Machinima – Socio-Cultural Disturbance

Tracy Gaynor Harwood, De Montfort University and Ben Grussi

ISBN: 978-1-62273-273-9
Availability: Forthcoming

Since its birth in 1996, machinima (machine-cinema) has grown into a truly global phenomenon – and its latest transformation is evident in the Lets Play community. Machinima is the first digital culture to have emerged from the internet into a mainstream creative genre and it has taken shape as an important fan culture. Its impact has been felt across many aspects of popular culture and its influence can be found in contexts such as the arts and cinema, performance, creative technologies and social media, politics and citizenship. This book traces its history and impacts through a selection of the most culturally significant works. It firstly sets out to describe the key films, provides an overview of the creative processes and interviews with filmmakers and contributors involved in their development. It then traces their release and impact among fans, users and appropriators, supported with material and interviews. This important new work focuses on the specific disruptive socio-cultural impacts of key works identified by the community and Harwood research over a period of 10 years – from film and filmmaking to digital arts, practice and theory. The book will be of interest to machinima researchers and practitioners, including game culture, media theorists and digital artists, and those interested in how creative technologies influences communities of practice over time.

Love is Green: Compassion as responsibility in the ecological emergency

Lucy Weir

July 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-372-9
Availability: In stock
244pp. ¦ $61 £46 €52

This book links three themes, non-dualistic agency, ‘the good’ of systems, and compassionate attunement, and relates them to the ecological emergency. The author begins by examining how we currently understand our ability to choose what we do, our agency and conclude that this is dualistic: we think of an action to do, and then we physically act. Yet an understanding that we are enmeshed in context means our capacity to act freely dissolves in the mesh. We evolved capacities for consciousness and awareness, capacities that allow us to realise that we are here, now but that do not inevitably imply choice. Our capacity for ‘realisation’ gives us the ability to elicit an emotional response. When we understand our enmeshment, we can attune to a deep compassion for ourselves and indeed for all systems unfolding through time. Compassionate attunement allows a different set of options for action to become available to us. This then shifts how we respond to ourselves, our human relationships and to the ecological emergency we are currently embroiled in. This work is inspired by the great Kamakura Zen Master Eihei Dōgen. The book’s contribution is to extend and link the notion of practice-realisation with the literature on evolutionary biology and entropy maximisation which allows us to speak of ‘the good’ of systems. Systems unfold as ‘good’ for us when biodiversity maximisation occurs. By considering the ecological emergency in light of compassionate attunement, we open ourselves to a new array of possibilities for action. Some of these the author outlines in the conclusion, relating them to existing literature on compassionate achievement and compassionate communication, to show how our this practice shifts our relationship to ourselves, to one another, and to the ecological emergency, thus changing the course of human history.

Reason, causation and compatibility with the phenomena

Basil Evangelidis

June 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-755-0
Availability: In stock
207pp. ¦ $60 £45 €51

'Reason, Causation and Compatibility with the Phenomena' strives to give answers to the philosophical problem of the interplay between realism, explanation and experience. This book is a compilation of essays that recollect significant conceptions of rival terms such as determinism and freedom, reason and appearance, power and knowledge. This title discusses the progress made in epistemology and natural philosophy, especially the steps that led from the ancient theory of atomism to the modern quantum theory, and from mathematization to analytic philosophy. Moreover, it provides possible gateways from modern deadlocks of theory either through approaches to consciousness or through historical critique of intellectual authorities. This work will be of interest to those either researching or studying in colleges and universities, especially in the departments of philosophy, history of science, philosophy of science, philosophy of physics and quantum mechanics, history of ideas and culture. Greek and Latin Literature students and instructors may also find this book to be both a fascinating and valuable point of reference.

The Spaces and Places of Horror

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

ISBN: 978-1-62273-742-0
Availability: Available 4 weeks
$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.

Capital, capabilities and culture: a human development approach to student and school transformation

Cliona Hannon, The University of Dublin

July 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-743-7
Availability: In stock
322pp. ¦ $64 £48 €55

This book applies the capability approach as an evaluative lens through which to explore the range of capabilities that emerged over a three-year period, through the Trinity Access 21 – College for Every Student (TA21-CFES) higher education access project in four schools. Qualitative analysis is presented from a longitudinal study of four schools over a three-year period, drawing on data from four student focus groups involving 21 student participants and 14 individual student interviews. An additional sixteen school personnel contributed in interviews. There are three main findings: first, specific student capabilities emerge because of their engagement in the TA21-CFES core practices of Leadership, Mentoring and Pathways to College. These are: autonomy, practical reason/college knowledge, identity, social relations and networks and hope. Second, students encounter a range of inhibiting social conversion factors in developing capabilities and persisting with higher education aspirations. These are: the negative pull of peer relations; pressure related to the Junior Certificate; limited subject choice and conflicting family expectations. Third, it is the combination of their own emerging capability set along with a network of trusted relationships with others that enables them to overcome potentially corrosive disadvantage and translate their experiences into fertile functionings. It is proposed that these findings have national and international relevance for widening participation interventions. The research makes a methodological contribution as it is the first use of qualitative longitudinal research (QLR) in Ireland within a ‘lived’ project aimed at working-class students over a three-year period. It contributes empirically as it provides new knowledge about the impact of interventions aimed at developing students’ capability set and how these might help them to develop navigational capital and post-secondary educational aspirations. It also makes a conceptual contribution to how we frame the design and evaluation of impact of widening participation initiatives, as it takes a capability approach to considering how students develop higher education aspirations over time, towards what they consider ‘a life of value’. It is useful to researchers, practitioners and policy makers who are interested in taking an evidence-based approach to developing higher education access programmes.

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