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Power, form and subjectivity
Author: John Corner

This book explores how issues of power, form and subjectivity feature at the core of all serious thinking about the media, including appreciations of their creativity as well as anxiety about the risks they pose. Drawing widely on an interdisciplinary literature, the author connects his exposition to examples from film, television, radio, photography, painting, web practice, music and writing in order to bring in topics as diverse as reporting the war in Afghanistan, the televising of football, documentary portrayals of 9/11, reality television, the diversity of taste in the arts and the construction of civic identity. The book is divided into two parts. In the first part, three big chapters on each of the key notions provide an interconnected discussion of the media activities opened up for exploration and the debates they have provoked. The second part presents examples, arguments and analysis drawing on the author's previous work around the core themes, with notes placing them in the context of the whole book. The book brings together concepts both from Social Studies and the Arts and Humanities, addressing a readership wider than the sub-specialisms of media research. It refreshes ideas about why the media matter, and how understanding them better remains a key aim of cultural inquiry and a continuing requirement for public policy.

Representations of mental illness in the period dramas of Steven Knight
Ward Dan

symbolically as a mirror to the present day: much as Peaky Blinders ’ representation of the rise of Moseley draws parallels with the polarisation of Western politics in recent times, so too does Knight’s treatment of issues like war trauma invite comparisons with PTSD suffered by combatants in places like Afghanistan, which he researched while working on Hummingbird . According to Knight, the recollections of some of the afflicted

in Diagnosing history
The War on Terror and the resurgence of hillbilly horror after 9/11
Linnie Blake

’s Easy Rider are blown from their motorcycles by two archetypes of redneck intolerance, the sense remains that such acts of lawless ‘killin’ and maimin’’ are a direct result of the encroachment of America’s economic, political and legal systems on the autonomy of poor white country-dwellers. In Easy Rider, the hippies’ refusal to be ‘bought and sold in the marketplace’ thus functions as a reminder that the rhetoric of freedom espoused by conservative Americans in justification of the war in Vietnam (and later Afghanistan and Iraq) is a means of social control, a

in The wounds of nations
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Author: Steve Blandford

This is the first book-length study of one of the most significant of all British television writers, Jimmy McGovern. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all his work for television including early writing on Brookside, major documentary dramas such as Hillsborough and Sunday and more recent series such as The Street and Accused.

Whilst the book is firmly focused on McGovern’s own work, the range of his output over the period in which he has been working also provides something of an overview of the radical changes in television drama commissioning that have taken place during this time. Without compromising his deeply-held convictions McGovern has managed to adapt to an ever changing environment, often using his position as a sought-after writer to defy industry trends.

The book also challenges the notion of McGovern as an uncomplicated social realist in stylistic terms. Looking particularly at his later work, a case is made for McGovern employing a greater range of narrative approaches, albeit subtly and within boundaries that allow him to continue to write for large popular audiences.

Finally it is worth pointing to the book’s examination of McGovern’s role in recent years as a mentor to new voices, frequently acting as a creative producer on series that he part-writes and part brings through different less-experienced names.

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Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams

immigrants died from asphyxiation while being smuggled to London in a lorry. And the 9/11 attacks directed the focus for these issues to the Middle East, in particular to Afghanistan. Winterbottom and Grisoni travelled to Pakistan in November 2001 to scout for locations and for situations that could inform what turned out to be a largely improvised narrative. They visited the Shamshatoo refugee camp in Pakistan where the film opens

in Michael Winterbottom
John Corner

the World Press Photo of the Year Award winner for the following year, taken in 2007 and awarded in 2008 (as with the Beirut photo, there are many website carrying this image as ‘World Press Photo of Year Award 2007’, with itself an obvious choice). Once again, the critical social optics of ‘seeing conflict’ are involved. This image, taken by the British photographer Tim Hetherington, working for Vanity Fair, shows a young US soldier leaning back against the earth wall of a darkened military bunker in Afghanistan. His upturned helmet is cradled

in Theorising Media
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Martin Carter

Statham’s attempts to extend his range as an actor. Set in contemporary London, Statham is on his home turf and in a film that cannily exploits his mainstream persona while also subverting it in a number of intriguing ways. Statham plays Joey, an alcoholic living rough on the streets of London, haunted by his past as a member of the Special Forces in Afghanistan. Through a series

in Crank it up
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Linnie Blake

threat, providing himself in the process with justification for both the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the introduction of a range of ‘homeland security’ measures that have restricted US civil liberties with an effectiveness that would have made Nixon proud, a new generation of horror film makers have brought the next generation of hillbillies to cinema screens. This time round, the hillbilly offers a self-reflexive repudiation of the ways in which establishment ideology has attempted to deploy mass culture to homogenise and assimilate the ethnic, class and

in The wounds of nations
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John Corner

transformation, some self-conscious and some not, upon its materials. To give an example, at the time of writing this chapter, the war in Afghanistan is receiving intensive and regular journalistic attention in Britain. To these mainstream flows of narrative, there is added a wide range of contributions coming in the form of testimony from the parents of those killed while serving in the armed forces, and much more than we have ever had before in the public domain, from those in the forces themselves, sometimes at a senior level. Emails and blogs have played a major part in

in Theorising Media
Open Access (free)
Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

of a dentist. The story’s political perspective was everything that World Trade Center was not, looking in depth at CIA actions after 9/​11 and the US government’s difficulties in Afghanistan and Iraq. The screenplay also touched on the Patriot Act of 2001, and the US’s relationship with Iran. Stone and Elders held script meetings in August 2005, and Elders provided a revised draft of the story at the end of September. Stone eventually sent a finished version of the document to Brian Lourd at Creative Artists Agency in February 2006, seeking guidance on who might

in The cinema of Oliver Stone