• Sway of the sea: Kathryn Bigelow's imperial eco-eschatology

      Halligan, Benjamin (Taylor & Francis, 2021-12-31)
      In a 2013 public letter to Bigelow, which concerned Zero Dark Thirty, Naomi Wolf wrote: ‘Like Riefenstahl, you are a great artist. But now you will be remembered forever as torture’s handmaiden’. This essay will expand on this condemnatory Riefenstahl/Bigelow association - but not through a straight likening of Riefenstahl’s exaltation of the Nazi Party in Triumph of the Will to Bigelow’s apologetics for torture in the ‘War on Terror’. Rather, the concern will be that of aesthetics in relation to landscapes and ecology, that is, the parallel is to Riefenstahl of her earlier ‘Mountain Films’ period. Bigelow, at times, reaches for a feminised, New Age mysticism through which her characters are momentarily lifted out of their mundane earthly concerns to commune with the wider universe. And it is this wider universe which seems the ultimate arbitrator of their actions, rather than any (Geneva-based) concerns around human rights. Thus different paths to psychic fulfilment seem to determine Point Break, or the idea of the restless spirit against the failings of the Repressive State Apparatus in Zero Dark Thirty, or soul against the system in Detroit. And thus, and most tellingly, in Last Days of Ivory, Bigelow advocates for military action against African tribal people in the name of conservation, on the grounds (soon revealed to be highly questionable) that the illegal ivory trade funds the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab. The crudity of Bigelow’s propaganda in Last Days of Ivory, which chimed with Hillary Clinton's position on the same (a greenwashed liberal interventionism) is lent the approval of elephants, and of the wider ecology, in Bigelow's film. In the same way that Riefenstahl once repurposed German Romanticism for a sequence of Hitler descending from the clouds as the saviour of Germany from its enemies, Bigelow reworks such Romanticism in the name of the ‘white woman’s burden’: the Western imperial feminist speaks out on the part of the oppressed, and summons the ecosphere as her witness.
    • Kathryn Bigelow: new action realist

      Gaine, Vincent M. (Routledge, 2021-12-31)
      This article argues that Kathryn Bigelow is an auteur of new action realism, a distinct sub-genre within contemporary action cinema. As a new action realist, Bigelow and her collaborators create films that feature unresolved narratives and an aesthetic characterised by claustrophobic immediacy and obscuration. Through discussion of theory, genre, narrative and style in The Hurt Locker (2008) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012), I argue that, as a new action realist, Bigelow problematises notions of film realism. Bigelow’s work brings the viewer into intimate and sometimes uncomfortable proximity with the violent action depicted onscreen, this proximity being a key feature of new action realism. The presentation is explicit and sudden, the graphic presentation creating a discomforting nearness which is partially created through immediacy. Such imagery, particularly evident in The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, echoes footage captured by military personnel, news reporters and civilians on portable cameras and smart phones, recalling news reports of 9/11 and similar reports of crisis. With this aesthetic of intimacy and immediacy, Bigelow’s new action realism hints at as much as it explicitly presents. This incomplete visual display imbues her films with a sense of confusion and hopelessness and consequently presents a world of fear and paranoia that is simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar, captured by and yet obscured by its medium.
    • Beatrice Warde, May Lamberton Becker and Books Across the Sea

      Glaser, Jessica; Roberto, Rose; Alexiou, Artemis (Peter Lang, 2021-12-31)
    • Resisting a “digital green revolution”: agri-logistics, India’s new farm laws and the regional politics of protest

      Dhanda, Meena; Singh, Tanya; Singh, Pritam (Taylor & Francis, 2021-12-31)
      Recent laws introduced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government aim to centralise India’s federal structure, for the goal of a unified (Hindu) national market, and to corporatise its agro-food system at the expense of smallholder farming and small-scale trade. These laws are being challenged by mass mobilisations led by farmers’ unions from northwestern states—once-booming agricultural regions where, in recent decades and in the aftershocks of the Green Revolution, agrarian suicides have become endemic. The roots of this catastrophe are rapid marketisation in the 1960s (installing monocropping dependent on petrochemical inputs, destroying local agroecology) followed by post-1980s neoliberalism (with highly inequitable contract farming, alongside defunding of public infrastructure). Farmers and labourers now face interwoven crises of social reproduction—ecological depletion, precarisation, and chronic indebtedness, with no post-agricultural future in sight. The new laws claim to redress this by employing populist rhetoric against “exploitative middlemen”; in reality, markets are re-regulated in favour of large export-oriented agribusiness, thereby endangering food security, livelihoods and climate. The laws also herald digitalisation in agriculture and retail—further subsuming smallholders into productivist, financialised and outsourced logics. Their promulgation has triggered substantial FDI from global Big Tech, including Facebook and Google, aided by Indian conglomerates with close ties to the BJP built during PM Narendra Modi’s prior tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat. This paper details the above and concludes by contextualising the ongoing protest movement. We focus on southern Punjab, a region that has suffered acute crises of health and ecology, as well as violent political conflict and state repression. Decades of left-wing rural union activity in this region, fighting debt and dispossession as well as in support of anticaste land struggles, have laid the organisational groundwork for hopeful new political trajectories, including potentials for grassroots red-green coalitions centring women and landless labourers.
    • Kantian guilt

      Satne, Paula (De Gruyter, 2021-10-25)
    • Introduction

      Satne, Paula; Scheiter, Krisanna; Satne, Paula; Scheiter, Krisanna (Springer, 2021-10-10)
    • Multitude void: the regal mode of imperial legitimation

      Halligan, Benjamin; Penzin, Alexei; Halligan, Benjamin; Pippa, Stefano; Carson, Rebecca (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021-10-07)
    • La ética de la memoria: una perspectiva Kantiana

      Satne, Paula; Sanchez Madrid, Nuria; Villacañas, José Luis; Muñoz, Julia (Peter Lang, 2021-07-05)
      In this article, I address the issue of whether we have an obligation to remember past immoral actions. My central question is: are we oblige to remember past moral transgressions? I address this central question through three more specific questions. In the first section, I enquiry whether we have an obligation to remember our own past transgressions. In the second section, I ask whether we have an obligation to remember the wrongful actions that others have committed against ourselves. In the last section, I investigate whether we have a duty to remember the suffering of victims of crimes that have a political aspect, crimes such as state violence, oppression and racial discrimination, for example.
    • Injury incidence and severity in pre-professional musical theatre dancers: a 5-year prospective study

      Stephens, Nicola; Nevill, Alan; Wyon, Matthew (Thieme, 2021-06-07)
      Dance injury research has mainly focused on ballet and modern dance with little data on musical theatre dancers. The purpose was to assess the incidence and severity of injuries in a musical theatre dance college over a 5-year period; 198 pre-professional musical theatre dancers (3 cohorts on a 3-year training course) volunteered for the study; 21 students left the course over the study period. Injury aetiology data were collected by an in-house physiotherapy team. Differences between academic year and sex were analysed using a Poisson distribution model; significant difference was set at p≤0.05. In total 913 injuries were recorded, more injuries occurred in academic year 1 than year 2 and 3. Overall injury incidence was 1.46 injuries per 1000 hours (95%CI 1.34, 1.56); incidence significantly decreased between year 1, 2 and 3 (p<0.05). There was no significant sex difference for incidence or severity. Most injuries were classified as overuse (71% female, 67% male). Pre-professional musical theatre dancers report a high proportion of lower limb and overuse injuries that is comparable to other dance genres. Unlike other studies on pre-professional dancers; injury incidence and severity decreased with academic year, even though workload increased across the course.
    • World’s end: punk films from London and New York, 1977-1984

      Halligan, Benjamin; McKay, George; Arnold, Gina (Oxford University Press, 2021-05-30)
      Saturday Night Fever (John Badham, 1977) concludes with the protagonist, seemingly weary of the company of his delinquent friends (given over to gang violence and gang rape, and in the wake of the needless death of the youngest and most disorientated), finding a moment of peace in the apartment of his previously unenthused girlfriend. They have reconciled, a future together has begun, and “How Deep is Your Love” by the Bee Gees – a major international chart hit of 1977 – plays over the closing credits. The couple’s connection was initially based on shared disco dancing abilities, and their get-togethers on the dance floor and in the dance studio have offered the opportunity of an escape for each. For Tony Manero (John Travolta), the escape is from his underpaid blue-collar job and suffocating family tensions – where his life at home, as a second-generation Italian immigrant, seems like stepping back into the old country for family meals, in sharp contrast to the grooming he devotes to his appearance, upstairs in his bedroom. Once outside, the very streets of New York seem to have been recast as a dance floor – via mobile shots of Travolta’s feet, pacing with a cocksure swagger to the beat of the Bee Gees soundtrack. For Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney), the escape is from more obscure forms of patriarchal exploitation, enacted via her aspirations to a glamourous and independent life, which can be read as calibrated to an imagining of the nightclub Studio 54 (which opened in 1977), not least in her celebrity name-dropping and initial distaste for her uncultured suitor. The final shot of Saturday Night Fever frames the couple in her apartment: polished wooden floors, exposed brick walls, a healthy rubber plant, an acoustic guitar resting against a sofa, and a window ledge looking out across Manhattan – a much more desirable locale than the film’s initial setting of Tony’s Brooklyn (see Figure 1). In short, to return to “How Deep is Your Love”, the couple have realised that they were “living in a world of fools / breaking us down when they all should let us be / [since] we belong to you and me”, and enshrine this shared sentiment in domestication. The New York of 1977 has tested them and their success in meeting this test has allowed them to take a synchronised step forward, and establish themselves on an upwardly mobile trajectory.
    • Does past experience effect balance in older women: a cross-sectional study comparing retired dancers and age-matched controls?

      Wyon, Matthew; Reeve, Eileen; Ambegaonkar, Jatin; Cloak, Ross; Clarke, Frances; Davies, Paul (Springer Nature, 2021-05-24)
      Background: Falls are increasing prevalent in the elderly but little data has been reported on the effect of previous life experience on balance ability. Aims: The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to determine whether participants with historically highly developed postural control (retired dancers) provided protection after activity had stopped by comparing their balance abilities with age-matched sedentary counterparts. Methods: Ten retired dancers [RD] 65 ±7.36yrs and 10 sedentary controls[C] 66 ±5.66yrs carried out a series of balance tests in a laboratory setting in a set order: Romberg, Functional Reach, Timed Up and Go, Berg and Tinetti. Results: The RD group performed significantly better solely in the static balance tests (Romberg and Berg Balance) (p<0.05). Therefore, past exercise history of the individual possibly needs to be considered when selecting a balance test battery with a need to use tests that have multiple constructs of balance. Conclusion: The RD group performed significantly better at static balance tests suggesting a possible skill retention from their dance careers
    • Anti-establishment language humour and creativity in the Czech-speaking lands, 1938 to 1989

      Dickins, Tom (Modern Humanities Research Association, 2021-04-23)
      This article addresses a phenomenon that has been downplayed (especially in publications aimed at non-Czech speakers) — anti-establishment language humour and creativity in the Czech-speaking lands from 1938 to 1989. The study begins with a discussion of the motivation behind the humour and wordplay, with particular reference to their linguistic and comedic functions. This is followed by an examination of the principal themes and targets of the humour, or its message(s). A distinction is drawn here between anti-German humour, which sought to defend Czech identity, and humour critical of Communism, which was aimed mainly at political reform. In the final and longest section, the focus switches to the medium of the humour, which is analysed in detail under two defining headings: metalinguistic playfulness, and intertextual and encoded referents. In conclusion, the article stresses, inter alia, the symbolic importance of the anti-regime humour as a means of subversion, and the pleasure and solace that people took from it, both as a form of escapism and as an aesthetic experience.
    • Between man and machine: the liminal superhero body

      Gaine, Vincent M. (Routledge, 2021-04-02)
      This article discusses the liminal bodies of superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a focus upon the blending of the biological and the technological. The article covers the commercial and aesthetic logic of contemporary Hollywood cinema, engaging with discourses around embodiment and digital effects as well as the relationship between visual text and viewer. Furthermore, the article identifies the Marvel franchise’s exploration of the politics of social identity and technology, an exploration that is played out over the superhero bodies.
    • The vile eastern European: ideology of deportability in the British media discourse

      Radziwinowiczowna, Agnieszka; Galasinska, Aleksandra (Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw and the Polish Academy of Sciences, 2021-03-31)
      Pre-Brexit media discourse in the UK focused extensively on the end of free movement, the governance of European mobility, and its relationship with state sovereignty. This article, methodologically anchored in Critical Discourse Analysis, discusses how the potential post-Brexit deportee, namely the ‘Vile Eastern European’, is depicted by the leading pro-Leave British press. The Vile Eastern European is juxtaposed with a minority of hard-working and tax-paying migrants from the continent, as well as with unjustly deported Windrush and Commonwealth migrants. As the newspapers explain, the UK has not been able to deport the Vile Eastern European because of the EU free movement rights. The press links the UK’s inability to remove the unwanted citizens of EU countries with its lack of sovereignty, suggesting that only new immigration regulations will permit this deportation and make the UK sovereign again. The article concludes that the media discourse reproduces and co-produces the UK ideology of deportability that has been the basis for the EU Settlement Scheme and new immigration regulations.
    • The Courtesan and the Collaborator: Marguérite

      Chandler, Clare; Jubin, Olaf (Routledge, 2021-03-18)
    • Tim Burton’s benevolently monstrous Frankensteins

      Geal, Robert; Pheasant-Kelly, Fran; Hockenhull, Stella (Edinburgh University Press, 2021-03-01)
    • 'Made to think and forced to feel': The power of counter-ritual

      Dhanda, Meena; Rathore, Aakash Singh (Oxford University Press, 2021-02-17)
      Dr Ambedkar argued that habitual conduct with the backing of religion is not easy to change and that salvation will come only if the caste Hindu is ‘made to think and is forced to feel that he must alter his ways’. He meant that the casteist conduct of the ‘caste Hindu’ is hard to change because it springs from an ingrained habit of mind. The impetus to change ways can come from unexpected contingencies: impersonal political junctures, very personal histories, inter-personal challenges, intra-group skirmishes, a whole network of factors that brings the habitual conduct of caste up for scrutiny. This mix of factors is quite complicated in the U.K. where I am located as a researcher and academic, regularly engaging with the public. We need to think through the means of defiance against systematic oppression and stigmatisation of people on the basis of caste. In this paper I will reflect upon whether caste might be disrupted in its everyday reproduction through the use of counter-rituals.
    • Growth, maturation and overuse injuries in dance and aesthetic sports: a systematic review

      Kolokythas, Nico; Metsios, George; Dinas, P; Allen, Nick; Galloway, Shaun; Wyon, Matthew (Taylor & Francis, 2021-01-24)
      Overuse injuries are the most prevalent injuries in aesthetic sports, due to the repetitive nature of the training. Evidence of their relationship with growth, maturation, and training load is equivocal. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of these factors on overuse injuries in dance and aesthetic sports. A database search was conducted using standard methods for article identification, selection, and risk of bias appraisal. The eligibility criteria for inclusion in the study consisted of peer-reviewed articles using any type of study design. Twenty-three studies met the criteria. These studies were cross-sectional in design, focusing on dance, gymnastics and diving. Nineteen studies indicated a positive association between growth, maturation, and overuse injuries and a further 6 reported a positive association with training load. There were inconsistencies in how the included studies accounted for important confounding associations of growth and maturation, in addition to showing high or unclear risk of bias. In conclusion, both the quantity and quality of research available on growth, maturation, and training load in association with overuse injuries in dance and aesthetic sports is lacking. The methodological approaches used, combined with the heterogeneity of the investigated populations, lead to equivocal and thus inconclusive results.
    • Sound objects: exploring embedded computing for procedural audio in theatre

      Whitfield, Sarah; Dalgleish, Mat; Toulson, Rob; Paterson, Justin; Hepworth- Sawyer, Russ (Routledge, 2021-01-22)
      Procedural audio has been the subject of significant contemporary interest, but prior examples in relation to theatre sound are limited. After providing background to theatre sound and procedural audio, we introduce two artefacts, RayGun and INTERIOR, that explore issues around theatre sound. RayGun is an augmented prop prototype that uses sensor driven, procedurally generated and locally diffused sound to address prior deficiencies. INTERIOR reimagines Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1895 play Interior as an embedded, generative and largely procedurally generated audio play housed in a shortwave radio-like artefact. Intended to provide an accessible experience, the listener uses a single knob interface to scan through a soundscape of simulated radio stations and ‘find’ the play. We present some initial findings and conclude with suggestions for future work.