events and activities you might be involved in, including festivals, cafes, talks, lectures, at generic venues and in museums, science centres and galleries. The chapter will draw on examples from contemporary movements, for instance the use of comedy in communication, the continuing popularity of Café Scientifique and how face-to-face events are being used in research processes.
In today’s technological and knowledge-driven society the role of face-to-face communication can appear to be ever diminishing. With a wealth of resources at
lightly armoured man wearing a skirt-like garment and carrying a shield and short sword tends, on the whole, to make us feel we are viewing epic rather than sci-fi (see Figure 15 ); similarly, a submarine is part of the visual array of a war film but rarer in the high school movie. However, while iconographic analysis is intermittently effective in this context, it breaks down when confronted by genres that are less strongly marked by distinctive visual features. What are the key icons of comedy, say, or romance? In addition, icons that may appear securely assigned to
among the first to take seriously the importance of Star Trek , a show which has garnered relatively sustained attention in IR. 45 Indeed, where film and television have been studied within IR, science fiction has tended to feature more prominently than other genres. 46 That having been said, Harry Potter and, particularly, zombies have also attracted significant and sustained critical enquiry, alongside other popular cultural media, such as comedy, cartoons, and Tom Clancy novels. 47 At times, however, analysis of film and television in IR has focused on their
avoids the problems frequently encountered in ‘straight’ Marxist criticism: it seems less overtly polemical and more willing to allow the historical evidence its own voice.
STOP and THINK
‘Doing’ new historicism essentially involves the juxtaposition of literary material with contemporary non-literary texts. But how would you attempt to set about doing this yourself, rather than just reading published essays which use this formula?
For instance, if you wished to use the new historicist method for an essay about, say, a Shakespeare comedy where would you look
being a forerunner of the ‘problem play’, the type of play that Shaw and Pinero were to become known for, plays that deal with contemporary social issues. Caste , for instance, deals with the difficulties of a marriage between different social classes, and while this in itself is hardly new, it treats it seriously rather than simply as a vehicle for comedy, and the ending is nowhere near as pat as the term ‘comedy’ might lead an audience to expect. Tydeman’s introduction to Plays of Tom Robertson asserts that:
his plays do convey something of the quality of
forms, which have also offered important outlets for the imagining of better, alternative realities when official routes to greater equality appeared closed off. This, as was argued in Part I, is where television and popular culture can excel, offering pathways to and sites of resistance when faced with troubling and blanketing hegemonies. Moreover, the cumulative social significance of these depictions is important, even where they are heterogeneous and/or prone to reproduce a range of cliched portrayals of African Americans. 38 Comedy, in particular, has provided
-and-miss way, one of which may eventually work better than the current one. No, we have ‘to reconceive the object of discontent’. This too, Scott says, is a problem of narrative: of thinking outside the mythic frame–romance, comedy, epic or tragedy – in which we are effectively caught. Thus if America is currently beginning to think of itself as an empire not unlike ancient Rome – heading for the same decline, as several commentators report – then perhaps a new story, differing from the romance of liberation, is entering the frame. 6
But here a question arises. How
‘The Platonic differential’ and ‘Zarathustra’s laughter’
Theatrum philosophicum is
conceived of by either, not least in defining the other.
Symptomatic of new fault lines in the historical
stratification of society, Renaissance humanists, when addressing
the ambiguities of the passions, would admit a hybrid genre as more
appropriate to the human condition: dramatising the tragi-comedy of
life. Here, for example, Montaigne proposes: ‘For
is made emphatic by the fact that the conclusion involves marriage, a convention of comedy, and the presence of dancing, particularly at the beginning and end of the film. This free or modern version of Indian dance is emblematic of the point Muriel makes in her final letter: instead of resistance and restraint, she advises openness to the flow and natural impetus of life, trust in yourself, in others, in life itself. As an example, she offers herself, a woman who scrubbed floors for forty years and now is the manager of a hotel in India. Life is full of unexpected
reveals how this can happen in a comedic fashion but its popularity with politicians (especially Margaret Thatcher) at home and abroad attests to the fundamental truth that senior advisers can be more devious and instrumental in decision-making than the nominal head of the department or even the government as a whole. The British civil service is non-partisan and permanent; it still tends to be led in the most senior positions by graduates from Oxbridge universities.
Margaret Thatcher was keen to reduce the size of the civil service and to introduce devolved