on culturalhistory, as an exploration of beliefs and values, rather than what might be better described as the history of culture. Having made the distinction, though, it has to be acknowledged that beliefs are often embodied in works of art of whatever kind. In Britain, this approach was pioneered by the Marxist historians associated with the Communist Party Historians’ Group and their work will form the central focus of this chapter. It will, however, also consider the earlier approaches to culturalhistory, as influences on the Group, and the development of
A chess-player is not simply one who plays chess just as a chess piece is not simply a wooden block. Shaped by expectations and imaginations, the figure occupies the centre of a web of a thousand radiations where logic meets dream, and reason meets play. This book aspires to a novel reading of the figure as both a flickering beacon of reason and a sign of monstrosity. It is underpinned by the idea that the chess-player is a pluralistic subject used to articulate a number of anxieties pertaining to themes of mind, machine, and monster. The history of the cultural chess-player is a spectacle, a collision of tradition and recycling, which rejects the idea of the statuesque chess-player. The book considers three lives of the chess-player. The first as sinner (concerning behavioural and locational contexts), as a melancholic (concerning mind-bending and affective contexts), and as animal (concerning cognitive aspects and the idea of human-ness) from the medieval to the early-modern within non-fiction. The book then considers the role of the chess-player in detective fiction from Edgar Allan Poe to Raymond Chandler, contrasting the perceived relative intellectual reputation and social utility of the chess-player and the literary detective. IBM's late-twentieth-century supercomputer Deep Blue, Wolfgang von Kempelen's 1769 Automaton Chess-Player and Garry Kasparov's 1997 defeat are then examined. The book examines portrayals of the chess-player within comic-books of the mid-twentieth century, considering themes of monstrous bodies, masculinities, and moralities. It focuses on the concepts of the child prodigy, superhero, and transhuman.
This essay interweaves an analysis of Raymond Depardons short documentary film, 10
minutes de silence pour John Lennon (1980), with some broader reflections on time,
cultural history, and silence. Shot in a single take, the film records the
expressions, movements, and reactions of some of 200,000 mourners who gathered in
Central Park to commemorate Lennons life six days after his death in December, 1980.
Despite its observational form and aesthetic reticence, 10 minutes de silence renders
unexpected coincidences of colour, perspective, gesture, and noise, spontaneous
formations and patterns that resonate beyond the films actual moment and journalistic
The Self, the Social Order and the Trouble with Sympathy in the Romantic and Post-Modern Gothic
This essay is about the figure of the double in Romantic and post-modern Gothic literature and film. Most criticism of the double interprets this figure from the perspective of psychoanalysis. In contrast, this essay embeds the double in cultural history. In discussions of eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century discourses of ‘possessive individualism’, nationalism, and sexuality, this essay contends that the eighteenth century and the Romantic Period became dissatisfied with sympathy: with its inability to unify the social order without dissolving the crucial differences that distinguish one person from another. In response, Gothic literature invented the double to represent an extreme moment when two characters think, act, and feel so much alike that they can no longer be distinguished from each other. The essay offers two examples: Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner.
Violence and Miscegenation in Jean Toomer‘s ‘Blood- Burning Moon’
Jean Toomer‘s Cane (1923) has long been considered a signature text of both avant-garde Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. While Gothic tropes and imagery lurk throughout Toomer‘s collection of poetry and prose, Anglo-American Gothic conventions come to the foreground in the story ‘Blood-Burning Moon’. The story‘s interracial love triangle provides a locus of conflict between the post-Reconstruction American South and the haunting economic logic of slavery. Though the three characters each aspire to new racial, sexual and economic identities, they are terrorized by a society where employer-employee relations cannot escape the violence of the master-slave dialectic. Toomer does not relinquish his aesthetic experimentation and political radicalism to the Anglo-American Gothic, but instead engages the Gothic form in order to critique the violent racism of American capitalism. In this way, Toomer positions the Gothic centrally within African-American literary and cultural history.
An Interview with Rainer Schlösser, Spokesperson of the Association of the Red Cross Museums in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der deutschen Rotkreuz-Museen)
already doing now. But I would like to have a much bigger museum, with more space and more thematic rooms. What we should keep in mind is that the Red Cross plays a major role within our societies and has done so historically in a number of fields – not only in international humanitarian law, but also in social history, culturalhistory, the history of the women’s movement or pacifism, the local history of regions and places. Representing and communicating the historical centrality of the Red Cross, its importance to our society, the way its importance was reflected in
Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
Indiana University Press ), pp.
11 – 18 .
( 2005 ),
Humanitaire et cinéma : films CICR des années 1920 ( CICR et Memoriav ).
( 2012 ), ‘ The Making of Humanitarian Visual Icons: On the 1921–1923 Russian Famine as Foundational Event ’, in
Iconic Power ( Berlin :
Springer ), pp.
67 – 84 .
( 1989 ), ‘ Bodies, Details, and the Humanitarian Narrative ’, in
The New CulturalHistory
Lewis Hine’s Photographs of Refugees for the American Red Cross, 1918–20
Sonya de Laat
Origins of Humanitarianism, 1918–1924
(Studies in the Social and CulturalHistory of Modern Warfare) ( Cambridge :
Cambridge University Press ).
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( 2019 ), [‘Seeing Refugees’]‘Using Old Photographs to Gain New Perspectives on Refugees, Past and Present’ , in
Confronting Canadian Migration History ,
8 September 2021 ).
International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House