Northern Lights

Published by Intellect
Print ISSN: 1601-829X
In Denmark the political fiction film has not been at the centre of attention for film-makers, and when it has been explored it has in fact not been a very successful genre. However, recently, an interest in the political sphere has emerged among film-makers in Denmark. Simultaneously, the political culture in Denmark since the turn of the century has become less focused on a welfare and solidarity consensus, and it has created new types of conflicts where the population has become more sceptical towards the political system and also towards the journalistic credo. The article shows how the socio-cultural political context developed especially since 2001 interacts with the content and form of political fiction films, and how the films are embedded in a general mediatization of culture which implies that subject matter related to, for example, politics is framed in popular form in news and in fiction films.
Following Henry Jenkinss argument (2006) that online fan discussions contribute to collective intelligence that then feeds into the creative processes of the media industries, this article explores the ways in which online fans of the ABC television programme Lost discussed the religious and philosophical references of the programme as well as the directions the series seemed to follow as a result. By considering the ways in which both popular entertainment producers and fans of popular entertainment contribute to the emergent norms of plural religious and cultural representation in media and expectations regarding the plural religious environment more generally, this article adds to our understandings of the processes through which the mediatization of religion is occurring.
The article presents a theoretical framework for the understanding of how media work as agents of religious change. At the centre of this theory is the concept of mediatization. Through the process of mediatization, religion is increasingly being subsumed under the logic of the media. As conduits of communication, the media have become the primary source of religious ideas, in particular in the form of banal religion. As a language the media mould religious imagination in accordance with the genres of popular culture, and as cultural environments the media have taken over many of the social functions of the institutionalized religions, providing both moral and spiritual guidance and a sense of community. Finally, the results of a national survey in Denmark are presented in order to substantiate the theoretical arguments and illustrate how the mediatization of religion has made popular media texts important sources of spiritual interest.
While new-media theorists have spend considerable efforts in trying to understand the relationships between digital media and older physical and electronic media, the important sources the writing and projects by Ivan Sutherland, Douglas Englebart, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay, and other pioneers working in the 1960s and 1970s remain largely unexamined. What were their reasons for inventing the concepts and techniques that today make it possible for computers to represent, or remediate other media? I suggest that Kay and others aimed to create a particular kind of new media rather than merely simulating the appearances of old ones. These new media use already existing representational formats as their building blocks, while adding many new previously non-existent properties. At the same time, as envisioned by Kay, these media are expandable that is, users themselves should be able to easily add new properties, as well as to invent new media. Accordingly, Kay calls computers the first metamedium whose content is a wide range of already-existing and not-yet-invented media.
Journalism, as a soft profession, is facing severe challenges these days, and a need arises for professional maintenance work. Efforts to renegotiate the social contract of journalism reflect an expanding need for justification of journalism as a social institution. This position paper asks what challenges are facing journalistic expertise. What kind of professional competences are at stake? And how does the drawing of boundaries and cooperation take place when journalists confront digital competitors and/or partners? The article addresses the professional interest in audience participation and teamwork in current journalism, and discusses the problem of a flattering approach towards the audience.
This article presents a new analytical perspective for understanding the Swedish crime film. Ever since its emergence in the Swedish cinema in the 1940s, the crime genre has dealt with the perceived dark sides of social life in the welfare state. Based on an extensive historical overview of cinema and television, I argue that the thematic transformations of the Swedish crime genre can be theorized in terms of a changing attitude towards crime as social ambivalence. Drawing on the works of Zygmunt Bauman, I conceptualize the cinematic representations of crime as a manifestation of the disturbing ambivalences that otherwise have been downplayed in the media culture of the welfare state. Focusing on key films, the article elucidates a sociocultural process at the heart of the transformations of the genre: whereas movies of the past cautiously depicted crime in terms of ambivalence, contemporary crime films portray brutal violence and human darkness as an inescapable condition of present-day Sweden.
This article discusses the tremendous global success of Japanese anime, its uses and negotiations of Japanese religious and nationalist mythology, and the way these features are appropriated domestically and abroad. Emphasis is given to the works of Hayao Miyazaki, whose films have been categorized as de-assuring Japaneseness and as promoting an environmentalist agenda. It is discussed whether the indigenous religion, Shinto, which has historically served as a vehicle for nationalism, can be applied to progressive ends unproblematically. The article argues that while the intended meaning of Miyazakis films may be to further ecological awareness, another concern of Miyazakis, namely to promote traditional cultural values, puts his work at risk of being construed along the lines of contemporary Japanese nationalism. Finally, the broader workings behind the global success of those apparently highly culture-specific films are discussed.
No more than twenty years ago, the doors between the newsrooms and the marketing departments of Danish newspapers were tightly shut. Today, all major Danish newspapers work with reader profiles using marketing data to create journalistic concepts. This article identifies two dominant reader constructions in policy papers of Danish newspapers: the reader-as-citizen, which can be traced back to the late 1940s, and the reader-as-consumer, visible in the historically new reader profiles, where we also find a third reader construction, the reader-as-commodity. The development indicates a transformation from an Omnibus press system with a publicist logic of practice to a Segment press system with a commercial logic of practice.
The article argues that the basis for identification for the politicians vis--vis the citizenry has changed and that this has had consequences for the Habermasian perception of public deliberation and legitimacy. We reconsider the concepts of identification and legitimacy and argue that they can be conceptualized by a special rhetorical figure, so-called formulations of genuineness. They help to legitimize proposals to heterogeneous audiences by means of ad hoc incorporation of different value-systems and frames of reference. We illustrate our thesis with quotations from nomination letters written by the current chairmen of the Danish Social Democratic Party and Socialist People's Party. We further elaborate on a concept of celebrity public sphere and we show how it is constituted by the media. We argue that such spheres empower lay people to enter the sphere for political action with immediate effects for society so-called good governance. By means of engaging lay-people in an ad hoc fashion we argue that participatory and deliberative ideals of democracy are met in a new fashion.
Taking as a point of departure that the website constitutes an important analytical unit for the analysis of Internet activities, this article discusses to what extent the work of Bolter and Manovich can contribute to the clarification of what characterizes the website as a phenomenon in its own right. Focus is on the second edition of Bolter's Writing Space and on Lev Manovich's The Language of New Media, both from 2001. After a short outline of some of the overriding similarities and differences between these texts, it is demonstrated how the understanding of the website oscillates between two poles: fragmentation/modulization vs. some kind of coherence. Finally, on the basis of a conceptual framework centred on the textual and paratextual being of the website, it is argued that the oscillation between fragmentation/modulization and coherence in the vast majority of cases will prove to be to the advantage of coherence.
The purpose of this article is to illuminate the significance of locations in TV series, in particular in crime series. The author presents different theoretical approaches on settings and landscapes in TV series and crime stories. By analysing both the Swedish and the British versions of the Wallander series, the author examines the various types of location used, focusing especially on their dramaturgic and aesthetic roles, and on the various ways in which locations are conceptualized in the two series. The analysis also includes extra materials on the DVDs. Finally, the author discusses some theoretical and methodological challenges of analysing the significance and impact of locations in TV productions.
The book Transcendental Style in Film, written in 1972 by future film director Paul Schrader, offers perhaps the most extensive analysis of how a particular film style might have a specifically religious significance. The article provides a critical discussion of Schraders theory, with a particular focus on the films of Carl Th. Dreyer. Schraders ideas are compared to alternative explanations of the same stylistic features provided by David Bordwell and Torben Grodal. The article concludes that while Schrader identifies a number of pertinent stylistic features, the transcendental film is better understood as a subset of the art film mode. Torben Grodals description of the intertwined effect of a salient (often abstract) style and thematic content indicative of higher meaning, coupled with the contribution of a suitably disposed spectator, is, the article argues, more plausible than Schraders analysis.
Our understanding of newspapers, for obvious reasons, is to a large degree based on the fact that they report on the news. However, there are limits to the informational news paradigm if we are to understand the political and social role of newspapers. Newspapers are also written, published and read because they carry political viewpoints and arguments and, in a wider sense, interpretations of the social and cultural world. As such, individual newspapers and their respective readerships constitute circuits of shared beliefs and opinion formation. According to professional journalistic norms, news and views must be separated, but in actual practice the borderline may not always be clear, and in the minds of some readers it may not even be desirable. Due to a changing media system in Denmark, the newspaper market has become differentiated and two different types of newspapers have emerged: a political press, with mixed commercial and publicist objectives, and a non-political press, with a clear commercial objective. Empirically, the analysis and discussion are based on a quantitative content analysis of Danish national dailies and surveys of newspaper readers.
The popularity of books such as The Da Vinci Code is interesting in that it would seem to support surveys indicating at least a general level of public interest in the spiritual and the paranormal. More specifically, an analysis of the dominant ideas articulated in The Da Vinci Code suggests that it is a book reflecting key themes within western occulture which have become central to the shift from religion to spirituality in western societies: the sacralization of the self; the turn from transcendence to immanence; the emergence of the sacred feminine; the focus on nature and the premodern; and a conspiracist suspicion of the prevailing order and dominant institutions, particularly the Church.
Strategically proportioned avatars.
Virtual reality (VR) is often described as a gateway to a religious or spiritual experience but why? In this article, using theories and evidence taken from the cognitive science of religion (CSOR), we hypothesize that human minds may interact with VR-hosted phenomena in a manner highly similar to that in which they interact with supernatural concepts. Specifically, we note that both VR inputs and supernatural concepts contain information that (1) contradicts the intuitive set of expectations we bring to an ontological category of phenomena (for example, natural objects, animals) and (2) allows us to draw a superabundance of inferences from our social cognitive mechanisms with minimal effort. We then summarize these points by illustrating a common VR phenomenon virtual touch wherein counterintuitive representations and strategic information coalesce to create an emotionally salient experience that is itself counterintuitive and by some accounts spiritual-like.
This article will identify and define the concept of transdiegetic sound space in computer games, and discuss the relationship of this space to action and events in the game. The point of departure for the article is based on discussions of the diegetic space in film theory, but the argument will be supported by writings on the role of sound for usability purposes in web applications and software, as well as views on games as a framing of a separate field of action and how computer games interpret this. Although sound is in focus in this article, it should be noted that transdiegeticity is relevant for a greater understanding of spatial relationships in computer games in general.
The article presents the first version of a methodologically innovative typology of people's use and experience of news, across different media platforms. Theoretically, the article is based on the modernized version of Jrgen Habermas's theory of the public sphere, which is sometimes labelled theory of cultural citizenship, or civic agency. We observe the citizen-consumers' selection from the available news media through the theoretical lens of perceived worthwhileness, which consists of seven dimensions that aggregate to condition an individual's portfolio of news media in everyday life. The empirical investigation uses an integrated qualitative-quantitative method, resulting in a typology of cross-media news consumption with seven user types, which is compared with the Pew 2008 study of news consumption in the United States.
This article maps the development of the crime coverage in Danish mass media from 2002 to 2008. Fictional entertainment programmes as well as factual news representations have been systematically studied. Empirical data include samples from newspapers, television and web media. We find that editorial differentiation has increased in competing newspapers and television channels. Web media, on the other hand, show no signs of such segmentation. On the contrary, we detect a high degree of similarity between online crime presentations across the board. In terms of fiction, the traditional detective stories still prevail on public service television, while forensics-driven crime series of the CSI type are increasing their relative share of commercial TV channels. We claim that these aspects of continuity and change may be interpreted as a domestication of the so-called CSI effect, and discuss how fictional crime mediation influences factual reporting and vice versa.
The decline in reading the morning papers has been considered a problem in modern countries in recent decades. In particular, it is young people who are abandoning the paid morning paper. During the same period, new forms of newspapers such as free dailies and online news have developed. The purpose of this article, in which we take different types of newspapers into consideration, is to analyse the development of readership among Swedes in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The data analysed have been collected through postal surveys of 6000 people each year since 2000. When we add new forms of newspapers to the traditional ones, the readership level is very stable even among young people. Readership is still decreasing, but not to the same extent as when only traditional papers are measured. It can be difficult to determine, however, what should be considered a newspaper in the twenty-first century. Evening tabloids online are not the same with regard to content and function as local morning papers.
News media reporting on mental illness in western countries shows that mentally ill persons are mostly portrayed as dangerous and as perpetrators of violent crimes. A comparison with news media in a post-Soviet nation shows the same result. A Lithuanian non governmental organization initiated a quantitative analysis on media reporting on mentally ill persons in comparison with Norway and Sweden. The most common topic in all three nations was violent crime stories. This article discusses some of the results from the quantitative study of 566 news articles in autumn 2008, and offers a deepened discussion about the reporting on violent crime stories with a mentally ill perpetrator via an exploratory qualitative analysis of one violent crime case from each nation.
Based on analyses of 25 qualitative individual interviews with readers from different demographic backgrounds, this article investigates how readers experience and use journalism on culture in both online and print press. I argue that the use of journalism on culture is constituted within different reading positions. These reading positions are characterized not only as objectively and ideologically determined categories (Hall 1973), but also as subjectively constituted (Schrder 2000) ways for audiences to negotiate personal and professional interests related to their engagement in the (cultural) public sphere (Couldry et al 2007) and the media they choose to use. Different reading patterns result from the ways in which readers negotiate and use different texts and textual elements (e.g. critical debate in a review) for different purposes (e.g. relaxation, entertainment, information, education etc.). Thus, the article explores whether and how the use of journalism on culture is interrelated with more universal processes of meaning production, and therefore it draws on a socio-cognitive perspective, especially in regard to schemes of expectation and experience (e.g. Bruun 2004; Waldahl 1998; Engebretsen 1998).
This article examines the role of Facebook language tools in shaping and preserving community limits among Jewish Israeli adolescent girls, who constitute a young, dynamic, western and age-specific community. We describe how actions such as confirming friend requests, updating statuses and assigning ‘likes’ serve as means of phatic communication and as deictic elements that sketch out the community’s limits. Based on interviews with eight focus groups comprising a total of 35 Israeli adolescent girls, we challenge the prevalent view that social networks and the Internet in general facilitate fast and superficial transitions between sites and identities. Quite the contrary, we argue that these ostensibly random transitions in fact set clear limits by means of apparently banal authorizations of belonging to a community that occur on a daily basis. These community limits set by this youth communication are more rigid and conservative than those apparent in these girls’ everyday lives offline.
The article uses gossiping about Angelina Jolie on two different celebrity entertainment news sites in order to propose a contextual understanding of online gossip/talk. A contextual reading explains differences between types of talk on the sites in view of the different affordances of the sites, the sites’ particular profiles, the particular invitations to gossip (often in the form of paparazzi photographs), and the different types of users taking part in the discussions. The article discusses the two sites and argues that gossip on one site resembles oral gossip and is performed by a random group of visitors whereas on the other site, Jolie fans perform a double move when talking about Jolie: on the one hand they elevate her and on the other hand they include her in their extended family.
This article presents a close analysis of interactions in cross-media formats with a specific focus on how television ‘is done’ on the web by established sports broadcasters who are used to producing traditional sports television. It will be argued that the web platform promotes significantly altered audience-oriented behaviours compared to traditional television, and that the web ultimately both calls for and produces a new kind of sociability in relation to audiences. It will be proposed in the discussion that this new kind of sociability will have an increasing impact also on how traditional television ‘is done’. The article makes use of data from the sports genre that is normally associated with ‘lighter entertainment’. Therefore the results may not be immediately applicable to how other types of journalistic genres tackle the communicative challenges of new media. However, it will be argued that sports journalism may well be thought of as a frontrunner when it comes to adapting to increasingly ‘sociable’ communicative modes of address. The analysis of web interactions focuses around three overarching audience orientations that are promoted in the web context: superliveness, metadiscourse and complex audience orientation(s). Taken together, these orientations constitute ‘a new kind of sociability’.
This article aims to explore dialogic and solidaritarian modes of communication in relation to democracy that builds on communicational exchange in and with the media, and particularly in relation to online news communication. Departing from the fraud dialogue concept, it defines and exemplifies solidaritarian modes of communication, which are argued to better meet the challenges of democracy and online journalism. This theoretical discussion draws on examples from a debate on the reconstruction of the comments sections in Swedish online newspapers. The debate concerned hate speech, freedom of speech/censorship, anonymity/openness, and moderation/registration policies. I argue that solidaritarian modes of communication include and exceed dialogue through their attitude (discursive mode of address) and practice (discursive or non-discursive mode of action) of reciprocal exchange, empathy, responsibility and restitution. A particular underlining of responsibility as journalistic/editorial/publicist indicates the importance of the communicative setting, online journalism, where ‘journalism’ turns out to be more crucial than ‘online’.
The study focuses on a practice that interviewers exploit when asking questions in one-on-one political TV-interviews: they invoke extra parties. This happens when they alter the participant structure of the dyadic talk by speaking on another’s behalf, inserting a video clip that speaks for them, inviting a guest at the table to take up a position in the argument-so-far or embed a physical object with a message in their utterance. The study aims to discover patterns and actions that coincide with the various forms of invoking extra parties. It also investigates whether the exploitation of an extra party touches upon the borderline between neutrality and non-neutrality. The data collection encompasses fragments of interviews taken from the Dutch talk show Pauw & Witteman. The analysis focuses on turn-taking, repair, laughter, face-saving acts and meta-conversation.Results show that two procedures for invoking extra parties in one-on-one political interviews – inserting a video clip and embedding an object with a message – put pressure on a central value of good journalism: its neutrality.
The second-screen set-up in Voice.
The synchronous communication of Voice: TV, websites, Facebook
Host reads out a question to participant from the Facebook page, 24 November 2012, 22:15:15
User interaction with radio and television programmes is not a new thing. However, with new cross-media production concepts such as X Factor and Voice, this is changing dramatically. The second-screen logic of these productions encourages viewers, along with TV’s traditional one-way communication mode, to communicate on interactive (dialogue-enabling) devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Using the TV show Voice as our example, this article shows how the technological and situational set-up of the production invites viewers to engage in new ways of interaction and communication. More specifically, the article demonstrates how online comments posted on the day of Voice’s 2012 season finale can be grouped into four basic action types: (1) Invitation to consume content, (2) Request for participation, (3) Request for collaboration and (4) Online commenting. These action types express on the one hand the way in which Voice addresses its audience (i.e. through traditional one-way, one-to-many communication) and on the other hand the ways in which viewers respond by participating and collaborating (i.e., through two-way, one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many communication).
This article presents a study of the Danish phone-in radio programme Tværs over the 1973–1996 period, during which Tværs was a part of the popular youth programme P4 i P1. It explores the character of talk on Tværs with a focus on the way talk was enabled or disabled. The study is based on a large sample comprising 167.5 hours of audio material from P4 i P1. A curated selection of empirical material from the sample, in which distinctive enablers and disablers for talk on Tværs were displayed, was chosen through systematic coding. In a qualitative analysis of this range of examples from Tværs’ mediated telephone conversations, the study identifies four main enablers/disablers for talk on Tværs (the host, the telephone, time and distance) and explores the conditions for listener access to the phone-in as shaped by these factors. Additionally, the article critically questions these conditions in relation to Tværs’ own self-understanding as presented by its hosts Tine Bryld and Emil Klausbøl.
In this article I propose that we can understand talk and conversation in Sherlock (2010) fandom on the micro-blogging site tumblr in three ways: (1) talk through appropriation, (2) talk through interpretation and (3) talk through imitation, and that we can see these through examples of mediatized talk. Sherlock is a popular 90-minute BBC TV series about Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, John Watson, in a contemporary setting. I apply mediatization theory to analyse how specific media logic and affordances shape the way in which fans talk and interact on this social media platform. Furthermore, the analysis includes theory from fan studies and audience studies in order to understand the cultural logic of fan communities, as mediatization is understood as a non-linear, dual process of transformation. Fans use textual narratives, fan-made narratives, popular memes and role playing when carrying out conversations. When these fan practices are intersected with the media logic and affordances of tumblr, conversations become complex, textually layered and use a variety of technological expressions, and, as such, these conversations become mediatized.
It has been posited that different generations are largely influenced by the characteristics of the media landscape they inherit and grow into in their formative years. However, we also know from empirical studies that individual media use changes over the life course. At present no empirical study has analysed and compared the use of several news media among different generations in relation to both life cycle factors and media development over significant periods of time. Hence, this article explores the topic through its cross-generational comparison of transforming news media usage. As a point of departure, the generation analyses use the widely recognized classification of the dutifuls (1926–1945), the baby boomers (1946–1964), generation X (1965–1976) and the dotnets (1977–1995). Five analytically distinct media system eras, covering 1986 to 2011, are utilized for embedding the empiric analyses into distinct media system contexts. The findings evidence the generational hypothesis on formative socialization, especially with regards to the dutifuls and the baby boomers. Nevertheless, age and life cycle are also identified as critically important factors. The findings show that the elderly persist with legacy news media, while younger generations predominantly orient towards news platforms that have emerged in the digital mediascape, even though this traditional classification seems to be too broad for analysis of media development. Consequently, researchers should ideally acknowledge this double effect of age in future research on media usage, as well as work further on developing relevant classifications of generation relevant research for our understanding of transforming media use.
This article examines the role of Europe as gift in Lioret's Welcome (2009) and Peren's Die Farbe des Ozeans (2011) by focusing on gestures of welcome extended by white European characters to undocumented migrants. In both films, these gestures include gifts, in the form of money, shelter or skills taught, that play an important narrative role, but subordinate refugee characters' lives and stories to the emotional needs of white European 'givers'. In this way gifts of welcome become violent acts that reinforce European assumptions about European political and epistemological superiority, and paper over the existence of colonial and racist violence that continues to produce precarious lives.
This article considers the ways in which contemporary filmmakers such as Christian Petzold ( Transit , 2018) and Aki Kaurismäki ( Le Havre , 2011) experiment with narrative and stylistic strategies to tell their own story about a haunted Europe caught, yet again, in a paranoid policing of borders, and marked by an increasingly tense political climate that gave rise to nationalistic anxieties and exclusionary practices. Drawing on Jacques Derrida's Specters of Marx ([1993] 2006), and on Érik Bullot's and Thomas Elsaesser's concept of 'post-mortem' cinema, I argue that by blurring time frames and by allowing the future to coexist with past and present, films such as Transit and Le Havre give a new twist to the problematic of negotiating Europe's past. Deploying the trope of haunting, both films mobilize a critical attitude towards the complacency of our own times, alerting viewers to the imagined futures and dreams of various figures from the past and to their capacity to conceive of a world radically different from the one in which we currently live.
This article approaches contemporary European cinema as transnational cinema from an angle informed by gender and sexuality studies. It is underpinned by a fluid conception of identity, which it identifies with its objects of study, in terms of production context, market positioning and also form and theme. Specifically, I approach comparatively the embrace of postnational textual identity alongside posthuman ‐ especially post-gender ‐ characterization by two of the most visible recent European auteur films, Olivier Assayas' Personal Shopper (2016) and Michael Haneke's Happy End (2017). I consider the ideological implications of the narratives' explorations of immorality in a contemporary western context marked in both films by the breakdown of communication and a related failure of ethical responsibility, often constellated in relation to technological advancement. The article draws on the Continental theories of Slavoj Žižek and to a lesser extent Jean Baudrillard and Zygmunt Bauman to illuminate the extent to which these films' subtle and conflicted yet tenaciously enduring nostalgia for earlier ideals of European community is discernible via or inseparable from regret at the loss of an imagined 'natural' mode of embodiment, including more traditional gender roles. It finally reflects briefly on the related question of the attitudes towards European cinema itself, as well as cinemas associated with the past more generally, which these films display and invite the audience to share.
A Fábrica de Nada ( The Nothing Factory ) (Pinho, 2017) tells the story of a group of workers struggling to keep their jobs at a lift factory in Portugal about to be relocated. Awarded the FIPRESCI prize at the 2017 edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the film was received by critics as a 'compelling oddity', an 'enigmatic epic' and 'something genuinely new in cinema'. Almost three hours in length, and a mix of fiction and documentary, drama and musical, The Nothing Factory rehearses, also through its style and production history, the uncertainty that characterizes contemporary European society. As it depicts austerity in Portugal through a post-national lens, what does The Nothing Factory tell us about European identity? This article examines the contradictions of globalization and neo-liberalism, in tandem with the difficulties in sustaining narratives and creating meaning in contemporary European film. The Nothing Factory is a prime example of the cinema of small nations currently produced in Portugal, and a consideration of marginal and peripheral cinemas such as this one is crucial for the understanding of what is left of European identity, in geographical, political and cultural terms.
Ruben Östlund's The Square and Michael Haneke's Happy End , both released in 2017, skirt around the edges of immigration in Europe. Both address the question of who belongs and who does not in terms of boundaries ‐ not only the boundaries that determine where one country ends and another begins but also (and especially) those that determine who is a member of civil society. These films explore how the bounds of what is considered appropriate are breached in specific spatial contexts, questioning the meaning of 'civility' in both a social and a political sense, and prompting us to contemplate the various meanings of hospitality.
Caught between the seemingly contradictory imageries of particularity and universality, 'European identity' could in fact be presumed but as a shorthand for ontological anxiety. The ('euro-') centric ontology that it denotes is marked by an ongoing ambivalence that both recoils from and accepts the superfluousness of boundaries. The obverse of this ambivalent concern with boundaries, we suggest, are the narrative efforts to consign it to the singular agency of the 'impossible' boundary crossing. Cinematographically speaking, the otherwise mute ontological anxiety is contained in the precariousness of the figures of colonizer and migrant. The way a 'European' cinema relates to these figures becomes all the more significant where 'Europe' denotes a challenging relationship, and not a 'thing'. It is in view of the ways in which they respond to this challenge that we examine Zama (Martel, 2017) and The Other Side of Hope (Kaurismäki, 2017). The focus, in other words, is on what nevertheless escapes their efforts: while Zama 's out-of-place 'colonizer' obscures the inherent placelessness of colonial agency, Hope 's symbiotic relationship between the self and the other withholds the reversibility of the 'self/other' dualism. In the instrumental visibility of their singular figures, we hope to show, both films contribute to the incidental visibility of the 'European' claim to transcend its own dualisms. The figures of colonizer and migrant are in fact the relatively visible symptoms of a cinematic labour whose ambivalences remain otherwise invisible.
Taking as a starting point the recent surge in film and television narratives constructed around and by surveillance technologies, as a metaphor of an omnipotent observation and dystopian motif in narrating a political and cultural change, this article aims to probe how surveillance movies suggest complex phenomenological dynamics in the relationships between body and device. While recent contributions on surveillance films (Kammerer 2004) focus on the practice of body control as a narrative mode, as an image and a show (Læ#169;fait 2013; Zimmer 2015), recent sociological contributions on surveillance recognize the destruction and annihilation of body placed under the aegis of the Great Eye (Haggerty 2011; Murakami Wood 2011). This article examines Costanza Quatriglio's film 87 ore: Gli ultimi giorni di Francesco Mastrogiovanni (2015) to describe the transition from bodies as narrative object to de-naturalizing the human body. The film narrates the night of 4 August 2009 when Mastrogiovanni, a 58-year-old primary school teacher, dies after 87 hours of agony following imprisonment. The film, in the canon of 'reality cinema', consists of 75 minutes of mechanical images recorded from above.
Anti-intellectualism in America not only has a long and established history but has seen an increasing rise in recent years. The figure of the ‘genius’ archetype on popular television has frequently been presented through a lens of anti-intellectualism, leading intellectualism to be read as an illness or disorder. The works of Aaron Sorkin have taken a different position, and, rather than distancing the audience from these geniuses by presenting their differences as traits that need to be corrected, the genius in works such as The Newsroom (2012–14) is held up as the ideal for society at large. Although genius has been predominately presented as a male characteristic, in popular culture there has been an increasing number of female geniuses and Sorkin’s writing foregrounds this as an important revision because the images that we see in popular culture influence the way we view the world around us. In this article, I consider the history and continued relevance of anti-intellectualism as notably examined by Richard Hofstadter, Jack Nachbar and Kevin Lause and Daniel Rigney. I also explore the rise of the genius on-screen, as closely examined in the writing of Ashley Lynn Carlson and David Sidore. I examine the way that Sorkin’s works actively counters anti-intellectualism and through exemplary Sorkin characters such as Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn) in The Newsroom and Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) in Molly’s Game (2017), wherein he opens up the traditionally masculine space of the genius to his female protagonists.
The Dardenne brothers' The Promise (1996) and Fatih Akin's The Edge of Heaven (2007) depict non-western migrants in western Europe as the social 'abject' in the background of multicultural conflicts between global (Christian) Europe and its (Islamic) periphery. Also, both share a motif based on the Abraham‐Isaac story. Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac epitomizes one's singular relationship with God beyond community (Kierkegaard, Marion, Derrida), but the Abraham figures in the films give themselves to the abject Isaac figures through self-abjection. This becoming-abject as an existential gift breaks the father‐son identity in the global regime, forming solidarity among the abject as strangers. Such an abject is, I claim, a 'faceless' third. For Levinas, the 'face of the other' leads one to divine infinity beyond totality, but this self-other unit is destabilized with the other's place taken (repeatedly) by the faceless third. Neither friend nor enemy, this new other should be called 'neighbour' in the context of ethical philosophy. The sovereign-subject-abject hierarchy is dismantled into the equality of the neighbours who share abjectness beyond cultural mediation or identity and walk side by side rather than face to face. I reframe Levinansian infinity in this network of neighbouring on the edge of the global system.
Many theorists argue that abjection is at the core of the experience and fascination of the horror genre. Abjection relates to the simultaneous attraction and revulsion that audiences feel around the horrific, gory or disturbing subjects that comprise the focus of horror films. Some recent horror media have centred on the gendered components of abject theory, notably the relationship of a mother to her children, as well as the stigma surrounding mental illness. These films transform motherhood into an abjection tied intimately to depression and ultimately suggest ways for audiences to make sense of both depression and conceptions of abject motherhood. This article examines Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House (2018) for its contribution to this ongoing discussion, arguing that the series takes advantage of the camera's ability to surveil its subjects in order to suggest ways that a mother's abjection and mental illness suffuse the network of familial and social relations that she is caught up in. In this, the series' horrific surveillance of its characters provides varying discursive resources with which the audience may evaluate and act regarding their own experiences of depression and abject motherhood.
Since Cambridge University mathematician Timothy Gower’s public boycott of Elsevier kicked off the so-called ‘academic spring’ in 2012, activist calls for open access academic publishing and the expansion of the scholarly knowledge commons through new digital technologies have only intensified. These have had direct, dramatic and fast-evolving impacts upon governmental policy, as well as debates about the public value of research, in the United Kingdom. However, the bulk of the attention in this context thus far has been given to journal articles and academic publishing companies like Elsevier that specialize in periodicals. Comparatively little attention has been given to the effects of these open access policies and discourses upon academic books and their publishers, even though the largest university press in the world, Oxford University Press, and the largest higher education textbook publisher, Pearson, are both UK based. This article, therefore, will explore how, precisely, the open access movement in the United Kingdom is affecting academic book publishing, with potentially global consequences. I begin by tracing the contemporary origins of open access back to open source software initiatives and exploring their recent impact upon Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) policies. Then, I look at open access initiatives and other strategies in response to shifts in policy and public discourse within the two overlapping yet distinct fields of academic book publishing, (1) scholarly book publishing and (2) higher education textbook publishing, and find unintended consequences potentially resulting in less openness and equitable access to knowledge production and consumption. Ultimately, I will contend, the open access movement in the United Kingdom risks further concentrating control of academic book publishing within a few powerful institutions, such as well-endowed elite universities and those businesses whose profits rely upon managing, manipulating and repackaging the information freely available in the digital age.
While the transformation of the traditionally print-based book industries to digital and multi-format publishing industries is the subject of much debate, the audiobook industry has largely escaped attention. In a sense, this is curious, given the fact that audiobook publishers have been at the forefront of the technological transformation of the book industry from reel-to-reel tapes and long-playing records all the way into the digital era. All the while, audiobook publishing has never been entirely integrated into the publishing world at large and has somewhat remained an outsider industry, often seen to cater for niche markets. In this article I argue that traditional book publishers venturing into digital publishing can learn from successes and failures in the history of audiobook innovations. Basing the discussion in theories of cultural production and innovation, the article explores the interplay between technology and publishing strategy by way of analysing audiobook technologies from 1980 to 2012 in light of industry and technology developments in the book industry in general, with specific attention to the Norwegian audiobook market, where four case studies of publishers and service providers are analysed. The central issue in the article is how and to what extent the development of audiobook publishing technologies is indicative of technology development in the book industries in general.
This article explores representations of media reporting and cot death in the British writer Sophie Hannah’s recent crime novel A Room Swept White. The article argues that Hannah’s novel interrogates the mediatization of cot death and maternal identity, in order to probe notions of gender and power. Hannah’s representations are closely linked to the figure of the female detective, whose own identity is challenged by what she discovers during the course of her investigation. Recent media coverage of cot death, and mothers accused of infanticide, suggests that this controversial subject is capable of provoking a re-evaluation of conventional constructions of motherhood. The article concludes that the complex relationship between the mediatization of cot death, maternal identity and the probing of crime in Hannah’s novel allows the reader to reassess the role of the female investigator and the nature of authority.
The rise of digital media and technology has game-changing effects on literature and publishing. Among other things, our contemporary period is seeing a remarkable increase in the marketing activities surrounding literature, authors and publishers in which digital media platforms play a significant role. As a result we have witnessed a proliferation of digital as well as print texts in general – and of new digital text formats and labels in particular. A distinct aspect of the new digital formats is that the texts are often ascribed to other texts while at the same time being presented to the world as separate entities. But what status should we assign to these texts that are at the same time detached from and attached to other texts? Should they be regarded as texts in their own right, as paratext or merely as products of marketing? Based on an analysis of the McSweeney’s iOS app, this article will suggest that Jacques Derrida’s idea of the frame (e.g. the frame of a painting) as a parergon can be applied to the digital excerpt of a novel and other varieties of so-called ‘extra material’ in order to identify the function of these particular proliferating texts as something in between artworks in their own right and products of marketing.
Abstract This article examines communication practices, specific genres and audio-visual narratives developed by Brazilian video activists in the context of the protests against the FIFA World Cup competition in 2014. Analysing 170 videos produced between June and July 2014, using digital methods, audio-visual analysis and the Lilleker and Vedel scheme crossed with the Carpentier model to analyse political participation, we try to reveal what level of participation these videos represent and to discover their political nature, classifying them by level of participation. In addition, this article will attempt to highlight that the videos worked as a source of information, debate and deliberation, promoting participation, which could generate more empowerment and participation if the activists improved contextualization and the quality of the narrative.,id=24435/
Protester filmed in the video-'Rio de Janeiro diz não à Copa do Mundo FIFA /Rio de Janeiro says Not to the World Cup FIFA', by A Nova Democracia Newspaper in June 2014 8 .
Streamer trying to dialogue with the police in the transmission by Midia Ninja in 13 July 2014 10 .
Police searching a protester in the video 'Abusos policiais são registrados no Rio em ato pacífico' ('Several acts of police brutality are registered during antiWorld Cup'), by Mariachi group, on 13 July 2014 12 .
This article examines communication practices, specific genres and audio-visual narratives developed by Brazilian video activists in the context of the protests against the FIFA World Cup competition in 2014. Analysing 170 videos produced between June and July 2014, using digital methods, audio-visual analysis and the Lilleker and Vedel scheme crossed with the Carpentier model to analyse political participation, we try to reveal what level of participation these videos represent and to discover their political nature, classifying them by level of participation. In addition, this article will attempt to highlight that the videos worked as a source of information, debate and deliberation, promoting participation, which could generate more empowerment and participation if the activists improved contextualization and the quality of the narrative.
The post-broadcast era is witness to a number of transformations in television culture. Similar to other styles and forms representative of broadcast television, even the most ‘televisual’ genre, television drama, is going through some drastic changes. While transmedia storytelling is offering new possibilities for both content creation and promotion of serial drama, it also questions some of the generic conventions by expanding the serial form and narrative structure across various types of media. In this article, I will draw from both television aesthetics and studies on transmedia storytelling in order to study seriality in current television drama. I argue that the serial form of television drama can be studied as a programming strategy, a mode of production, a narrative form and a viewing experience. By applying this framework to Finnish television drama I will identify and discuss the challenges involved in studying television aesthetics in the post-broadcast era as well as suggest possible ways of approaching the emerging forms and styles of broadcast television. Finally, I will consider the concept of quality in relation to post-broadcast television drama.
Top-cited authors
Stig Hjarvard
  • University of Copenhagen
Oscar Westlund
  • Oslo Metropolitan University
Andreas Widholm
  • Stockholm University
Lennart Weibull
  • University of Gothenburg
Karin Wahl-Jorgensen
  • Cardiff University