Showing posts from July, 2013

Individualistic aesthetic forms

In my recent reading, I came across this quote from Murray Smith:
"while both the novel and Hollywood films are individualistic forms, it would be simplistic in the extreme to argye that they merely reflect the individualism of modern Western society and, equally unequivocally, perpetuate this individualism." (Engaging Characters 235).  A well-crystalized statement of some of the issues I've been working through in my chapter on 40s literary adaptations.

CFPs Proposed SCMS Panels 2014

There are a good number of proposed conference panels up on the bulletin board of the SCMS website. These are for the 2014 conference in Seattle, March 19-23. (general CFP) As usual, one can submit via open call or organize a panel independently, but the panel and workshop topics below are worth perusing. The ultimate submission deadline is August 31, but those interested in a proposed panel should contact the panel organizer within the next couple of weeks at latest.

I am not sure if the SCMS bulletin board is available to non-members. If anyone is interested in seeing the full CFP for a panel, leave me a note (via email or comments) and I'll add to the comment section. One does not need to be a member to submit to the conference but one does need to join to present, if accepted.

I've grouped them loosely by subdiscipline or topic. Obviously these are not strict categories, but hopefully will make going through these easier. Feel free to let me know if I should include any ot…

Blackfish and the Effaced Spectator

Blackfish, a recent documentary about SeaWorld, raised some issues for me that I felt worthy of a longer blog post. I don't know if it's fair to equate this documentary with an entire body of American progressive political documentaries. This one is more aesthetically interesting than some (though I didn't find its formal approach entirely satisfactory) and certainly more insightful than some (though less insightful than some others I've seen). Since I try to avoid making this a politics blog and I'm aware much of my reaction to this film is rooted in my own political sensibility, I hesitated in writing this post. But I think there's something larger at stake in how some half-Griersonian/half-activist films in the US work as political documentaries.

Blackfish, to begin with, is an expose of the practices of marine mammal shows, particular those popularized by Sea World. I had no prior knowledge of the issue: in short, killer whales/orcas have occasional attack t…