Monthly Archives: May 2012

Postmodernism, or the Logic of Late Capitalism by Jameson

Begins by situating postmodernism at the point at which the “frontier between high culture and so-called mass or commercial culture” is effaced.  “[A]estehtic production today has become integrated into commodity production generally” (56) The Postmodern is the “force field in … Continue reading

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Originally posted on 少年游:
选了一门“女性与恐怖片”的课。期中作业书评一篇: In almost all critical writings on the horror film genre, monsters tend to be defined as male, and women are only conceptualized as victims. It is also believed that women only terrify when represented as man’s…

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The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction by Walter Benjamin

Benjamin, Walter. “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction.” Illuminations: Essays and reflections. Hannah Arendt, ed., Harry Zohn, trans. New York: Schocken, 1969. pp. 217-252. For Benjamin film can provoke/train the masses, and this is his answer … Continue reading

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The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception

Theodor Adorno and Max Horkeimer, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” in Dialectic of Enlightenment The upshot of mass culture for Adorno and Horkeimer is that, due to the reach of captialism, the culture industry penetrates everywhere, creates its … Continue reading

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Empire of Signs by Roland Barthes

Barthes, Roland. Empire of Signs. New York: Hill and Wang, 1982. Rather than somehow deciphering Japan, he is exploring his own position to exoticism, and ethnocentricism, he is creating a utopian thought experiment to get outside of his own paradigm … Continue reading

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S/Z by Roland Barthes

Barthes, Roland, and Honoré de Balzac. S/Z. New York: Hill and Wang :The Noonday Press, 1974. Barthes performs an analysis influenced by structuralist linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure that explores and (de)mystifies the link between a sign and its meaning. … Continue reading

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Discourses of the Vanishing: modernity, phantasm, Japan by Marilyn Ivy

Ivy, Marilyn. Discourses of the Vanishing: modernity, phantasm, Japan.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. Ivy’s amalgam of cultural theory, anthropological research, and cultural criticism investigates peripheral sites she sees as vanishing “displacing Japanese ‘culture’ as a stable signification.” (21) … Continue reading

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Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals by Azuma Hiroki

Azuma Hiroki. Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals. Trans. Jonathan Abel and Shion Kono. Minnesota UP, 2009. Azuma theorizes otaku as posthistorical, specifically inspired by Kojieve’s Introduction to the Reading of Hegel where he sees US culture as animalistic as it is … Continue reading

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Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation by Susan Napier

Napier, Susan. Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2001. One of the first long-format works that critically engaged with anime in a critical way, focusing on its narrative aspects (rather than … Continue reading

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The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation by Tom LaMarre

LaMarre, Thomas. The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009. LaMarre’s interest in “looking at the specificity of animation is the possibility for thinking the modern or postmodern technological condition with greater specificity.”  He … Continue reading

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