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Jonathan Frome

This article addresses two questions about artworks. First, why do we emotionally respond to characters and stories that we believe are fictional? Second, why are some media better than others at generating specific types of emotions? I answer these questions using psychological research that suggests our minds are not unified, but are comprised of numerous subsystems that respond differently to various aspects of artworks. I then propose a framework to help us understand how films, videogames, and literature interact with our minds in different ways, which explains why they tend to excel at generating different types of emotions.

Film Studies
Jens Eder

Film viewers responses to characters are of a great variety; global notions of ‘identification’, ‘empathy’, or ‘parasocial interaction’ are too reductive to capture their rich nuances. This paper contributes to current theoretical accounts by clarifying the intuitive notion of ‘being close’ to characters, drawing on social and cognitive psychology. Several kinds of closeness are distinguished: spatiotemporal proximity, understanding and perspective-taking, familiarity and similarity, PSI, and affective closeness. These ways of being close to characters interact in probabilistic ways, forming a system. Understanding its patterns might help us to more precisely analyze the varieties of character engagement, which is demonstrated by an analysis of David Fincher‘s Fight Club (1999).

Film Studies
Gothic Aesthetics in Antonio Fogazzaro‘s Malombra
Maria Parrino

Antonio Fogazzaro‘s Malombra combines features of the Gothic novel with an interest in the environment, natural and artificial. The story of a woman who lives in a Palazzo and believes she is the reincarnation of her late ancestor unfolds a narrative constantly engaged with the issues of place and space. Human and nonhuman features play a significant role in the narrative within whose complex and intricate setting the characters interact. By focusing on the main character‘s engagement with the surrounding world the article aims at shedding a new light on the long discussed issues of double identity, showing how the novel portrays instead a symbiotic relationship with the environment.

Gothic Studies
Cambodia’s bones
Fiona Gill

The display of human remains is a controversial issue in many contemporary societies, with many museums globally removing them from display. However, their place in genocide memorials is also contested. Objections towards the display of remains are based strongly in the social sciences and humanities, predicated on assumptions made regarding the relationship between respect, identification and personhood. As remains are displayed scientifically and anonymously, it is often argued that the personhood of the remains is denied, thereby rendering the person ‘within’ the remains invisible. In this article I argue that the link between identification and personhood is, in some contexts, tenuous at best. Further, in the context of Cambodia, I suggest that such analyses ignore the ways that local communities and Cambodians choose to interact with human remains in their memorials. In such contexts, the display of the remains is central to restoring their personhood and dignity.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
A Thematic Analysis of Collective Trauma and Enemy Image Construction in the 1980s American Action Film
Lennart Soberon

During the 1980s the spectre of the Vietnam War haunted the sites of cinema and popular culture in various forms. Whereas a rich body of scholarly research exists on cinematic iterations of the Vietnam war as trauma, the discursive dynamics between memory, ideology and genre in relation to enemy image construction are somewhat underdeveloped. This article utilises genre studies, conflict studies and trauma theory in analysing how the representations of film villains interact with the construction of cultural trauma and national identity. Considering the American action thriller to be an important site for processes of commemoration and memorialisation, the discursive construction and formal articulation of national trauma are theorised within the genre. Additionally, a thematic and textual analysis was conducted of a sample of forty American action thriller films. The analysis illustrates how the genre operates through a structure of violent traumatisation and heroic vindication, offering a logic built on the necessity and legitimacy of revenge against a series of enemy-others.

Film Studies
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

“redesigned” design process’ ( Negroponte, 2003 : 359). Defining Negroponte’s approach to programming was a constructivist conception of learning by doing – the analogy being how a child is said to learn. Not so much through formal teaching ‘but by interacting with the world, by having certain results as a consequence of being able to ask for something, or being able to stand up and reach it’ ( Negroponte, 2006 : 1-53) – that is, through endless feedback loops of iterative environmental interaction involving an automatic and continuous process of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The Visual Politics and Narratives of Red Cross Museums in Europe and the United States, 1920s to 2010s
Sönke Kunkel

was the modern, interactive, engaging media museum. The exhibit’s approach, he told editor Jacques Meurant, was to work through audiovisual shows, historical film footage, and ‘sophisticated’ visual technology to project a message of ‘tolerance’ and the ‘humanitarian impulse’. Viewers should get to see ‘striking images of Red Cross activities’ throughout the times. He was confident that visitors would not have a single ‘dull moment’ as they passed through

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan
Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair

, the interactive element of revisiting the past and of sharing experiences, and the need to apply the knowledge that results. That begs the question: how do we translate ‘relevance’ into sustainable policies? As a start, we suggest that contributors to the final roundtable should play a clear role in summarising the discussions and pointing the way to lessons learnt. But our experience leads us to caution against producing

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Sara Wong

the impacts of the piece on the co-creators themselves, understanding its impact on audiences and viewers is another messy task, but one worth critically engaging with. While quantifying views and reach is important in tracking who is interacting with the story and ultimately the research, understanding how it’s contributing to broader narrative change around conflict and peace is perhaps even more difficult to analyse. Such a challenge adds further weight to more

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Matthew Hunt
Sharon O’Brien
Patrick Cadwell
, and
Dónal P. O’Mathúna

Introduction The 2010 Haiti earthquake has been described as a ‘game changer’ for the implementation of technologies in humanitarian response ( Sandvik, 2014 : 26). Established and emergent information and communication technology (ICT) applications were employed in the earthquake’s aftermath and ‘relief efforts quickly became a living laboratory for new applications of SMS texting, interactive online maps and radio-cell phone hybrids’ ( Nelson

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs