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Series: Series in Critical Media Studies

Pioneers in Machinima: The Grassroots of Virtual Production

Tracy Gaynor Harwood, De Montfort University and Ben Grussi

ISBN: 978-1-62273-273-9
Availability: In stock
271pp. ¦ $63 £48 €54

This important new work focuses on the pioneers in machinima, considered to be the grassroots and beginnings of virtual production. Machinima’s impacts are identified by the community, supplemented by Harwood and Grussi’s research and experience over a period of 25 years – from game, film and filmmaking to digital arts practice, creative technologies developments and related research and theory. Machinima is the first digital cultural practice to have emerged from the internet into a mainstream creative genre. Its latest transformation is evident through the increasing convergence of games and film where real-time virtual production as a professional creative practice is resulting in new forms of machine-generated interactive experiences. Using the most culturally significant machinima works (machine-cinema) as lenses to trace its history and impacts, ‘Pioneers in Machinima: The Grassroots of Virtual Production’ provides in-depth testimony by filmmakers and others involved in its emergence. The extensive reference to source materials and interviews bring the story of its impacts up to date through the critical reflections of the early pioneers. This book will be of interest to machinima researchers and practitioners, including game culture, media theorists, students of film studies and game studies, digital artists and those interested in how creative technologies have influenced communities of practice over time.

Polyptych: Adaptation, Television, and Comics

Edited by Reginald Wiebe, Concordia University of Edmonton

April 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-130-4
Availability: In stock
219pp. ¦ $54 £40 €46

Through each of its chapters, 'Polyptych: Adaptation, Television, and Comics' examines the complex dynamics of adapting serialized texts. The transmedial adaptation of collaborative and unstable texts does not lend itself to the same strategies as other, more static adaptations such as novels or plays. Building off the foundational work of Linda Hutcheon and Gérard Genette, Polyptych considers the analogy of adaptation as a palimpsest—a manuscript page that has been reused, leaving traces of the previous work behind—as needing to be reevaluated. A polyptych is a multi-panel artwork and provides a new model for analyzing how adaptation works when translating collaborative and unstable texts. Given that most television and comic books are episodic and serialized, and considering that both media are also the cumulative work of many artists, this book offers a series of distanced readings to reassess how adaptation works in this field. Comic book adaptations on television are plentiful and are nearly completely ignored in critical discussions of adaptation. This collection focuses on texts that fall outside the most common subjects of study among the corpus and contributes to expanding the field of inquiry. The book features texts that are subjects of previous academic interest, as well as studies of texts that have never before been critically considered. It also includes an appendix that provides the first list of comic book adaptations on North American television. 'Polyptych' is a unique and timely contribution to dynamic and growing fields of study. The book will be of interest to scholars and researchers in the fields of Comic Studies, Adaptation Studies, and Critical Media Studies more broadly, as well as to students undertaking courses on these subjects. It will also appeal to comic book and pop culture fans who wish to expand their knowledge on the subject.

Western Japaneseness: Intercultural Translations of Japan in Western Media

Edited by Frank Jacob, Nord University, Norway and Bruno Surace, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy

October 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-115-1
Availability: In stock
174pp. ¦ $44 £33 €38

Our images of non-Western cultures are often based on stereotypes that are replicated over the years. These stereotypes often appear in popular media and are responsible for a pre-set image of otherness. The present book investigates these processes and the media representation of otherness, especially as an artificial construct based on stereotypes and their repetition, in the case of Japan. 'Western Japaneseness' thereby illustrates how the Western image of Japan in popular media is rather a construct that, in a way, replicated itself, instead of a more serious encounter with a foreign and different cultural context. This book will be of great value to students and academics who hold interest in media studies, Japanese studies, and cultural studies. It will also appeal to a broader audience with interests in Japan more generally.

Hero and Hero-Worship: Fandom in Modern India

Edited by Rahul Chaturvedi, Banaras Hindu University, India et al.

August 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-859-5
Availability: In stock
194pp. ¦ $51 £38 €43

In the aftermath of liberalization of Indian economy in 1991, the study of star-fan studies has experienced exponential expansion. Hero and Hero-Worship: Fandom in Modern India explores the areas of political, religious, film and cricket star fandoms; analyzing the rise of star formations and their consequent fandoms, star-fan bonds, as well as the physical and virtual space that both stars and fans inhabit. As perhaps one of the first book-length studies on Indian fandom, this volume not only draws on the works of Jenkins and other fandom scholars, but also explores the economic and cultural specificities of Indian fandom. This book will be of particular interest to scholars working in the field, as well as general readers interested in understanding star-fan interactions and intersections.

The Spaces and Places of Horror

Edited by Francesco Pascuzzi, Rutgers University and Sandra Waters, Rutgers University

September 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-742-0
Availability: In stock
299pp. ¦ $64 £48 €55

This volume explores the complex horizon of landscapes in horror film culture to better understand the use that the genre makes of settings, locations, spaces, and places, be they physical, imagined, or altogether imaginary. In The Philosophy of Horror, Noël Carroll discusses the “geography” of horror as often situating the filmic genre in liminal spaces as a means to displace the narrative away from commonly accepted social structures: this use of space is meant to trigger the audience’s innate fear of the unknown. This notion recalls Freud’s theorization of the uncanny, as it is centered on recognizable locations outside of the Lacanian symbolic order. In some instances, a location may act as one of the describing characteristics of evil itself: In A Nightmare on Elm Street teenagers fall asleep only to be dragged from their bedrooms into Freddy Krueger’s labyrinthine lair, an inescapable boiler room that enhances Freddie’s powers and makes him invincible. In other scenarios, the action may take place in a distant, little-known country to isolate characters (Roth’s Hostel films), or as a way to mythicize the very origin of evil (Bava’s Black Sunday). Finally, anxieties related to the encroaching presence of technology in our lives may give rise to postmodern narratives of loneliness and disconnect at the crossing between virtual and real places: in Kurosawa’s Pulse, the internet acts as a gateway between the living and spirit worlds, creating an oneiric realm where the living vanish and ghosts move to replace them. This suggestive topic begs to be further investigated; this volume represents a crucial addition to the scholarship on horror film culture by adopting a transnational, comparative approach to the analysis of formal and narrative concerns specific to the genre by considering some of the most popular titles in horror film culture alongside lesser-known works for which this anthology represents the first piece of relevant scholarship.

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