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The Viscous Palimpsest of Charles Maturin‘s Melmoth the Wanderer

Charles Maturin‘s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) is often considered the last major work in the corpus of Romantic-period Gothic. This paper draws upon that text and Maturin‘s correspondence, especially his sermons, in which the author incarnates a rich matrix of dichotomies, to offer a reading of the subtle metatextual and autobiographical qualities of the novel. Maturin‘s conflicted identity as clergyman and literary parvenu afford understanding of the nature of, and challenges posed by, this complex work. Like Maturin‘s preaching, Melmoth bears witness to and sympathy with its time. Yet it also bears the imprints or multiple scripts of historical and psychological forces contributing to its formation. Ostensibly a Gothic romance engaged with the dialectic of high Romanticism, it is shown to be a self-reflexive text, with ambivalence towards its own literary form. The plethora of tales within Maturin‘s novel represent an attempt to convey and self-validate a fabric of a created national history, but Melmoth is shown to both use and indict the ideological structures that it has employed to create its own texture. It is suggested that detail of torture and anatomisation of belief represent an unconscious self-dramatisation.

Gothic Studies

This article argues that Charles Maturins Melmoth the Wanderer embodies an ethical attitude towards its representations of Gothic violence and horror in the way that it self-reflexively stages its horrific scenes. By confronting its readers with a shifting distance from such violent scenes, the novel exposes readers to their own desire for and victimization by Gothic horror. While previous critics have tended to see Maturins novel as either glorying amorally in its excessive Gothic representations, or as recuperating its scenes of horror with a moral message, this article sees its ambiguous and undecidable attitude towards these scenes as embodying its ethical standpoint, a standpoint that challenges the illusion of literary coherence and that exposes its readers’ implication in the horror that lies traumatically within, and not safely outside, language.

Gothic Studies
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Sensationalising Substance Abuse in the Victorian Home

Controversies about the mid-Victorian sensation novel newly brought to the fore clinical conceptualisations of novel reading as an addiction. Yet as novelists capitalised on the sensational potential of substance abuse at home as part of the genre‘s rupture of ideologies of domesticity, they juxtaposed the consumption of sensational material with other emotional and physical dependencies, while reading could be a panacea or cure. M. E. Braddon‘s John Marchmont‘s Legacy (1863) and Wilkie Collins‘s The Law and the Lady (1875) form particularly revealing examples of self-reflexive sensation novels that capitalise on a clinical Gothic of addiction by appropriating discourses that had, ironically, attacked the sensation genre most virulently.

Gothic Studies

This article addresses the current state of film studies as a discipline, profession and institution, arguing that the hunt for cultural authority has been the defining feature, motivating force and tragic flaw of film studies. The current self-reflexive soul- searching reveals that the field – no longer a radical upstart – still lacks the gravitas of more established subjects. Departments have responded to identity crises and changing enrolment patterns by mummifying, killing off or burying foundational emphases. The nostalgia for film studies origins and the jeremiads about an unmanageable, unruly and recalcitrant discipline yield rose-tinted fantasies about community and mutual intelligibility that must be ultimately resisted.

Film Studies
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The Position of Women in Post-War Japanese Cinema (Kinema Junpō, 1961)

In contrast to the canonical history of cinema and film theory, often dominated by academic texts and Western and/or male voices, this article presents a casual conversation held in 1961 between four of the most influential women in the post-war Japanese film industry: Kawakita Kashiko,,Yamamoto Kyōko, Tanaka Kinuyo and Takamine Hideko. As they openly discuss their gendered experience in production, promotion, distribution and criticism, their thoughts shed light on the wide range of opportunities available to women in filmmaking, but also on the professional constraints,and concerns which they felt came along with their gender. Their conversation reveals how they measured themselves and their national industry in relation to the West; at times unaware of their pioneer role in world cinema. This piece of self-reflexive criticism contributes to existing research on both womens filmmaking and the industry of Japanese cinema, and invites us to reconsider non-hegemonic film thinking practices and voices.

Film Studies
The politics of modern thought and science

Epistemology should be the axe that breaks the ice of a traditionalism that covers and obstructs scientific enlightenment. This book explores the arguments between critical theory and epistemology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Focusing on the first and second generations of critical theorists and Luhmann's systems theory, it examines how each approaches epistemology. The book offers a critique of the Kantian base of critical theory's epistemology in conjunction with the latter's endeavour to define political potential through the social function of science. The concept of dialectics is explored as the negation of the irrational and, furthermore, as the open field of epistemological conflict between rationality and irrationality. The book traces the course of arguments that begin with Dilthey's philosophy of a rigorous science, develop with Husserl's phenomenology, Simmel's and Weber's interest in the scientific element within the social concerns of scientific advance. In structuralism, the fear of dialogue prevails. The book discusses the epistemological thought of Pierre Bourdieu and Gilles Deleuze in terms of their persistence in constructing an epistemological understanding of social practice free from the burdens of dialectics, reason and rationality. It also enquires into issues of normativity and modernity within a comparative perspective on modernism, postmodernism and critical theory. Whether in relation to communication deriving from the threefold schema of utterance- information- understanding or in relation to self- reflexivity, systems theory fails to define the bearer or the actor of the previous structural processes. Critical realism attempted to ground dialectics in realism.

The one-shot sequence – the articulation of an entire scene through a single, unbroken long take – is one of the cinema’s most important rhetorical devices and has therefore been much used and widely theorised over the years. This article provides a brief overview of these theories and of the multiple ways in which the one-shot sequence has been used both in world cinema (in general) and Italian cinema (in particular) in order to contextualise its use by one of Italian cinema’s best-known and most significant practitioners, Paolo Sorrentino. Through close analyses of one-shot sequences in Sorrentino’s films L’uomo in più/One Man Up, Le conseguenze dell’amore/The Consequences of Love, This Is the Place and Il divo – La vita spettacoloare di Giulio Andreotti – the article argues that Sorrentino’s predilection for the device is best explained by the wide variety of functions that it serves (as a mark of directorial bravura and auteur status; as a self-reflexive device and meditation on the cinematic gaze; as a political tool; and as a means of generating emotion). While rooted in history, Sorrentino’s use of the one-shot sequence thus transcends its position within Italian film history and discourse.

Film Studies
A Focus on Community Engagement

need to pay attention to the positionalities of all interlocutors involved in these encounters, including self-reflexive attention to one’s own position (as researcher or humanitarian worker). The story of Ebola is often told through two primary actors: ‘the response’ and ‘the population’. This excludes the story of how the legitimacy of elites charged with ‘mobilising’ communities was contested by different sectors of local populations. For example, cadets sociaux

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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conclusions, but on a self-reflexivity that can serve to always and already destabilise its own manifestations of authority, wherever these might lie. If the initial performed responses to the deconstructive project foregrounded a critique of dramatic representation through citational performance strategies, emphasis on the real time and space of the performance event, and a shift from spectator to participant, it is imperative, by the project’s own premises, for these conclusions to be subjected, by the next wave of work, to the same ‘shaking’ process they themselves

in Acts and apparitions
Alice Munro and Lives of Girls and Women

; thus it points to a textual self-reflexivity that highlights the processes of (as we shall see, gothic) writing. Lives is Del’s story of becoming an artist, but it is also her personal history of the small town and rural area in Southern Ontario in which she grows up. Her retrospective narration is pieced together from numerous episodic tales of her surroundings, many of them

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions