Documenting Donald: A Trans-Media Post-Mortem about Documentary-Making during the 2016 Presidential Election

Media Coverage and the Presidential Election of 2016

‘Documenting Donald’ is a trans-media article which combines the written word with short films and interactive elements. Media elements are embedded into the article and should be activated by the reader at the appropriate place in the text. Embedded elements can be viewed within the article or as full-screen presentations. Continue reading

Black Films Matter: Reassessing Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’ in Post-Ferguson America

Charged with social awareness and style, Spike Lee’s 1989 film, Do the Right Thing is nothing less than a street ballet. It fuses music with the body, giving characters idiosyncratic and physically charged expression to their narrative arcs. They shuffle, strut, stride, and twitch their way through the world, with changes in bodily (and musical) expression coming to signify much larger attitudinal shifts. These changes are important – they help the film to antagonise its audience, shining an uncompromising light upon the hidden subtexts of modernised racism, degradation, and white supremacy. Continue reading

Film Review: Trumbo (2015)

It would be naïve to expect a biopic to comprehensively cover the competing interests, shifting alliances and distinct beliefs among those blacklisted, greylisted, or progressive Hollywood more broadly. However, Trumbo comes to conclusions about courage and cowardice without context and, as such, its oversights are worth exploring. Part of the problem is that Trumbo seems uncomfortable with Dalton’s politics. How else to explain a film with such a curious lack of interest in its protagonist’s beliefs beyond that in the sanctity of the First Amendment? Continue reading

Review (Part Two) of IAAS Annual Conference

The design and implementation of a runaway artificial intelligence was a concern felt by many of the panellists. An AI that proved particularly threatening was one that may be built upon the incorporation of human minds into a computer network. The potential for an omnipresent surveillance filtered into an important term used at the conference – ‘hive mind’. Continue reading

Review (Part One) of IAAS Annual Conference

Usually in conferences, there are one or two panels that do not quite fit the theme. Not this year. Tied together by an excellent plenary from Dr. Lee Jenkins (University College Cork) it demonstrated the power that sight, surveillance, and vision possess on a multi-disciplinary scale. Continue reading

Review of ‘Avant-Gardes Now!’ Symposium

Throughout the whole day there were repetitions of specific phrases which became tagged to the definition of avant-garde. Notions of simulation and mimicry were frequently raised in relation to the differences between what is imagined, and what is supposed. Continue reading

Imagining a Female President: Commander in Chief and the unfinished business of presidential fiction

In the sixth SHAW post Gregory Frame considers the recent fictional depiction of a female US president in Commander in Chief and asks whether this television series gives us clues as to why there has yet to be a woman elected into the Oval Office. Continue reading

Film Review: In P.T. Anderson’s Inherent Vice Pynchon’s “Badass” prevails

Pynchon mentions, and praises, the “Badass” in one of his few essays: “when times are hard, and we feel at the mercy of forces many times more powerful, don’t we, in seeking some equalizer, turn, if only in imagination, in wish, to the Badass… who will resist what otherwise would overwhelm us?” Ultimately breaking noir convention, Inherent Vice does turn, if only in part, to the Badass detective. Bigfoot’s diligent respect for his deceased police partner’s memory, which further distances him from any thug-cop stereotype, leads him to have a very personal stake in Doc’s case and he ends up working more or less alongside the stoned PI. Continue reading

60 Seconds With Peter Molin

To usher in a new series of 60 seconds interviews for 2015 we have invited contemporary war literature experts Assistant Professor Aaron DeRosa (California State Polytechnic University), Assistant Professor Peter Molin (Rutgers University) and Associate Professor Patrick Deer (New York University) to tell us a little bit more about themselves and their expertise.

DeRosa, Molin and Deer will lead our January #Bookhour discussion on Phil Klay’s REDEPLOYMENT on the 27th January 2015, 9-10pm GMT.

“How did you come to your current area of research?”

“My own military deployment to Afghanistan in 2008-2009 inspired me to begin reading contemporary war literature. I started my blog Time Now: The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars in Art, Film, and Literature to publicize great work and initiate conversations on the subject.” Continue reading

Conference Review: ‘Protest: Resistance and Dissent in America’

Bianca Scoti and Dr Tomas Pollard review a selection of panels and the keynote lectures at the BAAS Postgraduate Conference (15 November, 2014) Continue reading