Though relatively unsung in the English-speaking world, Jean Rouch (1917–2004) was a towering figure of ethnographic cinema. Over the course of a fifty-year career, he completed over one hundred films, both documentary and fiction, and exerted an influence far beyond academia. Exhaustively researched yet elegantly written, The Adventure of the Real is the first comprehensive analysis of his practical filmmaking methods.
Rouch developed these methods while conducting anthropological research in West Africa in the 1940s–1950s. His innovative use of unscripted improvisation by his subjects had a profound impact on the French New Wave, Paul Henley reveals, while his documentary work launched the genre of cinema-vérité. In addition to tracking Rouch’s pioneering career, Henley examines the technical strategies, aesthetic considerations, and ethical positions that contribute to Rouch’s cinematographic legacy. Featuring over one hundred and fifty images, The Adventure of the Real is an essential introduction to Rouch’s work.
Phenomenology has the strongest claim to the mantle of continental philosophy. Edward Baring shows that credit for its prodigious growth goes to a surprising group of early enthusiasts: Catholic intellectuals. Tracing debates in Europe from existentialism to speculative realism, he shows why European philosophy bears the mark of Catholicism.
Feminist critics place a premium on the "real" stories told by the victimized and the oppressed. Haunting Violations offers a corrective to such uncritical acceptance of the "real" in confessional, testimonial, and ethnographic narratives. Through close readings of a wide variety of texts, contributors argue that depictions of the "real" are inherently performative, crafted within the limits and in the interests of specific personal, political, or social projects. Haunting Violations explores the inseparability of discourse and politics in quasi-autobiographical works such as I, Rigoberta Menchú and When Heaven and Earth Changed Places. Contributors consider how the Sri Lankan Mother's Front movement exploits the sanctity of the maternal and how multiple political purposes on both sides bleed through government "documentary" photographs of Japanese-American concentration camp internees. This volume also investigates how South Asian feminists use the authority of their personal experience to critique the film Mississippi Masala and how realist narratives, such as Janet Campbell Hale's autobiographical Bloodlines, Margie Strosser's documentary film Rape Stories, and Shekur Kapur's film Bandit Queen, reexamine how assumptions about power and trauma are embedded in the promise of the real.
Law and Society is a rapidly-growing interdisciplinary field that turns on its head the conventional, idealized view of the “Law” as a magisterial abstraction. Kitty Calavita’s Invitation to Law and Society brilliantly brings to life the ways in which law shapes and manifests itself in the institutions and interactions of human society, while inviting the reader into conversations that introduce the field’s dominant themes and most lively disagreements.
Deftly interweaving scholarship with familiar personal examples, Calavita shows how scholars in the discipline are collectively engaged in a subversive exposé of law’s public mythology. While surveying prominent issues and distinctive approaches to the use of the law in everyday life, as well as its potential as a tool for social change, this volume provides a view of law that is more real but just as compelling as its mythic counterpart. In a field of inquiry that has long lacked a sophisticated yet accessible introduction to its ways of thinking, Invitation to Law and Society will serve as an engaging and indispensible guide.
Law and society is a rapidly growing field that turns the conventional view of law as mythical abstraction on its head. Kitty Calavita brilliantly brings to life the ways in which law is found not only in statutes and courtrooms but in our institutions and interactions, while inviting readers into conversations that introduce the field’s dominant themes and most lively disagreements. Deftly interweaving scholarship with familiar examples, Calavita shows how scholars in the discipline are collectively engaged in a subversive exposé of law’s public mythology. While surveying prominent issues and distinctive approaches to both law as it is written and actual legal practices, as well as the law’s potential as a tool for social change, this volume provides a view of law that is more real but just as compelling as its mythic counterpart.
With this second edition of Invitation to Law and Society, Calavita brings up to date what is arguably the leading introduction to this exciting, evolving field of inquiry and adds a new chapter on the growing law and cultural studies movement.
Our lives are filled with objects—ones that we carry with us, that define our homes, that serve practical purposes, and that hold sentimental value. When these are broken, lost, left behind, or removed from their context, they change. An object out of place can feel alien, take on a different use, or become trash. The lives of the objects change when our relationships to them change.
Left-behind objects are a source of fascination for scholars of the ancient world, and the field of Jewish and Early Christian studies is no exception. Maia Kotrosits offers a fresh perspective, looking beyond physical material to consider how collective imagination shapes the formation of objects and the experience of reality. Bringing a psychoanalytical approach to her analysis of material culture in ancient religion and history, she examines objects of attachment—relationships, ideas, and beliefs that live on in the psyche. By looking at objects of attachment, Kotrosits illustrates how people across time have tied value systems to the materiality of life. Engaging with the fields of classics, history, anthropology, and literary, gender, and queer studies, Kotrosits shows how different disciplines address historical knowledge and how looking closely at an expanded definition of materiality—one that considers both physical objects and their subtexts—can help us make connections between antiquity and the contemporary world.
In many societies and for many people, religiosity is only incidentally connected with texts or theologies, church or mosque, temple or monastery. Drawing on a lifetime of ethnographic work among people for whom religion is not principally a matter of faith, doctrine, or definition, Michael Jackson turns his attention to those situations in life where we come up against the limits of language, our strength, and our knowledge, yet are sometimes thrown open to new ways of understanding our being-in-the-world, to new ways of connecting with others.
Through sixty-one beautifully crafted essays based on sojourns in Europe, West Africa, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and taking his cue from Wallace Stevens’s late poem, “Of Mere Being,” Jackson explores a range of experiences where “the palm at the end of the mind” stands “beyond thought,” on “the edge of space,” “a foreign song.” Moments of crisis as well as everyday experiences in cafés, airports, and offices disclose the subtle ways in which a single life shades into others, the boundaries between cultures become blurred, fate unfolds through genealogical time, elective affinities make their appearance, and different values contend.
The figure of Jesus appears as a character in dozens of nineteenth-century novels, including works by Balzac, Flaubert, Dickens, Dostoevsky, and others. The Real and the Sacred focuses in particular on two fiction genres: the Jesus redivivus tale and the Jesus novel. In the former, Christ makes surprise visits to earth, from rural Flanders (Balzac) and Muscovy (Turgenev) to the bustling streets of Paris (Flaubert), Seville (Dostoevsky), Berlin, and Boston. In the latter, the historical Jesus wanders through the picturesque towns and plains of first-century Galilee and Judea, attracting followers and enemies. In short, authors subjected Christ, the second person of the Christian trinity, to the realist norms of secular fiction. Thus the Jesus of nineteenth-century fiction was both situated within a specific time and place, whether ancient or modern, and positioned before the gaze of increasingly daring literary portraitists. The highest artistic challenge for authors was to paint, using mere words, a faithful picture of Jesus in all his humanity. The incongruity of a sacred figure inhabiting secular literary forms nevertheless tested the limits of modern realist style no less than the doctrine of Christ’s divinity.
The international “quest of the historical Jesus” has been amply documented within the context of nineteenth-century biblical scholarship. Yet there has been no broad-based comparative study devoted to the depiction of Jesus in prose fiction over the same time period. The Real and the Sacred offers a comprehensive survey of this body of fiction, examining both the range of its Christ types and the varying formal means through which these types were represented. The nineteenth century—despite forecasts of God's death at the time—not only revived older Christ types but also witnessed the rise of new ones, including le Christ proletaire, the Mormon Christ, the Buddhist Christ, and the Tolstoyan Christ. Novelists played a crucial role in the invention and popularization of the historical Jesus in particular, one of modernity's major figures.
These pioneering works of fiction, written by authors of diverse religious and national backgrounds, laid the formal groundwork for an enduring fascination with the historical Jesus in later fiction and film, from Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and Margarita to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The book is enhanced by a gallery of illustrations of the historical Jesus as depicted by nineteenth-century artists.
Real to Reel
Lidia Yuknavitch University of Alabama Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3575.U35R43 2003 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
With an intelligence that scalds every pretense and surface, Lidia Yuknavitch's camera pans across subjects as varied as Keanu Reeves and Siberian prison laborers. She zooms in on drug addiction, crime, sex of all flavors, trauma, torture, rock and roll, and art, all the while revealing untried angles and alien shapes. She traces the inner lives of characters teetering on edges-death, birth, love, understanding-but never flinching at the spectacle of their violent descent. This collection represents a verbal cinematographer at her best as she captivates the reader with a prose style that is mesmerizing and fluid, deep and dangerous.
“Reality Squared develops the scholarly discussion of the aesthetic of realism, documentary conventions, and modes of television broadcasting, in sophisticated new directions. Friedman’s historical perspective is especially valuable since so much discussion of the new aesthetic of realism on television fails to take into account similar trends throughout television history.”—Ellen Seiter, professor of communication, University of California at San Diego
“Reality Squared offers a rich variety of insights into the way television and new media make us believe in the worlds they represent. Spanning across the decades of early live TV to contemporary digital culture, this volume is an important history, not only of media but alsoof our perception of reality itself.”—Lynn Spigel, University of Southern California and author of Welcome to the Dreamhouse
Through the 1980s and 1990s, the television industry and its critics have identified and promoted the re-emergence of “reality-based” television. During the past two decades, this type of programming has come to play a major role in both production decisions and network strategy. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, viewers’ desire for “reality TV” shows no signs of diminishing, as evidenced by the meteoric rise of shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Survivor, and MTV’s Real World.
Although debates concerning the relationship between representational media and reality have occupied scholars and artists for quite some time, a surprisingly small number of books have examined this subject. As the title suggests, Reality Squared examines the representation of reality within the squared televisual viewing frame, as
well as the exponential growth of these representational programs on broadcast, cable TV, and even beyond, to the worldwide web. The contributors approach the issues surrounding television and reality from a wide range of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Topics include: the internet, the impact of global news events, weather predictions on the Weather Channel, and the representation of criminality on America’s
Most Wanted. This diverse volume contributes to the ongoing conversation about reality and representation, history and fiction, text and context, and the “inside” and “outside” of that box we call television.
Documentary has once again emerged as one of the most vital cultural forms, whether seen in cinemas or inside the home, as digital, film, or video. In Recording Reality, Desiring the Real, Elizabeth Cowie looks at the history of documentary and its contemporary forms, showing how it has been simultaneously understood as factual, as story, as art, and as political, addressing the seeming paradox between the pleasures of spectacle in the documentary and its project of informing and educating.
Cowie claims that, as a radical film form, documentary has been a way for filmmakers to acknowledge historical and contemporary realities by presenting images of these realities. If documentary is the desire to know reality through its images and sounds, she asks, what kind of speaking (and speaking about) emerges in documentary, and how are we engaged by it? In considering this and other questions, Cowie examines a range of noteworthy films, including Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke, John Huston’s Let There Be Light, and Milica Tomic’s Portrait of My Mother.
Recording Reality, Desiring the Real stakes documentary’s central place in cinema as both an art form and a form of social engagement, which together create a new understanding of spectatorship.
In literary and cinematic fictions, the fantastic blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. Lacking a consensus on definition, critics often describe the fantastic as supernatural, or similar to, but quite different from fantasy, science fiction, and magical realism.
In Unraveling the Real Cynthia Duncan provides a new theoretical framework for discussing how the fantastic explores both metaphysical and socially relevant themes in Spanish American fictions. Duncan deftly shows how authors and artists have used this literary genre to convey marginalized voices as well as critique colonialism, racism, sexism, and classism. Selecting examples from the works of such noted writers as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, and Carlos Fuentes, among others, she shows how capacious the concept is, and why it eludes standard definition.
Challenging the notion that the fantastic is escapist in nature, Unraveling the Real shows how the fantastic has been politically engaged throughout the twentieth century, often questioning what is real or unreal. Presenting a mirror image of reality, the fantastic does not promoting a utopian parallel universe but rather challenges the way we think about the world around us and the cultural legacy of colonialism.