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Tag: Comparative Literature
Trolling for trolls in the real world (September 14 2012) Trolling for trolls in the real world (September 14 2012)

April Alliston the American Professor of Comparative Literature and Guggenheim Fellow has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Trolling for trolls in Disney World and the real world’ referring to the increase in internet trolling – much of it misogynistic and damaging. Alliston states “You may have thought trolls were those fairytale ogres who lurked under bridges once upon a time, or maybe those vintage naked plastic dolls with the big shocks of brightly-coloured hair that are so ugly they’re cute. But recently, trolls – fictional and nonfictional – are turning up everywhere, from cyberspace to the school bus, on screens large and small, showing us how fantasy can disturb reality, and folks from schoolboys to grannies can turn into trolls. A global outcry faulted British police last week for penalising trolls who use Twitter for hate speech. After his close friends were ridiculed and lambasted online following the stillborn birth of their child, television host Piers Morgan declared this week, “But what I am going to do is go to war with these trolls.” Earlier this summer another global outcry led to the suspension of schoolboys who aped cyber-trolls in person. The one thing that’s clear is how confused we all are about the line between fantasy and reality, words and deeds, victims and trolls. …While speaking out against internet trolls is gaining momentum, shouldn’t the incidents of cruel trolling be decreasing, not increasing? Instead of rewarding their victim by sending her away from the real world, let’s teach everyone – schoolchildren and adults – that trolling isn’t tolerated.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Facebook

Art and the language of things (August 5 2012) Art and the language of things (August 5 2012)

Patricia Vieira the American assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Comparative Literature has co-published an article on Aljazeera with Michael Marder a Research Professor of Philosophy. The article titled ‘Art and the language of things’ discusses how inanimate objects may communicate a meaning or intent through their juxtaposition with other objects. In the article Vieira states “Two of modern art’s most salient features are its self-reflexivity and its attention to context, and both bear upon the language of things. First, many modern artworks include an extended meditation on materiality. They realise, in the course of their open-ended aesthetic self-critique, that their inspiration lies somewhere other than the “genius” of the artist, namely in the things themselves. Second, modern art often plays with contextuality, placing familiar objects in unexpected environments, and so changing the relations among things. Art pieces extend beyond themselves and cannot be interpreted without referring to their literal and figurative frames. …Re-contextualisation has been a hallmark of the artistic avant-garde since the beginning of the 20th century – for instance, in Duchamp’s ready-mades, transported into the space of a museum. …The things the artist brings together get a chance for a second life in the material communities created by … aesthetic interventions. Once it begins, there is no inherent closure to the conversation among things, as more can be added to the ones already in existence… It demonstrates that things communicate with one another in their materiality, without resorting to words. The language of things is a language without names … offers us a glimpse into their interminable conversation by allowing the unnameable to speak to us.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Jimdo

Analysts are asking: Has the revolution failed? (July 11th 2012) Analysts are asking: Has the revolution failed? (July 11th 2012)

Hamid Dabashi the 63 year old Iranian-American Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘The mother of the world: The birth of Egypt’s democracy’ referencing the Egyptian election as not a ‘referendum’ on the revolution, but a step in the only direction possible: forward. Dabashi states “Analysts are asking: Has the revolution failed? …there are other historical comparisons we can make. If you want to have a simple sense of what exactly has happened in the Arab and Muslim world that we celebrate as the “Arab Spring”, just compare the Iranian Revolution of 1979 with the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 – in a span of just a little more than three decades. …The Egyptian revolution is everything that the Iranian revolution was not: calm, composed, gentle, civil, human, hopeful, principled. All the legitimate fear that all Egyptians now have for the future of their revolution is fuel for visionary progress. …Those who fear that Egyptians are not revolutionary enough, or that they are caught in a “Stockholm Syndrome” ought to ask themselves: Do they want Egypt to be thirty years from now where Iran is today – ruled by a fraudulent tyranny, violently opposed by career opportunists in cahoots with the neocons, with the vast majority of Iranians sick and tired of one and disgusted by the other?”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Facebook

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