DepositDigital Cinema, Montage and Other Visualities

Digital technology is enabling a reconceptualization of film and cinema. The pliability of digital media opens up, particularly, the theory and practice of montage to revision. This pliability allows for cheap and easy copying and combining of images, and, relatedly, the transition from film frame to digital screen provides a less precious and more flexible creative space for filmmakers. In my documentary, Comic Book City, Portland, Oregon USA (2012), I leverage these qualities of digital media to experiment with aspects of both cinematic and comic book visualities to create a different sense of montage than the one historically associated with film.

DepositNeeding the other: the anatomy of the Mass Noun Thesis

Othering is the construction and identification of the self or in-group and the other or out-group in mutual, unequal opposition by attributing relative inferiority and/or radical alienness to the other/out-group. Othering can be “crude” or “sophisticated”, the defining difference being that in the latter case othering depends on the interpretation of the other/out-group in terms that are applicable only to the self/in-group but that are unconsciously assumed to be universal. The Mass Noun Thesis, the idea that all nouns in certain languages are grammatically and folk-ontologically similar to mass nouns in English, is an example of such sophisticated othering. According to this Thesis, (a) count nouns refer to discrete objects and mass nouns to stuffs; (b) the other’s language has only mass nouns and thus no count nouns; and therefore, (c) the other’s folk-ontology is an ontology of mass stuffs only. There is much evidence, however, that folk-ontology is independent from language. This paper argues that the Mass Noun Thesis is a case of sophisticated othering rooted in a conflation of grammatical and ontological conceptions of mass and count nouns that is applicable to the language of the interpreter/self but not to the languages of the relevant others, and that othering in this case is driven by a need to create some radically alien other to support a scientific or philosophical theory.

DepositNeo-Latin’s interplay with other languages

During the Early Modern Period, every educated person knew Latin, and possibly several other languages, besides his or her mother tongue. Due to this widespread multilingualism the question arose which language to use for which context or purpose. The ‘battle of languages’ was not only fought on a theoretical plane but also exercised its effect on the books and other material printed during this period. After a brief discussion of the interaction between Latin and the various vernaculars in Europe during the Early Modern Period, this chapter focuses on the eloquent ambassadors of this polyglot world, namely multilingual and mixed-language publications offering Latin in combination with one or more vernaculars, thus illustrating the complex interplay between Latin and the national languages of Europe.

DepositPagans, Rebels and Merovingians: otherness in the early Carolingian world

Early Carolingian authors appear to have been acutely aware of ethnic and regional identities, and the sources of the late-eighth and early-ninth centuries contain many references to non-Franks. These ethnic terms alone, however, do not imply a sense of ‘otherness’. The incorporation of these non-Frankish peripheral peoples into a consolidated Frankish empire was one of the key political policies of Charles Martel and his descendants. We do get a sense of ‘otherness’, though, from the ways in which these peoples were portrayed as being opposed in some way to the concepts which Frankish society was thought to stand for. In contrast to Frankish loyalty, unity and Christian orthodoxy, we find peripheral groups labeled or described as ‘rebellious’ or ‘pagan’. While peripheral groups could be incorporated into the Frankish empire, there was no place for rebels or pagans in the society that was being created by the Carolingians, and so such concepts were ‘other’ in a way that ethnic labels were not. Likewise, the later members of the Merovingian dynasty were ‘other’ because they were presented as useless kings, and such kings had no place in the Frankish community. We can see that in the eighth and early-ninth centuries authors had a common pool of language, signs and symbols upon which to draw when depicting ‘others’, but this does not mean all did so in the same way, and so we must consider how and why each author presented his vision of ‘otherness’. At the same time, we can see that it was only those closest in time or space to the contemporary Frankish community who were targeted by this discourse, with more distant peoples being depicted more ambivalently by our authors. These trends show there was a clear gap between the ideal presented by the authors and the reality of the eighth century. But authors were determined to create a sense of dichotomy in their texts which allowed them to understand the past in a way that allowed for continuity at a time of change.

DepositNorming the Other: Narrative Empathy Via Focalised Heterotopia

This critical commentary argues that the novels submitted (emphasis on Ammonite, The Blue Place, and Hild, with three others, Slow River, Stay, and Always briefly referenced), form a coherent body of work which centres and norms the experience of the Other, particularly queer women. Close reading of the novels demonstrates how specific word-choice and metaphor locate the examination of a focalised character’s body in its physical and sensory setting. This examination of the body is referred to as embodiment. The commentary argues that embodiment of the focalised character activates neural mechanisms within the reader to create and sustain narrative empathy. It explores the creation of focalised heterotopias and the narrative consequences for characters traditionally marginalised in our society but not in their own. Keywords: writing the other, queer literature, embodied empathy, focalised heterotopia, narrative empathy, historicity literature, gender discourse literature, word choice

DepositThe History of the History Department (and a few others!) — 2010-2014

The History of the History Department (and a few others!) — 2010-2014 In Fall 2010, the History Club and the History Department embarked on an oral history project to tell the history of SUNY Cortland’s History Department. Through oral history, our former colleagues can tell us about their lives, their careers in teaching and scholarship, and the changes to our department and campus over time. Students in our History Club host the interview and invite members of our campus to attend. Students also develop a list of questions for the interview. We hope that these interviews will become a living archive of SUNY Cortland’s ever changing History Department. Occasionally, we will include videos of other faculty members outside the History department. These videos will also help us tell the history of our campus and faculty at SUNY Cortland. Thank you to the History Club and to all of you who have attended these events! Our first interviews were conducted with Frank Burdick and Roger Sipher. Since then, the History Club has interviewed Don Wright and Sandy Gutman. We have also included a video of Henry Steck from the Political Science department. He gave an interesting talk about his experiences in postwar Berlin from 1946 to 1951 and answered some questions from members of the History Club. To listen and watch, go here:

DepositAspects of Otherness in John Adams’s Nixon in China

This article explores the relationship between the music of John Adams’s Nixon in China and the action taking place on stage. At many points throughout the opera, these forces are at odds, creating dramatic moments that often heighten the previously established sense of sarcasm and reverse the expected narrative roles of the characters. This is achieved by manipulating the Other in a unique manner as to not directly reference Chinese music, but rather juxtapose culturally neutral music with easily recognizable Western topics and genres.