School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications

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    Funding the arts : by Andrew Pinnock, Abingdon, UK, Routledge, 2024, 1–280 pp., £39.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-367-07665-8
    Caust, J (Taylor and Francis Group, 2024)
    This book raises several important issues. It considers essentially the rationale behind decision-making in government arts funding and suggests that there are several flaws embedded in the process, as well as in the philosophy behind the decisions.
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    Influence of emotions on coping behaviors in crisis: a computational analysis of the COVID-19 outbreak
    Xu, H ; Muthya Sudheendra, S ; Huh, J ; Salecha, A ; Srivastava, J (Springer, 2024)
    Widespread public crises often give rise to the proliferation of sensationalized rumors and conspiracy theories, which can evoke a variety of public emotions. Despite the growing importance of research on the relationship between emotions and coping behaviors in crisis, a dearth of natural observation-based investigation has been limiting theory development. To address this gap, this study conducted computational research to study the U.S. public’s discrete emotions and coping behaviors during the COVID-19 outbreak crisis, analyzing Twitter data, Google Trends data, and Google Community Mobility data. The results revealed that anger and fear were relatively more prominent emotions experienced by the public than other discrete emotions. Regarding the impacts of emotions on coping behaviors, it was found that the prevalence of low-certainty and retreat emotions was related to increased information-seeking and information-transmitting behaviors. Also, the prevalence of both high-certainty and low-certainty emotions during the COVID-19 outbreak was positively related to the public’s compliance with public health recommendations.
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    Apathy: Disaffection, Enthusiasm, Fanaticism
    Gook, B (C. Hurst and Co., 2023)
    Charity, community, duty, and struggle are good – not only sanctified and rewarding but also good in themselves. And yet the evidence is that society at large is losing and devaluing commitment to others: we live in times diagnosed as consisting of social pathologies and a-pathologies – where, curiously, apathy is taken as a variant of, rather than existing in opposition to, pathology. Fascinated, for obvious reasons, with their diminishing share of trust, older print and broadcast news media have exhaustively analysed the rise of social media bubbles and echo chambers, trolls, and splenetic outbursts, discovering that the profitability of these emergent media forums depends on the speed and energy of their communications, and that unsurprisingly, anger sells. Aggrieved fury would appear to be a dominant emotional state of our times. More reflective commentators, including William Davies in the UK and Joseph Vogl in Germany – both acknowledging the same condition where ‘knowledge becomes more valued for its speed and impact than for its cold objectivity, and emotive falsehood often travels faster than fact’ – observe that it can generate an emotional state in which ‘otherwise peaceful situations can come to feel dangerous, until eventually they really are’.
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    Cult of the Archaic: The Swindle of Fascist Fulfilment [Review of the book Late Fascism: Race, capitalism and the politics of crisis, by Alberto Toscano]
    Gook, B (Australian Book Review, 2024-03)
    Already it has been a big year for fascists. On Australia Day, a handful of neo-Nazis from across Australia assembled in Sydney. Dwarfed by tens of thousands of protesters at Invasion Day rallies, the fascist stunt still generated the desired confrontation with the state and response from journalists drawn into the spectacle. Two weeks earlier, German investigative journalists published details of a late-2023 meeting in Potsdam, outside Berlin. At a neo-baroque lakeside hotel, an assortment of old money, political chancers, and neo-fascist intellectuals discussed a proposal for ‘remigration’. Among the retired dentists, bakery franchisers, and parliamentary staffers was Martin Sellner, the one-time, hot-young-Austrian-face of the 212 pp European identitarian movement – a man so reactionary that even post-Brexit Britain denied him a visa.
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    Posthumous Sound and the General Imagination
    Cubitt, S ; Gook, B (Duke University Press, 2024-03-01)
    The 1997 discovery of a fifty-thousand-year-old flute made from the femur of a cave bear, with its intimation of reanimating nonhumans, and the 1977 launch of the Voyager spacecraft carrying an eclectic set of sound recordings intended to be heard in the distant future by nonhuman others: two sonic events that frame the possible meanings of posthumous. Together these examples and others question whether everything audible is already over—the bear's lost life, electronic recording procedures—or indefinitely deferred until an act of listening that may never occur. An ecological address to the problems of making sonic culture at a historical turning point at or beyond terminal risk prompts a politics of the commons grounded in a general imagination (modeled on Marx's general intellect). Against earlier modernist claims for both rationality and its failure, sound cultures enact a drama of melancholy and hope in the ecological continuity of body and world at the moment of their end.
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    Recent Research on the Azuchi Screens
    Erdmann, M ; Roux, É (Kyushu University, 2024)
    The Azuchi screens, a pair of folding screens depicting Oda Nobunaga’s (1534–1582) newly constructed Azuchi Castle and gifted by Nobunaga to Pope Gregory XIII (1502–1585) via Jesuit missionaries, were the first major diplomatic gifts exchanged between Japanese and Western leaders. Although lost only a few years after their arrival in Rome, the traces of these unique objects in the European record reveal much about evolving attitudes on Japan in Europe around the turn of the seventeenth century. This paper argues that in their placement within the Vatican as well as their afterlife as a reference on Japanese culture in international scholarly circles, the Azuchi screens reveal a sophisticated and dualistic understanding of Japan as proving the righteousness of the Catholic Church’s message as well as a locus for interrogating Europe’s unique Christian history.
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    Children’s reading and screen media use before, during and after the pandemic: Australian parent perspectives
    Day, K ; Shin, W ; Nolan, S (Taylor and Francis Group, 2024)
    This study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mediascape through a repeated cross-sectional study involving primary caregivers of children aged 7–13 in Australia. Survey 1 was conducted as COVID-19 lockdowns ended in 2021, to examine how extended lockdowns had affected children’s reading habits and screen media usage and how parents had adapted their media supervision and guidance strategies. Survey 2 was carried out one year later to gain insights from the post-pandemic period. The data revealed that the pandemic and lockdowns had led to a substantial increase in children’s ownership and usage of digital devices. In contrast, children’s personal ownership of traditional books and e-book readers had declined, and digital books were less popular than other digital content. Parents, who expanded their involvement in active mediation and media co-use during the pandemic, largely reverted to monitoring and restricting their children’s media activities after it.
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    Robert Louis Stevenson and German Sāmoa
    Coleman, D (Taylor & Francis, 2024)
    This study revisits the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson on German Sāmoa as a valuable archive for understanding the impact of Western colonialism on the Pacific. It examines Stevenson’s anti-colonial perspectives in writings such as A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa (1892), his series of letters to The Times in London (1889–1894), and his private correspondence. Stevenson’s analysis of the impact of the Germans’ militarism and meddlesome officialdom, together with their extensive plantation system and use of unfree labour, also provides an important context for reading contemporary Oceanian writers and artists. The varied creative practices of recovery and remediation deployed by Albert Wendt, Sia Figiel, Yuki Kihara, Michel Tuffery and Tony Brunt, are often inspired by cultural memories of German Sāmoa.
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    “Embronzed with the African Tint”: Racial Color-coding and Intergenerational Inheritance in Jamaica, St. Domingo and England in the Age of Abolition
    Fernandes, S ; Coleman, D (Taylor and Francis Group, 2024)
    In eighteenth-century fiction and drama, race appears as a mutable characteristic, with skin color conditioned by culture and environment. Increasingly, and especially in the Romantic period, race came to be regarded as an inherent facet of a person’s identity in certain contexts. Racialized color-charts emerged for the express purpose of generating a taxonomy of mixed-race peoples; a symptom of the vogue for classification in the natural sciences. These charts encoded a vocabulary of gradation, hybridity, and racial inheritance. Such vocabulary was mapped on charts such as those that appear in Edward Long’s The History of Jamaica (1774), where racial inheritances are depicted as neatly linear. Other historians of the Caribbean islands, such as J. B. Moreton in his West India Customs and Manners (1793), betray an underlying instability. The instability of such categories only increases within late eighteenth-century literary sources and especially in the lexicon imported back into England and appropriated by novelists, many of whom held abolitionist sympathies. This paper investigates the influence of West Indian color-chart vocabulary on the representation and construction of race in John Thelwall’s The Daughter of Adoption; A Tale of Modern Times (1801) and the anonymously published Woman of Colour; A Tale (1808).
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