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Cyborg Feminism: Ambiguity and Hybridity of the Female Cyborg

Description

A posthuman figure like the female cyborg challenges traditional humanist feminism in ways that make room for theorizing new subjectivities and feminist epistemologies. Rather than support a traditional feminism that assumes common experiences within patriarchal society and erases differences among

A posthuman figure like the female cyborg challenges traditional humanist feminism in ways that make room for theorizing new subjectivities and feminist epistemologies. Rather than support a traditional feminism that assumes common experiences within patriarchal society and erases differences among women, cyborg feminism moves beyond naturalism and essentialism to acknowledge complex, individual, and ever-changing identity. Three films, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), and Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (2015), all offer such a vision of the female cyborg. In these films, the cyborg subject is a composite of machine and human—sometimes physical, dependent on the corporal mixing of flesh and machine, but just as often mental. Human sentiment, human memories, and human emotion merge with mechanical frames and electronic codes/coding to produce cyborgs. Importantly, every main cyborg in these films is coded as female. For each cyborg, a female body hosts preprogrammed sexuality and the emotions each creator thinks a woman should have, whether those are empathy, compassion, or submissiveness.

The cyborgs in these films, however, refuse to let categorizations like female, or even their status as human, alive, or real, restrict them so easily. As human-robot hybrids, cyborgs bridge identities that are assumed to be separate and often oppositional or mutually exclusive. Cyborgs reveal the structures and expectations reified in gender to suggest that something constructed can as easily be deconstructed. In doing so, they create loose ends that leave space for new understandings of both gender and technology. By viewing these films alongside critical theory, we can understand their cyborgs as subversive, hybrid characters. Accordingly, the cyborg as a figure subverts and fragments the coherency of narratives that present gender, technology, and identity in monolithic terms, not only helping us envision new possibilities but giving us the faculties to imagine them at all.

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Date Created
2019-05

ERA in AZ

Description

This short documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment features attorney Dianne Post and State Representative Jennifer Jermaine, and it examines the fight for passage at the federal and state level. This film attempts to answer the following questions: What is

This short documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment features attorney Dianne Post and State Representative Jennifer Jermaine, and it examines the fight for passage at the federal and state level. This film attempts to answer the following questions: What is the ERA? What is its history? Why do we need it? How do we get it into the Constitution of the United States of America?

The text of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” The amendment was authored by Alice Paul and was first introduced into Congress in 1923. The ERA did not make much progress until 1970, when Representative Martha Griffiths from Michigan filed a discharge petition demanding that the ERA move out of the judiciary committee to be heard by the full United States House of Representatives. The House passed it and it went on to the Senate, where it was approved and sent to the states for ratification. By 1977, 35 states had voted to ratify the ERA, but it did not reach the 38 states-threshold required for ratification before the 1982 deadline set by Congress. More recently, Nevada ratified the ERA in March 2017, and Illinois followed suit in May 2018. On January 27th, 2020, Virginia finalized its ratification, making it the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

Supporters of the ERA argue that we have reached the required goal of approval by 38 states. However, opponents may have at least two legal arguments to challenge this claim by ERA advocates. First, the deadline to ratify was 1982. Second, five states have voted to rescind their ratification since their initial approval. These political and legal challenges must be addressed and resolved before the ERA can be considered part of the United States Constitution. Nevertheless, ERA advocates continue to pursue certification. There are complicated questions to untangle here, to be sure, but by listening to a variety of perspectives and critically examining the historical and legal context, it may be possible to find some answers. Indeed, Arizona, which has yet to ratify the ERA, could play a vital role in the on-going fight for the ERA.

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2020-05

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Commodifying Asian Aesthetics and Eliminating Asian Bodies: Misrepresentations of Asianness in Science Fiction Film and Television

Description

This work examines three common practices—yellowface in Cloud Atlas (2012), whitewashing in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and absence in Firefly (2002)—employed in popular science fiction that represent Asianness and disregard the Asian body. Though the creators purport to have

This work examines three common practices—yellowface in Cloud Atlas (2012), whitewashing in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and absence in Firefly (2002)—employed in popular science fiction that represent Asianness and disregard the Asian body. Though the creators purport to have progressive ideals at the center of their production choices, their works call on Techno-Orientalist and Orientalist tropes and divorce them from the Asian body, implicitly continuing the Orientalist argument of Western supremacy even in representing Asianness.

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Date Created
2017-05

The Society Behind the Screen: A Look at How French and American Films Represent Their Unique Cultures

Description

The purpose of this honors thesis project is to educate and excite French students on the subject of French films, as well as any person who might be interested in immersing himself/herself in the world of French cinema. This project

The purpose of this honors thesis project is to educate and excite French students on the subject of French films, as well as any person who might be interested in immersing himself/herself in the world of French cinema. This project aims to provide an introduction to French culture through film, and thereby inspire a love of Francophone culture and movies. To accomplish this goal, this honors project will first introduce the differences between French and American films and explain how those differences are based on the underlying culture of the two regions. These differences, in addition to the language barrier, can cause cultural misunderstandings. As a result, these misunderstandings often prevent many Americans from ever experiencing French cinema. The varying history, pacing, writing styles, and gender roles of French and American films can be analyzed to discover each culture's norms and values. Though films often come from a place of imagination, they can also give clues about the life of the society that creates and watches them. After first exploring the history and evolution of cinema in France and America, the project will also analyze the major cinematic differences between the two. Finally, the project contains advice for the reader on film-watching strategies to maximize his/her understanding and enjoyment. Films can serve as a unique and educational lens where viewers can observe cultures in an entertaining environment. When watching foreign films, viewers can hope to gain more insight into the people and the norms of different cultures, and hopefully they will become excited to learn more.

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Date Created
2017-12

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Understanding Jewish Humor and Its Role in Popular Jewish Films From Argentina

Description

It is very difficult to construct an explicit definition of Jewish humor and, thus, even harder to identify examples of the use of this type of humor. In this paper, I use a literature review to set forth a list

It is very difficult to construct an explicit definition of Jewish humor and, thus, even harder to identify examples of the use of this type of humor. In this paper, I use a literature review to set forth a list of characteristics of Jewish humor to aid in its identification and I explain the common reasons for the use of this humor. I use the characteristics of Jewish humor to aid in my identification of Jewish humor in five popular Jewish films from Argentina. I examine what aspects I believe to be exemplifying this type of humor and what this type of humor adds to the films in question. The films that I have chosen to analyze are: El abrazo partido directed by Daniel Burman, Cara de queso—mi primer gueto directed by Ariel Winograd, Relatos salvajes directed by Damián Szifron, Sol de otoño directed by Eduardo Mignogna, and Anita directed by Marcos Carnevale. Judaism is central to the plots of these five films and three of the directors (Burman, Winograd, and Szifron) are Jewish themselves. I show how the directors’ experiences with the Argentinian-Jewish community inform their use of Jewish humor. Lastly, I demonstrate how these examples of Jewish humor help to bring Judaism into Argentinian popular culture and, by doing so, allow Jewish stories and history to be told on a large scale.

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Date Created
2018-05

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American Films in China

Description

Currently the Chinese marketplace is very much influenced by its economic, demographic, political, technological, and sociocultural trends. The Chinese population is aging, and the gender ratio is being tipped to favor the male population. Also, the urbanization of rural parts

Currently the Chinese marketplace is very much influenced by its economic, demographic, political, technological, and sociocultural trends. The Chinese population is aging, and the gender ratio is being tipped to favor the male population. Also, the urbanization of rural parts of China has lead to a rising middle class with higher inclinations to spend their income. Along with these changes, China has fully embraced technological innovation, from mobile payments to sharing economies, to allowing social media access to almost all functions of daily life. The Chinese film market used to consist of mainly government-produced domestic films, but since the the first insurgence of foreign imports, China’s desire for Hollywood films has sparked and grown immensely.
However, while the general public has a high demand for foreign films, the key player in exporting a film and distributing it into China is the Chinese government and related censorship bodies. Since China is a widely untapped marketplace for foreign filmmakers, it makes sense to enter, and there are three ways a film can do so: a flat-fee export, the revenue sharing, and the co-production model. The flat-fee export model entails a straight export into China, including only a flat price, no sales revenue. The revenue-sharing model is the desired choice for big-budget studios since they get a percentage of the ticket sales in China, but there are only a select few spots that are filled each year. The co-production model is when an American film studio partners with a Chinese production company and they create a film together. This model allows the film be considered domestic, but comes with many stipulations regarding Chinese presence and influence in the film.
For an independent film company looking to expand in the most lucrative international market, the best way to effectively create, market, and distribute a movie in China is to first craft a broad, unique, and attainable mission statement. Once the goals of the company are created, then key factors for success are choosing the best method of entry into the marketplace while adeptly taking the government influence into consideration, hiring locals who have previous experience in the Chinese film industry and have a deep understanding of Chinese history, culture, and the current social trends, and taking advantage of all the avenues that are available to market and distribute the film. Overall, the best options for a small independent film company in America would be to create an animated feature with two versions, or a live-action film featuring prominent Chinese actors. These are the most feasible under the flat-fee model for those with a limited financial budget, or a co-production approach for those interested in a more long-term investment plan with China.
Overall, there are many moving parts and aspects to consider when entering the Chinese movie marketplace, and this research and suggestions are geared towards making sure that if going to China is possibility, then this information provides the best tools and resources to ensure that venture is a success.

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Date Created
2019-05

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ARMAGEDDON REVISITED: SOVIET FILM AND MEMORY OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

Description

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet state sought to frame the conflict in a way that provided meaning to the chaos that so drastically shaped the lives of its citizens. Film was one such way. Film, heavily censored until the Gorbachev period, provided the state with an easily malleable and distributable means of sharing official history and official memory. However, as time went on, film began to blur the lines between official memory and real history, providing opportunities for directors to create stories that challenged the regime's official war mythology. This project examines seven Soviet war films (The Fall of Berlin (1949), The Cranes are Flying (1957), Ballad of a Soldier (1959), Ivan's Childhood (1962), Liberation (1970-1971), The Ascent (1977), and Come and See (1985)) in the context of the regimes under which they were released. I examine the themes present within these films, comparing and contrasting them across multiple generations of Soviet post-war memory.

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Date Created
2014-05

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ARMAGEDDON REVISITED: SOVIET FILM AND MEMORY OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

Description

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet state sought to frame the conflict in a way that provided meaning to the chaos that so drastically shaped the lives of its citizens. Film was one such way. Film, heavily censored until the Gorbachev period, provided the state with an easily malleable and distributable means of sharing official history and official memory. However, as time went on, film began to blur the lines between official memory and real history, providing opportunities for directors to create stories that challenged the regime's official war mythology. This project examines seven Soviet war films (The Fall of Berlin (1949), The Cranes are Flying (1957), Ballad of a Soldier (1959), Ivan's Childhood (1962), Liberation (1970-1971), The Ascent (1977), and Come and See (1985)) in the context of the regimes under which they were released. I examine the themes present within these films, comparing and contrasting them across multiple generations of Soviet post-war memory.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

Deconstructing and Recreating Japanese Variety Television

Description

While studying in Japan, I became fascinated by the variety shows my roommates would watch. These shows featured a flexible format with comedians and other entertainers participating in a wide variety of activities. For my senior creative project, I

While studying in Japan, I became fascinated by the variety shows my roommates would watch. These shows featured a flexible format with comedians and other entertainers participating in a wide variety of activities. For my senior creative project, I decided to determine what features were essential to Japanese variety shows, and to then use these features to create my own program.
In order to determine the essential features of Japanese variety television, I watched a total of 22 episodes of three popular Japanese variety shows: Gaki no tsukai ya arahende (ダウンタウンのガキの使いやあらへんで! Usually abbreviated as ガキの使い), London Hearts (ロンドンハーツ), and Utaban (うたばん). I chose these three shows because of their differing styles, popular comedic hosts, and impressive longevity, with a combined 58 years of runtime. Through my research, I was able to assemble the analyses of basic and technical features found in the next section of this document in addition to several pages of my own notes used to design my original program.
My own program, American Joke (アメリカンジョーク), is meant to be filmed in America featuring an entirely Japanese cast. The main idea of the show is to capitalize on the comedic potential of cultural differences by having Japanese comedians interact with American people and traditions.
In order to showcase the show, I filmed a short “sizzle reel” video featuring Japanese exchange students as the cast. Segments filmed included our “comedians” learning the high jump from ASU track athletes, bringing Japanese fermented soybeans to campus for American students to taste, and participating in an American-themed quiz show.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Genetic diversity across the pseudoautosomal boundary varies across human populations

Description

Unlike the autosomes, recombination on the sex chromosomes is limited to the pseudoautosomal regions (PARs) at each end of the chromosome. PAR1 spans approximately 2.7 Mb from the tip of the proximal arm of each sex chromosome, and a pseudoautosomal

Unlike the autosomes, recombination on the sex chromosomes is limited to the pseudoautosomal regions (PARs) at each end of the chromosome. PAR1 spans approximately 2.7 Mb from the tip of the proximal arm of each sex chromosome, and a pseudoautosomal boundary between the PAR1 and non-PAR region is thought to have evolved from a Y-specific inversion that suppressed recombination across the boundary. In addition to the two PARs, there is also a human-specific X-transposed region (XTR) that was duplicated from the X to the Y chromosome. Genetic diversity is expected to be higher in recombining than nonrecombining regions, particularly because recombination reduces the effects of linked selection, allowing neutral variation to accumulate. We previously showed that diversity decreases linearly across the previously defined pseudoautosomal boundary (rather than drop suddenly at the boundary), suggesting that the pseudoautosomal boundary may not be as strict as previously thought. In this study, we analyzed data from 1271 genetic females to explore the extent to which the pseudoautosomal boundary varies among human populations (broadly, African, European, South Asian, East Asian, and the Americas). We found that, in all populations, genetic diversity was significantly higher in the PAR1 and XTR than in the non-PAR regions, and that diversity decreased linearly from the PAR1 to finally reach a non-PAR value well past the pseudoautosomal boundary in all populations. However, we also found that the location at which diversity changes from reflecting the higher PAR1 diversity to the lower nonPAR diversity varied by as much as 500 kb among populations. The lack of genetic evidence for a strict pseudoautosomal boundary and the variability in patterns of diversity across the pseudoautosomal boundary are consistent with two potential explanations: (1) the boundary itself may vary across populations, or (2) that population-specific demographic histories have shaped diversity across the pseudoautosomal boundary.

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Date Created
2016-12