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Sarah Daynes

11 Rhetoric of oppression and social critique Can’t get no food to eat, can’t get no money to spend. Burning Spear, “Marcus Garvey,” 1975 Open your eyes and look with it Are you satisfied with the life you’re living? Bob Marley & the Wailers, “Exodus,” 1977 No need to shift through time and space into reality Cause it’s right up in your face it is so plain to see. Jahmali, “Time and space,” 1998 The message contained in reggae music is above all a message of denunciation: the point is to show what is really happening, based on the fundamental distinction made

in Time and memory in reggae music
Power, culture, and society

This book interrogates the interplay of cultural and political aspects of contemporary Hollywood movies. Using ‘security’ films dealing with public order and disorder (Part I), romantic comedies and other movies presenting intimate relationalities (Part II), socially engaged films offering overtly critical messages (Part III), and analysis of Hollywood’s global reach and impact (Part IV), it articulates and illustrates an original cultural politics approach to film. The book employs an expanded conception of ‘the political’ to enquire into power relations in public, private, and policy arenas in order to advance a new framework and methodology for cultural politics. It demonstrates how movies both reflect and produce political myths that largely uphold the status quo as they shape our dreams, identities, and selves.

Gender, Money and Property in the Ghost Stories of Charlotte Riddell
Victoria Margree

This article explores Riddells representational strategies around gender: in particular her male narrators and her female characters made monstrous by money. It argues that Riddell, conscious of social prohibitions on financial knowledge in women, employs male protagonists to subversive effect, installing in her stories a feminine wisdom about the judicious use of wealth. Her narratives identify the Gothic potential of money to dehumanise, foregrounding the culpability of economic arrangements in many of the horrors of her society. While they contain pronounced elements of social critique, they ultimately however defend late-Victorian capitalism by proff ering exemplars of the ethical financial practice by which moneys action is to be kept benign.

Gothic Studies
Melissa Edmundson

Throughout the nineteenth century, the term ‘uncomfortable houses’ was used to describe properties where restless spirits made life unpleasant for any living persons who tried to claim these supernatural residences as their own. This article uses the idea of ‘uncomfortable houses’ to examine how this ghostly discomfort related to larger cultural issues of economics and class in Victorian Britain. Authors such as Charlotte Riddell and Margaret Oliphant used the haunted house story as a means of social critique which commented on the financial problems facing many lower- and middle-class Victorians. Their stories focus on the moral development of the protagonists and reconciliation through the figure of the ghost, ultimately giving readers the happy endings that many male-authored ghost stories lack. Riddell‘s ‘The Old House in Vauxhall Walk’ and ‘Walnut-Tree House’ and Oliphant‘s ‘The Open Door’ serve as important examples of this ‘suburban Gothic’ literature.

Gothic Studies
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Author: Steve Chibnall

Since his first directorial commission at Welwyn Studios in 1950, Lee Thompson has directed forty-five pictures for theatrical release, covering almost every genre of the cinema. His remarkable ability to adapt his style to suit the material has made him perhaps the most versatile director ever produced by Britain. This book intends to plot the trajectory of a unique film-maker through the typical constraints and opportunities offered by British cinema as a dominant studio system gave way to independent production in the two decades after the Second World War. Thompson was born in Bristol just before the First World War. By the time Thompson left school his ambition was to be an actor, and he joined Nottingham Repertory, making his debut in Young Woodley in 1931. Thompson's opportunity to direct a play came when he received an offer from Hollywood for the film rights to his play Murder Without Crime. His debut box (or ottoman) of tricks went out on the ABC circuit as a double bill with an American film about a GI finding romance in Europe, Four Days Leave. Although the cutting room remained sacrosanct, directors of Thompson's generation had more influence over the final cut of a picture than their predecessors. The Yellow Balloon may be frustratingly limited in its social critique, but as a piece of film making, it was rightly praised for its performances and technical proficiency.

The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School
Author: Simon Mussell

This book offers a unique and timely reading of the early Frankfurt School in response to the recent 'affective turn' within the arts and humanities. It revisits some of the founding tenets of critical theory in the context of the establishment of the Institute for Social Research in the early twentieth century. The book focuses on the work of Walter Benjamin, whose varied engagements with the subject of melancholia prove to be far more mobile and complex than traditional accounts. It also looks at how an affective politics underpins critical theory's engagement with the world of objects, exploring the affective politics of hope. Situating the affective turn and the new materialisms within a wider context of the 'post-critical', it explains how critical theory, in its originary form, is primarily associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. The book presents an analysis of Theodor Adorno's form of social critique and 'conscious unhappiness', that is, a wilful rejection of any privatized or individualized notion of happiness in favour of a militant and political discontent. A note on the timely reconstruction of early critical theory's own engagements with the object world via aesthetics and mimesis follows. The post-Cold War triumphalism of many on the right, accompanied by claims of the 'end of history', created a sense of fearlessness, righteousness, and unfettered optimism. The book notes how political realism has become the dominant paradigm, banishing utopian impulses and diminishing political hopes to the most myopic of visions.

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Socially critical movies
Chris Beasley and Heather Brook

embedded in popular movies. In examining security films (typically showing 198 Social critique us how order is to be properly maintained, and what threatens social and political stability) and relationalities films (which scaffold myths about power relations within the citizenry), we argued that they generally endorse the status quo. ‘Security’ and ‘relationalities’ films both tend to reiterate dominant political myths, offering narratives which confirm and/or return us to existing power relations. Nevertheless, we also considered whether these films might sometimes

in The cultural politics of contemporary Hollywood film
Rosie Meade

was written by a ‘worker fully engaged in his own work’ who, for the purpose of mere survival, ‘comes home from his job, writes, goes back to his job, writes, all under pressure’ (Williams, 1983: 248). Kathleen Noonan, reckoned that the book took her father five years to write, during which time he was working ‘a fifty-six and a half hour week’ and maintaining his membership of the Social Democratic Federation (Ball, 1979: 140). Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists 59 A social critique of capitalism Noting that critiques of capitalism are as old

in Mobilising classics
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Melancholic dispositions and conscious unhappiness
Simon Mussell

acutely historical consciousness, a partial renunciation of subjective sovereignty, and a keen responsibility towards all that has been lost. Following on from this, the chapter closes with an analysis of Adorno’s form of social critique and what I refer to as ‘conscious unhappiness’, that is, a wilful rejection of any privatized or individualized notion of happiness in favour of a militant and political discontent. Melancholies: medical and cultural As Jennifer Radden notes in her compendium of writings on the topic, melancholy has a significant place within the

in Critical theory and feeling
Open Access (free)
Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

in the contemporary technology is almost a lecture series in its own right, detailing everything that Stone set out to be as a director when he returned from Asia in the late 1960s. Yet his auteurism does not quite reside within the ‘commercial strategy’ described by, for example, Tim Corrigan, any more than it might be said to reside within any particular artistic vision of the kind described in earlier variants of theory.4 Stone’s interests in social critique and politics have carried him some way ahead of art and commerce into territory that can be best summed

in The cinema of Oliver Stone