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    Latest Topics


    Subversive undertones in sci-fi and fantasy film and literature.

    Consider how popular T.V shows and films (such as Star Trek, Avatar and "The Wheel of Time" novels – to name a few) critique and engage discourses on politics, socioeconomics, gender and war. Analyze the potential for these genres to disrupt and subvert current ideologies by engaging in counter-cultural discourse. For instance, how does Star Trek’s prime directive critique modern imperialism? How does fantasy and sci-fi genres provide an opportunity to propose counter-cultural thoughts on so called "hot topics?"

    • At first Picard's pontification on the Prime Directive seemed unnecessary. But after Roddenberry's death and with Rick Berman taking over, I realized how important the PD is and I think that the topic could focus solely on this. – Munjeera 8 years ago
    • There are some sci-fi comedies, Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, that often portray a deeply flawed world (one that its storytellers find rich comedic ground in). It would be interesting to write about how these movies don't deal with the deep flaws, only the consequences it creates as an analogy for life in our own deeply flawed world (not to be melodramatic here). – Aaron 8 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    After my foray into reading industrial novels, beginning with Dickens’ “Hard Times,” I was thrilled with “Mary Barton.” Gaskell is an excellent writer and her story is a heart-wrenching tale of the dark side of “progress.” On a lighter side, you may enjoy her “Cranford” – very different style of writing but quite enjoyable. I will definitely put the other four suggestions on my list of must-reads for pure enjoyment – this will be after the must-reads for work. Thanks for these suggestions.

    Five Slightly Less Conspicuous Classics of British Literature

    There is a quality in Hitchcock’s films that is almost inexplicable; however, your analysis of his work hits the nail on the head. The subtlety of direction that needs no dialogue (I’m thinking of Rear Window and Vertigo) is something Hitchcock perfected. Your analysis of “the innocent man” makes me want to revisit the films you mention in your article. It will be great to view these with your article in mind – especially I Confess.

    Male Protagonists in Hitchcock Films

    Like Melissa, I think that Shakespeare’s plays are excellent vehicles for teaching modern dilemmas because there are so many universal themes presented. For those who believe that is a waste of time, I would suggest that the manner in which they are taught may have much to do with a lack of interest. Using a variety of adaptations and showing a variety of clips on important speeches demonstrates how each production is unique. The Tempest, read in conjunction with Aime Cesaire’s A Tempest demonstrates a post-colonial mind-set that continues to haunt us today. Taming of the Shrew examined through a feminist lens and the antisemitism of The Merchant of Venice, examined in terms of nationalist rhetoric that excluded “the racialized Other” would be excellent approaches to teach these timeless plays. Melissa’s assertion that Shakespeare’s histories and comedies do provide valuable insights into the human condition is well-conceived. I agree that excitement needs to be generated through providing creative approaches to the plays.

    The Obscure Shakespeare

    This is a well-researched paper. As one interested in Victorian literature, I was fascinated with how you associated vampires of that era with eroticism, degradation of humans (particularly white men) and class – the wealthy, aristocracy feeding on the life’s blood of the working class. I agree that vampire motifs will always reoccur, perhaps because they are so strongly associated with social, economic and ethical concerns that remain a focus in our own era. Excellent paper – I enjoyed your comprehensive view of vampires then and now.

    Vampires in Literature: Opera Cloaks, Sparkles, and Prevailing Themes