African American Cinema through Black Lives Consciousness uses critical race theory to discuss American films that embrace contemporary issues of race, sexuality, class, and gender. Its linear history chronicles black-oriented narrative film from post–World War II through the presidential administration of Barack Obama. Editor Mark A. Reid has assembled a stellar list of contributors who approach their film analyses as an intersectional practice that combines queer theory, feminism/womanism, and class analytical strategies alongside conventional film history and theory. Taken together, the essays invigorate a “Black Lives Consciousness,” which speaks to the value of black bodies that might be traumatized and those bodies that are coming into being-ness through intersectional theoretical analysis and everyday activism.
U. of Illinois Press, 2019
From hairdressers and caregivers to reproductive workers and power-suited executives, images of women’s labor have powered a fascinating new movement within twenty-first century European cinema. Social realist dramas capture precarious working conditions. Comedies exaggerate the habits of the global managerial class. Stories from countries battered by the global financial crisis emphasize the patriarchal family, debt, and unemployment. Barbara Mennel delves into the ways these films about female labor capture the tension between feminist advances and their appropriation by capitalism in a time of ongoing transformation. Looking at independent and genre films from a cross-section of European nations, Mennel sees a focus on economics and work adapted to the continent’s varied kinds of capitalism and influenced by concepts in second-wave feminism. More than ever, narratives of work put female characters front and center–and female directors behind the camera. Yet her analysis shows that each film remains a complex mix of progressive and retrogressive dynamics as it addresses the changing nature of work in Europe.
Pamela K. Gilbert
Cornell U. Press, 2019
In Victorian Skin, Gilbert uses literary, philosophical, medical, and scientific discourses about skin to trace the development of a broader discussion of what it meant to be human in the nineteenth century. Where is subjectivity located? How do we communicate with and understand each other’s feelings? How does our surface, which contains us and presents us to others, function and what does it signify?
Sid Homan and Brian Rhinehart
Analysing why we laugh and what we laugh at, and describing how performers can elicit this response from their audience, this book enables actors to create memorable – and hilarious – performances. Rooted in performance and performance criticism, Sidney Homan and Brian Rhinehart provide a detailed explanation of how comedy works, along with advice on how to communicate comedy from the point of view of both the performer and the audience. Combining theory and performance, the authors analyse a variety of plays, both modern and classic. Playwrights featured include Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Christopher Durang, and Michael Frayn. Acting in Shakespeare’s comedies is also covered in depth.
William Logan’s classical verve conjures up the past within the present and the foreshadowings of the present within the past. In their sculptural turns, their pleasure in the glimmerings of the sublime while rummaging around in the particular, the poems in Rift of Light, Logan’s eleventh collection, are a master class of powerful feeling embedded in language. Ranging from Martin Luther to an abandoned crow, from a midwife toad to a small-town janitor, from actress Louise Brooks to Dürer’s stag beetle, Logan shows an encyclopedic attention to the passing world.
Anastasia Ulanowicz and Manisha Basu, eds.
Palgrave Macmillan, 2018
This collection investigates modern imperialist practices and their management of hunger through its punctuated distribution amongst asymmetrically related marginal populations. Drawing on relevant material from Egypt, Ireland, India, Ukraine, and other regions of the globe, The Aesthetics and Politics of Global Hunger is a rigorously comparative study made up of ten essays by well-established scholars from universities around the world. Since modernity, we have been inhabitants of a globe increasingly connected through discourses of equal access for all humans to the resources of the planet, but the volume emphasizes alongside this reality the flagrant politicization of those same resources. From this emphasis, the essays in the volume place into relief the idea that ideological and aesthetic discourses of hunger could inform ethical thinking and practices about who or what constitutes the figure of the modern historical human.