Lisa Zunshine, Getting Inside Your Head: What Cognitive Science Can Tell Us about Popular Culture
Explanatory Models, Philosophies and Behaviour
Analysis of my ethnographic data on medical popular culture in tribal south-west Iran, mostly from 1965 to 1983, suggests several traditional explanatory models and philosophical tenets that guide approaches to health issues. Empirical knowledge of natural processes motivates people to observe their bodily requirements. The belief in God's autocratic power is tempered with God's purported wish that people use their abilities to take responsibility for their health, complicating the notion of 'fate'. The various models provide health management choices. Traditionally, patients and healers shared these models, acting on the same cosmological assumptions.
Gender Trouble in Bulgarian Culture Today
Milena Kirova, Literaturniat kanon. Predizvikatelstva (The literary canon. Challenges) (Sofia: Sofia University Press, 2009), 287 pp., 15 BGN (hb), ISBN 978-954-07-2811-7.
Milena Kirova, ed., Neslucheniat kanon. Bulgarski pisatelki ot Vuzrazhdaneto do Vtorata svetovna voina (The canon that did not happen. Bulgarian women writers from the Bulgarian national revival period to World War II) (Sofia: Altera, 2009), 430 pp., 18 BGN (pb), ISBN 978-954-975-732-3.
Milena Kirova and Kornelia Slavova, eds., Identichnosti v prehod: rod, medii i populiarna kultura v Bulgaria sled 1989 g. (Gender identities in transition: Media and popular cul- ture in Bulgaria a er 1989) (Sofia: Polis Publishers, 2010), 256 pp., 12 BGN (pb), ISBN 978-954-796-032-9.
Graphic Adaptation in Germany in the Context of High and Popular Culture
As a hybrid between ‘high’ literature and ‘trivial’ comics, graphic adaptations have been the subject of extensive debate in Germany. This article discusses the specific cultural conditions of graphic adaptation in Germany, which have been influenced by a process of emancipation from deeply rooted prejudice against comics as a medium of popular culture. To illustrate the changes brought about by the term ‘graphic novel’ around 2000, this article analyses two examples of a newer generation of graphic adaptation in detail. Flix’s Faust (2009–2010) and Drushba Pankow’s Das Fräulein von Scuderi [Mademoiselle de Scudery] (2011) represent a new self-confident approach to classic literature, but they also reflect on their own status as adaptations and thus contribute to ‘closing the gap’ between ‘high’ and popular culture.
Brazilian Conflicts and the Popular Culture of Sovereignty
This article explores the aesthetic elements of sovereignty. Building on the anthropological literature on sovereignty and on contemporary work on the politics of aesthetics, the article analyzes contemporary appearances of Batman symbols and figures in Rio de Janeiro. Despite political debate and academic discussion about the Batmen appearing in mafia-like militias and popular street protests in Rio, the question of what these appearances tell us about the relations between popular imagery and political contestation has remained untouched. This article supports the work of writers who argue that superhero comics and movies present fierce figures that operate in the zone of indistinction, at the crossroads of lawful order and its exception. However, it adds to this literature an analysis that shows in what kind of sociopolitical contexts these figures operate and how that plays itself out. To understand the contemporary appearances and force of figures of the entertainment industry better, this article proposes the concept “popular culture of sovereignty.”
Comics and Adaptation
Armelle Blin-Rolland, Guillaume Lecomte and Marc Ripley
This introduction to this special issue of European Comic Art on ‘Comics and Adaptation’ provides a brief overview of the field of adaptation studies, with a particular focus on its considerable developments and expansion since the late 1990s, as it has moved beyond a comparative novel-to-film approach to centre instead around questions of intertextuality and hypertextuality. This special issue aims to contribute to this field and to the growing body of works on comics and adaptation. The authors explore questions of transnational circulation of visual, narrative and generic motifs (Boillat); heteronormalisation and phallogocentrism (Krauthaker and Connolly); authenticity of drawn events (Lecomte); identity in a stateless minoritised culture (Blin-Rolland); ‘high’ and popular culture (Blank); reverence in comic adaptations of the literary canon (de Rooy); and documentary and parody (Ripley).
Teen Girls Negotiating Discourses of Competitive, Heterosexualized Aggression
In this paper I explore the themes of heterosexualized competition and aggression in Avril Lavigne's music video Girlfriend (2007) as representative of the violent heterosexualized politics within which girls are incited to compete in contemporary schooling and popular culture. I argue that psycho-educational discourses attempting to explain girls' aggression and bullying fail to account for the heterosexualized, classed or racialized power dynamics of social competition that organize heteronormative femininity. Then I elaborate a psychosocial approach using psychoanalytic concepts to trace how teen girls negotiate contemporary discourses of sexual aggression and competition. Drawing on findings from a study with racially and economically marginalized girls aged thirteen to fourteen attending an innercity school in South Wales, I suggest that the girls enact regulatory, classed discourses like slut to manage performances of heterosexualized aggression. However, alongside their demonstration of the impetus toward sexual regulation of one another, I show how the girls in my study are also attempting to challenge heteronormative formations of performing sexy-aggressive. Moments of critical resistance in their narratives, when they refuse to pathologize aggressive girls as mean and/or bullies, and in their fantasies, when they reject heterosexual relationships like marriage are explored.
The Relevance of Roger Caillois for Contemporary Neo-Durkheimian Cultural Theory
Alexander T. Riley
The question of the trajectory of Durkheimian thought after the death of Durkheim in 1917 is of great interest to many scholars. Increasing attention has been paid in recent years to the place of the Collége de Sociologie in that legacy (e.g., Hollier 1979; Kurasawa 1998; Richman 2002; Marroquin 2005). The focus of much of this scholarship, however, has been on one participant in the Collége, Georges Bataille. Both those who see the Collége as a legitimate inheritor of the Durkheimian mantle (e.g., Richman 2002) and those who do not (e.g., Marcel 2001) place central importance on the person and work of Bataille. There were however other members of the Collége, some of whom in fact had a much closer institutional connection to the Durkheimian group through Durkheim's nephew, Marcel Mauss, than Bataille did. Roger Caillois is perhaps the most important of these others. (1) The work of Caillois is still relatively little known outside the French-speaking world. Largely considered a figure of the literary avant-garde when he is known at all among English-speaking academics, (2) he was in fact a thinker of immensely broad interests, with intellectual connections spanning from surrealist circles to Durkheimian ethnography. Unlike Bataille, he actually studied under Marcel Mauss (and Georges Dumézil) and some of the most compelling work he authored took up themes he explicitly recognized as having to do with sociology and social theory.
The Adolescent Female Body in YA Fantasy
In this article I explore how mythopoeic Young Adult (YA) fantasy offers examples of living and being an adolescent female body that challenge the dominant, hegemonic discourses dictating the adolescent girl's appearance in the West's imagesaturated culture. I begin by establishing the features of mythopoeic YA fantasy, before looking at Daine in Tamora Pierce's Immortals quartet and Cinder(ella) in Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles. Daine's shape-shifting body and Cinder's cybernetic one offer bodily change as an integral part of the (adolescent female) body, as opposed to the fixed perfection required by the fantasy femininity on offer in popular culture, including print, televisual, and social media. Employing a reading of touch in order to explore the multiplicity that is available on, and through, these bodies, I question the representational economy dominating the hegemonic discursive construction of the adolescent girl.
Ronald de Rooy
Dante’s multifaceted cultural reception includes many comics adaptations. Against the background of a strong tradition of illustrating and visualising Dante, this article proposes a comparative analysis of significant contemporary comics adaptations from Europe and the United States. Recent European Dante comics generally adopt largely reverent modes of illustration, showing less aggressive forms of adaptation than their US counterparts. The text of Dante’s poem remains of great importance, and artists often refer to certain traditional milestones in Dante’s visual reception. American Dante comics are more firmly rooted in popular culture, adopting reductive adaptation methods to a greater extent, and are frequently embedded in transmedial constellations. Where the highbrow European tradition of Dante’s visual reception does shine through, it is always with strong ironic undertones. Especially interesting in this respect are the toy theatre/puppet movie Dante’s Inferno directed by Sean Meredith, Seymour Chwast’s graphic novel The Divine Comedy and the popular video game Dante’s Inferno.