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Forking Cinematic Paths to the Self: Neurocinematically Informed Model of Empathy in Motion Pictures

Gal Raz and Talma Hendler

This article reviews significant developments in affective neuroscience suggesting a refinement of the contemporary theoretical discourse on cinematic empathy. Accumulating evidence in the field points to a philogeneticontogenetic-neural boundary separating empathic processes driven by either cognitive or somato-visceral representations of others. Additional evidence suggests that these processes are linked with parasympathetically driven mitigation and proactive sympathetic arousal. It presents empirical findings from a functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) film viewing study, which are in line with this theoretical distinction. The findings are discussed in a proposed cinematographic framework of a general dichotomy between eso (inward-directed) and para (side by side with)—dramatic cinematic factors impinging on visceral representations of real-time occurrences or cognitive representations of another's mind, respectively. It demonstrates the significance of this dichotomy in elucidating the unsettling emotional experience elicited by Michael Haneke's Amour.

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Empathy and the Cinema of Engagement: Reevaluating the Politics of Film

Sarah Kozloff

This article seeks to prompt a reevaluation of the efficacy of mainstream fiction films to convey liberalism's political and ethical values. First, it challenges still-influential Marxist claims about counter-cinema and distanciation, then it deplores the influence of contemporary irony and postmodernism. The article proceeds to enumerate the characteristics of “a cinema of engagement”; for example, moving us to empathy—even empathetic anger—rather than distancing us or making us feel superiority; manifesting a level gaze; analyzing structures of power; basing scripts on real events; employing both the realist and melodramatic modes; and inspiring viewers to work against social injustice. It invokes the theories of liberal philosophers, literary scholars, cognitive scientists, and psychologists, and draws supporting evidence from a close reading of The Insider (1999).

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Affect and Empathy

The Phenomenology of Perception and Spectatorship in Screen Media

Andrew J. Ball

encourage “empathic awareness” in viewers. In his article, Yifei Sun critiques the analog-contingent theories of movement put forward by Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze. Sun modifies aspects of Deleuze's Cinema 1: The Movement-Image to offer a theory that

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Empathy and Personal Distress toward Outgroup Members, Attachment, and Traumatic National Narrative

A Comprehensive Model of Israeli Students

Sarit Alkalay, Anat Itzhak-Fishman, and Ohad Marcus

Relations between the Jewish and Arab citizens of the State of Israel are marked by both coexistence and by a conflict whose roots are deep and intractable ( Kupermintz et al. 2007 ). Previous research has found that empathy may impact the

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Selective Empathy

Workers, Colonial Subjects, and the Affective Politics of French Romantic Socialism

Naomi J. Andrews

community. Socialists’ inconsistent empathy with various subjugated groups in the French body politic are acutely apparent when we examine their positions on key metropolitan and imperial issues during the July Monarchy, especially colonial slavery, wage

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Embodied Seeing-In, Empathy, and Expansionism

Joerg Fingerhut

relation to social interactions (as, e.g., in the case of empathy). He, therefore, does not fully address in which ways they become re-appropriated in our interactions with cultural artifacts and factor in our appreciation of these artifacts. Following

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What History is good for

Service-learning and studying the past

Michael Smith

Many disciplines in the social sciences and humanities can offer profound insights into what it means to be human. History, however, encompasses the totality of human experience: economics, politics, philosophy, art, ethics, sociology, science - all of it becomes part of history eventually. Therefore, the opportunities for incorporating service-learning (carefully integrating community service with academic inquiry and reflecting on insights derived from such integration) into history courses abound. Many historians have taken advantage of this opportunity. Few historians have undertaken a scholarly investigation of the learning taking place in their service-learning courses, however. Indeed, despite the fact that the reflective process so central to service-learning lends itself remarkably well to the scholarship of teaching and learning (it generates very rich data on both the affective and content-based learning students are experiencing), there has been little published SoTL research from any discipline about service-learning. Drawing on qualitative evidence from an honours course comprised of 16 students at a private liberal arts college in the northeastern United States, I argue that not only does service-learning in history lead to more active citizenship, but that it also leads to deeper appreciation of an historical perspective as a key ingredient for being an engaged citizen.

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When Lamps Have Feelings

Empathy and Anthropomorphism Toward Inanimate Objects in Animated Films

Alyssa D. Edwards and Daniel M. Shafer

certain ways. This study explores factors that likely contribute to audience empathy toward animated, non-human characters in films. First, we review empathy and anthropomorphism literature and define both terms. Then, we describe an experiment that used

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Cinematographic High-Contrast Lighting Can Facilitate Empathetic Affective Mimicry

Alan Voodla, Elen Lotman, Martin Kolnes, Richard Naar, and Andero Uusberg

Empathy-related processes such as feeling the emotions of others, seeing the world from their perspective, and reacting to this information are fundamental constituents of cinematic experiences ( Oatley 2012 ; Tan 2008 ). Filmmakers therefore

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Pandemic vulnerabilities, mortality and empathy in fieldwork

Sharon J. Hepburn