Search results

You are looking at 81 - 90 of 14,264 items for :

  • "materiality" x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Open Access (free)
James Baldwin’s Search for a New Film Form
Hayley O’Malley

James Baldwin was a vocal critic of Hollywood, but he was also a cinephile, and his critique of film was not so much of the medium itself, but of the uses to which it was put. Baldwin saw in film the chance to transform both politics and art—if only film could be transformed itself. This essay blends readings of archival materials, literature, film, and print culture to examine three distinct modes in Baldwin’s ongoing quest to revolutionize film. First, I argue, literature served as a key site to practice being a filmmaker, as Baldwin adapted cinematic grammars in his fiction and frequently penned scenes of filmgoing in which he could, in effect, direct his own movies. Secondly, I show that starting in the 1960s, Baldwin took a more direct route to making movies, as he composed screenplays, formed several production companies, and attempted to work in both Hollywood and the independent film scene in Europe. Finally, I explore how Baldwin sought to change cinema as a performer himself, in particular during his collaboration on Dick Fontaine and Pat Hartley’s documentary I Heard It Through the Grapevine (1982). This little-known film follows Baldwin as he revisits key sites from the civil rights movement and reconnects with activist friends as he endeavors to construct a revisionist history of race in America and to develop a media practice capable of honoring Black communities.

James Baldwin Review
An Interview with Raoul Peck
Leah Mirakhor

I Am Not Your Negro (2016) takes its direction from the notes for a book entitled “Remember this House” that James Baldwin left unfinished, a book about his three friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.— their murders, and their intertwining legacies. The film examines the prophetic shadow Baldwin’s work casts on twentieth- and twenty-first-century American politics and culture. Peck compiles archival material from Baldwin’s interviews on The Dick Cavett Show, his 1965 Cambridge lecture, and a series of banal images indexing the American dream. Juxtaposed against this mythology is footage of Dorothy Counts walking to school, the assassination of black leaders and activists, KKK rallies, and the different formations of the contemporary carceral state. Our conversation examines Peck’s role as a filmmaker and his relationship with the Baldwin estate. Additionally, we discussed a series of aesthetic choices he fought to include in the film’s final cut, directing Samuel L. Jackson as the voice for the film, the similarities and shifts he wanted to document in American culture since the 1960s, and some of the criticism he has received for not emphasizing more Baldwin’s sexuality.

James Baldwin Review
Fabien Provost

In contemporary forensic medicine, in India, the label of complete autopsy applies to a whole range of post-mortem examinations which can present consid- erable differences in view of the intellectual resources, time, personnel and material means they involve. From various sources available in India and elsewhere, stems the idea that, whatever the type of case and its apparent obviousness, a complete autopsy implies opening the abdomen, the thorax and the skull and dissecting the organs they contain. Since the nineteenth century, procedural approaches of complete autopsies have competed with a practical sense of completeness which requires doctors to think their cases according to their history. Relying on two case studies observed in the frame of an ethnographic study of eleven months in medical colleges of North India, the article suggests that the practical completeness of autopsies is attained when all aspects of the history of the case are made sense of with regard to the observation of the body. Whereas certain autopsies are considered obvious and imply a reduced amount of time in the autopsy room, certain others imply successive redefinitions of what complete implies and the realisation of certain actions which would not have been performed otherwise.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Magdalena Figueredo and Fabiana Larrobla

Between 1975 and 1979, thirty-one unidentified bodies bearing marks of torture appeared at various locations along Uruguays coastline. These bodies were material proof of the death flights implemented in neighbouring Argentina after the military coup. In Uruguay, in a general context of political crisis, the appearance of these anonymous cadavers first generated local terror and was then rapidly transformed into a traumatic event at the national level. This article focuses on the various reports established by Uruguayan police and mortuary services. It aims to show how,the administrative and funeral treatments given at that time to the dead bodies, buried anonymously (under the NN label) in local cemeteries, make visible some of the multiple complicities between the Uruguayan and Argentinean dictatorships in the broader framework of the Condor Plan. The repressive strategy implemented in Argentina through torture and forced disappearance was indeed echoed by the bureaucratic repressive strategy implemented in Uruguay through incomplete and false reports, aiming to make the NN disappear once again.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
John Harries, Linda Fibiger, Joan Smith, Tal Adler, and Anna Szöke

This article will query the ethics of making and displaying photographs of human remains. In particular, we will focus on the role of photography in constituting human remains as specimens, and the centrality of the creation and circulation of photographic images to the work of physical anthropology and bioarchaeology. This work has increasingly become the object of ethical scrutiny, particularly in the context of a (post)colonial politics of recognition in which indigenous people seek to recover dominion over their looted material heritage, including the remains of their dead. This ethical concern extends to the question of how and under what circumstances we may display photographs of human remains. Moreover, this is not just a matter of whether and when we should or should not show photographs of the remains of the dead. It is a question of how these images are composed and produced. Our discussion of the ethics of the image is, therefore, indivisible from a consideration of the socio-technical process by which the photographic image is produced, circulated and consumed.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Dead bodies, evidence and the death march from Buchenwald to Dachau, April–May 1945
Christopher E. Mauriello

This article utilises the theoretical perspectives of the forensic turn to further expand our historical understandings and interpretations of the events of the Holocaust. More specifically, it applies a theory of the materialities of dead bodies to historically reconstruct and reinterpret the death march from Buchenwald to Dachau from 7 to 28 April 1945. It focuses on dead bodies as ‘evidence’, but explores how the evidential meanings of corpses along the death-march route evolved and changed during the march itself and in the aftermath of discovery by approaching American military forces. While drawing on theories of the evidential use of dead bodies, it remains firmly grounded in empirical historical research based on archival sources. The archives at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp contain eyewitness accounts and post-war trial testimony that enable a deeply contextualised ‘microhistory’ of the geography, movements, perpetrators, victims and events along this specific death march in April and May 1945. This ‘thick description’ provides the necessary context for a theoretical reading of the changing evidential meanings of dead bodies as the death march wove its way from Buchenwald to Dachau and the war and the Holocaust drew to an end.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
David Punter and Alan Bissett

Francis Lathom was a novelist and playwright, well-known in his lifetime, but whose reputation died with him. He is best known today for his novel The Midnight Bell (1798) which formed part of the Gothic reading material on which Jane Austen‘s Northanger Abbey is founded. Lathom is described as a second or third rank Gothicist, who also wrote novels dealing with upper-class social life. This article begins with a brief biography, collated from a series of ‘facts’ that have survived about Lathom. The article debates and queries these received facts. Was he from an aristocratic family? Why did he move from Norwich to reside in a series of small Scottish villages? His life is itself considered as a narrative construct that has been amended and has accreted layers of rumour through time. The combination of secrecy and display which seem to characterise his life are the same as those found in Gothic fiction itself. These themes are explored in The Midnight Bell. A plot summary is followed with an examination of the connections between the narrative of the book and the narrative of the life of Francis Lathom.

Gothic Studies
Italian Narratives and the Late Romantic Metrical Tale
Diego Saglia

This essay addresses Gothic constructions of Italy by reconsidering Romantic-period literary works that capitalised on stereotypes of the country as a land ridden with violence, vice and dangers. If Gothic discourse ‘pre-scribed’ Italy as a country of terrifying events, Gothic writings also reworked an Italy that was already ‘pre-scribed’ according to hostile notions within a stratified geo-cultural archive dating back at least to the Renaissance. This combination of disparaging images was not created exclusively on the basis of British anti-Catholic feelings and other cultural hostility. Often it originated from Italian documentary sources and, particularly Italian literature, itself the object of increasing scrutiny in the Romantic period. This essay examines the Gothic construction and uses of Italy in verse tales published in the later Romantic period and inspired by Dante‘s Divina Commedia and Boccaccio‘s Decameron, among them Edward Wilmot‘s Ugolino; or, the Tower of Famine, Felicia Hemans‘s ‘The Maremma’, William Herbert‘s Pia della Pietra, John Keats‘s Isabella and Barry Cornwall‘s A Sicilian Story. These narrative poems employ Italy as an archive of Gothic plots, atmospheres and situations, making plain its double status: that of a fictitious, approximative set of geo-cultural notions, as well as that of a repertoire of fictional materials.

Gothic Studies
Carole Rawcliffe

Many current assumptions about health provision in medieval English cities derive not from the surviving archival or archaeological evidence but from the pronouncements of Victorian sanitary reformers whose belief in scientific progress made them dismissive of earlier attempts to ameliorate the quality of urban life. Our own tendency to judge historical responses to disease by the exacting standards of modern biomedicine reflects the same anachronistic attitude, while a widespread conviction that England lagged centuries behind Italy in matters of health and hygiene seems to reinforce presumptions of ‘backwardness’ and ‘ignorance’. By contrast, this paper argues that a systematic exploration of primary source material reveals a very different approach to collective health, marked by direct intervention on the part of the crown and central government and the active involvement of urban communities, especially after the Black Death of 1348-49. A plethora of regulations for the elimination of recognized hazards was then accompanied by major schemes for environmental improvement, such as the introduction of piped water systems and arrangements for refuse collection.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Trevor Curnow

This article explores the origins and early development of the cult of Asclepius. Most of the relevant materials are found in classical literature, although archaeology can also help to shine some light on certain areas. Unsurprisingly, the origins of the cult are quite obscure. A number,of places in ancient Greece competed for the honour of being his birthplace, and there is no conclusive reason for deciding in favour of any of them. One thing that is constant in the stories told about him is that Apollo was usually his father. Another constant in the history of the cult is the practice of incubation. It seems likely that the cult brought together and combined elements of several healing cults that were originally quite separate. The cult emerged at the same time that Hippocratic medicine was developing. A new understanding of the nature of the soul, and the relationship between it and the body was also taking root. It is reasonable to believe that these facts are related, although harder to say exactly how.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library