novels’]): the limited but common-sensical father (Crépin); the flighty naturalist (Vieux Bois); the domineering financée (Elvire); the prodigal son and revolutionary (Albert); the bumbling, pretentious social climber (Jabot); etc. Together these constitute a continuation, in bande dessinée, of the passing portraits with which he scatters his Voyages en zigzig (1832 onwards). The latter in turn follow the tradition of Thomas Rowlandson’s The Tour of Doctor Syntax (1812, in French from 1821), which is linked to the ‘narrative series’ of engravings by William Hogarth, for whom Töpffer professed great admiration (Töpffer’s own father also drew caricatures). They have all been traced back to Charles Le Brun’s Méthode pour apprendre à dessiner les passions [‘Method for Learning to Draw the Passions’], first published in 1702, in which the artist explores the way physical appearance can depict interior morality.