Jim Combs: For scholars, there are no final answers, but we can use our curiosity to look wide and deep in the world

James Combs is Professor Emeritus at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. He is author and editor of a wide variety of books and articles, primarily on subjects related to social and political communication and popular culture. He is currently participating in the ‘Meet our Authors‘ campaign: his full testimonial follows below.

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Meet our Authors: James Combs – March 2018

James Combs is Professor Emeritus at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. He has been active in such academic associations as the Popular Culture Association and the International Communication Association. He is author and editor of a wide variety of books and articles, primarily on subjects related to social and political communication and popular culture, exploring such concepts as political drama, phony culture, the comedy of democracy, and the expansion of social play. His current research focus is in the broad field of popular experience, particularly the importance and variety of moving pictures.

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Book Review: Film Festivals and Anthropology

To the best of my knowledge, to date no book has seriously undertaken an analysis of the history, current challenges and future outlook of the so-called ‘ethnographic film festivals’, rather unique gatherings that have historically had an ambiguous – and sometimes problematic – relationship with mainstream, text-based anthropology. For this reason alone, the publication of Film festivals and anthropology, an extensive and remarkable collection of some of the most relevant scholars in the field, should be warmly welcomed.

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Book Review: Political Philosophy in Motion *.mkv

Codifying the title by analogy with site web media, with a code-breaking asterisk which suggests paratextual elements (footnote or annotation) or the extension of mkv files, Viorella Manolache has already moved inside a generic mix of multi-media associations, which, unlike the vertical linkage of hypertexts, generate a horizontally embedded sequence of images set in motion by camera movement, rapid succession of shots, framing and montage.

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Editorial Advisory Board’s ‘Recommended Read’ – February 2018

This February, our Editorial Advisory Board member Professor Giovanna Summerfield has chosen her ‘Recommended Read’: one of our best-selling titles, noteworthy for the contribution it makes to its field. Giovanna, a Professor in Italian and French, currently serves as the Associate Dean for Educational Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University, USA. Continue reading

Rewriting Shakespeare’s Plays For and By the Contemporary Stage

The central concern of Michael Dobson and Estelle Rivier-Arnaud’s book is the re-writings that Shakespeare’s plays inspired, or as Gérard Genette – referred to in the introduction – would have put it, on the various palimpsests that continue to enrich our bookshelves. Indeed, this volume is about literary works – the word ‘rewriting’ gestures toward the literary field – and the editors acknowledge that a comprehensive account of Shakespeare-inspired creations would have been “an anthology in itself” (5). The word ‘rewriting’ is analysed in the introduction and it is presented as including such processes as translation, allusion, rehearsal, repetition and even interpretation. All in all, the introductory demonstration aims to remind the readers that Shakespeare’s plays are the source of inextinguishable and variegated inspiration. It would have been interesting to remind them from the outset – rather than in the conclusion (161) – that some of Shakespeare’s plays are palimpsests too – for example, he used extensively Robert Greene’s Pandosto to write The Winter’s Tale, not to mention Thomas Lodge’s Rosalynde that, in turns, owed much to the anonymous Tale of Gamelyn – and that the Shakespeare-centred process under scrutiny may be regarded as reaching both forward and backward in time.

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