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The Punctum and the Past

Sartre and Barthes on Memory and Fascination

Patrick Eldridge

This article extrapolates a theory of memory as an intentional consciousness from Sartre’s early, scattered references to memory. There are three key questions: How does Sartre conceive of memory’s intentional structure? Its temporal structure? And how does memory display both continuity and discontinuity in the stream of consciousness? Starting from the Sartrean insight that memory is a ‘double consciousness’ the article offers an analysis of how memory helps to constitute a temporally complex mode of being-in-theworld. Aside from memory’s usefulness in this regard, memory also has the power to disturb consciousness and disrupt its projects. Roland Barthes’s concept of the punctum – which is connected to analyses of mourning – helps to clarify this. A synoptic analysis of Sartre and Barthes allows for a phenomenological description of how consciousness can be stuck in the past, confronted by something that was, and which holds the mind captive.

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Religion through the Looking Glass

Fieldwork, Biography, and Authorship in Southwest China and Beyond

Katherine Swancutt

This article is an exploration into how a distinct fascination with the study of religion traverses the biographies of researchers who, through fieldwork, episodically enter into the life-worlds of the peoples they study. In it, I offer up ethnographic and autoethnographic reflections on the experiential crossroads and personal biographies that are perhaps as constitutive of religion as they are of the persons who study it. Through a discussion of interconnected events that arose during and outside of my anthropological fieldwork among the Nuosu, a Tibeto-Burman group of Southwest China, I highlight how Nuosu claims to authoring my biography have brought their animistic religion and culture, as well as its international import, further into focus for myself, local scholars, and rural Nuosu persons. My argument pivots around the idea that fieldwork-based researchers and their interlocutors often appropriate each other’s biographies in rather cosmic ways, thus revealing the historically, socially, and personally contingent qualities that are involved in studies of religion.

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From Exoticism to Authenticity

Textbooks during French Colonization and the Modern Literature of Global Tourism

Claudine Moïse

*Article translated by Francine Tolron

This article explores the French fascination with “the primitive” and “the exotic” in the post–World War I years through a study of representations of the French colonies in textbooks intended for primary and secondary schoolchildren. It then compares these representations with contemporary French-language tourist literature in Ontario, Canada, demonstrating continuities between these “exotic” representations of the colonial other and contemporary discourses centered on “authenticity” in the world of international tourism.

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'You ain't the man you was'

Learning to Be a Man Again in Charles Reade's A Simpleton

Georgina O'Brien Hill

This article examines the role of the sensation novel in the construction of male identities in the Victorian period through an examination of Charles Reade's A Simpleton, a Story of the Day (1873). This novel exploits Victorian anxieties surrounding male identity and seeks to affirm unstable concepts of masculinity through dominant codes of imperialism. O'Brien Hill argues that Reade's novel is unusual in the sensation canon due to the combination of the adventure sub-plot and sensational narrative devices, serving to expose the fluidity of male identity and Victorian fascination with the spectacle of masculinity in crisis.

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Carrie A. Rentschler and Claudia Mitchell

Girlhood Studies scholars respond to an overwhelming portrayal of girls as either bad or needing rescue in, for example, mainstream films on mean girls, popular psychology texts on primarily light-skinned middle class girls’ plummeting self-esteem, and media panics about teen girl sexting. According to Sharon Mazzarella and Norma Pecora, “In response to public anxiety and cultural fascination,” in “academic studies of girls…the emphasis has shifted slightly so that the discourse is no longer linked primarily to crisis” (2007: 105). Still, in popular and policy discourse today, girls are often unfairly and inaccurately cast as either super agents or failing subjects.

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Brenden Rooney, Hanna Kubicka, Carl Plantinga, James Kendrick and Johannes Riis

Jeffrey M. Zacks, Flicker: Your Brain on Movies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 360 pp., $29.95 (hardback). ISBN: 978-0-19998-287-5.

Margrethe Bruun Vaage, The Antihero in American Television (New York: Routledge, 2016), xx + 206 pp., $148 (hardback). ISBN: 978-1-13888-597-4.

Robert Sinnerbrink, Cinematic Ethics: Exploring Ethical Experience through Film (London: Routledge, 2016), x + 216 pp., $49.95 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-13882- 616-8, $145 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-13882-615-1.

Henry Bacon, The Fascination of Film Violence (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), vii + 227 pp., $95 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-137-47644-9.

Aaron Taylor, ed., Theorizing Film Acting (London: Routledge, 2012), 316 pp., $145 (hardback), ISBN: 978-0-41550-951-0.

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The Return of the Animal

Posthumanism, Indigeneity, and Anthropology

Danielle DiNovelli-Lang

The vectors by which the question of the animal has confronted the discipline of anthropology are both diverse—from paleoarchaeological fascination with the transition from ape to man to sociocultural accounts of human-animal conflict—and fraught insofar as they tend to loop back into one another. For instance, while posthumanism is intellectually novel, to take its line of critique seriously is to recognize that the science of man has depended on the philosophical animal from the start. A still tighter loop could be drawn around Lévi-Strauss's foundational interest in animal symbolism and the Amazonian ontologies undergirding Latour's amodern philosophy. Three related interdependencies pull hard on these loops: 1) philosophy and anthropology; 2) the human and the animal; 3) modernity and indigeneity. This last interdependency is notably undertheorized in the present efflorescence of human-animal scholarship. This article attends to some of the consequences of modernity/indigeneity's clandestine operations in the literature.

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René, Ginette, Louise et les autres

nostalgie et authenticité dans la chanson néo-réaliste

Barbara Lebrun

France's retro rock music (chanson néo-réaliste) of the 1990s and 2000s favors acoustic music and "old-fashioned" instruments such as the accordion in order to reject today's fascination with novelty and consumerism. In doing so, this music genre looks back to pre-war France and rehabilitates an all-white national culture that is problematically nostalgic, in a similar fashion to the film Amélie. This article explores the ways in which chanson néo-réaliste still manages to forge a sense of protest identity in contemporary France, while engaging in apparently reactionary tactics. The specificities of this music genre are explored through an analysis of the lyrics, music, iconography and performance of, primarily, the group Têtes Raides, while contrasting their nostalgia of "protest" with that of the more commercially successful genre of variétés.

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James Gibbs

This study of Sartre's first novel seeks to move beyond the metaphysical constraints that are implicit when specifically focusing on either the work's literary or philosophical qualities, instead approaching the text as metafiction. Through an understanding of the novel's self-referentiality, its awareness of its accordance to narrative technique or reliance on existential verbatim, one gains an understanding of Sartre's fascination with the dialogue that exists between literature and philosophy. The examination of La Nausée and its Anglo-American criticism leads to a re-evaluation of the role of bad faith, in which character, author and, particularly, reader, are implicit. For reading is, like Roquentin's concluding understanding of existence, a balancing-act between the in-itself and the for-itself; an interaction with bad faith in which it is the individual/the reader that is responsible for attributing meaning to experience/La Nausée.

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Eric Godelier

Today there is a fascination with a new category of elites: the globalized management businessman. The notion of “elite” refers here to a group of people believed to be more competent in a particular field than others; Jack Welsh (GEC), Bill Gates (Microsoft) are among the best-known examples. The members of this social group have their own perception of reality and they also have a distinct class identity, recognizing themselves as separate and superior to the rest of society. Newcomers are socialized and co-opted by the group on the basis of internal criteria established by the existing group members. Therefore group members are more or less interchangeable and may move from one institution—in this case a corporation—to another within the group. Whether defined as heterogeneous or homogeneous, this group utilizes cultural mythologies that serve to legitimize their status and power: these are the focus of this article.