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Tim Snelson

This article focuses on a cycle of late 1960s true crime films depicting topical mass/serial murders. It argues that the conjoined ethical and aesthetic approaches of these films were shaped within and by a complex climate of contestation as they moved from newspaper headlines to best-sellers lists to cinema screens. While this cycle was central to critical debates about screen violence during this key moment of institutional, regulatory and aesthetic transition, they have been almost entirely neglected or, at best, misunderstood. Meeting at the intersection of, and therefore falling between the gaps, of scholarship on the Gothic horror revival and New Hollywood’s violent revisionism, this cycle reversed the generational critical divisions that instigated a new era in filmmaking and criticism. Adopting a historical reception studies approach, this article challenges dominant understandings of the depiction and reception of violence and horror in this defining period.

Film Studies
Countercultural Blake in the Therapoetic Practice of maelstrÖm reEvolution
Franca Bellarsi

This article explores the reception and transformation of William Blake’s countercultural legacy by focusing on the neo-Romantic resurgences within maelstrÖm reEvolution, an experimental performance and arts collective based in Brussels but with heavy transnational affiliations. In relation to the company’s neo-shamanic and therapeutic conception of poiesis, Blake is an inspirational figure amongst a broader family of mentors ranging from Beat Generation writers to Arthur Rimbaud and Alexandro Jodorowsky. The Blake–maelstrÖm connection is here examined for the first time. Blending classical reception studies with a broader interest in the intersections between poiesis and the ‘sacred’, this article approaches countercultural Blake as the archetypal embodiment of the shamanic poet. More specifically, it reflects on how, as the poet of ‘double-edged madness’ and ‘Spiritual Strife’, Blake’s subversion of alienation into ecstasy feeds maelstrÖm’s own ‘therapoetic’ experimentalism and psycho-aesthetic endeavours to restore the lines of communication between the ‘visible’ and the ‘invisible’.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Vinland and historical imagination

From Iceland to the Americas, an anthology of thirteen original critical essays, is an exercise in the reception of a small historical fact with wide-ranging social, cultural, and imaginative consequences. Medieval records claim that around the year 1000 Leif Eiriksson and other Nordic explorers sailed westwards from Iceland and Greenland to a place they called Vinland. Archaeological evidence has in fact verified this claim, though primarily by way of one small, short-lived Norse settlement in Newfoundland, which may not even have been Leif’s. Whether or not this settlement was his, however, the contact associated with him has had an outsized impact on cultural imagination in and of the Americas. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, indeed, novels, poetry, history, politics, arts and crafts, comics, films and video games have all reflected a rising interest in the medieval Norse and their North American presence. Uniquely in reception studies, From Iceland to the Americas approaches this dynamic between Nordic history and its reception by bringing together international authorities on mythology, language, film, and cultural studies, as well as on the literature that has dominated critical reception. Collectively, the essays not only explore the connections among medieval Iceland and the modern Americas, but also probe why medieval contact has become a modern cultural touchstone.

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Anna Ariadne Knight

against films having ‘immanent’ meanings and show that historical audiences have a more dynamic relationship to film by creating their own understanding from prevalent social and critical discourses. In their respective books, Interpreting Films and Melodrama and Meaning, Staiger and Klinger recover ‘lost’ historical audiences through an evaluation of critical reviews and commentary, publicity and promotional materials surrounding particular films.7 In her later essay on reception studies (1997), Klinger proposes that, while no ‘total history’ is ever possible, an

in Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain
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Metabiographical method
Justin D. Livingstone

situatedness in the world’ and everything that we bring to bear on interpretation: the horizon is that ‘over which we cannot see’. 42 In Gadamer’s wake, one of his students and one of reception studies’ early theorists, Hans Robert Jauss, began to take account of ‘the reader’s constructive activity’ in approaching a text, and the importance of the ‘paradigms, beliefs and values’ that

in Livingstone’s ‘Lives’

Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain explores the relationship between classic American films about juvenile delinquency and British popular youth culture in the mid-twentieth century. The book examines the censorship, publicity and fandom surrounding such Hollywood films as The Wild One, Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause, Rock Around the Clock and Jailhouse Rock alongside such British films as The Blue Lamp, Spare the Rod and Serious Charge. Intersecting with star studies and social and cultural history, this is the first book to re-vision the stardom surrounding three extraordinarily influential Hollywood stars: Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley. By looking specifically at the meanings of these American stars to British fans, this analysis provides a logical and sustained narrative that explains how and why these Hollywood images fed into, and disrupted, British cultural life. Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain is based upon a wide range of sources including censorship records, both mainstream and trade newspapers and periodicals, archival accounts and memoirs, as well as the films themselves. The book is a timely intervention of film culture and focuses on key questions about screen violence and censorship, masculinity and transnational stardom, method acting and performance, Americanisation and popular post-war British culture. The book is essential reading for researchers, academics and students of film and social and cultural history, alongside general readers interested in the links between the media and popular youth culture in the 1950s.

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Eleanor Dobson

to plays and poetry, from illustrations to advertising, that truly demonstrates that ancient Egypt permeated Victorian culture in ways that have heretofore been left undocumented. These chapters bring new sources to light, analyse underused material and re-read canonical and well-known works, highlighting the sheer scale of this multifarious cultural employment of ancient Egypt in the nineteenth century as their backdrop. Recent years have seen a rise in interest in ‘Ancient Egypt Reception Studies’, the most common appellation given to the

in Victorian literary culture and ancient Egypt
Ludmilla Jordanova

. There are fields that have taken the lead when it comes to reflecting upon audiences; they include market research, reception studies and media studies. In recent times museums have been actively developing audience research, because it can be used to show funders how accessible and effective they are and to inform decision-making. 1 In this volume historians of medicine grapple with audiences for their field in a

in Communicating the history of medicine
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Susan Civale

gauging ‘reception’. Edited collections like Brenda Ayers’s Biographical Misrepresentations of British Women Writers: A Hall of Mirrors and the Long Nineteenth Century (2017) and Amber K. Regis and Deborah Wynne’s Charlotte Brontë : Legacies and Afterlives (2017) likewise explore reception from new angles, suggesting the ways that biography – with its distortions, biases and political or cultural agendas – as well as adaptations and/or transmediations can affect the posthumous status of women writers. However, these volumes, like most reception studies, tend to focus on

in Romantic women’s life writing
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The rise of the Angry Young Men
Anna Ariadne Knight

for subsequent generations. The American sociologist, Herbert Gans, was one of the first academics to theorise on Beatlemania in the USA and argued for the significance of crosscultural exchange: ‘Nations develop the images they hold of other nations in order to satisfy social and emotional needs that cannot be met at home.’ 15 234 Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain This analysis of classic Hollywood films and iconic American stars marks a key intervention in the burgeoning field of transnational film reception studies. In so doing, it reiterates

in Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain