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07 OCTOBER 2013

Bingo, Barbie and Barthes: 50 Years of Cultural Studies

"Fifty years after Richard Hoggart established Cultural Studies with the founding of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Laurie Taylor takes a personal look at what this new discipline has given us –– taking cultural studies out of the academy to ask: has it really narrowed the separation between high and low culture, or just been an excuse for soap fans to write dissertations on Coronation Street?"

(BBC Radio 4)

First broadcast: Monday 07 October 2013

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TAGS

201450th anniversary • academic discipline • Angela McRobbieBarbie dollBBC Radio 4 • bingo • Birmingham • Caspar Melville • Centre for Contemporary Cultural StudiesChristopher Fraylingcontemporary culture • Coronation Street • critical language • critical tools • cultural studies • cultural thinking • democratised culturehigh culture • Lady Chatterleys Lover • Laurie Taylor • leisure activitylived experiencelow culture • Lynsey Hanley • mass mediamassification • Matthew Hilton • Owen JonesPaul Gilroy • Paul Willis • popular arts • popular culturepopular musicpost-warRaymond WilliamsRichard HoggartRoland Barthessoap operasocial change • street culture • Stuart Hall • tabloid • the academyTV

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 APRIL 2013

Contemporary kinetic typography relies on historical developments

"This is a lecture given to MA students at the University of Hertfordshire. It explores how contemporary kinetic typography relies on historical developments such as 3D woodblock print, Romain du Roi, and Modernist modular lettering. Students are encouraged to let their design work respond to historical research. This does not mean creating something that looks old or retro, rather creating something innovative and new by re–imagining historical ideas in light of new technologies and contexts."

(Barbara Brownie)

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TAGS

3D typography • Academie des Sciences • architectural formsart and design • Barbara Brownie • Bauhaus School • borrowing from the past • Channel 4Channel 4 identchannel identDe Stijl • design nostalgia • grid systemhistorical developmentsJosef Alberskinetic typographyKyle Cooper • learning from history • lecturemachine aesthetic • malleable typography • modular typography • modularity in designmorphingparodypostmodern pasticheprimitive shapesprimitivesrecontextualisation • reinvention • remediation • retrievalism • retroRoland Barthes • Romain du Roi • School of Creative Arts • Stencil (typeface) • TV identtypographic animationtypographyunified wholeUniversity of Hertfordshirevisual abstractionwoodblock printing

CONTRIBUTOR

Mary-joy Ashley
08 OCTOBER 2012

LUDOLOGY MEETS NARRATOLOGY: Similitude and differences between (video)games and narrative

"Literary theory and narratology have been helpful to understand cybertexts and videogames. Aristotelian Poetics [Laurel, 1993], Russian formalism [Porush and Hivner, ?], and poststructuralism [Landow, 1992] are some of the different perspectives that have been used to study the subject.

Some authors see cybertexts and videogames as a new form of or as an expansion of traditional narrative or drama. The fact is that these computer programs share many elements with stories: characters, chained actions, endings, settings.

However, there is another dimension that has been usually almost ignored when studying this kind of computer software: to analyze them as games.

The problems of using a 'game' perspective are many. Basically, traditional games have always had less academic status than other objects, like narrative. And because of this, game formalist studies are fragmented through different disciplines, and not very well developed.

In this paper we will propose to explore videogames and cybertexts as games. Our intention is not to replace the narratologic approach, but to complement it. We want to better understand what is the relationship with narrative and videogames; their similarities and differences."

(Gonzalo Frasca, 1999)

Frasca, Gonzalo (1999) 'Ludology Meets Narratology. Similitude and Differences between (Video)games and Narrative'. Originally published in Finnish in Parnasso 1999: 3, 365–71.

TAGS

1999 • Albert Sidney Hornby • Andre Lalande • Aristotelian Poetics • Aristotles Poetics • Brenda Laurelcausalitycausally relatedcausally related narrative events • chained actions • character • Claude Bremond • computer programme • computer software • cybertext • cybertexts • Daniel Vidart • David Porush • ending • Espen AarsethFILE (festival) • game formalist studies • game perspective • game studiesgame theorygames • George Landow • Gerald Prince • Gonzalo Frasca • Jean Piagetliterary theory • ludology • narrative and videogames • narratologic approach • narratologynew form • Oswald Ducrot • post-structuralism • Roger Caillois • Roland Barthes • Russian formalism • Schaeffer Jean-Marie • setting • similarities and differences • stories • studying games • Todd Hivnor • traditional drama • traditional narrative • Umberto Ecovideo gamevideogames

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 JULY 2012

Roland Barthes: Readerly and Writerly Texts

"The writerly text is a perpetual present, upon which no consequent language (which would inevitably make it past) can be superimposed; the writerly text is ourselves writing, before the infinite play of the world (the world as function) is traversed, intersected, stopped, plasticized by some singular system (Ideology, Genus, Criticism) which reduces the plurality of entrances, the opening of networks, the infinity of languages."

(Roland Barthes, p.5)

1). Roland Barthes (1970). "S/Z" translated by Richard Miller, Blackwell Publishing.
2). A British one penny coin from 1903, which has been defaced by Suffragettes. Crown copyright.

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TAGS

1970 • codes of meaning • Comedie Humaine • criticismdifferancegenusHonore de Balzacideology • infinity of languages • languagelisable • lisible • literary criticismnarratology • opening of networks • ourselves writing • plasticised • plural • plurality • plurality of entrances • polysemouspolysemypost-structuralismreaderly textsRoland Barthes • S/Z • Sarrasine • scriptiblestructuralism • structuralist analysis • text • text of the story • the pastwriterly texts

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 JULY 2011

The creative writing exegesis sets off on its own trajectory: from reflective text, to parallel text, to plaited text

"The reflective journal exegesis, with its this–is–how–I–wrote–my–creative–piece approach, was soon deemed unexciting by creative writing candidates, supervisors and examiners. In the early 2000s, research scholars who had risen above questions like What is an exegesis? and Why do I have to do one? sought to achieve more with the exegesis form. They and their supervisors discussed the aims and focus of the exegesis and its orientation to the creative product (see dozens of articles in TEXT and, e.g. Fletcher & Mann 2004). The discussion questioned and attacked the exegesis, and also the gap between it and the artefact. This lent impetus to exploratory experimentation.

Departures from the reflective journal exegesis included the exegesis in the form of an essay providing a conceptual or historical framework – a mini–dissertation of the style familiar as submission for disciplines such as Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, History, Sociology or Philosophy – i.e. a prose work that swapped the tradition of the Creative Arts journal for traditions of academic writing in other Humanities disciplines. In this parallel text, the candidate might be seen to stop being creative writer, becoming instead the more disengaged and critical humanities academic. However, Butt takes an opposite view on this. She thinks, in examining the impact of outside influences on the writer and the writing, the parallel text 'is a conscious reflection of the largely unconscious act of writing' (Butt 2009: 55).

There's a schizophrenia apparent in this situation. The researching writer, trying to be creative writer, is forced back to the role of critic distanced from the process, as opposed to being critic inside the process. The exegesis here wasn't something home–grown in the Creative Writing discipline – it was an imposition from contextualising, 'more authoritative' disciplines – but was an initial extending of the umbilical cord between artefact and exegesis because it allowed the exegesis to be a parallel commentary with an implied relationship to the artefact, suggesting an added or alternative outcome to the research undertaken in writing the creative product. This raised the status of the exegesis from servant–to–the–master narrative to a sort of equal, to a narrative in its own right. An example of this is Nike Bourke's The Bone Flute – From the cradle to the grave (Bourke 2003), where the novel told a disturbing story about domestic violence and infanticide, and the exegesis was a study of infanticide in contemporary society.

In the early 2000s there was plenty of room for experimentation. In this context, two of my own candidates tested the idea of parallel texts brought together and plaited in the submission structure. Peter Wise, in The Turns of Engagement: A Thesis / Novel on the Circumstances of Writing (2001), presented exegesis and creative narrative as alternating, mirror–image, theory–then–fiction–then–theory chapters which blended together progressively until creative product chapters became, eventually, indistinguishable from dissertation chapters (Wise 2001). Wise's submission performed the evolution of fictocriticism, the creation of the thesis–slash–novel. It had a hard time passing examination in 2001.

In 2005, another student of mine, Marilynn Loveless, produced Mrs Shakespeare: Muse, Mother, Matriarch, Madonna, Whore, Writer, Woman, Wife – Recovering a Lost Life (2005). At Loveless's graduation, the Acting Dean refused to read out the title of her PhD; perhaps he considered it un–academic. The submission involved the chapters of a novel revealing Anne Hathaway as the real writer of Shakespeare's canon being alternated with the chapters of an exegesis about male–dominated discourse in the academy (Loveless 2005). Here the plaited texts worked off each other and created their own dialogue; Loveless's discontinuous narrative was about reading the gap between exegesis and artefact, and analysing it.

There's much to learn from the idea of the exegesis and artefact as plaited text. Barthes insisted on the death of the author because the exegetical wasn't present. He asserted that because the writer wasn't present in the work, the reader must alone create the work. But the creative writing doctorate's combination of creative product and exegesis insists on the writer's presence. The plaited text, in showing both the product and aspects of the process or its context, asserts the existence of the author."

(Nigel Krauth)

Krauth, N. (2011). "Evolution of the exegesis: the radical trajectory of the creative writing doctorate in Australia." TEXT 15(1).

TAGS

academic writing • act of writing • conceptual frameworkcreative arts • creative narrative • creative product • creative writer • creative writing • critical humanities academic • cultural studiesdeath of the authordissertation • doctorate • exegesis • exegesis form • exegetical • experimentationexploratory experimentation • fictocriticism • historical framework • historyhumanitiesliterary studies • narrative in its own right • Nigel Krauthnovelparallel textPhD candidatePhD supervisionphilosophy • plait • plaited • plaited text • prose • reflective journal • reflective journal exegesis • reflective text • researchresearch artefactRoland Barthessociology • submission structure • TEXT (journal) • the reader must alone create the work • thesiswriterwriting

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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