feature of debates about the future of the Irish language after independence was that these, by necessity, took place in English. The free Irish
people mostly chose to read novels and newspapers in English. Writers
as different as Canon Sheehan, Frank O’Connor, James Joyce, John
McGahern and Maeve Binchy all wrote about what it was to be Irish
in English. People went to the cinema where English became, once the
talkies arrived, the language of romance and adventure. Their greatgrandchildren most probably know more about Lord of the Rings or
GameofThrones than the Táin
in a way that has
the effect of breaking down some of the more formal academic hierarchies
and disciplinary distinctions that have often set medieval and
medievalism studies at odds with each other. And in a most conspicuous
example, the HBO television series GameofThrones , based on
George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire , regularly brings
scholars and fans into the immediacy of online
and thus towards Noah’s internal conversations either with his own doubts or fears, or with his assumptions about religion, family and society. It is precisely this route which both Jordan and Aronofsky take.
The raw material of the narrative, of course, is relatively sparse and the key problem (or the key spark to the imagination) with any interpretation of the Noah story might not be how much material there is ( GameofThrones (HBO, 2011–2019) in either of its dual traditions (novelistic or filmic) springs to mind) but rather how little. Eight verses of
him in December 2020. “Each morro had a boss. It was like GameofThrones.” 9
Rio de Janeiro’s growth in the west introduced another element into the equation. At the beginning of the 1970s the completion of big road and tunnel projects suddenly opened up transport routes through and around the mountainous Tijuca National Park, triggering the rapid development of a previously wild rural area inhabited by jaguars and alligators. An extensive beachfront suburb called Barra da Tijuca was the focus, but dozens of new favelas providing homes for the construction
In times of national security, scholars and activists who hail from the
communities under suspicion attempt to draw readers and listeners to the
complexity of the world we inhabit. For those who campaigned against the SUS law
in the 1980s, when young Black men were being routinely stopped in the streets,
the wave of counter-terrorism legislation and policy that exists today will be
very familiar. Similarly, recent discussions about the impact of drill music in
the culture of young Black men has drawn questions around the ways in which they
should be securitised, with senior police calling for the use of terrorism
legislation against them. In this environment, when those who study and have
lived alongside the communities who are at the scrutiny of the state raise
questions about the government, military and police policy, they are often shut
down as terrorist-sympathisers, or apologists for gang culture. In such
environments, there is an expectation on scholars and activists to condemn what
society at large fears. This volume is about how that expectation has emerged
alongside the normalisation of racism, and how these writers choose to subvert
the expectations raised on them, as part of their commitment to anti-racism.
actually present in Larsson’s novels.
15 See Larsson 2010a : 710 (the dug-up grave) and 724 (Blomkvist finds and saves Salander).
16 I have discussed Larsson’s use of crime fiction genres extensively in Bergman ( 2013 ).
Arnold, Martin (2018), Dragon-power: From ancient mythology to ‘Gameofthrones’ (London: Reaktion).
Beeler, Karin (2006), Tattoos, desire and violence: Marks of
(1977); Air Force One (1997); Quai d’Orsay (2013); GameofThrones (2011–14)).
19 See, for example, Michael Ryan and Douglas Kellner , Camera Politica: The Politics and Ideology of Contemporary Hollywood Film ( Bloomington and Indianapolis : Indiana University Press , 1988 ); Douglas Kellner , Cinema Wars. Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush-Cheney Era ( Chichester : Blackwell , 2010 ); Régis Dubois , Hollywood, Cinéma et idéologie ( Paris : Editions Sulliver , 2008 ); Laurent Aknin , Mythe et idéologie du cinéma américain
.) The questions remain: what is it about Frank
Darabond’s apocalyptic zombie TV series or David Benioff and D.
B. Weiss’s The GameofThrones that their promotional
teams should ostensibly choose to turn back the clock by presenting
their franchises in the form of a medium that was already venerable by
the start of the nineteenth century? Why did Heinz Keller, in his
chilling meditation on the wars in
outclassing those high-grossing movies in almost
every department, save popularity’. On a similar note, Ross Jones (2013)
in The Telegraph claimed that the season finale of ‘Spartacus is . . . more
action-packed – and more entertaining . . . than the hugely popular
fantasy series GameofThrones’. Some of these differences in opinion
are no doubt due to the significant developments and change in tone
that the series undergoes particularly during the three main seasons
that deal with the rise and ultimate fall of Spartacus. I will therefore
focus on these three seasons
ask them the same, and because he is Jon Snow I concede
and say that I condemn any form of arbitrary execution
and violence. I am at pains not to say it in the language he
demands – because I don’t want my life and work reduced
to the notions of propriety that this White man demands.
My life, my work, my ethics are caged through his fears of
me, the Other.
You know nothing, Jon Snow.3
QURESHI PRINT.indd 2
The famous line from GameofThrones comes to me after
the interview is over. He doesn’t know why this questioning is