Description : From images of stewed missionaries to Hannibal Lecter's hiss, cannibals have intrigued while evoking horror and repulsion. The label of cannibal has been used throughout history to denigrate a given individual or group. By examining who is labelled cannibal at any given time, we can understand the fears, prejudices, accepted norms and taboos of society at that time. From the cannibal in colonial literature, to the idea of regional Gothic and the hillbilly cannibal, to serial killers, this book examines works by writers and directors including Joseph Conrad, H. Rider Haggard, Thomas Harris, Bret Easton Ellis, Cormac McCarthy, Wes Craven, and Tim Burton. It explores questions of cultural identity and otherness in the modern period, offering an important and original examination of cultural norms and fears with reference to national, economic, linguistic, and sexual identity. Amidst the sharp teeth and horrific appetite of the cannibal, the book examines real fears of over-consumerism and consumption that trouble an ever-growing modern world.
Description : Graham Harvey applies the new use of the term 'animism' to the religious worldviews of communities and cultures such as Ojibwe, Maori, Aboriginal Australian and eco-Pagan to introduce the diversity of ways of being animist. The book explores what role deities, creators, tricksters, shamans, cannibals totems and elders play in these religious traditions and relationships? The book also touches on the 'animist realism' of West African literatures, the 'perspectivism' of Amazonian shamans, and the relational ethics of South and Central Asian communities. The notions that 'animism' is about 'beliefs in spirits' are rejected in favour of a nuanced and positive evaluation of indigenous and environmentalist understandings that the world would be a better place if humans celebrated their relationships with the whole of life.
Description : Objects of fear and fascination, cannibals have long signified an elemental "otherness," an existence outside the bounds of normalcy. In the American imagination, the figure of the cannibal has evolved tellingly over time, as Jeff Berglund shows in this study encompassing a strikingly eclectic collection of cultural, literary, and cinematic texts. Cannibal Fictions brings together two discrete periods in U.S. history: the years between the Civil War and World War I, the high-water mark in America's imperial presence, and the post-Vietnam era, when the nation was beginning to seriously question its own global agenda. Berglund shows how P. T. Barnum, in a traveling exhibit featuring so-called "Fiji cannibals," served up an alien "other" for popular consumption, while Edgar Rice Burroughs in his Tarzan of the Apes series tapped into similar anxieties about the eruption of foreign elements into a homogeneous culture. Turning to the last decades of the twentieth century, Berglund considers how treatments of cannibalism variously perpetuated or subverted racist, sexist, and homophobic ideologies rooted in earlier times. Fannie Flagg's novel Fried Green Tomatoes invokes cannibalism to new effect, offering an explicit critique of racial, gender, and sexual politics (an element to a large extent suppressed in the movie adaptation). Recurring motifs in contemporary Native American writing suggest how Western expansion has, cannibalistically, laid the seeds of its own destruction. And James Dobson's recent efforts to link the pro-life agenda to allegations of cannibalism in China testify still further to the currency and pervasiveness of this powerful trope. By highlighting practices that preclude the many from becoming one, these representations of cannibalism, Berglund argues, call into question the comforting national narrative of e pluribus unum.
Description : This comprehensive bibliography covers writings about vampires and related creatures from the 19th century to the present. More than 6,000 entries document the vampire's penetration of Western culture, from scholarly discourse, to popular culture, politics and cook books. Sections by topic list works covering various aspects, including general sources, folklore and history, vampires in literature, music and art, metaphorical vampires and the contemporary vampire community. Vampires from film and television--from Bela Lugosi's Dracula to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood and the Twilight Saga--are well represented.
Description : In Cannibalism and the Colonial World, published in 1998, an international team of specialists from a variety of disciplines - anthropology, literature, art history - discusses the historical and cultural significance of western fascination with the topic of cannibalism. Addressing the image as it appears in a series of texts - popular culture, film, literature, travel writing and anthropology - the essays range from classical times to contemporary critical discourse. Cannibalism and the Colonial World examines western fascination with the figure of the cannibal and how this has impacted on the representation of the non-western world. This group of literary and anthropological scholars analyses the way cannibalism continues to exist as a term within colonial discourse and places the discussion of cannibalism in the context of postcolonial and cultural studies.
Description : The 'evil child' has infiltrated the cultural imagination, taking on prominent roles in popular films, television shows and literature. This collection of essays from a global range of scholars examines a fascinating array of evil children and the cultural work that they perform, drawing upon sociohistorical, cinematic, and psychological approaches. The chapters explore a wide range of characters including Tom Riddle in the Harry Potter series, the possessed Regan in William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist, the monstrous Ben in Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child, the hostile fetuses of Rosemary’s Baby and Alien, and even the tiny terrors featured in the reality television series Supernanny. Contributors also analyse various themes and issues within film, literature and popular culture including ethics, representations of evil and critiques of society. This book was originally published as two special issues of Literature Interpretation Theory.
Description : Why does Western culture remain fascinated with and saturated by cannibalism? Moving from the idea of the dangerous Other, Priscilla L. Walton's Our Cannibals, Ourselves shows us how modern-day cannibalism has been recaptured as in the vampire story, resurrected into the human blood stream, and mutated into the theory of germs through AIDS, Ebola, and the like. At the same time, it has expanded to encompass the workings of entire economic systems (such as in "consumer cannnibalism"). Our Cannibals, Ourselves is an interdisciplinary study of cannibalism in contemporary culture. It demonstrates how what we take for today's ordinary culture is imaginatively and historically rooted in very powerful processes of the encounter between our own and different, often "threatening," cultures from around the world. Walton shows that the taboo on cannibalism is heavily reinforced only partly out of fear of cannibals themselves; instead, cannibalism is evoked in order to use fear for other purposes, including the sale of fear entertainment. Ranging from literature to popular journalism, film, television, and discourses on disease, Our Cannibals, Ourselves provides an all-encompassing, insightful meditation on what happens to popular culture when it goes global.
Description : The fourteen chapters in this anthology feature original analyses of contemporary German-language literary texts, films, political cartoons, cabaret, and other types of performance. The artworks display a wide spectrum of humor modes, such as irony, satire, the grotesque, Jewish humor, and slapstick, as responses to unification with the accompanying euphoria, but also alienation and dislocation. Kerstin Hensel’s Lärchenau, Christoph Hein’s Landnahme, and vignette collections by Jakob Hein (Antrag auf ständige Ausreise und andere Mythen der DDR) and Wladimir Kaminer (Es gab keinen Sex im Sozialismus) are interpreted as examples of the grotesque. The popular films Lola rennt, Sonnenallee, Herr Lehmann, NVA, Alles auf Zucker!, and Mein Führer—Die wirklich wahrste Wahrheit über Adolf Hitler are reexamined through the lens of traditional and more recent humor or comic book theories. The contributors focus on how each artwork enriches four prominent postwall German cultural trends: post-unification identity reconstruction, Vergangenheitsbewältigung (including Hitler humor), New German Popular Literature (Christian Kracht’s ironic subtexts), and immigrant perspectives (a “third voice” in the East-West binary reflected here pointedly in Eulenspiegel cartoons). To date, no other scholarly work provides as comprehensive an overview of the diverse strategies of humor used in the past two decades in German-speaking countries.
Description : Excerpts from criticism of the works of novelists, poets, playwrights, short story writers and other creative writers who lived between 1800 and 1900, from the first published critical appraisals to current evaluations.