Before Christmas the LION database (available online with your library password) had a makeover and its interface has improved. LION now contains the full texts of many books from the Penguin Classics series (including their introductions). These frequently appear on reading lists and are good editions to use in your research.
Powers of Affect: The Neuro-Image in Digital Screen Culture
Respondent: Barend van Heusden. NB: see full details of this talk below.
The Ethos of Cinema
Respondent: Judith Vega
The Art of Gesture: Returning Narrative and Movement to Images
Respondents: René Boomkens & Annie van den Oever
From Reflex to Reflection: Thinking and Feeling in the Cinema
Respondent: Julian Hanich
Can Film Be Philosophy?
Respondent: Miklós Kiss
Location for all lectures:
Powers of Affect: The Neuro-Image in Digital Screen Culture
cinema we move through character’s brain worlds rather than following their actions or looking through their eyes. In films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004), Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010), and Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2010) we see characters hooked up to a kind of brain scanning machine to mark the entering of brain worlds. However, also when it is not so literally emphasized contemporary cinema has become a ‘brain cinema’ that runs in parallel to recent discoveries in neuroscience and which differs in major ways from previous dominant modes of filming. In the tradition of Deleuze’s movement-image and time-image, I propose to call this new mode of cinema ‘the neuro-image’. The brain-worlds of the neuro-image are full of senses, gestures and affective forms of resistance. This lecture will focus on the primacy of affect in contemporary culture with a focus on ‘neurothrills’ (that are before or beyond narrative suspense) and affects of surveillance in Red Road (Andrea Arnold, 2004) and Evidence Locker (Jill Magid, 2004).
Patricia Pisters is professor of film studies at the department of Media Studies of the University of Amsterdam. She is one of the founding editors of Necsus: European Journal of Media Studies (www.necsus-ejms.eu) Publications include The Matrix of Visual Culture: Working with Deleuze in Film Theory (Stanford University Press, 2003) and Mind the Screen (ed. with Jaap Kooijman and Wanda Strauven, Amsterdam University Press, 2008). Her latest book is The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Film-Philosophy of Digital Screen Culture (Stanford University Press, 2012). See also www.patriciapisters.com
TEST HOW WELL YOU UNDERSTAND A RELATED LANGUAGE AND WIN A PRIZE – British and Irish participants needed
Researchers from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands have developed an online language game in which you can test how well you understand a related language. By playing the game you both help with research on communication in Europe and have a chance to win one of a selection of great prizes (tablet, iPod etc.). 2,000 participants are required. Everybody can play the game – it doesn’t matter how old you are, which languages you speak, or what educational background you have. You can participate by clicking on this link: http://www.micrela.nl/app
If you are interested you can find further details about the project and the project team at: http://www.micrela.nl . It’s not necessary to read this background to play the game.
A review of the recent film by Dr Irene Visser. Gatsby is bombastic and over the top | UK.
Time and venue: April 18, 6pm to 8pm, Van der Leeuwzaal.
Speaker: Jens Eder teaches media and communication studies at the University of Mannheim, Germany. His current research interests centre on audiovisual narratives, their cultural influence and their recent developments on the web.
Abstract: Watching a film can change the viewers’ experience of the world – maybe only momentarily, but often profoundly. Jens Eder’s presentation will explore this world-changing quality of films as ‘qualia-machines’ by introducing Matthew Ratcliffe’s philosophical concept of “ feelings of being” or “existential feelings” into film and media studies. This concept captures an important category of affect in film reception, which is hard to grasp theoretically and has been largely neglected by film theory. It refers to a group of affective phenomena that escape not only most cognitivist but also most phenomenological theories of feeling in film. Starting from this assumption, the presentation will deal with the following questions: How can this kind of feeling be integrated into a more complete theory of film and feeling/affect/emotion? What is the relation between existential feelings of characters (represented feelings) and of real viewers (elicited feelings)? What are the specific aesthetic possibilities of film and its forms in evoking, simulating or influencing existential feelings in the viewers?
Focusing on examples from European and North American films dealing with depression (e.g., Il deserto rosso, Taxi Driver, Fight Club, Adaptation, Helen, Deine besten Jahre as well as series like Six Feet Under or In Treatment), Eder’s paper will suggest some tentative answers to those questions by connecting the philosophical concept of ‘existential feelings’ to approaches from psychology (e.g., accounts of depression) and film studies (among others, Plantinga’s ‘synaesthetic affects’, Fahlenbrach’s ‘audiovisual metaphors’, and my own work on characters, emotions, and ‘mental perspective’). In doing this, the paper will also try to shed some light on how depression – the most common mental disorder in postindustrial societies – is represented in film and what kinds of feelings such representations are supposed to elicit in the viewers. An answer to that question should be informative not only for theories of film and emotion, but also for theories of culture and representation.
For details of an exhibition in Amsterdam dealing with the history of Troy (and thus linked to the first year course English Literary Texts in Context) see: http://www.trojeinamsterdam.nl/expositie-1introductie-2/introductie-2/
The exhibition takes about an hour to see and includes a good deal of coverage of the afterlife of the Troy story in literature, art and cinema.
I have updated the section of the site that links to the most useful online resources. This is now divided into different pages/sections.
Tilo Hartmann from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will talk about “Peak experiences: Exploring users’ sad and meaningful experiences during film exposure.” The lecture will take place on Thursday, March 28, from 6-8pm in the Van der Leeuwzaal (Academy Building).
The Department of English and the Agricola Seminar invite you to the Annual MacDonald Lecture: ‘Reviewing the Spectatorial Turn: Witnessing Drama from the Cycle Plays to Shakespeare’.
Speaker: Greg Walker, Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh.
Time/Date: Monday 11 March at 4pm
Venue: Academy Building A7
Prof. Walker teaches literature of the medieval and early modern periods. His publications include:
- The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Drama, co-edited with Thomas Betteridge (Oxford University Press, 2012)
- The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature, co-edited with Elaine Treharne (Oxford University Press, 2010)
- Writing Under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation (Oxford University Press, 2005, 2007)
- ed. Medieval Drama: An Anthology (Blackwell, 2000)
- The Politics of Performance in Early Renaissance Drama (Cambridge University Press, 1998; paperback, 2006)
- ed.: John Skelton (Everyman Poetry Library, 1997)
- Persuasive Fictions: Faction, Faith, and Political Culture in the Reign of Henry VIII (Scolar Press, 1996)
- Plays of Persuasion: Drama and Politics at the Court of Henry VIII (Cambridge University Press, 1991)
- John Skelton and the Politics of the 1520s (Cambridge University Press, 1988, 2002)