Matching Items (5)

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The Cultural Value of Bad Storytelling

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An investigation into the cultural phenomenon surrounding books and movies that are considered critical failures, but are nonetheless championed in popular culture. Stories are an essential part of American culture, and many people not only tolerate but truly enjoy those

An investigation into the cultural phenomenon surrounding books and movies that are considered critical failures, but are nonetheless championed in popular culture. Stories are an essential part of American culture, and many people not only tolerate but truly enjoy those stories that are shocking, confusing, and, in some cases, those that were created by storytellers with almost no talent at all. The continued production of these lackluster stories was considered, with an eye to the corporate influences on film studios and publishers. This paper also looked at two storytellers, the filmmaker Ed Wood and the author Stephen King, whose value as artists has been debated by passionate fans and their strongest critics. The sociological concepts of taste and cultural capital, as defined by sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, and the art movements of postmodernism and metamodernism, particularly the style of camp as defined by Susan Sontag and the value of bad taste in art as defined by John Waters, were investigated in regards to their connection to the popularity of bad films and novels. A brief investigation into the psychological effects of consuming bad stories, especially in children, was also included. From this foundation of the bad story as an important part of our culture's ideas about art and its consumption, the paper then addresses some of the popular methods of consumption of the bad story. For novels, the paper examines the trend of pulp fiction novels and of romance novels, going into depth on the role of E.L James' Fifty Shades of Grey in popular culture. For film, the paper examines the impact of the midnight movie trend on the popularity of subversive, counter-culture films, the role of camp genre films like Sharman's The Rocky Horror Picture Show in our culture, particularly with an eye towards audience participation screenings, and the way in which other projects, like Joel Hodgson's Mystery Science Theater 3000, transform bad films into new, enjoyable entertainment. Overall, this paper investigates all of the positive aspects around a failed story that allow these missteps in writing and directing to still find success in our culture.

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2018-05

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Charting caregiver movement using a complexity science framework: an emergent perspective

Description

Health and healing in the United States is in a moment of deep and broad transformation. Underpinning this transformation is a shift in focus from practitioner- and system-centric perspectives to patient and family expectations and their accompanying localized narratives. Situated

Health and healing in the United States is in a moment of deep and broad transformation. Underpinning this transformation is a shift in focus from practitioner- and system-centric perspectives to patient and family expectations and their accompanying localized narratives. Situated within this transformation are patients and families of all kinds. This shift's interpretation lies in the converging and diverging trails of biomedicine, a patient-centric perspective of consensus between practitioner and patient, and postmodern philosophy, a break from prevailing norms and systems. Lending context is the dynamic interplay between increasing ethnic/cultural diversity, acculturation/biculturalism, and medical pluralism. Diverse populations continue to navigate multiple health and healing paradigms, engage in the process of their integration, and use health and healing practices that run corollary to them. The way this experience is viewed, whether biomedically or philosophically, has implications for the future of healthcare. Over this fluid interpenetration, with its vivid nuance, loom widespread health disparities. The adverse effects of static, fragmented healthcare systems unable to identify and answer diverse populations' emergent needs are acutely felt by these individuals. Eradication of health disparities is born from insight into how these populations experience health and healing. The resulting strategy must be one that simultaneously addresses the complex intricacies of patient-centered care, permits emergence of more localized narratives, and eschews systems that are no longer effective. It is the movement of caregivers across multiple health and healing sources, managing care for loved ones, that provides this insight and in which this project is keenly interested. Uncovering the emergent patterns of caregivers' management of these sources reveals a rich and nuanced spectrum of realities. These realities are replete with opportunities to re-frame health and healing in ways that better reflect what these diverse populations of caregivers and care recipients need. Engaging female Mexican American caregivers, a population whose experience is well-suited to aid in this re-frame, this project begins to provide that insight. Informed by a parent framework of Complexity Science, and balanced between biomedical and postmodern perspectives, this constructivist grounded theory secondary analysis charts these caregivers' processes and offers provocative findings and recommendations for understanding their experiences.

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2013

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Brechtian Alienation in Postmodern Texts

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Postmodernism has been one of the dominant modes of thought in literature and philosophy since the 1960s, but its roots go back much further. This thesis is an examination of Brechtian frameworks in an assortment of popular postmodern works. Both

Postmodernism has been one of the dominant modes of thought in literature and philosophy since the 1960s, but its roots go back much further. This thesis is an examination of Brechtian frameworks in an assortment of popular postmodern works. Both literary texts, such as novels, films, and music, and philosophical texts are used to form a general understanding of the postmodern project, and these concepts are then placed in conversation with ideas from the works of the 20th century German playwright Bertolt Brecht. I found that despite certain differences, the central ideas of postmodernism can be seen as the extension of Brecht’s philosophy, especially his concept of the Verfremdungseffekt. First, multiplicity—in perspectives and understandings—can be seen as an attempt to achieve this Verfremdungseffekt in the reader, and second, transgression in these texts can be used to evoke the same feeling. Many of the identifying techniques of postmodernism, e.g. juxtaposition, unreliable narrator, self-reference, and so on, can be interpreted as the extension of ideas pioneered by Brecht in the 1920s and 1930s. My thesis illustrates these connections.
Keywords: Postmodernism, Bertolt Brecht, Verfremdungseffekt

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2016-12

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El esoterismo en la cultura europea: el tetraedro del conocimiento en las novelas de Javier Sierra

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This dissertation focuses on the study of Western esotericism in European culture and forms a method of discovering esoteric topics in cultural artifacts. Using the definition as a corpus of knowledge historically divided between esoteric, reserved for the intellectual and

This dissertation focuses on the study of Western esotericism in European culture and forms a method of discovering esoteric topics in cultural artifacts. Using the definition as a corpus of knowledge historically divided between esoteric, reserved for the intellectual and power elite, and exoteric, available for everybody, I argue that esotericism represents the knowledge that always accompanied the cultural production of the Mediterranean zone, adding a spiritual meaning to any visual or written work of art. The contemporary novels of the past decade by the Spanish author Javier Sierra are fully based on a historical investigation, in which esotericism appears as a nuclear topic, revealing the great interest of the public in the mysteries of the past. Through the postmodern cultural theories, together with sociological and historical methods, the dissertation explores the cultural processes that lead to the shift of esoteric knowledge in the 20th century from secretive to publically available. The study defines the purpose of recreating the European past and investigates the secrets of European cultural formation. Through an insider-outsider perspective, it analyzes the cultural artifacts, that appear in the novels in the form of reference or as a nuclear part of the plot. It presents the scope of esoteric currents, that are divided between the discipline of religion, science, and philosophy, which form the tetrahedron of knowledge as a theoretic model for this study. The constructed model reveals the interaction of the three disciplines throughout the history and examines the reasons for the religious disenchantment of the 20th century, proven through Digital Humanities’ research as the predominance of science over the Catholic Church, which allowed the esoteric knowledge to reappear. The study explores the affiliation of esotericism with science through the scientific-cultural inquiries between the ancient myths and reality, by showing that man’s consciousness had always been dependent on the scientific perception of the world. It explores the pagan symbolism that is mixed with Christian traditions and reveals the stories, hidden behind the representation of the greatest works of art, by combining and analyzing the wisdom of the past and the contemporary spiritual inquiries in their philosophical meaning.

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2017

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Citationality in the Cinema: The Postmodern and Political Films of Adam McKay and Spike Lee

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The recent films of both Spike Lee and Adam McKay have been explicitly political in their respective thematic focuses. The former’s Chi-Raq (2015) adapted an ancient Greek comedy into a commentary on the state of violence in America’s inner-cities and

The recent films of both Spike Lee and Adam McKay have been explicitly political in their respective thematic focuses. The former’s Chi-Raq (2015) adapted an ancient Greek comedy into a commentary on the state of violence in America’s inner-cities and more recent BlacKkKlansman (2018) adapted the memoir of a black police officer’s infiltration into a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. The latter’s The Big Short (2015) adapted Michael Lewis’ bestselling book on the 2008 Financial Crisis into a farcical satire of economic greed, while his next film, Vice (2018), took a similarly scathing approach in depicting the life of former vice president Dick Cheney. While both McKay and Lee have their own unique filmmaking styles, their approach in these four films reveals both filmmakers to be working in the ideological tradition of postmodernism. These directors’ revival of postmodern aesthetic strategies in the 21st century has resulted in sophisticated artistic statements that cut through the political apathy and nihilism of our day. Their fast-paced films, saturated with paradoxes, allusions, and meta-commentaries, manage to keep today’s media-savvy audiences on edge and in a state of unstable equilibrium. This project argues that while both directors are fascinated by the deconstructionist potential that postmodern aesthetic strategies present, a key difference emerges when analyzing their respective political projects: while Lee fully embodies the postmodern mindset in both his narrative structures and thematic insights, McKay’s desire to persuade the audience to take a passionate stand ultimately makes his art transcend the traditional postmodernist stance of neutral, non-judgmental, or ironic acceptance of multiple truths. By comparing Lee’s approach to one of the most popular filmmakers of the day in McKay, this project situates Lee’s canonical style in the modern, ultra-partisan moment.

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2022-05