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Title: Margins of (t)error : film, postmodernism and the ideology of signification.
Author: Harbord, Janet.
ISNI:       0000 0001 0980 0272
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1992
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This thesis is an examination of the intersection of mainstream American film, and postmodern theories of changes in economic and cultural formations, read through the prism of feminist discourse. The work examines the genre of postmodern film developed by mainstream American studios over the past ten years, asking questions of what a postmodern film text may mean, and how it relates to postmodern theory. The thesis presents the analysis in two parts in each section, the first a discussion of particular aspects of postmodern theory, the second a close textual reading of two films. The claims of postmodernism for a theory and culture that celebrates diversity and rejects hierarchy are countered by various analyses from cultural materialism, feminism and ethnography. The methodology of film analysis is derived from what has become an orthodox feminist film theory developed in the last twenty years in Screen. The first section examines the imaging of technology and mass consumption in the work of Baudr i Ll.a r d , Jameson and Lyotard, and in the genre of the horror film. The second section explores claims of the deconstruction of structures that determine what is regarded as culturally central and what is regarded as culturally marginal. The discussion focusses on two areas; the positioning of the Third lvorld subject in postmodern debate. Secondly, the fetishisation of others - here the black subject as representation, and the marginalisation of marginal groups from cultural production. The third section examines the process of reading and the interpellation of the subject into the (visual or written) text. Questions here address the theoretical model of subjectivity in postmodern texts, and the framework of enunciation in cinema. The last section problematises the figurative language of postmodernism, drawing out the implications of a language and imagery of violence and apocalypse, and suggests a politics of positionality for future discussion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Feminism; American cinema