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“Something Outside of Ourselves”

Crossing Boundaries in New Disability Documentary Cinema

Anna Debinski

Documentary film has traditionally perpetuated damaging cultural understandings of disability. However, Astra Taylor’s Examined Life (2008) and Bonnie Sherr Klein’s Shameless: The Art of Disability (2006) utilize documentary techniques to problematize the culturally constructed boundary between disability and able-bodiedness. Spectators are dragged into simultaneously traditional and innovative relationships with the spaces, bodies, and lives inhabited by the documentaries’ disabled subjects. These relationships encourage connection and intimacy even as they contain moments of distance and alienation. The films’ ambivalent representations foster an appreciation of disabled bodies as a reflection of valuable human diversity and a denaturalization of disability’s Otherness. As examples of new disability documentary cinema, the documentaries reflect the political potential of complex and affective representations of disabled subjects.

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Greg M. Smith

This article argues that an emphasis on how spectators piece together documentary structure is more useful than nonfiction film theory's focus on epistemology and categorization. By examining individual texts such as The Aristocrats, critics can develop a set of devices that provide a better explanation of documentary comprehension at the local level. As an example, this article shows how a spectatorial position as an insider in the comedy world and the device of the "conversational turn" help us both segment the documentary flow and unify it.

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Agents, Spectators, and Social Hope

Richard Rorty and American Intellectuals

Marek Kwiek

Rorty wrote his Achieving Our Country as a philosopher, intellectual, academic and citizen, and each of these perspectives lead to a different emphasis in reading his book, and to a different story (and ‘storytelling’ is one of the themes of the book). The emergent pictures vary: the philosopher tells a story of the growing isolation and cultural sterility of analytic philosophy in the United States of America after the Second World War; the intellectual tells a story of the political bareness and practical uselessness of (the majority of) American leftist intellectuals in the context of the emerging new global order at the turn of the 21st century; the academic tells the story about humanities’ departments at American universities, especially departments of literature and cultural studies, and their students, and contrasts their possible future fate with the past fate of departments of analytical philosophy and their students; and, finally, the citizen tells a story about the nationhood, politics, patriotism, reformism (as well as the inherent dangers and opportunities of globalization). Rorty plays the four descriptions off against one another perfectly and Achieving Our Country represents him at his very best: Rorty is passionate, inspiring, uncompromising, biting and very relevant to current public debates. Owing to the intelligent combination of the above perspectives, the clarity and elegance of his prose, and (although not revealed directly) the wide philosophical background provided by his new pragmatism, the book differs from a dozen others written in the 1990s about the American academy and American intellectuals. It also sheds new and interesting light on Rorty’s pragmatism, providing an excellent example of the application of his philosophical views. One has to note that, generally, it is almost impossible to think of any piece written by Rorty outside of the context of his philosophy, and Achieving Our Country is no exception to this rule.

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Barbara Hodgdon

For some time now, attempts to reconstruct and re-mark the history of how interiority and the subjectivity to which that belongs emerged in Western culture have been making critical headlines. According to the proponents of this explicitly anti-humanist and anti-essentialist master narrative, that moment can be precisely located at the time of Shakespeare. Using Hamlet as his example, Francis Barker argues that bourgeois subjectivity comes into being only in the late seventeenth century; challenging idealist conceptions of literary culture and history, Jonathan Dollimore promises to deliver Shakespeare and his contemporaries from the misrepresentations of essentialist humanism. Similarly, Catherine Belsey claims that to search for characters’ ‘imaginary interiority’ is to map modernist notions of a unified, coherent humanist subject onto early modern texts. According to Margareta de Grazia, those texts do represent motives for interiority, or, as Raymond Williams has it, conditions of possibility for occupying such a personal space; but, as Peter Stallybrass maintains, the early modern subject encountered in Shakespeare’s texts is not an ‘individual’.ho Although that subject may indeed possess a ‘self’ (in the sense of being distinct from others), he does not have an ‘identity’ – a term that is also absent from Shakespeare’s texts and that does not appear, in the sense of denoting individuality, until 1638. In short, we have met the early modern subject, and he is not us.

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Janet Staiger

. Here, I want to suggest what his project accomplishes while also opening up directions for future developments. Berliner operates as most of us do when providing criticism of a film from a hypothetical perspective. He creates a theoretical spectator

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Elemental Imagination and Film Experience

Climate Change and the Cinematic Ethics of Immersive Filmworlds

Ludo de Roo

part of the spectator. In addition to the fact-based tactics of documentary film and the fictional strategies of climate change science-fiction, I argue in this article that the cinematic experience of any film in itself often already offers a rich

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Questions of Authorship

Some Comments on David Bordwell’s Narration in the Fiction Film

Paisley Livingston

actual authorship in the construction of an idealized, postulated, or implicit author ( Nehamas 1981 , 1986 ). Another option is to grant even greater freedom to the spectator or reader. A fictionalist or “as if” critical discourse, for example, brackets

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Todd Berliner

concerned with “average spectators” makes the research particularly relevant to Hollywood aesthetics. Employing psychology research in humanities projects like mine comes with challenges and pitfalls. For one thing, experimental psychology rarely addresses

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Beyond Metaphor

Corporeal Sociability and the Language of Commerce in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France

Joseph D. Bryan

luxury produced “agreeable sensations,” the pleasurable experience of refined, sociable living. Adam Smith even grounded his understanding of moral sentiments and the sociability necessary in a commercial society on the notion of an impartial spectator, a

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James K. Beggan

dramatic, and visually interesting ejaculation would occur in relatively few instances of atypical sexual performance. These performative elements matter to certain spectators. With regard to Peter North, one person commented, “distance, volume, density