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Humanities, Volume 12, Issue 6 (December 2023) – 23 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This article examines the Gothic trope of White racial transformation in Robert Montgomery Bird’s ‘Sheppard Lee’ (1836) and Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ (2017). These seemingly disparate texts both feature White men who turn Black via supernatural body hopping or experimental surgery. In these texts, becoming Black perversely bolsters Whiteness, either by offering a respite from the pressure of economic success as in Bird’s pro-slavery comedy, or turning Black men into extensions and enforcers of White middleclass culture as in Peele’s satirical horror. In uniting these texts through the lens of critical Whiteness studies, this article argues that White racial transformation is a long-held tradition in the US Gothic that not only expresses White desires and anxieties, but itself transforms in each specific historical racial context. View this paper
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12 pages, 309 KiB  
Article
Monsters in Mirrors: Duality, Triangulation, and Multiplicity in Two Adaptations of Jekyll and Hyde
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060149 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1054
Abstract
Jacques Derrida’s theory of deconstruction provides an ideal means of appreciating and interrogating the duality central to both Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and its adaptations. Moreover, because deconstruction exposes binary oppositions as artificial and constrictive, it [...] Read more.
Jacques Derrida’s theory of deconstruction provides an ideal means of appreciating and interrogating the duality central to both Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and its adaptations. Moreover, because deconstruction exposes binary oppositions as artificial and constrictive, it enables us to advance beyond them toward multiplicity, a term used by Gilles Deleuze for a complex, ever-changing, multipart structure that transcends unity. Roy Ward Baker’s Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971) and episodes of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful (2014–2016) offer fresh ways to think about—and beyond—the duality of culture’s most famously divided pair. The binary oppositions that organize each text are innovative, as are the ways in which these oppositions are reversed and conflated. Ultimately, these adaptations employ triangulation to deconstruct themselves, thereby demonstrating the limitations and instability of duality, as well as the possibilities of multiplicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gothic Adaptation: Intermedial and Intercultural Shape-Shifting)
17 pages, 4564 KiB  
Article
Virtual Dwelling and the Phenomenology of Experience: Museum Encounters between Self and World
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060148 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1090
Abstract
This article provides an anthropologically derived philosophy of the nature of experience in relation to the lifeworld of virtual tourism. Framed around Martin Heidegger and Tim Ingold’s concept of dwelling, I interrogate what the implications of a virtually derived experience of tourism might [...] Read more.
This article provides an anthropologically derived philosophy of the nature of experience in relation to the lifeworld of virtual tourism. Framed around Martin Heidegger and Tim Ingold’s concept of dwelling, I interrogate what the implications of a virtually derived experience of tourism might be for how we understand what experience means and by extension the experience of being human-in-the-world; in effect, what it means to ‘experience’ virtual tourism. I illustrate my argument by focusing on extended reality (XR) technology within the context of three museums, since museum experiences are increasingly mediated by varying forms of XR. I am interested in what the virtual-tourism-world of a museum might reveal about the experience of being human, experience that I refer to as virtual dwelling. The museums are the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle and the Louvre, both of which are located in Paris, France, and the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex in FL, USA. These examples provide a snapshot into the merging, blending or overlaying of the physical with the virtual. In other words, the inseparability of virtual, person and world. Drawing from Heidegger, I argue that the significance of technology does not lie in its instrumentality as a resource or as a means to an end. Its significance comes from its capacity to un-conceal or reveal a ‘real’ world of relations and intentions through which humans take power over reality. The nature of experience, as virtual dwelling revealed, concerns the relationship between humans and the natural world, understandings of cultural value and cultural wealth and notions of human exceptionalism. Ultimately, what technologically modified experiences of a virtual-tourism-world reveal is experience as virtual dwelling, experience of the embeddedness of being human-in-the-world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism)
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12 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
“The Radio Said They Were Just Deportees”: From Border Necropolitics to Transformative Grief in Tim Z. Hernandez’s All They Will Call You (2017)
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060147 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 990
Abstract
Just as necropower discriminates between those who can and those who cannot live, post-mortem circumstances are explicitly affected by an irrefutable gentrification of memory and grievability. Drawing on the political dimension of mourning and on the concept of slow death, this paper proposes [...] Read more.
Just as necropower discriminates between those who can and those who cannot live, post-mortem circumstances are explicitly affected by an irrefutable gentrification of memory and grievability. Drawing on the political dimension of mourning and on the concept of slow death, this paper proposes a necropolitical reading of All They Will Call You (2017), where Tim Z. Hernandez revisits the 1948 plane crash that killed 28 Mexican deportees at Los Gatos (California) and the subsequent oblivion that prevented their memorialisation except for a mass grave containing their remains and a protest song (“Deportees”) composed by Woody Guthrie. My analysis focuses on Hernandez’s attempts at dismantling the tropes of criminality and expendability that Latino immigrants are associated with as a result of their racialised vulnerability, which are distinctively aggravated in border contexts. Excavating in the background stories of these deportees seems to me an ironic contestation to the failed forensic work that left them unnamed and unritualised for seven decades. And, at the same time, I contend that, in line with the work of many activists and artists in the US–Mexico border, Hernandez mobilises solidarity while transforming our perception of migrant bare lives into one of migrant agency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Border Politics & Refugee Narratives in Contemporary Literature)
11 pages, 262 KiB  
Article
Is a Purloined Letter Just Writing? Burrowing in the Lacan-Derrida Archive
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060146 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1001
Abstract
Starting from a recent book on Derrida and psychoanalysis, I return to the controversy between Lacan and Derrida in the 1970s. Its focus was the letter as interpreted by Lacan in a commentary of Poe’s “Purloined Letter”. While agreeing with some of Derrida’s [...] Read more.
Starting from a recent book on Derrida and psychoanalysis, I return to the controversy between Lacan and Derrida in the 1970s. Its focus was the letter as interpreted by Lacan in a commentary of Poe’s “Purloined Letter”. While agreeing with some of Derrida’s objections, I conclude that Lacan makes stronger points about the destination of the letter. I give my own example, Kafka’s “Letter to the Father” in order to argue that one can state that “a letter always reaches its destination” even if it has not been delivered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature, Philosophy and Psychoanalysis)
18 pages, 946 KiB  
Article
Dystopian Bildungsroman: Rasa, Emotions, and Identity in Priya Sarukkai Chabria’s Clone (2018)
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060145 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1072
Abstract
Bildungsroman is a genre that concerns the formation of individual identity and particularly focuses on the moral and psychological growth of the protagonist in a novel. This article aims to analyze the bildungsroman process in a dystopian context, primarily focusing on the significance [...] Read more.
Bildungsroman is a genre that concerns the formation of individual identity and particularly focuses on the moral and psychological growth of the protagonist in a novel. This article aims to analyze the bildungsroman process in a dystopian context, primarily focusing on the significance of emotions in the dystopian society of Clone (2018) by Priya Sarukkai Chabria. This study scrutinizes the emotive structure of the novel based on two kinds of emotional movements: firstly, the psychic and textual movement of emotions is explored using Bharata’s rasa theory and, secondly, the spatial significance of emotions in social spaces is probed through phenomenological inquiry into the anatomy of shared emotions in the text. Through this theoretical approach, this article addresses the following questions: (a) How does a dystopian context problematize the identity formation of the protagonist in Clone? (b) How does the dystopian genre treat emotions in its structure and how instrumental are they to the identity formation of the bildungsheld in the selected novel? (c) How does Chabria manifest rasa theory and emotional movement in the structure of the novel? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Directions in South Asian Women's Writing)
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15 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
The Duality of Paul in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Saint Paul: The Katechon and the Collapse of a Film Project
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060144 - 05 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1081
Abstract
Recent scholarship on Pier Paolo Pasolini has put into focus many of the Italian intellectual’s lesser-known works. Among these is his screenplay for an unrealized film on the topic of the apostle Paul, San Paolo. Analyses of the film address Pasolini’s portrayal [...] Read more.
Recent scholarship on Pier Paolo Pasolini has put into focus many of the Italian intellectual’s lesser-known works. Among these is his screenplay for an unrealized film on the topic of the apostle Paul, San Paolo. Analyses of the film address Pasolini’s portrayal of Paul as dichotomic, as a representation of both revolutionary and conformist. In examining the criticism that addresses the duality of Saint Paul’s, this representation proves essential to understanding the role Pasolini intended the apostle to play. Paul, one of the architects of the Christian religion, is in fact the katechon that he names in 2 Thessalonians. Paul as the katechon is thus the force that holds back evil and annihilation. In doing so, however, he also prevents Man’s final redemption. As such, his portrayal of Paul is blasphemy, and Pasolini sent this screenplay to Don Emilio Cordero, head of Sampaolo Films, a Catholic film company charged with making religious movies in line with Church doctrine. This depiction of Paul proves one reason the film remains unmade and not solely the astronomical costs evident from the screenplay, as has been generally accepted until now. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Literature in the Humanities)
21 pages, 337 KiB  
Article
“The Subtle Craft of the Devil”: Misogynistic Conspiracy Theories and the Secret Society of Pregnancy Cravings in E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Vampirism
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060143 - 05 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1228
Abstract
This paper analyzes themes of male insecurities and distrust of the exclusive culture of female sexuality and reproduction in E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Vampirism, one of the earliest psychologically sophisticated female vampires in Western literature. The doomed heroine, Aurelia, escapes a life [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes themes of male insecurities and distrust of the exclusive culture of female sexuality and reproduction in E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Vampirism, one of the earliest psychologically sophisticated female vampires in Western literature. The doomed heroine, Aurelia, escapes a life of maternal abuse and sexual trauma by marrying the wealthy Count Hippolytus, but his attraction warps into suspicion when she becomes pregnant and loses her appetite for his food. Worried that losing her virginity has activated promiscuity inherited from her late mother, he begins following her and thinks he sees her conspiring with a coven of female ghouls who train her to satisfy her pregnancy cravings by feeding on a male corpse. Real or imagined, this vision confirms his suspicions and leads to their mutual destruction. In my analysis, I explore vampire literature’s early history, its place within Gothic literature, the prominent role of female vampires, their relationship to gender anxieties exacerbated by the Romantic Era’s subversive political movements, and the way in which Hoffmann’s cynical story operates as a misogynistic conspiracy theory aimed at the secret female space of reproduction, symbolized by Aurelia’s cannibalistic pregnancy cravings. As such, it contributes to the destructive folklore of social distrust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seen and Unseen: The Folklore of Secrecy)
12 pages, 2212 KiB  
Article
Tirailleurs Sénégalais in Modern Hebrew Poetry: Nathan Alterman
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060142 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1062
Abstract
This article expands on a poem written by one of the central figures in modern Hebrew literature, Nathan Alterman (1910–1970), entitled “About a Senegalese Soldier” (1945). Providing the first English translation of this poem and its first (academic) discussion in any language, the [...] Read more.
This article expands on a poem written by one of the central figures in modern Hebrew literature, Nathan Alterman (1910–1970), entitled “About a Senegalese Soldier” (1945). Providing the first English translation of this poem and its first (academic) discussion in any language, the article analyzes the poem against contemporary geopolitical, historical, and literary backgrounds. The article’s transdisciplinary approach brings together imperial and colonial studies, African studies, and (Hebrew) literature studies. This unexpected combination adds originality to mainstream postcolonial perspectives through which the agency of the Senegalese riflemen [Tirailleurs sénégalais] has been often discussed in scholarly research. By using a rich variety of primary and secondary sources, the article also contributes to a more elaborated interpretation of Alterman’s poetry. This is achieved through embedding the poem on the tirailleur in a tripartite geopolitical context: local (British Mandate Palestine/Eretz-Israel), regional (the Middle East), and international (France-West Africa). The cultural histories and literary traditions in question are not normally cross-referenced in the relevant research literature and are less obvious to the anglophone reader. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Literature in the Humanities)
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13 pages, 9068 KiB  
Article
Co-Creating Nature: Tourist Photography as a Creative Performance
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060141 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1146
Abstract
This article examines tourism nature photography as a creative and sensual activity. Based on a collection of photographs gathered from tourists in the Strandir region in northwest Iceland, I demonstrate how photographing nature is a more-than-human practice in which nature has full agency. [...] Read more.
This article examines tourism nature photography as a creative and sensual activity. Based on a collection of photographs gathered from tourists in the Strandir region in northwest Iceland, I demonstrate how photographing nature is a more-than-human practice in which nature has full agency. Much has been written about tourist photography since John Urry theorised about the tourist gaze in the early 1990s; this view has been criticised, especially in the light of the performance turn in tourism studies.It has, for example, been noted that tourist photography is not just about the gazing tourist, but also about social relations that the surrounding landscape partly directs and stages. It has also been argued that, as photographing tourists, we become ‘concerned with the artistic production of ourselves’. Photography is thus a practise that is relational and sensual and that cannot be reduced to the seeing eye. However, whilst emphasising the tourist as a creative being, the surrounding landscape has been left out as a stage and its active agency ignored. I address the complex, more-than-human relations that emerge in the photographs collected in Strandir. I argue that the act of photographing, as a performative practice, is improvisational and co-creative, and the material surroundings have a direct and active agency. As has been demonstrated, photography communicates ‘not through the realist paradigm but through lyrical expressiveness’ and, thus, it may be argued that tourist photography is a poetic practice of making, as it weaves together the sensing self and the vital surroundings in the moving moment that the photograph captures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism)
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11 pages, 252 KiB  
Article
Mobile Film Festival Africa and Postcolonial Activism
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060140 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 999
Abstract
This paper enters into a debate of how new and potentially more accessible technologies might affect freedom of expression for heretofore disenfranchised peoples and postcolonial social and political development. This essay examines short films produced on camera phones by amateur African filmmakers for [...] Read more.
This paper enters into a debate of how new and potentially more accessible technologies might affect freedom of expression for heretofore disenfranchised peoples and postcolonial social and political development. This essay examines short films produced on camera phones by amateur African filmmakers for one of the many existent mobile phone film festivals: Mobile Film Festival Africa held in 2021. Mobile Film Festival, an annual and international festival of short-length movies, was founded in 2005 based on the principle “1 Mobile, 1 Minute, 1 Film”. Because of the highly destructive mining in Africa required to obtain the minerals necessary for mobile phone production, because of the Western narratives of progress mobile phone sales build upon, and because of the fact that mobile phones are instruments of capitalism that largely feed big Western countries, mobile phones are themselves tools of neocolonialism and digital colonialism. Thus, a film festival that markets itself as a means of social progress but that relies upon mobile phones in Africa provides an interesting and quite complicated case study. Two of the award-winning films from this festival recognize in different ways the complicated relationship between mobile phones and postcolonial activism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
15 pages, 7257 KiB  
Article
The Letter Cloth: Sensory Modes of the Epistolary in Prison Theatre Practice
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060139 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1063
Abstract
In this article, I explore performances of letter writing within the archives of the London-based theatre company Clean Break, who work with justice-experienced women and women at risk. Clean Break’s archive at the Bishopsgate Institute in London contains an extensive collection of production [...] Read more.
In this article, I explore performances of letter writing within the archives of the London-based theatre company Clean Break, who work with justice-experienced women and women at risk. Clean Break’s archive at the Bishopsgate Institute in London contains an extensive collection of production ephemera and letters. Charting the company’s development across forty years of theatre productions, public advocacy, and work in prisons and community settings, these materials of the archive—strategic documents, annotated playscripts and rehearsal notes, production photography and correspondence—reveal the acute importance of the letter to people living on the immediate borderlands of the prison. Despite these generative resonances, however, the epistolary form is very rarely used in Clean Break’s theatre: as the archive reveals, since the company was founded by two women in HM Prison Askham Grange in 1979, stagings of letters have occurred in only a handful of instances. In this archival exploration of the epistolary in three works by Clean Break—a film broadcast by the BBC, a play staged at the Royal Court, and a circular chain-play written by women in three prisons—I investigate what lifeworlds beyond prison epistolary forms in performance propose. Full article
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16 pages, 3798 KiB  
Article
Kinesthetic Experience: Emancipatory Corporeal Scores
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060138 - 24 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1906
Abstract
This article investigates the corporeal practices by the Catalonian artist Fina Miralles (b.1950) in some of her performances during the 1970s. I specifically focus my analysis on the manner in which the artist verifies the existence of her body under the acute political [...] Read more.
This article investigates the corporeal practices by the Catalonian artist Fina Miralles (b.1950) in some of her performances during the 1970s. I specifically focus my analysis on the manner in which the artist verifies the existence of her body under the acute political restrictions on the body during the last years of Francoism (1939–1975). I argue that she does this by a process of sensorial investigations, which include painting, filming and touching natural elements, and moving them and leaving different types of tracks, which lead to generating corporeal scores and body mapping. I elaborate on the way that producing corporeal sensorial knowledge generated from her body mapping and kinaesthetic knowledge is a transgressive and emancipatory feminist intervention. My argument is that kinesthesia generates a process of body-mapping awareness within the body and its movement, which reinforces a sensorial way of knowledge that leads to a reconstitution of the body that function as corporeal agency. Based on feminist theories of embodiment and agency, taking the Carrie Noland concept of kinesthesia (2009) as a central analytical tool, and with a background as a psychologist, I approach this research with embodied methodologies (conversations with the artist, recreation of her actions, etc.) and draw mainly from research-creation methods and kinaesthetic empathy. Full article
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15 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
The Language of Manipulation and Control: Operational Methods of the Securitate in A. Belc’s Film Metronom
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060137 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1262
Abstract
The objective of the present study is to analyze the operational methods employed by the secret police agency (Securitate) in exerting influence and control over individuals within the Romanian communist society, as depicted in the film Metronom directed by Alexandru Belc. Through an [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study is to analyze the operational methods employed by the secret police agency (Securitate) in exerting influence and control over individuals within the Romanian communist society, as depicted in the film Metronom directed by Alexandru Belc. Through an analysis of the dialogue between the protagonist and a Securitate officer, this research explores the tactics used by the Romanian secret police to manipulate and deceive citizens, preserve power, and maintain social control. Drawing on critical discourse analysis and theories of power, this study reveals the subtle and insidious ways in which the Securitate operated within the Romanian society to silence opposition, spread propaganda, and maintain a stranglehold on society. In this line of work, a set of elements has been delineated, aimed at evaluating the manipulative nature of communist discourse strategies. The findings provide insights into the cinematic portrayal of the Securitate in Romanian communist society, highlighting the use of language and discourse as tools for controlling and manipulating both the population and individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Politics in Literature and Film)
10 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
Törleß and the Scene of Reading
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060136 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1013
Abstract
The article reads Robert Musil’s debut novel Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß (The Confusions of Young Törless) (1906) as a novel of the institution (Campe) in which diverse forms of violence are intertwined. Contrary to the assumption that Musil’s novel aims [...] Read more.
The article reads Robert Musil’s debut novel Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß (The Confusions of Young Törless) (1906) as a novel of the institution (Campe) in which diverse forms of violence are intertwined. Contrary to the assumption that Musil’s novel aims at the depiction of sado-masochistic transgressions, my argument focuses on a reading scene that mediates the novel’s various potentials of violence: only when Törleß reads Kant does it become clear which violence and which pain are meant by Musil’s text. The experience of reading becomes a masochistic act in the course of which the pleasure of the text is recast in terms of a negative textual jouissance. Musil’s novel, in turn, becomes readable not as an exhibition of schoolboys in disgrace, but as an exploration of the violent structure of practical reason itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature, Philosophy and Psychoanalysis)
23 pages, 5773 KiB  
Article
Relational Narratives of Food in Design and Architecture Exhibitions
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060135 - 09 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1207
Abstract
This paper investigates the narratives involved in the becoming public of an ecological, relational, and culinary culture through artistic mediums. Specifically, the question posed is this: how do food and cooking feature in some selected design and architecture exhibitions? The argument is developed [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the narratives involved in the becoming public of an ecological, relational, and culinary culture through artistic mediums. Specifically, the question posed is this: how do food and cooking feature in some selected design and architecture exhibitions? The argument is developed through a series of thematic case studies that aim to affirm the presence in contemporary design, architecture, and exhibition-making of an ecological paradigm. The examples blur the lines of food and art by being proposed as processes of collective authorship happening in atmospheres of conviviality and hospitality. I bring forth the argument that developing exhibitions through the lines of hospitality can improve the quality of public engagement, and amplify a relational model which calls for the collective and entangled nature of all things. Alongside the potential of the arts of sparking a cognitive restructuring and shift in perspective, some risks associated with the mainstream model of society are considered. The final aim is to affirm the importance of relationships to oppose the neoliberal geopolitics of power which foster object-oriented perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives and Aesthetics of Cooking: Culinary Humanities)
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11 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Place, Space, and the Affordances Thereof: Bly Manor as Depicted in Three Adaptations of The Turn of the Screw
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060134 - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1881
Abstract
This paper looks at the representation of Bly Manor across different adaptations of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw (1898). The focus is on adaptations that emphasize Bly as an intricate space that limits the possibilities of actions that the main characters [...] Read more.
This paper looks at the representation of Bly Manor across different adaptations of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw (1898). The focus is on adaptations that emphasize Bly as an intricate space that limits the possibilities of actions that the main characters have. The theory of affordance states that places “afford” different uses of the space. Locked inside a place with uneasily determined affordances and clearly established rules, the main characters of these adaptations experience how different intersections of identities are afforded differently within the stately home. The paper traces the intertextual conversation through adaptations such as Jack Clayton’s film The Innocents (1961), the readaptation of James’s premise in Ruth Ware’s novel The Turn of the Key (2019), before ending with the intertextual and temporal dimensions of haunted space in Mike Flanagan’s streaming miniseries The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020). These iterations of the story showcase the voyeuristic elements of Bly as the characters are repeatedly watched by those who have come before them. At the same time, they show the ongoing appeal of James’s story as its legacy continues into the twenty-first century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gothic Adaptation: Intermedial and Intercultural Shape-Shifting)
16 pages, 341 KiB  
Article
Alma, si ciega vas tras tus antojos”: Going Blindly through Seventeenth-Century Literature
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060133 - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Faced with the exaltation of sight as a perfect divine creation, so evident in the Uso de los antojos (1623) by Daza de Valdés, and faced with the satirical–burlesque tone of popular literature, dogmatic theology considered it inappropriate to praise a sense that [...] Read more.
Faced with the exaltation of sight as a perfect divine creation, so evident in the Uso de los antojos (1623) by Daza de Valdés, and faced with the satirical–burlesque tone of popular literature, dogmatic theology considered it inappropriate to praise a sense that deviated human understanding and made it difficult to comprehend the sacramental mysteries in depth. Through different fragments of literature produced in seventeenth-century Seville, we will see how the Church constructed, parallel to the scientific and popular discourses, a catechetical rhetoric that sought to deny physical sight and any device intended to enhance or restore it. The idea was to promote a knowledge of God guided by faith, allegorized as a blindfolded woman. Thus, we will see how the glasses and the blindfold capitalized two discourses that could feed back on each other and at the same time evidence the porosity of baroque literature towards the new advances in physics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eye in Spanish Golden Age Medicine, Anatomy, and Literature)
13 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Technologies of Care: Robot Caregivers in Science and Fiction
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060132 - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1180
Abstract
In the field of elderly care, robot caregivers are garnering increased attention. This article discusses the robotisation of care from a dual perspective. The first part presents an overview of recent scholarship on the use of robots in eldercare, focusing mostly on scientific [...] Read more.
In the field of elderly care, robot caregivers are garnering increased attention. This article discusses the robotisation of care from a dual perspective. The first part presents an overview of recent scholarship on the use of robots in eldercare, focusing mostly on scientific evidence about the responses of older adults and caregivers. The second part turns to narrative evidence, providing a close reading of Andromeda Romano-Lax’s Plum Rains (2018), a speculative novel set in Japan in 2029, which explores the implications—ethical, affective, social—of communities of care that include non-human agents. My argument is twofold: (1) although science and fiction operate according to different models of knowledge production, considering narrative insights alongside scientific ones can enlarge our understanding of the complexities of robotic care; (2) hitherto overlooked in literary studies, Plum Rains deserves attention for its nuanced representation of a hybrid model of care, which does not discard robotic assistance on the basis of humanist arguments, nor does it endorse techno-solutionism, reminding readers that the fantasy of robots that care is fuelled by the reality of devalued human care work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Literature in the Humanities)
11 pages, 224 KiB  
Article
Mutual Doings: Exploring Affectivity in Participatory Methodologies
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060131 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1069
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to explore the affective implications of working with participatory methodologies within the context of sexuality education. For this exploration, a feminist posthumanist approach is put to work, building on a relational ontology and the notions of affectivity, [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to explore the affective implications of working with participatory methodologies within the context of sexuality education. For this exploration, a feminist posthumanist approach is put to work, building on a relational ontology and the notions of affectivity, assemblage and environmentality. Drawing from a practice-based research project concerning sexuality education conducted together with teachers in Swedish secondary schools, the analysis puts forward how the research assemblage navigates and manages affective conditions in ways that produce, allow and exclude certain feelings. With (dis)trust, uncertainty, frustration, laughter and shame, the assemblage made bodies act and become in specific ways. Thus, the analysis shows how participatory and practice-based research become moulded by power relations and intense flows of desire working together. This raises questions about how participatory methodologies within an ontological view of interdependence afford to manage affective intensities to move in certain directions of socially just sexuality education. Full article
20 pages, 5880 KiB  
Article
‘D’oh Brother Where Art Thou’: Homer’s Women in The Simpsons and Contemporary Screen Adaptations
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060130 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1730
Abstract
In the Odyssey, Homer’s Penelope and Circe have fundamentally important roles in ensuring the progression and success of the hero’s, Odysseus, journey home. Their actions in the Odyssey invite complex readings of the two women. Despite this, onscreen Penelope is often depicted [...] Read more.
In the Odyssey, Homer’s Penelope and Circe have fundamentally important roles in ensuring the progression and success of the hero’s, Odysseus, journey home. Their actions in the Odyssey invite complex readings of the two women. Despite this, onscreen Penelope is often depicted as the “good, faithful” wife, and Circe as the “temptress”. Whilst these interpretations are not wrong, they are limited, cultivating a diminutive cultural understanding about Homer’s women. In this article I will use The Simpsons episode ‘Tales from the Public Domain’ as the foundation of my analysis, whereby I argue that screen adaptations perpetuate these gendered tropes further by relying on what is “known” about these women, instead of investigating their roles in ways that are significantly more complex. To achieve this, I will analyse how gender roles are presented in The Simpsons’ adaptation of the Odyssey, with a special focus on Penelope’s and Circe’s interaction with, and relationship to, the story’s hero, Odysseus. I will compare these representations to examples from other screen adaptations from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including Mario Camerini’s Ulysses, Andrei Konchalovsky’s The Odyssey, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Full article
16 pages, 566 KiB  
Article
Get In and Get Out: White Racial Transformation and the US Gothic Imagination
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060129 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1364
Abstract
This article examines the Gothic trope of White racial transformation in Robert Montgomery Bird’s Sheppard Lee (1836) and Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017). These seemingly disparate texts both feature White men who turn Black via supernatural body hopping or experimental surgery. In these [...] Read more.
This article examines the Gothic trope of White racial transformation in Robert Montgomery Bird’s Sheppard Lee (1836) and Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017). These seemingly disparate texts both feature White men who turn Black via supernatural body hopping or experimental surgery. In these texts, Blackness acts as an emotional and material resource for White characters that perversely bolsters Whiteness by escaping it. Little-known outside of antebellum specialisms, Sheppard Lee enhances our understanding of race in the Gothic by considering why Whiteness may be rejected in the early nation. Written in the context of blackface minstrelsy, the novel transforms downwardly mobile Sheppard into an enslaved man as a respite from the pressures of economic success. Get Out builds on its nineteenth-century precursors by showing the Black body as a desired and necessary vessel for the “post-racial” White American self, who swaps their physical Whiteness for Blackness to extend or enhance their own life, turning Black men into extensions and enforcers of White middle-class culture. In uniting these texts through the lens of critical Whiteness studies, this article argues that White racial transformation is a long-held tradition in the US Gothic that not only expresses White desires and anxieties, but itself transforms in each specific historical racial context. Full article
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13 pages, 277 KiB  
Article
Intersections of Children’s Poetry, Popular Literature, and Mass Media: Fujimoto Giichi’s Adaptation of Holes in the Tin Roof like Stars from Tomo Fusako’s Poem to Radio Drama
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060128 - 01 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1324
Abstract
This paper investigates largely unexplored aspects of the postwar Japanese media industry by tracing the cross-media developments that bloomed from a single poem written by an elementary school girl. Tomo Fusako, a poor elementary school student, wrote the poem “Outage” in 1951 as [...] Read more.
This paper investigates largely unexplored aspects of the postwar Japanese media industry by tracing the cross-media developments that bloomed from a single poem written by an elementary school girl. Tomo Fusako, a poor elementary school student, wrote the poem “Outage” in 1951 as part of her schoolwork. Tomo’s teacher, Bessho Yasoji, selected Tomo’s work to be published in an original poetry journal featuring children’s writing. Her poems and essays were eventually reprinted in magazines, collected volumes, and even published in textbooks. In 1958, Fujimoto Giichi, an unknown university student at the time, adapted “Outage” into a radio drama and stage play. These works were then further adapted for TV dramas. Children’s essays and poems made for attractive content for the publishing industry and the emerging fields of commercial radio and television media. Fujimoto himself became a famous television host, though it impeded his literary career. Examining Tomo and Fujimoto’s relationship with literary production and media adaptation reveals a cultural world far removed from the literary establishment’s (that is, the bundan’s) view of literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Japanese Literature and the Media Industry)
10 pages, 269 KiB  
Article
Making Words—The Unconscious in Translation: Philosophical, Psychoanalytical, and Philological Approaches
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060127 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1068
Abstract
The topic of the article is the status of translation and homophony in philosophy, psychoanalysis and philology. The article focuses on the question of how translation is carried out using the basic principle of equivalence of meaning by homophony and what effects this [...] Read more.
The topic of the article is the status of translation and homophony in philosophy, psychoanalysis and philology. The article focuses on the question of how translation is carried out using the basic principle of equivalence of meaning by homophony and what effects this can produce. The analysis of two case studies by Freud and Lacan shows that homophonic transfer from one language to another can be extremely productive for the subjective traversal of a phantasm. It is then shown that this is not, however, of purely subjective interest. Werner Hamacher has sketched the future of philology starting from such homophonic translations; Lacan has tried to advance to another theory of language through homophonic formations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature, Philosophy and Psychoanalysis)
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