874 research outputs found

    Smith on Jenkins, \u27Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture\u27

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    Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture by Henry Jenkins. New York: Routledge, 1992. viii + 343 pp. 95.00(cloth),ISBN978−0−415−90571−8;95.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-415-90571-8; 38.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-415-90572-5. In Textual Poachers, Henry Jenkins examines the underground world of the media fandom, people who create fiction, artwork, and other forms of expression based on television shows. Drawing on a rich theoretical background with sources ranging from feminist literary criticism to cultural anthropology, Jenkins applies and adapts Michel de Certeau\u27s model of poaching, in which an audience appropriates a text for itself. Taking a stand against the stereotypical portrayal of fans as obsessive nerds who are out of touch with reality, he demonstrates that fans are pro-active constructors of an alternative culture using elements poached and reworked from the popular media

    Smith on Bacon-Smith, \u27Enterprising Women: TelevisionFandom and the Creation of Popular Myth

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    In Enterprising Women scholar Camille Bacon-Smith describes the underground culture of media fandom, that is, the network of fans who create fiction, poetry, art, and other creative works based on favorite television shows and then gather to circulate these works. Because I have been an active participant in this culture for twenty years, Bacon-Smith\u27s book was of particular interest to me, not only as an academic, but as a fan. Bacon-Smith has taken on a daunting task: reporting on a cultural phenomenon both as an engaged participant and as an unbiased observer. Her position is typical of the ethnologist who studies contemporary society, and this book is a useful example of the ethnologist\u27s dilemma, as well as an informative text on the culture she studies

    Smith on Hanley, \u27The Metaphysics of Star Trek

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    Review by Anne Collins Smith on the H-PCAACA mailing list, June 1998. The Metaphysics of Star Trek by Richard Hanley. New York: Basic Books, 1997. xviii + 253 pp. $18.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-465-09124-9. Richard Hanley\u27s The Metaphysics of Star Trek is an engaging examination of certain philosophical issues raised within the Star Trek universe. Its title, however, is overly broad; it would be more correctly titled, The Twentieth-Century Applied Metaphysics of Star Trek. The earliest reference in the bibliography is an article written in 1950; the next earliest, 1960. The vast majority of sources are from the 1980\u27s and 1990\u27s. There is nothing wrong with this focus; it is simply a limitation that should be noted

    Voldemort Tyrannos: Plato’s Tyrant in the Republic and the Wizarding World

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    In the Harry Potter novel series, by J. K. Rowling, the character of Lord Voldemort is the dictatorial ruler of the Death Eaters and aspiring despot of the entire wizarding community. As such, he serves as an apt subject for the application of Plato’s portrait of the tyrant in Republic IX. The process of applying Plato to Voldemort, however, leads to an apparent anomaly, the resolution of which requires that we move beyond the Republic to the account of beauty presented by Plato in the Symposium. In doing so, we shall find that while Plato can help us to understand Voldemort, Voldemort can also help us to attain a deeper understanding of Plato

    Pragmatism and Meaning: Assessing the Message of Star Trek: The Original Series

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    The original Star Trek television series purported to depict a future in which such evils as sexism and racism do not exist, and intelligent beings from numerous planets live in a condition of peace and mutual benefit. As many scholars have observed, from a standpoint of contemporary theoretical analysis, Star Trek: The Original Series contains many elements that are inimical to the utopia it claims to depict and thus undermine its supposed message. A different perspective may be gained by drawing on the American pragmatist movement, in which the value of an idea is judged by its effectiveness, how it ‘cashes out’ in terms of its impact in real life. Thus, the meaning and value of Star Trek: TOS can be assessed by observing its effects on its audience. This perspective coordinates well with Taylor’s discussion of the necessary conditions for the realization of a protreptic moral order in the social imaginary, as well as a pragmatist understanding of audience engagement and education

    Smith on Krauss, \u27The Physics of Star Trek\u27

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    Review of Lawrence M. Krauss.The Physics of Star Trek. New York: Basic Books, 1995. xvi + 188 pp. $20.00(cloth), ISBN 978-0-465-00559-8. Reviewed by Anne Collins Smith (Austin Community College) Published on H-PCAACA (May, 1996

    Playing [with] multiple roles: Readers, authors, and characters in Who Is Blaise Zabini?

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    Fans who produce fan works in genres such as fiction, music, and music video take on dual roles in the process, as readers of the original canon and as creators of their own products. These roles -and more- are creatively explored in the Parselmouths\u27 wizard rock composition Who Is Blaise Zabini? . Like many works of fan fiction, the Parselmouths\u27 songs move beyond a reader\u27s ordinary role, taking on an authorial role to generate new characters and events in the Harry Potter universe. What makes this particular work unusual is that at the same time that they are adopting the roles of authors, and even of participants, the Parselmouths also restrict their own authorial and participatory power, claiming that the Slytherin characters they portray could not perceive their classmate Blaise Zabini until J. K. Rowling provided a complete description of him. To untangle their multiple roles and to recognize the creativity exercised by the Parselmouths in collapsing the boundaries among them, it will be helpful to turn to a theory of audience response that delineates specific roles and that specifies the limitations and the powers inherent in them

    Memories Cloaked in Magic: Memory and Identity in \u3cem\u3eTin Man\u3c/em\u3e

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    In Replications: A Robotic History of the Science Fiction Film [Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1995], J. P. Telotte argues that through its long history, one that dates back to the very origins of film, this genre [science fiction] has focused its attention on the problematic nature of human being and the difficult task of being human. [1-2] The thesis of the book, he states, is relatively simple—that the image of human artifice ... is the single most important one in the genre. [...] Through this image of artifice, our films have sought to reframe the human image and reaffirm that sense of self about which we ... appear so anxious today. [5]Substitute magical for technological – or at least, substitute a magically-infused steampunk form of technology – and Telotte\u27s thesis applies as well to the SciFi channel’s miniseries Tin Man as to any other science fiction work. In particular, Tin Manoffers a varied and subtle exploration of the sense of self in terms of the issue of the relationship between memory and identity by offering us not one but three characters who must regain and acknowledge ownership of their memories in order to restore their true identities, restorations which are important not only to the characters on a personal level, but which are critical in the resolution of the plot

    Smith on Telotte, \u27Replications: A Robotic History of the Science Fiction Film\u27

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    Review of J. P. Telotte: Replications: A Robotic History of the Science Fiction Film. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995. 222 pp. 37.00(cloth),ISBN978−0−252−02177−0;37.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-252-02177-0; 19.00 (paper), ISBN978-0-252-06466-1. Reviewed by Anne Collins Smith (Austin Community College, Austin, Texas) Published on H-PCAACA (April, 1996

    A Prison for Others—A Burden to One\u27s Self

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    Women have come a long way since the mid-1960\u27s, both in the real world and in the world of philosophy. Given the advances in society and the developments within feminism that took place between that decade and the first decade of the 21st century, we might reasonably expect the new Prisonerseries to present a more contemporary perspective on women than the original. Such is most emphatically not the case. If we compare the original Village to the new one, it looks as if those pennyfarthing wheels are spinning backwards instead of forwards
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