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Towards a selective tradition
Paul K. Jones

work of ‘popular art’ provides a bridge between a body of theoretical work and its potential elaboration. A Face in the Crowd could thus be read as a work of critical theory. As we have seen, Kazan was at least aware of the Institute's plans for Below the Surface and perhaps the broader context of Studies in Prejudice. Yet his criticism of his own Gentleman's Agreement indicates that he moved beyond the terrain of the ‘Hollywood films about antisemitism’ to broader critical theoretical concerns. The most likely influence here is Erich Fromm

in Critical theory and demagogic populism

Popular culture is invariably a vehicle for the dominant ideas of its age. Never was this truer than in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when it reflected the nationalist and imperialist ideologies current throughout Europe. It both reflects popular attitudes, ideas and preconceptions and it generates support for selected views and opinions. This book examines the various media through which nationalist ideas were conveyed in late-Victorian and Edwardian times: in the theatre, "ethnic" shows, juvenile literature, education and the iconography of popular art. It seeks to examine in detail the articulation and diffusion of imperialism in the field of juvenile literature by stressing its pervasiveness across boundaries of class, nation and gender. It analyses the production, distribution and marketing of imperially-charged juvenile fiction, stressing the significance of the Victorians' discovery of adolescence, technological advance and educational reforms as the context of the great expansion of such literature. An overview of the phenomenon of Robinson Crusoe follows, tracing the process of its transformation into a classic text of imperialism and imperial masculinity for boys. The imperial commitment took to the air in the form of the heroic airmen of inter-war fiction. The book highlights that athleticism, imperialism and militarism become enmeshed at the public schools. It also explores the promotion of imperialism and imperialist role models in fiction for girls, particularly Girl Guide stories.

Popular culture is invariably a vehicle for the dominant ideas of its age. Never was this more true than in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, when it reflected the nationalist and imperialist ideologies current throughout Europe. This book examines the various media through which nationalist ideas were conveyed in late-Victorian and Edwardian times in the theatre, "ethnic" shows, juvenile literature, education and the iconography of popular art. Nineteenth-century music hall was known as the 'fount of patriotism'. A heroic and romantic vision of Empire helped to widen the appeal of British imperialism, which newspaper and magazine editors insisted on communicating to the new mass reading public. Juvenile fiction included Victorian children's books, and very few seemed deliberately anti-imperialist. The book offers a bridge between the pre-1914 period and the interwar years and between the public school and state school systems. It discusses the case of Peter Lobengula as a focus for racial attributes in late Victorian and Edwardian times. The imperial economic vision lay ready to hand for the publicists and public relations men who saw the Empire Marketing Board as one of the great opportunities in the inter-war years to develop their craft. The book also argues that whereas the Scout movement was created in the atmosphere of defensive Empire in the Edwardian period, Scouting ideology underwent a significant change in the post-war years. Girl Guides remind us that the role of girls and women in youth organisations and imperial ideologies has been too little studied.


Critical theory and demagogic populism provides a detailed analysis of the relevance of the Frankfurt School’s work to understanding contemporary populism. It draws on the research that the Institute for Social Research conducted concerning domestic demagogues during its period of ‘exile’ in the USA. The book argues that the figure of the demagogue has been neglected in both orthodox ‘populism studies’ and in existing critical approaches to populism such as that of Ernesto Laclau. Demagogic ‘capture’ of populist movements and their legacies is thus a contingent prospect for ‘left’ and ‘right’ populist movements. An account of ‘modern demagogy’ is thus detailed, from the Institute’s own dedicated demagogy studies through to their dialogue with Weber’s work on charismatic leadership, the US liberal critique of demagogy and Freud’s group psychology. The Institute’s linkage of ‘modern demagogy’ to the culture industry speaks to the underestimation in ‘populism studies’ of the significance of two other ‘modern phenomena. The first is ‘cultural populism’ – the appeal to a folkloric understanding of ‘the people’ and/or ‘their culture’. The second is the pivotal role of modern means of communication, not only in the recent prominence of social media but demagogic exploitation of all media since the rise of literacy and the widening of the suffrage in the nineteenth century. The dialectical dimensions of these processes are also highlighted in reconstructing the Institute’s work and in extending these analyses through to the present. The book so concludes by weighing up potential counter-demagogic forces within and beyond the culture industry.

Paul K. Jones

possible connotation of spontaneous collective production of ‘ Volkskunst ’, usually translated as ‘popular art’. 9 Two purposes evidently lay within this strategy : the first, to avoid all association with völkisch thought; the second, more explicit but much overlooked by cultural populists, was to maintain a legitimate distinction between popular art and culture industry. The first purpose is worthy of elaboration here. It is clear that Adorno was under no illusions about the links between the

in Critical theory and demagogic populism
Susanne Becker

argument is based on a discussion of A. S. Byatt’s Possession ( 1990 ) and Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace ( 1996 ), and of the cultural issues these novels contextualise. In the last section, I will extend my discussion to the larger audiovisual popular art forms that characterise the present international entertainment culture. Angela Carter’s postulate that ‘we live in

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions
British imperialism and popular art, 1880–1914
John O. Springhalt

-1914 generation of schoolteachers, army officers and Scoutmasters. Thus the large-scale paintings of colonial warfare, associated with Lady Elizabeth Butler arid Richard Caton Woodville, and the sketches of the ‘specials’ or war artists, such as Melton Prior and Frederic Villiers, will be discussed here as representative types of a British popular art which gave cultural expression to and reflected

in Imperialism and Popular Culture
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Don Fairservice

, and in a montage of shots we see him driving past the endless, terraced, back-to-back houses that line the grey streets. Popular art In his study of American cinema of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Robert Philip Kölker, considering the films of a group of filmmakers which included Penn, Altman, and Scorsese, identified them as filmmakers who were, ‘ refusing the classical American approach

in Film editing: history, theory and practice
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Migrant bodies and uncanny skin
Lisa Mullen

upon to define the parameters of something called ‘British popular art’ for her Festival of Britain exhibition at the Whitechapel, an element of gothic estrangement seemed essential; it was this aspect, she felt, which gave the theme its contemporary flavour. An earlier exploration of traditional decorative objects, Noel Carrington’s 1945 Popular Art in Britain , had focused conventionally on folk curios like horse brasses, smocking patterns and elaborate ironwork hinges, and had expressly placed them outside the system of taste, thus inoculating visitors from any

in Mid-century gothic
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British theatre and imperial decline
Dan Rebellato

new subsidised popular art theatre, centred on the Royal Court. Its title helped to name the Angry Young Men’, a loose grouping of playwrights, novelists, poets and film-makers who sought to loosen the grip of a conservative establishment on the throat of British culture. In Declaration (1957), the closest thing to a manifesto that they ever produced, the theatre critic Kenneth Tynan railed at the tired old

in British culture and the end of empire