(Post)modernism and the Other

Broj 2 - Godina 1 - 06/2011

Uvodnik

There is always a good reason to cherish and celebrate a second issue of a journal. In our case it would probably be the fact that in spite of the severe world financial crisis and its repercussions on the academic world we found a way to beat the odds and publish what is hopefully a progressive, intellectually competitive and, at the end of the day, an interesting collection of academic papers. As opposed to the first issue, dedicated to the theme of the endangered "body", the second one functions as a form of proceedings from the conference that was held at the University of Zadar in September 2010. The conference entitled Re-Thinking Humanities and Social Sciences questioned the issue of (Post)modernism and the Other through an extremely wide variety of scientific approaches, creating an atmosphere of highly academic competitiveness surrounded by a distinct Mediterranean ambiance. The second issue of our journal is an intellectual and textual extension of that unique experience. Obviously the papers presented here are merely a fragment of that experience but nevertheless we believe that they will provide the reader with an interesting and challenging insight into the issue of (Post)modernism and the Other. ..

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Izdvojeno

Although film history has mostly been understood in national terms, there have also been attempts to present a general history of film styles. The history of film styles can be roughly divided into four distinct phases, each drawing on different aspects of narration. In the beginning, cinema privileged documentation and spectacle, presenting the exhibitionistic aspect of the new medium, whose structural characteristics had yet to be explored. Nöel Burch labeled this pre-narrative style a Primitive Mode of Representation, and this mode defied the narrative aspect of film-making. The shift towards narration occurred in the period between 1907 and 1909, when narrative films became the dominant mode of storytelling. The transition towards narrative cinema was mainly prompted by the demands of the market, which resulted in the gradual predominance of fictional narratives. The new style became known as the classical realist cinema, and Classical Hollywood Cinema became the leading representative. ...

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In the beginning of this short text, which will discuss the question of the postmodern Other, I will propose that the post-Other, or Other in the postmodern condition, be called the biopolitical Other. The thesis is as follows: when we think about the question of the Other in the contemporary condition, which for want of a better definition and following Lyotard could be named postmodern, the dominance of the biopolitical Other can be observed on a global scale. In approaching the question of the biopolitical Other, I will not follow the path usual in problematizing the biopolitical. When thinking about biopolitics, the usual path begins with the creator of the term, Foucault, to theorists who adopted and somewhat changed its original meaning, such as Agamben and others. I will approach the term of the biopolitical Other using terms borrowed from political theory which problematizes notions such as State, sovereignty, Nation-State, Law, international Law. I will begin the analysis starting with some aspects of the notion of sovereignty, problematized in the 1920s by Carl Schmitt and relate it to the notion of biopolitics, recently popularized by Agamben. But the path to the notion of biopolitics will be slightly different than Agamben's....

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Space represents a crucial component in the process of analyzing and understanding literature and the various cultural implications that literature is more often than not exposed to. This is particularly true when the subject of the analysis is American literature whose origins, and its later development through the years, represent a constant interchanging and merging of numerous cultural and social values. The spatial aspect and its influence on American literary production constantly develops, much like the country and its literary focus, adapting to the ever-changing world. Therefore the aim of this analysis cannot be an attempt to provide an overview of the numerous instances of interaction that have taken and still are taking place between literature, or its authors, and the various notions and ideas of space as defined by disciplines such as human geography. Instead, what this particular analysis can do is to provide insight into a type of “space” both extremely specific to the American experience and in many ways a constant presence within numerous American creative processes. It is the concept of the “Frontier” that positions itself as a key notion that defines many aspects of both the American imaginary and the real, and which as the analysis will show, is not limited to a defined historical or cultural context, but instead functions as a continuous source of inspiration and national/personal introspection. ...

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The dissolution of Yugoslavia was an immensely complex, difficult and violent turmoil, whose full implications, even after a decade and a half, are relatively well known and, at the same time, still in need of further explanation. Thus, when speaking of the collapse of communism, Alain Badiou's term „obscure disaster“ is pertinent as a designating term, a metaphor for the lack of meaning itself, for an absence further exacerbated by specific conditions in which socialism crumbled in former Yugoslavia. This obscurity is only reinvigorated by the latest set of problems with which the South-East European states are faced after the late-2000s global financial crisis. For our present needs it will be enough to state that Yugoslavia’s dissolution affected every aspect of social life; the unprecedented scope of this transformation, as well as its current inscription in ongoing „suspended“ histories of newly founded nation-states certainly adds something to this „obscurity“. Our aim in this paper is to provide a somewhat speculative account of post-socialist ideological constellation by focusing on a single discoursive aspect, which we identify as a certain distinctiveness of these spaces. Although only an aspect of a more wider conjuncture, it is our belief that this cluster is highly symptomatic, as it represents the crossroads between various discourses and processes that are fundamental for understanding the current “transitional” societies, or to be more precise, the places where these “transitional” societies fail to deliver on their promises. These range from the predominant depoliticized vision of the clash of the civilizations (Europe vs. Balkans, West vs. East etc.), the (still ongoing) dissolution of the welfare state, the complex changes in the institution of social and economic rights, profound metamorphosis of the public sphere, the rise of nationalist hegemonies, all to the neoliberal assault on the last remnants of the, by now, thoroughly „nationalized“ socialist heritage etc. ...

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