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In Search of… a Third Culture: Towards an Experimental Science and Nature Cinema

 Walter C. Metz, Southern Illinois University

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Abstract

This essay attempts to move beyond C.P. Snow’s reductive formulation of the two cultures, positing a third culture forged out of the collision of science documentary television with the avant-garde traditions of the cinema. In particular, I use both scientific and humanistic understandings of memory to compare and contrast a science television program, “Understanding the Mysteries of Memory” (Science Channel, 2002) with an avant-garde film, Report (Bruce Conner, 1967).

‘A Skin of Ink’: The Tattooist and the Body in Performance

Suryendu Chakraborty, Krishnagar Women’s College, West Bengal, India

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Abstract

The body is the link between us and the outside world, and its creation and exhibition shapes its performance and presentation. This paper using Peter Burger’s directed movie The Tattooist as a referential frame, analyses relational, dynamic and procedural transformation of the body through tattooing. In the film tattoo artist Jake Sawyer, unknowingly plays a role in releasing a deadly spirit as he cuts himself with ‘au ta (Samoan tattoo instrument) in his attempt to learn pe’a, the Samoan tradition of tattooing. In the movie not only cultures overlap but also distinctions are blurred between art and life and also after-life. The film amazingly explores varied meaning of the human skin, and unravels the spectacle of the tattooed body. This paper explores the psyche of tattooing from the perspective of fashioning oneself both within-and-out the norm – a type of ritual-performance on the body, transforming it simultaneously into actual and contrived, corporeal and celluloid, palpable and non-physical (feigned or eidetic). This study draws on New Zealand tradition about tattoos and focuses on tattooing as a performance, primarily seeking to elucidate on how we might conceive the performance of tattooed identity among individuals.

Tipu Sultan and the Politics of Representation in Three 19th Century English novels

Ayusman Chakraborty, Jadavpur University, India

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 Abstract

Tipu Sultan was the ruler of the native state of Mysore. His fierce opposition to British rule in India earned him unrivalled notoriety in England. Colonial writings usually portray him as a cruel tyrant who tortured Indians and Englishmen alike. This article studies the representation of Tipu Sultan in three nineteenth century English novels – The Surgeon’s Daughter by Sir Walter Scott, Tippoo Sultaun: A Tale of the Mysore Wars by Captain Meadows Taylor, and The Tiger of Mysore by G. A. Henty . In these works, Tipu is painted in an extremely unfavourable light. Arguing that the politics of imperialism influences such representations, this article tries to show how the depiction of Tipu as a monstrous villain served to justify British rule in India. These novels seem to suggest that the British deserve credit for rescuing Indians from such egregious villain. The article also focuses on politicization of Tipu’s dead body. Colonial art and literature constantly return to the scene where Tipu’s body is discovered by his enemies. This article argues that colonial imagination converts Tipu’s corpse to a ‘grisly trophy’ which becomes a sign of British triumph over Oriental despotism.

Representation of Indigenous Women in Contemporary Aboriginal Short Stories of Australia and India: A Study in Convergences and Divergences

Indranil Acharya, Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, India

Abstract

This paper tries to review and reassess the tribal situation with special reference to the tribal women in India and Australia. It is an attempt to locate the ‘Aboriginal woman’ question in the context of women’s movement in both countries. In Australia the women’s movement, on the whole, has not been successful in incorporating Aboriginal women into its concerns and activities. Relations with Aboriginal women have constituted a problem with the women’s movement. Despite many differences in socio-cultural set up the stories of Anil Gharai and those of Australian Aboriginal writers share many common traits and cut across cultural differences. It establishes the theory of pan-aboriginality that exists in countries that possess a sizeable population of indigenous people.

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