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Editor: Dana Arnold

The need for a single public culture - the creation of an authentic identity - is fundamental to our understanding of nationalism and nationhood. This book considers how manufactured cultural identities are expressed. It explores how notions of Britishness were constructed and promoted through architecture, landscape, painting, sculpture and literature, and the ways in which the aesthetics of national identities promoted the idea of nation. The idea encompassed the doctrine of popular freedom and liberty from external constraint. Particular attention is paid to the political and social contexts of national identities within the British Isles; the export, adoption and creation of new identities; and the role of gender in the forging of those identities. The book examines the politics of land-ownership as played out within the arena of the oppositional forces of the Irish Catholics and the Anglo-Irish Protestant ascendancy. It reviews the construction of a modern British imperial identity as seen in the 1903 durbar exhibition of Indian art. The area where national projection was particularly directed was in the architecture and the displays of the national pavilions designed for international exhibitions. Discussions include the impact of Robert Bowyer's project on the evolution of history painting through his re-representation of English history; the country houses with architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Greek Revivalist; and the place of Arthurian myth in British culture. The book is an important addition to the field of postcolonial studies as it looks at how British identity creation affected those living in England.

Anna Dezeuze

Junk aesthetics in a throwaway age Junk aesthetics in a throwaway age In America, one is either ‘Hip’ or ‘Square’, declared Norman Mailer in 1957. Such are the alternatives: ‘one is a rebel or one conforms, one is a frontiersman in the Wild West of American night life, or else a Square cell, trapped in the totalitarian tissues of American society, doomed willy-nilly to conform if one is to succeed’.1 By 1959, this opposition had been popularised to the point that Life published an illustrated article relishing the contrasts between Squaresville (Hutchinson

in Almost nothing
Martine Beugnet

spoken and written languages, to influence our strategies of representation, and to inflect the grammar and aesthetics of our cinemas: the way things and people are filmed keep on shaping and informing the vision that is proposed to the spectator. In the 1970s, feminist film theory demonstrated its effect on the representation of gender. The techniques at play in the representation of race in film also came under scrutiny, with their

in Claire Denis
Colette Gaiter

The Black Panther newspaper and revolutionary aesthetics Colette Gaiter The Black Panther Party (BPP) and the Maoist Chinese artists who created posters and visual images in the 1960s and 1970s spread political ideology through empathetic, simple and bold images of everyday people. Viewers of these images could actually see themselves as revolutionaries by identifying with their protagonists. Emory Douglas, the Minister of Culture, designer, illustrator and ‘revolutionary artist’ for the BPP, was ‘the Norman Rockwell of the ghetto’,1 portraying poor and working

in Art, Global Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Victoria H. F. Scott

Reproducibility, propaganda and the Chinese origins of neoliberal aesthetics Victoria H. F. Scott The artist has truth on his or her team. Andrew J. Mitchell, Heidegger Among the Sculptors1 Walter Benjamin’s thesis about the reproducibility of art is often misconstrued. The significance of the reproducibility of art, via the invention of photography (and later film and television), is frequently explained as the first step towards the democratisation and demystification of art. After the invention of photography circa 1826, the story goes, everyone could own a

in Art, Global Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution
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A General Model of Visual Aesthetics
Torben Grodal

This article argues that the central dimensions of film aesthetics may be explained by a general theory of viewer psychology, the PECMA flow model. The PECMA flow model explains how the film experience is shaped by the brain‘s architecture and the operation of different cognitive systems; the model describes how the experience is based on a mental flow from perception, through emotional activation and cognitive processing, to motor action. The article uses the flow model to account for a variety of aesthetic phenomena, including the reality-status of films, the difference between narrative and lyrical-associative film forms, and the notion of ‘excess’.

Film Studies
Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein
Jessie Givner

This essay examines the Gothic trope of monstrosity in a range of literary and historical works, from writings on the French Revolution to Mary Shelleys Frankenstein to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I argue that, in the various versions of the Frankenstein myth, what has ultimately come to seem most monstrous is the uncanny coupling of literary and political discourse. Beginning with Jacobin and anti-Jacobin discourse, this essay traces the tendency of literary tropes to turn into political tropes. In Frankenstein and in the Victorian rewritings of Shelley‘s novel, the trope of monstrosity functions, with remarkable consistency, as a mechanism which enables the unstable and often revolutionary turns between aesthetic and ideological discourse. Because the trope of monstrosity at the heart of Frankenstein exists on the border between literary and political discourse that trope has emerged as one of the most crucial forces in current critical theoretical debates about the relationship between aesthetics and ideology.

Gothic Studies
Sofia Wijkmark

In Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Gothic-horror novel Little Star (2010) graphic violence has a central function – thematically, but primarily as an aesthetic device. The plot contains motifs from classical video nasties, motifs that also have an effect on the text itself. This paper examines the novel’s use of extremely violent scenes, influenced by violent horror films, defining them as a kind of remediation. One point being made is that the use of violent effects, often described as a kind of spectacle, can be interpreted as a formal play upon the conventions of violent fiction.

Gothic Studies
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A discussion with China Miéville

An interview with China Miéville about the aesthetics and politics of Gothic, fantasy and weird fiction.

Gothic Studies
Hélène Ibata

147 5 u Immersive spectatorship at the panorama and the aesthetics of the sublime While academic painting could accommodate the aesthetics of the Enquiry by conflating the great style with terrifying, supernatural or irrational subject matter, it did not initially respond to the call for formal innovation that was implicit in Burke’s criticism of painting. The confidence given by neoclassical precepts –​but also by the new status conferred on artists by the Royal Academy –​made it possible to overlook Burke’s argument that, as a literal and mimetic medium

in The challenge of the sublime