Roland Barthes as a Cultural Theorist

French literary critic, Roland Barthes (1915-1980) was a key figure both in the development of structuralism — in particular in the application of techniques derived from semiology to the analysis of everyday life and popular (as well as high) culture — and in the post-structuralist criticism of structuralism. His work covers an enormous range of… Read More Roland Barthes as a Cultural Theorist

Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy, Photography and Film

Emmanuel Levinas is among the least obvious of twentieth-century philosophers to feature in a volume devoted to philosophy of film. From a philosophical grounding in the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger that remained an important influence throughout his career, Levinas‘s work traverses the fields of religion, aesthetics, politics and, most crucially, ethics. Levinas articulates… Read More Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy, Photography and Film

Homi K Bhabha’s Theoretical Contributions to Film Studies

In his epistemological work on colonial and postcolonial discourse, cultural translation, hybridity and ambiguity, Homi Bhabha gives a central place to culture. Bhabha refers regularly to literature and (albeit to a lesser extent) to cinema. Speaking from a profoundly humanities perspective, and influenced by Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Frantz Fanon and Jacques Derrida, Bhabha argues… Read More Homi K Bhabha’s Theoretical Contributions to Film Studies

Decanonisation

In the wake on Postmodernist critique of modernism and liberal humanism, and with the vogue of Derridean deconstruction and decentering of the subject/centre, the Western canon of “great” books, not only in literature but in all areas of humanistic study, has been viewed as determined less by artistic excellence than by the politics of power.… Read More Decanonisation

Deconstruction

Deconstruction involves the close reading of texts in order to demonstrate that any given text has irreconcilably contradictory meanings, rather than being a unified, logical whole. As J. Hillis Miller, the preeminent American deconstructionist, has explained in an essay entitled Stevens’ Rock and Criticism as Cure (1976), “Deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a… Read More Deconstruction