Monday, January 8, 2024

ENG 102 Spring 2024: Resource Archive #1

Abdelfatah, Rund, et al. "The Lavender Scare." Throughline (August 10, 2023) ["One day in late April 1958, a young economist named Madeleine Tress was approached by two men in suits at her office at the U.S. Department of Commerce. They took her to a private room, turned on a tape recorder, and demanded she respond to allegations that she was an "admitted homosexual." Two weeks later, she resigned. Madeleine was one of thousands of victims of a purge of gay and lesbian people ordered at the highest levels of the U.S. government: a program spurred by a panic that destroyed careers and lives and lasted more than forty years. Today, it's known as the "Lavender Scare." In a moment when LGBTQ+ rights are again in the public crosshairs, we tell the story of the Lavender Scare: its victims, its proponents, and a man who fought for decades to end it."]

 Bingham, Clara. "The Women of NOW review: superb history of feminist growth and groundswell." The Guardian (September 2, 2023) [Google Books description: "The history of NOW—its organization, trials, and revolutionary mission—told through the work of three members. In the summer of 1966, crammed into a D.C. hotel suite, twenty-eight women devised a revolutionary plan. Betty Friedan, the well-known author of The Feminine Mystique, and Pauli Murray, a lawyer at the front lines of the civil rights movement, had called this renegade meeting from attendees at the annual conference of state women’s commissions. Fed up with waiting for government action and trying to work with a broken system, they laid out a vision for an organization to unite all women and fight for their rights. Alternately skeptical and energized, they debated the idea late into the night. In less than twenty-four hours, the National Organization for Women was born. In The Women of NOW, the historian Katherine Turk chronicles the growth and enduring influence of this foundational group through three lesser-known members who became leaders: Aileen Hernandez, a federal official of Jamaican American heritage; Mary Jean Collins, a working-class union organizer and Chicago Catholic; and Patricia Hill Burnett, a Michigan Republican, artist, and former beauty queen. From its bold inception through the tumultuous training ground of the 1970s, NOW’s feminism flooded the nation, permanently shifted American culture and politics, and clashed with conservative forces, presaging our fractured national landscape. These women built an organization that was radical in its time but flexible and expansive enough to become a mainstream fixture. This is the story of how they built it—and built it to last."]

Brown, Michael. "The Demon Pazuzu as Noise in The Exorcist." Revenant #3 (March 2018) ["Against a blackened screen blood-red lettering announces the beginning of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973). But it is not only what we see that unnerves us, it is what we hear. From the very first discordant strings’ sudden transition into the adhᾱn, the Muslim call to prayer, the film creates an atmosphere of uncertainty through its innovative sound design. While sound and horror share a long-established history in the production of cinematic dread, sound in The Exorcist does more than simply prompt an emotive response or mood in audiences. Rather, by listening closely to the sonic elements of the often critically unappreciated Iraq prologue, I will demonstrate that the central evil of the narrative, the demon Pazuzu, is in fact best understood as ‘noise’. By reflecting on media theory’s concept of noise as one with affective, ontological and philosophical concerns this essay will argue for a renewed critical approach to the film, one which recognises the demon’s aural association with wind, shrieking voices, garbled language and insect drone as intimately bound to its function as a disruptive and destabilising agency. Accordingly, the possessed body of the film’s adolescent protagonist Regan MacNeil’s (Linda Blair) is aurally and visually constructed as a medium, albeit one that is immersed in noise. I will argue that a sounds studies perspective is useful in identifying a more diffuse kind of horror in The Exorcist beyond its more obvious religious anxieties and visceral special effects, one that, like the presence of noise, disturbs our ability to make sense of the world as something essentially knowable and hence, meaningful. As such the climatic rite of exorcism resembles a communicative performance wherein the exorcist is called upon to expel noise and re-establish meaning through restorative acts of language."]

Church, David. Post-Horror: Art, Genre, and Elevation. Edinburgh University Press, 2020. ["Horror’s longstanding reputation as a popular but culturally denigrated genre has been challenged by a new wave of films mixing arthouse minimalism with established genre conventions. Variously dubbed 'elevated horror' and 'post-horror,' films such as The Babadook, It Follows, The Witch, It Comes at Night, Get Out, The Invitation, Hereditary, Midsommar, A Ghost Story, and mother! represent an emerging nexus of taste, politics, and style that has often earned outsized acclaim from critics and populist rejection by wider audiences. Post-Horror is the first full-length study of one of the most important and divisive movements in twenty-first-century horror cinema."]

"The Conflicting Ideas of Hayao Miyazaki." Quality Culture (Youtube: December 2022) [MB -  Pay attention to the way the authors introduce outside sources into their discussion of Miyazaki's films and themes that run throughout his body of work, notice how they use these outside sources to extend their thoughts and build credibility, its a brilliant example of writing about film (or any subject)."]

Fontainelle, Earl. "So What is Western Esotericism, Anyway?" The Secret History of Western Esotericism (September 5, 2017) ["This episode introduces the SHWEP project, designed to be a tool for anyone wishing to explore the often misunderstood or overlooked byways of western culture; the aim is to be accessible to anyone with an interest in the history of ideas, while maintaining a standard of evidence-based, reliable, and balanced scholarship which will make the podcast useful to high-level academic specialists as well. The SHWEP is a long-form historical investigation, starting from as far back in history as we can go and attempting to trace the genealogies of important streams of esotericism all the way from the beginning to the present day. By engaging in dialogue with leading experts and specialists in every branch of the amazing field of western esoteric studies, SHWEP aims to provide the most complete, detailed, and up-to-date resource for studying these currents available anywhere outside of formal academe."]

Mate, Gabor. "Roots Run Deep: Gabor Maté." Sounds of Sand #61 (November 16, 2023) [MB: This is one of the most profound intellectual and spiritual statements (on a communal level) I have come across and so important to all aspects of our lives (beyond the specific subject being discussed). It is an introduction to a longer Q & A. In a more general sense, Gabor Maté over time has radically changed the way I think about the world and despite never meeting him has helped me to recover (always a work in progress) from my own trauma: "No statement, no words can speak to the immense human suffering, the devastation and the horrendous humanitarian crisis intensifying in the Middle East. The current tragedy is awakening existential fear, acute grief and deep despair. Unspeakable atrocities have left many in a state of deep shock and in need of support. Gabor Maté, M.D. is a renowned speaker, and bestselling author who is is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development. Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them."]

Rushton, Michael. "The Moral Foundations of Public Funding for the Arts (Palgrave Macmillan 2023)." New Books in Critical Theory (November 25, 2023) ["Should governments fund the arts? In The Moral Foundations of Public Funding for the Arts (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023), Michael RushtonCo-Director of the Center for Cultural Affairs and a Professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, explores a variety of frameworks for thinking about this question, from liberal and egalitarian justifications, through to communitarian, conservative, and multiculturalist ideas. The book outlines the economic method for thinking about the arts, and uses this as a starting point to understand what various political philosophies might tell policymakers and the public today. A rich and deep intervention on a pressing social and governmental question, the book is essential reading across the arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well as for anyone interested in arts and cultural policy. Prof Rushton blogs at both Substack and Artsjournal and you can read open access papers covering some of the key ideas in the book here and here."]

West, Stephen. "The modern day concentration camp and the failure of human rights: Giorgio Agamben." Philosophize This! #191 (December 4, 2023) ["Today we talk about the philosophy of Giorgio Agamben. Human rights, a political tactic to dehumanize groups that has been growing in popularity, governments declaring states of emergency and how the concept of potential may in fact be a unifying force."]

Willems, Patrick H. "How to Analyze Movies - Film Studies 101." (Youtube: February 2023) 
["00:00 Intro 03:50 Asking Why 07:08 What Is The Story Saying 11:22 Visual Language 13:07 Style & Aesthetic 16:45 Perspective 18:41 Lenses 23:53 Color 27:45 Aspect Ratio 30:54 Lighting 32:58 Blocking & Camera Movement 39:34 Editing 46:37 Sound 55:50 Putting It All Together 01:01:28 Auteur Theory 01:07:32 Cinema History 01:10:48 Genre 01:15:11 Other Lenses 1:18:09 - Ending"]

Thank goodness for the moon's inconstancy - the loveliness and fearsomeness, the portentousness of its measured concealments and replacements; the apportioned variablility of its shadow and light. How reassuring the cadence of lunar time, its allowance for increase and necessary diminishment. How potent the "nocturnal predominance" (James Joyce) of the moon and of the particular mode of consciousness we consider "lunar." How myriad are the moon's enchantments: the way the objects and spaces, ordinary by day, assume a cool essentiality under moonlight; the way the moon will reflect itself in a river, and in the innumerable mental, emotional and physical liquidities of living beings. The way that ocean and sea are "kneaded by the moon" (Thomas Hardy); how it soothes, as "nurse of the dew,' the fiery excesses of the sun. The way the moon "hangs in the vacant, wide constellations" (Tu Fu, "Full Moon"); how its resplendent currencies can incite to creative, spiritual, magical, sexual, prophetic and lunatic disposition.

The celestial body nearest to Earth, the moon's kinship with the planet is evident in the dominions of the ancient lunar deities. Embodied in the progenerative "Bull of Heaven," or in the cow-headed Hathor, whose milk nourishes the world, in Nana-Sin the celestial physician, or black-cloaked Isis, whose "misty radiance nourishes the happy seeds under the soil" (Apuleis), the moon precides over conception, pregnancy and birth, over the agricultural cycles of sowing and reaping, over every kind of coming into being. She is mistress of moisture; of the juices of life including sap, spittle, semen, menstrual blood, the nectar and poisons of plant and animal. She governs the humid vapors that promote decay, the moisture that falls as rain or dew, the ebb and flow of every body of water; the favorable or unfavorable outcome of every navigation. As lord of ecstasy the moon reigns over all intoxications and inspirations. As Thoth, the baboon-headed god of measure and due-proportion, it presides over learning, wisdom and writing as well as magic and spells. The moon is the mystic vessel containing the milky soma of immortality; the ship of souls that transports the dead to heaven, or the Manichean "elect" to the Pillars of Glory. In radiant fullness, the "circle without blemish" (Tu Fu, "Full Moon") is the Buddhist symbol of tranquility and perfect truth.

Because the moon spins on its own axis in the identical time it takes to orbit the Earth, its lighted "near side" is always turned earthward, just as it perpetually "dark side" is always turned away. "Everyone is a moon," wrote Mark Twain, "and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody." For alchemists, it is the task of the adept to navigate this uncharted territory of the soul, and bring it, so far as possible, into consciousness. The dangers of the undertaking are intrinsic to the allurements and the gravitational pull of Luna herself. The adept can emerge from the far side of the psyche initiated into self-knowledge, or become irretrievably lost in the darkness. Similarly, spiritual ravishment by the moon spirit can inspire to transformative heights and depths, or to vaporous fantasies that draw the individual out of reality. The lunar chill emanating from one's own shadow can numb the soul, its desolation mirrored in the face of the moon ...

It is disconcerting to think that one day space shuttles crowded with human tourists might regularly travel to the moon, or that moon miners might excavate her ancient innards. For now, however, we have not entirely demythologized the moon. We can still look up and see the lunar hare or frog or moonflower. Selene, the "Shining One," still looks upon us with her womanly gaze. In the invisibility of the new moon Hecate, the crone, yet guards the secrets of death and regeneration. And Artemis, the maiden-hunter, still skims the heavens with star-hounds at her heels.The moon remains Earth's friend and muse, guiding us to New Jerusalems or four and a billion years into the past. And still in the night sky, her "same clear glory extends for ten thousand miles" (Tu Fu, "Full Moon").

-- The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images. Taschen, 2010: 26 - 29.

No comments:

Post a Comment