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Neil Cornwell

into what purports to be interplanetary flight, and the rise and fall of a civilisation, in Dostoevsky’s late story The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (followed by a Futurist poetic touch from Vladimir Maiakovsky). Particulars of such supposed cosmic (or astral) travel may have been, in part at least, ‘borrowed’ by his successors from Dostoevsky. However this may be, such things are seen to be taken very much further, in twentieth-century English horror and science fiction writing, in key works by William Hope Hodgson and Olaf Stapledon. In

in Odoevsky’s four pathways into modern fiction
Jonathan Bignell and Stephen Lacey

. The final essay in this section connects with the questions of institutional understandings of quality, authorship and audience that have been developed by the other contributors. Jonathan Bignell’s essay shows how, in the early years of the science-fiction drama series Doctor Who (BBC 1963-96), negotiations around quality guided the planning and production of the programme, and informed the understanding of audience feedback about it. Adopting a specific focus on the Doctor’s notorious opponents, the Daleks, Bignell shows how their realisation drew on a tradition

in Popular television drama
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Colin Gardner

and the Gentleman ), the prison film ( The Criminal ), science fiction ( The Damned ) and the anti-war film ( King and Country ). Like Resnais, Losey’s innovations were initially carried out from within traditional genre frameworks, for as he explained to Michel Ciment, ‘I think it’s much better that way; it’s a way of educating the audience rather than alienating it. And I think the public can be educated in matters of

in Joseph Losey
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Writing American sexual histories
Author: Barry Reay

The archive has assumed a new significance in the history of sex, and this book visits a series of such archives, including the Kinsey Institute’s erotic art; gay masturbatory journals in the New York Public Library; the private archive of an amateur pornographer; and one man’s lifetime photographic dossier on Baltimore hustlers. The subject topics covered are wide-ranging: the art history of homoeroticism; casual sex before hooking-up; transgender; New York queer sex; masturbation; pornography; sex in the city. The duality indicated by the book’s title reflects its themes. It is an experiment in writing an American sexual history that refuses the confines of identity sexuality studies, spanning the spectrum of queer, trans, and the allegedly ‘normal’. What unites this project is a fascination with sex at the margins, refusing the classificatory frameworks of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and demonstrating gender and sexual indecision and flexibility. And the book is also an exploration of the role of the archive in such histories. The sex discussed is located both in the margins of the archives, what has been termed the counterarchive, but also, importantly, in the pockets of recorded desire located in the most traditional and respectable repositories. The sexual histories in this book are those where pornography and sexual research are indistinguishable; where personal obsession becomes tomorrow’s archive. The market is potentially extensive: those interested in American studies, sexuality studies, contemporary history, the history of sex, psychology, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, queer studies, trans studies, pornography studies, visual studies, museum studies, and media studies.

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Elizabeth Ezra

advertisements, erotic or ‘stag’ films, historical epics, melodramas, science fiction, and, with the help of his brother Gaston, Westerns and action-adventures. The extent of this variety belies the exclusive association of Méliès with fantasy, and the sharp-edged wit that characterizes most of his films certainly undermines any impression of naive innocence devoid of worldly concerns. Many of Méliès’s films overtly or implicitly

in Georges Méliès
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Brigitte Rollet

slightly away from post-May ‘68 agendas to more consensual 1980s’ topics and filmic genres. Twenty years after making a documentary which is still hailed as the feminist documentary par excellence, she came back with her latest film so far – La Belle Verte, released in France in September 1996 – to 1970s’ preoccupations such as ecology and the defence of the environment via a science fiction tale, with a typically 1990s’ flavour. Although she shares similarities with other French female filmmakers who started their career in the

in Coline Serreau
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Sentient ink, curatorship and writing the new weird in China Miéville’s Kraken: An anatomy
Katharine Cox

INTRODUCTION China Miéville is an innovative writer and critic of fantasy fiction, who emerged as part of the British sf/f renaissance at the end of the 1990s. His consideration of the new weird as a politically engaged form of fantasy is a direct challenge to theories of science fiction, building on Darko Suvin’s hierarchy of sf ( 1979 , 1983 ) that prioritises the value and potential of science fiction over fantasy (see Chu 2010 ; Vint 2015 ). 1 Miéville’s apotheosis of the new weird is achieved in his

in Tattoos in crime and detective narratives
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Queer theory, literature and the politics of sameness
Author: Ben Nichols

In its contributions to the study of material social differences, queer theoretical writing has mostly assumed that any ideas which embody 'difference' are valuable. More than this, where it is invoked in contemporary theory, queerness is often imagined as synonymous with difference itself. This book uncovers an alternative history in queer cultural representation. Through engagement with works from a range of queer literary genres from across the long twentieth century – fin-de-siècle aestheticism, feminist speculative fiction, lesbian middle-brow writing, and the tradition of the stud file – the book elucidates a number of formal and thematic attachments to ideas that have been denigrated in queer theory for their embodiment of sameness: uselessness, normativity, reproduction and reductionism. Exploring attachments to these ideas in queer culture is also the occasion for a broader theoretical intervention: Same Old suggests, counterintuitively, that the aversion they inspire may be of a piece with how homosexuality has been denigrated in the modern West as a misguided orientation towards sameness. Combining queer cultural and literary history, sensitive close readings and detailed genealogies of theoretical concepts, Same Old encourages a fundamental rethinking of some of the defining positions in queer thought.

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Activism and design in Italy
Author: Ilaria Vanni

Precarious objects is a book about activism and design. The context is the changes in work and employment from permanent to precarious arrangements in the twenty-first century in Italy. The book presents design interventions that address precarity as a defuturing force affecting political, social and material conditions. Precarious objects shows how design objects, called here ‘orientation devices’, recode political communication and reorient how things are imagined, produced and circulated. It also shows how design as a practice can reconfigure material conditions and prefigure ways to repair some of the effects of precarity on everyday life. Three microhistories illustrate activist repertoires that bring into play design, and design practices that are grounded in activism. While the vitality, experimental nature and traffic between theory and praxis of social movements in Italy have consistently attracted the interest of activists, students and researchers in diverse fields, there exists little in the area of design research. This is a study of design activism at the intersection of design theory and cultural research for researchers and students interested in design studies, cultural studies, social movements and Italian studies.

Susan Watkins

’s ‘Doris Lessing in Pursuit of the English, or, No Small, Personal Voice’. In this essay, Hanson argues that a number of Lessing’s novels exhibit the strains of realism and argues that ‘in contradiction to the prevailing English view, Doris Lessing is not a realist novelist who, after some aberration and dallying with “science fiction”, is returning to the realist fold’. She continues: ‘Lessing is a far, far more radical writer than this, one whose work reflects almost every possible stage and process in the “dehumanisation of art” and of the individual in the post

in Doris Lessing