Understanding how spectators interact with films requires some theory of filmic representation. This article reviews three such theories. The first, a communication model, assumes that an artwork constitutes or contains a message passed from a sender to a receiver. The second, a signification model, assumes that the film operates within a system of codes and that the perceiver applies codes to signs in the text in order to arrive at meanings. This conception of film as signification may be found in both classic structuralist and post-structuralist accounts. The third, an empirical-experiential model, assumes that an artwork is designed to create an experience for the spectator. This article argues that the cognitive approach to film studies is founded on the third model of representation. The article also traces the strengths and limits of cognitive film theory and its theory of representation.
Do “Bad” Concepts Drive Out “Good” Ones?
The aim of this article is to explore to what extent the rule of economics commonly known as Gresham's law (“bad money drives out good money”) can be extrapolated to verbal language (“bad concepts drive out good concepts”). Consequently, the goal of this article is twofold. First, for Gresham's law to be applied simultaneously to money and language, its unfortunate (“good”/“bad”) and obscure (“drives out”) wording should be clarified. Second, one should identify the contexts in which the validity of the law could be assessed best, and run a very preliminary test. For this purpose, the circulation of the adjective (“hard”, “strong”, or “stable” in Russian) in the word combination (“hard currency”) in use in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s was scrutinized.
A. Lorraine Kaljund
Ethnographic studies of legal materiality and the bureaucratic mundanities of law often juxtapose their richly empirical approach to the material assemblages of law with the ‘grand talk’ and conceptual abstractions of law. This article considers the intersection of formal legal discourse and the mundanity of bureaucratic practice through an examination of two judicial opinions concerning the legal significance of the Bates number, a sequential digit inscribed onto documents produced in US pretrial discovery. Through this analysis, the article both illustrates the Bates stamp’s role in the material constitution of law, and offers a reminder that the stories law tells about its own materiality can offer insights into, and enact and extend, the sociolegal agency of bureaucratic tools.
Dennis A. Gilbert
At a time when a "return to Sartre" is being heralded in France and elsewhere in preparation for the celebration of the centennial of his birth, it seems appropriate to ponder the nature and tenor of this renewal. To which aspects of Sartre's work are we returning as the centennial approaches, and are we doing so with fresh eyes or with the same critical prejudices that have obscured our appreciation of this work in the past? If one looks for answers to Bernard-Henri Lévy (aka BHL), the principal instigator of this current renewal, with specific regard to the genre that interests us in these pages—the theater—one is going to be sorely disappointed. For while Lévy considers Sartre "the first [writer]—the only [writer]—to know how to split himself equally well between being a theoretician and an accomplished storyteller," he lavishes this praise solely on the theory and practice of Sartre's novels: "The concept of engagement is not a political concept stressing the social duties of the writer; it is a philosophical concept highlighting the metaphysical powers of language. … Sartre … has never really written a novel with a [totalizing] thesis or message" (BHL 85, 86).
(De)materializing Kinship—Holding Together Mutuality and Difference
Kathryn E. Goldfarb and Caroline E. Schuster
kinship in order to explore two interrelated concepts that are of vital importance to understanding the wider stakes of relatedness today: the politics of value and semiotics. Put another way, we put forward a perspective on materiality rooted in
Block ( Friedner and Block 2017 ), it is important to attend to forms of non-linguistic communication and to consider our own language and semiotic ideologies in relation to diverse communicative repertoires (that may not seem legible to us). How might
Albania’s socialist regime—the last socialist government in Europe—ensued in 1992. Methods I apply a social semiotic analysis of visual communication drawn from the work of Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen. 13 By offering a “grammar of visual design
Infrastructures of Certainty and Doubt
Matthew Carey and Morten Axel Pedersen
theorizing some of the ways in which different types of infrastructure (social, material, semiotic, affective, etc.) are involved in these processes. First, however, we need to be a little clearer about just what we mean by the term infrastructure. Deus
Materializing Affinity in Japanese Foster and Adoptive Care
Kathryn E. Goldfarb
and fostering are not easily recognized as kinship. I suggest that material resemblance is taken up as a pragmatic semiotics ( Silverstein 1993 ; Stasch 2009) through which people self-reflexively interpret the signs that count as relatedness
semiotic nature of comics should encourage us to question one of the most basic properties that is supposed to be natural to the sjuzhet . As stated by Richardson: In a typical work, the sjuzhet is the narrative in the sequence that it appears in the