Film and Screen Media - Doctoral Theses
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- ItemThe cosmopolitan aspect of Brazilian cinema: encountering the other, forging vernacular worlds(University College Cork, 2022) Saldanha, Humberto; Rascaroli, Laura; Irish Research Council; Higher Education Authority; University College CorkIn this thesis, I investigate the cosmopolitan aspect of contemporary Brazilian cinema. Departing from the idea of cosmopolitanism as a project towards world conviviality, I propose a critical understanding of the concept, accounting for how vernacular perspectives imagine and address a set of challenges. These include the debates on migration and hospitality, the enactment of borders and in-betweenness, the persistence of neocolonial dynamics in the shape of world memories and the issue of strangeness and the otherisation of alterity, including human and non-human subjects. By framing cosmopolitanism as a critical and vernacular enterprise, my goal is to delink cosmopolitanism from its Western genealogy, while considering how localised epistemologies challenge and goes beyond universalist values. The emphasis on the vernacular does not imply the return of the national, but rather how the local provides a particular perspective on broader contexts, debates, projects, and transnational relations. Furthermore, this thesis situates cosmopolitanism as a relevant concept to reframe world cinema, dialoguing with a set of calls to consider the latter beyond its networks of global circulation. This implies embracing the world in world cinema as an entity foregrounded by cosmopolitan ethic-political dispositions. This is, ultimately, the basis to imagine alternative and vernacular worlds that include those excluded by globalisation and coloniality. In this regard, I suggest that contemporary Brazilian cinema not only is actively involved in the nurturing of cosmopolitan debates, but also, in doing so, unfolds cinematic worlds, whose vernacular epistemologies and alterity confront Eurocentric and imperial versions of cosmopolitanism, as well as their mode of organising and shaping the world.
- ItemThe medi(atis)ation of the slave experience: a journey from page to screen(University College Cork, 2019) Schroeter, Caroline V.; Jenkins, Lee; Young, GwendaConsidering the increase in slave films in recent years, this interdisciplinary project explores the cross-generic development of nineteenth-century slave narratives into their contemporary cinematic iterations. Continuities and changes in the (self-) representation of African Americans are interrogated in two specific cinematic slave narratives: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (2013) and Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation (2016). My argument draws on theories of race, film analysis and intertextuality, specifically adaptation and the black tradition of Signifyin(g), to examine the network of intertexts that influences these films. Key areas considered include the representation of slavery, gender, race, the black body and sexual violence on and off screen. I also trace the conventions of the slave narrative across mediums and discuss the complex nature of authorship and authenticity. Assessing the close connection between the different narrative forms across three centuries, my research shows filmmakers of cinematic slave narratives to be modern-day mediators of the slave experience, similar to the amanuenses of their literary predecessors. This thesis therefore explores how motivations behind the production of these films reflect a recurring social phenomenon reminiscent of those underpinning nineteenth-century abolitionism and the twentieth-century Civil Rights movement. Thus, this thesis examines the effects of mediatisation on the representation of blackness and identity, as instantiated by the experiences of slavery and mediatised Othering, and the tools used to convey these to a twenty-first-century audience. This thesis demonstrates that, despite increasing historical distance, slave narratives continue to be relevant as a commemoration of the African-American experience and a commentary on slavery and its present-day legacy.
- ItemHyphenating Ireland and America: examining the construction of contemporary hybrid identities in film and screen media(University College Cork, 2019) Goff, Loretta; Monahan, Barry; Irish Research Council; University College CorkHyphenation legitimises and makes coherent the unstable and amorphous notion of identity, clarifying “who one is” with shorthand efficiency: Irish-American, Hispanic-American, Anglo-Irish, are some of many identities sutured into coherence by the hyphen. Further to this, and significantly, hyphenated identities are deeply implicated in commodified cultural exchanges between nations, and thus usefully illustrate the ideological and economic operations of identity construction and international relations. This thesis examines contemporary performances of Irish-American hyphenation across several aspects of film and screen media; including stardom, directors, production locations and genres. In doing so, it interrogates the economic and social factors that inform the construction of Irish-American identity and the relationship between Ireland and America (in a media production context). Cinema, as cultural expression and industry, is an interactive form of discourse that magnifies—literally and formally—processes of hyphenation. It therefore acts as the ideal platform for the analysis of protean identity performances. Through such analysis, this thesis seeks not just to simply categorise an emergent “type” of contemporary Irish-America that performs hyphenation with flexibility, but to assess and evaluate the processes of such categorisations. Simultaneously, it reveals the conservative stance taken in films wherein, more often than not, singular identity is implicitly, but problematically, offered as “safer”. This thesis acts as a timely paradigmatic study of contemporary hyphenated identity within the international context.