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Heike Bauer, Ann Heilmann, Emma Liggins, Angelica Michelis, Nickianne Moody and Chris White

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Jennie Carlsten

Director Steve McQueen's 2008 film Hunger employs strategies of narrative fracture in its account of the 1981 Northern Irish hunger strikes. Through the formal devices of ellipsis and descriptive pause, the film creates space for viewer reflection on, and immersion in, the emotions associated with trauma and loss. Looking at these formal devices as emotion cues, and considering the film as a case study in the cognitive study of film, this article offers an 'emotional reading' of Hunger.

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Sick Weather Ahead

On Data-Mining, Crowd-Sourcing and White Noise

Carlo Caduff

The main concern of this article is with the ways in which technologies of data-mining and crowd-sourcing have made it possible for citizens to contribute to the expansion of infectious disease surveillance as both a concrete practice and a compelling fantasy. But I am less interested in participation as such, and more concerned with the epistemological effects that this technological mediation might have for the possibility of epidemic events to become shared objects of knowledge. What happens with epidemic events when they become targets of data-mining and crowd-sourcing technologies?

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Dan Flory

This article modifies philosopher Tamar Szabó Gendler's theory of imaginative resistance in order to make it applicable to film and analyze a distinctively adverse kind of resistant response to James Cameron's Avatar (2009). Gendler's theory, as she states it, seeks to explain resistance to literary stories in a straightforwardly cognitivist, but narrowly rationalistic fashion. This article introduces elements from recent work at the intersection of philosophy of film and the emotions to augment Gendler's theory so that it can be used to explain why some viewers hesitate or even refuse to imagine some cinematic fictional worlds. The method used is analytic philosophy of film. The analysis reveals that some viewers are cognitively impoverished with regard to imagining race in general: they will likely have extreme difficulty in centrally imagining racially "other" characters, which also bodes ill for their real-world prospects for moral engagements concerning race.

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Heritage or hate?

A pedagogical guide to the confederate flag in post-race America

Cameron D. Lippard

The Confederate flag has been a hotly debated symbol of heritage or hate in the United States. In 2015, 54 per cent of Americans polled saw the flag as a symbol of ‘Southern pride’ whereas 34 per cent saw it as racist. However, 27 per cent of Whites compared to 69 per cent of Blacks saw the flag as racist. In this article, I suggest how instructors can better explain this controversial topic within an America society that is ‘post-race’. First, I describe an opening activity to get students thinking about symbolism through flags. Next, I present a lecture that debunks myths about the flag’s meanings by presenting its factual history. Finally, I describe an open debate activity to complete the discussion and comprehension of the confederate flag. Student responses suggest that these lesson plans lead to a better understanding of its symbolism and its relationship to the continuing significance of racism in the U.S.

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Walter S.H. Lim

In this comparative article focusing on the representation of the migration experience of two recent first-generation Asian-American authors, I consider the ways that Mukherjee and Lim's possession of important symbolic capital, their solid tertiary education, and excellent first language proficiency in English condition their portrayal of this transition from the old to the new country. If possessing such symbolic capital lends important support for any immigrant desire for American naturalization and belonging, does Mukherjee's portrayal of Jasmine's insertion into American social and cultural life and Lim's own professional positioning in the American academy register tensions and contradictions in their literary representation of the experience of successful assimilation? Do Mukherjee and Lim's prior identities as postcolonial subjects (India and Malaysia were once British colonies) inflect in distinctive ways their representation of assimilation and marginalization and home and homelessness in the American Promised Land that is the controlling telos of Asian immigrant desire?

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Black and White on the Silver Screen

Views of Interracial Romance in French Films and Reviews since the 1980s

Jon Cowans

This article explores French attitudes about race during and after the years of the National Front's breakthrough by looking at French films and film reviews on the topic of interracial couples. In a country in which antiracists have been reluctant to legitimize the concept of race by talking about it, but in which the far Right has made gains by proclaiming its own views on race, French film-makers in the 1980s and after broached the topic in numerous films, but they often did so in ways that avoided controversy or serious reflection on current French racism. French critics of both French and American films featuring interracial couples also sidestepped the most explosive issues, revealing a disinclination to discuss a troubling and divisive concept, but also a persistent belief that racism remained an American problem and obsession.

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Learning with Disney

Children's Animation and the Politics of Innocence

David Whitley

This article reconsiders the concept of innocence in relation to animated films for children, focusing particularly on Disney but additionally drawing on examples from other traditions. The author argues that the notion of innocence within these films is potentially double-edged, encompassing both actively transformative and more vulnerable, passive properties. Children's animation is not simply culturally conservative, however, but also rehearses other possibilities, often in a playful form. The article suggests that what children learn from Disney and other animated films is shaped in complex ways by responses to the quality of innocence with which such films are so often imbued.

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Bianca F.-C. Calabresi, Margaret W. Ferguson, Susan Fitzmaurice, Jennifer Wynne Hellwarth, David Scott Kastan, Mary Ellen Lamb, Elizabeth Rivlin, Eve Rachele Sanders and Janet Starner-White

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Large-Scale Hydrocarbon-Related Industrial Projects in Russia's Coastal Regions

The Risks Arising from the Absence of Strategic Environmental Assessment

Vassily Spiridonov

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia has monitored several large-scale hydrocarbon extraction and transportation projects on the Russian shelf, revealing the chaotic nature of this large-scale industrial activity. An analysis of the early stages of project implementation has shown that, contrary to the claims of project designers, the projects are starting to have diverse, tangible, and often negative impacts on the natural and human environments. Risks can be grouped as follows: the loss of or damage to unique natural and cultural phenomena, major accidents, and indirect and cumulative effects on the environment or human communities. The author argues that completion of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) before these projects began may have helped to significantly reduce these risks, and considers possibilities for institutional development of SEA in Russia, based on trans-sectoral partnership.