Journal articles: 'Gravity Falls (Television program)' – Grafiati (2024)

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Author: Grafiati

Published: 4 June 2021

Last updated: 27 January 2023

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1

Wananda, Silvia Nurfajri Aprilla, Rahmadsyah Rangkuti, and Muhammad Yusuf. "A Linguistic Analysis of Verbal Humor Found in the Transcription of Animated TV Series Gravity Falls." VELES Voices of English Language Education Society 5, no.2 (October28, 2021): 143–55. http://dx.doi.org/10.29408/veles.v5i2.3976.

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Humour is one of the channels used in communication to express a concept or an idea. It can also be used to entertain people, such as in a TV show. This research focuses on the investigation of verbal perceptions of humour found in the transcription of the animated TV series Gravity Falls. Its purpose is to figure out what kinds of verbal humour can be found in the transcription of the animated television series Gravity Falls, as well as how the verbal humour in its transcription linguistically examined using the General Theory of Verbal Humour (GTVH). This study examined an episode of “Gravity Falls season 2: Not What He Seems” using a descriptive qualitative technique. The investigation discovered 29 linguistic humours in the research object, which were classified into 9 of the 12 types. The six Knowledge Resources in the General Theory of Verbal Humour (GTVH) are used to analyze the verbal humours previously discovered linguistically: Script Opposition (SO), Logical Mechanism (LM), Situation (SI), Target (TA), Narrative Strategy (NS), and Language (LA). To analyze the verbal humour, the analysis is done in a hierarchical order of the KRs.

2

Kasprzak, Alicja, Michał Dylewski, Roman Bednorz, Jakub Maliszewski, Paweł Jureczko, Krzysztof Cygoń, Joanna Boczula, and Grzegorz Boczula. "Posturographic Evaluation of Patients Who Have Undergone Training Focused on Preventing Ffalls with the Use of Modern Devices." Acta Balneologica 61, no.4 (2019): 243–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.36740/abal201904103.

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Incroduction: Falls are a very serious problem for people over 65 years of age. The frequency of falls increases with age. Studies show that 18% of people under the age of 45 fall down every year, 25% of those aged 45-65 and 35% of those over 65. Material and Methods: 18 people from the participants of the project “Comprehensive diagnosis and rehabilitation of patients with back pain syndromes and those at risk of falling using innovative therapy” were qualified for the analysis. Patients, before and after therapy, were tested using a stabilometric platform. The test was conducted in a free standing position with eyes open (30 seconds) and then with eyes closed (30 seconds). Results: Comparison of patient results before and after therapy showed a statistically significant (p <0.05) improvement in posture stability expressed in the mean X-axis displacement rate (movement to the sides) and Y (antero-posterior movement) both in the study with eyes open and closed. A shortening of the mean length of the center of gravity projection path was also observed. Conclusions: The proposed therapeutic program had a positive effect on improving stability in the studied patients. This improvement was mainly expressed by reducing the speed of center of gravity displacement and shortening the path that the center of gravity travels in both the open and closed eyes test.

3

Šerpytis, Pranas, Tomas Tamošiūnas, Andžela Slušnienė, Sigita Glaveckaite, Greta Kezytė, Indrė Urbanavičiūtė, and Aleksandras Laucevičius. "PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE CONCERNING CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION AND AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR SKILLS IN LITHUANIA." Sveikatos mokslai 26, no.4 (September26, 2016): 35–40. http://dx.doi.org/10.5200/sm-hs.2016.055.

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Introduction: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Even in 65% of cases the first registered rhythm after cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation (VF) which can be restored to sinus rhythm by defibrillation. European Resuscitation Council guidelines (2010) highlight the importance of automated external defibrillator (AED) and encourage further AED program development and device installation in public places. The aim and methods: To assess public knowledge about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and capability of using AED in five largest cities of Lithuania. The anonymous survey was conducted in public areas (shopping malls, stations, city squares). Only adults (aged 18-65 years) who claimed to have knowledge about CPR were interviewed. Results: 130 (76.9%) of respondents described their knowledge about CPR as inadequate. In a hypothetical 3-step situation, where a person clenches fists over his chest and falls, only 16.6% of respondents would act correctly according to the guidelines. Only 29% (49) knew what AED was, those aware of AED – almost all correctly stated the principle of managing the device and indications of its usage. The main sources of information regarding AED: training at the office 28.6% (14), television 28.6% (14), driving courses 22.4% (11); about CPR – driving courses 70.4% (119), school 46.7% (79), television 26% (44) and training at the office 24.9% (42). 81.6% of respondents would participate in CPR and AED courses, if they were free of charge. Conclusions: Lithuanian‘s knowledge about CPR is insufficient, only every third person knows what AEDs are. Community education and training on CPR and AEDs use are needed. The majority of respondents would attend CPR and AED training if it was free of charge.

4

Kowiel, Marcin, Mariusz Jaskolski, Andrzej Gzella, and Zbigniew Dauter. "aCHESYM: standardized placement of macromolecular models in the unit cell." Acta Crystallographica Section A Foundations and Advances 70, a1 (August5, 2014): C336. http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/s2053273314096636.

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Unique choice of the unit cell and the asymmetric unit are well defined and described in the International Tables for Crystallography vol. A. Unfortunately, the placement of molecules within the unit cell is not standardized. Since structure solution programs often use random numbers in their algorithms, the selected set of atomic coordinates may be different even with successive runs of the same program. Although formally correct, an arbitrary choice of molecular placement within the unit cell is confusing and may lead to interpretation errors [1]. With the use of the anti-Cheshire unit cell introduced by Dauter [2], for all space groups without inversion symmetry, it is possible to transform the molecular model such that its center of gravity falls within the anti-Cheshire asymmetric unit cell. It means that for macromolecular crystal structures it should be possible to standardize the placement of the molecules within the unit cell. In consequence, it should be easier for crystallographers and non-crystallographers to compare similar or related crystal structures. An implementation of the anti-Cheshire concept has been programmed in Python as a web service, aCHESYM. The aCHESYM program takes a PDB file as input and transforms the macromolecular model into the desired anti-Cheshire region. The program can also handle structure factor CIF files if the transformation used requires reindexing of the reflection data. The unit cell, coordinates and displacement parameters of all atoms after transformation are saved in a new PDB file. All the calculated transformations are reversible, so there is no danger of data loss. Moreover, the program helps the user to find the most compact assembly of the molecules (chains) in the structure when there are several chains in the asymmetric unit.

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Urabe, Yukio, Kazuki f*ckui, Keita Harada, Tsubasa Tashiro, Makoto Komiya, and Noriaki Maeda. "The Application of Balance Exercise Using Virtual Reality for Rehabilitation." Healthcare 10, no.4 (April4, 2022): 680. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10040680.

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To prevent falls, it is important to devise a safe balance training program that can be easily performed. This study investigated whether tilting an image in virtual reality (VR) can generate a center-of-gravity sway. Five men and five women were asked to rest standing upright (control condition) and to rest standing upright with a head-mounted display showing a tilted virtual image (VR condition), and changes in their standing balance were observed. Standing balance was assessed by measuring the distance traveled by the center of pressure (COP) of each of the participants’ legs. In order to investigate the effects of different tilt speeds and angles on COP, four different images were displayed in VR: an image tilting to 10° moving at a rate of 1°/s; an image tilting to 20° moving 1°/s; an image tilting to 10° moving 10°/s; an image tilting to 20° moving 10°/s. Change in COP was significantly greater in the VR than in the control condition (p < 0.01), and a tilt of 10° moving 1°/s showed the greatest change in COP (p < 0.01). Tilting an image in VR while in a resting standing position can change an individual’s COP; thus, VR may be applied to balance training.

6

O.A,AKINBOYE, Aremu Peter Ademola, and ADEWALEG.A. "RADIO AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMMES AS A TOOL FOR INFORMATION DISSEMINATION AMONG FISH FARMERS IN EGBEDORE LOCAL GOVERNMENT." EPH - International Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Research 7, no.1 (July1, 2022): 1–7. http://dx.doi.org/10.53555/ephaer.v7i1.1893.

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The study examined the radio agricultural programmes as a tool for information dissemination among fish farmers in Egbedore Local Government Area of Osun State, Nigeria. The study further highlighted the level of awareness of the respondents on radio agricultural programmes and assesses the disposition of the respondents towards radio agricultural programmes. To achieve this, eighty (80) respondents were randomly selected and interview with the aid of well-structured validated interview schedule. The data were analyzed using both descriptive statistics (Chi-square). There was significant relationship with; contact with extension agents and source of information. There was also significant relationship between the selected socio-economic characteristics and influence of radio agricultural programme. The main objective of the study is to ascertain the use of radio agricultural programmes as a tool for information dissemination among fish farmers in Egbedore Local Government Area. The specific objectives are to identify the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents in the study area, identify the level of awareness of the respondents about radio agricultural programmes, assess the disposition of the respondents towards radio agricultural programmes and examine the constrains militating against the utilization of radio agricultural programs in the study area. The summary of the results indicate that 38.7% of the respondents falls within the age range of 31 - 40 years and only about 15.0% of the respondents of them were 51 years and above respectively. This implies that the most of the farmers are very active and agile to cope with the farming activities and become more productive, nearly 78.7% fish farmers in the study area were male farmers. Also about 51.2% of them were married while 12.5% were divorced, 60% of the respondents in the study were Christian. 13.7% of the respondent had no formal education, 12.5% attended primary schools and 13.3% attended secondary schools while 42.5% had tertiary education. A larger percentage 66.3% had a household size between less than 5 family members while 17.5% had between 5-6 household and 16.2% had more than 7 and above members, the result shows that 36.2% of the respondents have less than 5 years of farming experience, 26.3% of the respondents have between 5 - 10 years of farming experience, 13.7% of the respondents have 8 -10 years of farming experience and 23.8% of the respondents have 11 years and above farming experience. The mean year of farming experience is 7.63 years. 33.7% of the respondents obtained their information through radio while 17.5% depend on extension agent as their source of information. About 40% of the respondents depend on their fellow fish farmers and 8.8% of the respondents obtained information through television. The result indicates that 62.5% majority of the respondents have access to extension agents while about 37.5% of the respondents do not have contact with extension agents. 92.5% of the fish farmers have access to radio-set while only 7.5% of the respondents do not have access to radio-set. From the data collected it was revealed that 32.5% of the respondents in the study area frequently listen to radio, 30.0% of them occasional listen to radio program while 37.5% of the respondents rarely listen to radio. Further analysis reveals that age, sex, level of education, source of credit, farm size, farming experience, membership of social organization, contact with extension agents, and source of information of the respondents was significantly related to their need of radio agricultural programmes. Similarly it was discovered that religion, marital status, household size and annual income were not significantly related to the need of radio agricultural programmes as a tool for information dissemination.

7

Anwar, Muhammad Idrees. "The hidden sharks of clinical practice." Health Professions Educator Journal 2, no.2 (June30, 2019): 7–8. http://dx.doi.org/10.53708/hpej.v2i2.236.

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‘The doctors of tomorrow will be applying knowledge and deploying skills which are at present unforeseen’. This was written by General Medical Council , UK in “Tomorrow’s Doctor” 1993,(General Medical Council, 1993), but this still holds true. We as health care providers strive to provide the best of care to our patients and perhaps doing a good job. You may object to this “perhaps “as obviously at a glance the health care appears optimal. But we do not know that underneath this poise and calm sea are deadly sharks that gulp and bite our results. Statistically speaking, there is one in eleven million risks of being bitten by a shark. In comparison, the risk of patient death occurring due to a preventable medical accident, while receiving health care, is estimated to be one in three hundred. It is obvious that you are safer in diving in the ocean than receiving treatment at a health care facility. Yet it is preventable. This preventable medical accident is the hidden shark of our clinical practice that bites our results without us even knowing about it. Hippocrates defined patient safety as primum no nocere, or “First, do no harm.” Yet we discovered it quite recently. A television program by the name of ” Deep Sleep “ aired in April 1983 first shocked the public that six thousand patients die due to anesthesia-related deaths. In 1983, the Harvard Medical School and the British Royal Society of Medicine jointly sponsored a symposium on anesthesia, deaths, and injuries. They also agreed to share statistics and to conduct studies for all anesthesia accidents. In 1984, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) had established the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF). The foundation marked the first use of the term “patient safety” in the name of a professional reviewing organization. The Australian Patient Safety Foundation was founded in 1989 for anesthesia error monitoring. Both organizations were soon expanded, as the magnitude of the medical error crisis became known. The studies expanded to all specialties, areas, and actual impact was measured. It is now estimated that that healthcare errors impact one in every ten patients around the world, the World Health Organization calls patient safety an endemic concern. Alarming, isn’t it? Yes, it is quite an alarming situation and it is the time that we all must blow the whistle to this global as well as regional problem. We are at a very initial stage where most of us are not even aware of its serious concerns. The waters are infested with sharks, and we must know and learn how to tackle them. The errors typically include surgical, diagnostic, medication, devices and equipment, and systems failures, infections, falls, and healthcare technology. Wrong or missed diagnosis and side effects of drugs are more common. No area of health care delivery is exempt, but they occur more so in an emergency room and outpatient clinic. (Bari, Khan, & Rathore, 2016) Errors are classified as two types: 1. Errors of omission occur because of actions not taken. Examples are not putting a strap to a patient. 2. Errors of the commission occur because of the wrong action taken. Examples include administering a medication to which a patient has a known allergy. You must be wondering why I chose this in a medical education journal. First and foremost, it is one of the serious international health concerns in the current era. Globally, almost a million patients die each year along with the cost associated with medication errors of about $42 billion USD annually. Secondly, the key to the solution lies with medical educationists. By now, you must be wondering how medical educationists could solve the predicament. Well! The solution lies in developing skills like communication, organization, teamwork, leadership, and decision-making. Not just the skills but also patient safety attitudes have to be adapted along with developing a “safety culture” at the workplace (Ayub & Khan, 2018). Our doctors of future and health care centers will only be safe if the safety is taught and assessed, at every level of learning and teaching. The culture of patient safety is created by identifying errors, developing systems based on newer technologies to recognize and correct errors. A broad range of safety culture properties can be organized into multiple subcultures like leadership, teamwork, evidence-based patient care, communication, learning from errors, identifying systems errors, and providing patient-centered care. Currently, the issue is remotely addressed in learning and teaching at both graduate and postgraduate levels. It is imperative that medical educationist should play their role by not only learning but also teaching all the necessary skills required to develop a safe environment for patients. The waters are full of sharks, and we must take protective measures. Stay safe References Ayub, A., & Khan, R. A. 2018. Learning to cure with care: Awareness of faculty and medical students about students’ roles related to patient safety. J. Pak. Med. Assoc., 68(9). Bari, A., Khan, R. A., & Rathore, A. W. 2016. Medical errors; causes, consequences, emotional response and resulting behavioral change. Pakistan J. Med. Sci., 32(3) doi:10.12669/ pjms.323.9701. General Medical Council, U.K. (1993). Tomorrow’s doctors: Recommendations on undergraduate medical education. London.

8

Piatti-Farnell, Lorna. "What’s Hidden in Gravity Falls: Strange Creatures and the Gothic Intertext." M/C Journal 17, no.4 (July24, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.859.

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Discussing the interaction between representation and narrative structures, Anthony Mandal argues that the Gothic has always been “an intrinsically intertextual genre” (Mandal 350). From its inception, the intertextuality of the Gothic has taken many and varied incarnations, from simple references and allusions between texts—dates, locations, characters, and “creatures”—to intricate and evocative uses of style and plot organisation. And even though it would be unwise to reduce the Gothic “text” to a simple master narrative, one cannot deny that, in the midst of re-elaborations and re-interpretations, interconnections and interpolations also appear, a collective gathering of ideas and writing practices that construct what is known as “the Gothic intertext” (Mishra 235). As far as storytelling, characterisation, and symbolism are concerned, the Gothic finds strength in its ability to develop as well as negate expectation, re-moulding the culturally known and the aesthetically acceptable in order to present its audience with a multi-faceted and multi-layered narrative. Although the Gothic has traditionally found fertile ground in literary works—a connection that is now a legacy as much as an origin—other contemporary media, such as animation, have offered the Gothic a privileged chance for growth and adaptation. An evocative example of the mergence between the Gothic mode and the animated medium is Alex Hirsch’s Gravity Falls. This visual text provides an example of the reach of the Gothic within popular culture, where intersecting hideous creatures and interconnected narrative structures, although simple and “for children” on the surface, reveal the presence of a dense and intertextual Gothic network. Those interlacings are, of course, never disconnected from the wider cultural framework, and clearly occupy an important part in unravelling the insidious aspects of human nature, from the difficulties of finding “oneself” to the loneliness of the everyday. Gravity Falls is an animated television series created by Alex Hirsch. It premiered on the Disney Channel in the United States on 15 June 2012. Now scheduled for its second season of running, Gravity Falls follows the adventures of 12-year-old twin siblings Dipper and Mabel Pines while on their summer vacation in the small town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. The choice of “twins” as main characters reveals, even at such an embryonic level, a connection to Gothicised structures, as the mode itself, as Vijay Mishra suggests, finds an affinity with doublings and “specular identifications” that “confuse the norm” (63). The presence of twins makes the double nature of character, traditionally a metaphorical and implicit idea in the Gothic, a very obvious and explicit one. Dipper and Mabel are staying with their eccentric and money-grabbing Great Uncle Stan—often referred to as “Grunkle Stan”—who runs the local curiosity shop known as the Mystery Shack. It becomes very obvious from the very beginning that an air of mystery truly surrounds the Shack, which quickly lives up to its name, and the eponymous town. In an aptly Gothic manner, things are definitely not what they seem and the twins are caught in odd plots, eerily occurrences, and haunted/haunting experiences on a daily basis. The instigator for the twins’ interest in the odd manifestations is the finding of a mysterious journal, a manual the relays detailed descriptions of the creatures that inhabit the forest in the town of Gravity Falls. The author of the journal remains unknown, and is commonly known only as “3”, an unexplained number that marks the cover of the book itself. Although the connection between the Gothic and animation may be obscure, it is in fact possible to identify many common and intersecting elements—aesthetically, narratively, and conceptually—that highlight the two as being intrinsically connected. The successful relation that the Gothic holds with animation is based in the mode’s fundamental predilection for not only subversion, excess and the exploration of the realm of the “imagination”, but also humour and self-reflexivity. These aspects are shared with animation which, as a medium, is ideally placed for exploring and presenting the imaginative and the bizarre, while pushing the boundaries of the known and the proper. Julia Round suggests that the Gothic “has long been identified as containing a dual sense of play and fear” (7). The playfulness and destabilisation that are proper to the mode find a fertile territory in animation in view of not only its many genres, but also its style and usually sensational subject matter. This discourse becomes particularly relevant if one takes into consideration matters of audienceship, or, at least, receivership. Although not historically intended for younger viewers, the animation has evolved into a profoundly children-orientated medium. From cinema to television, animated features and series are the domain of children of various ages. Big production houses such as Disney and Warner Bros have capitalised on the potential of the medium, and established its place in broadcasting slots for young viewers. Not unlike comics—which is, in a way, its ancestral medium—animation is such a malleable and contextual form that it requires a far-reaching and inclusive approach, one that is often interdisciplinary in scope; within this, where the multi-faceted nature of the Gothic opens up the way for seeing animated narratives as the highly socio-historical mediums they are. And not unlike comics, animation shares a common ground with the Gothic in requiring a vast scope of analysis, one that is intrinsically based on the conceptual connections between “texts”. Round has also aptly argued that, like comics, animated series lend themselves to malleable and mouldable re-elaboration: “from the cultural to the aesthetic, the structural to the thematic”, graphic media always reflect the impact of “intertextual and historical references” (8). Animation’s ability to convey, connect, and revolutionise ideas is, therefore, well-matched to the aesthetic and conceptual idiosyncrasies of Gothic tropes. Dipper and Mabel’s vacation in the town of Gravity Falls is characterised by the appearance of numerous super- and preter-natural creatures. The list of “monsters” encountered by the twins is long and growing, from gnomes, goblins, mermaids and zombies, to ghosts, clones, and a wide and colourful variety of demons. And although, at first glance, this list would appear to be a simple and simplistic grouping of bizarre and creatively assembled creatures, it is made quickly apparent that these “monsters” are all inspired, often very directly, by “existing”—or, at least, well-known—Gothic creatures, and their respective contexts of development. Indeed, the links to the Gothic in contemporary popular culture are unavoidable. The creatures in Gravity Falls are presented with subtle references to Gothic literature and cinema, from John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) and Joe Dante’s Gremlins (1984), to Stephen King’s The Shining (1977) and Needful Things (1991). Borrowing from these texts, the creatures in the series all have strange names that rely on play-on-words and re-inventions, and the rubric twists that they undertake are part of a system of both homage and conceptual interdependency. One can find, for instance, “Manotaurs”—creatures that are half-bull and half-man, and that value “manliness” in their society above all else—and the “Gremlobin” – a gigantic monster somewhere in between, we are told, a “gremlin” and a “goblin”, whose eyes can show “your worst nightmares”. But the range extends to other bizarre “creatures” that are clearly very spooky, such as the “Summewrween Trickster”—a large, shadowy, purple/orange monster with a “jack-o’-melon” mask – the living “mailbox”—a sentient and omniscient object—and the truly haunting Bill Cipher—a mind demon that can be summoned through an incantation and enter a person’s subconscious. The connection to the Gothic in popular culture is instrumental for the construction of the Gothic intertext in Gravity Falls. In episode One, “Tourist Trapped” (1.01), Mabel is kidnapped by a tribe of gnomes, who are set on making her their queen. The gnomes are incongruous creatures: on the one hand, they are vengeful and spiteful, recalling the horror monsters found in movies such as the questionable Blood Gnome (2004). On the other, however, they wear red pointy hats and white beards, and their friendly smiles recall the harmless appearance of actual garden gnomes. When the gnomes grow upset, they throw up rainbows; this strange fact destroys their potential as a Gothic horror icon, and makes them accessible and amusing. This subversion of iconography takes place with a number of other “creatures” in Gravity Falls, with the Summerween Trickster—subverting the “terror” of Hallowe’en—being another fitting example. When the gnomes are attempting to woe Mabel, they do not appear to her in their real form: they camouflage themselves into a teenage boy— one who is moody, brooding, and mysterious—and become Mabel’s boyfriend; the “boy’s” interest in her, however, is so intense, that Dipper suspects him to be a member of “The Undead”, a category of monster that is closely described in 3’s journal: due to their “pale skin” and “bad attitudes”, they are often mistaken for “teenagers”. Clues to Dipper’s doubts include the teenage boy’s hand “falling off” while he is hugging Mabel, a clear sign—it would seem—that the boy is obviously a decaying, zombie corpse. The intertextual connection to several horror visual narratives where limbs “fall off” the undead and the monstrous is clear here, with apt film examples being Dawn of the Dead (1978), The Fly (1986), horror comedy Army of Darkness (1992), and, more recently, television’s The Walking Dead (2010-). The references to well-known horror films are scattered throughout the series, and comprise the majority of the lampooned cultural context in which the creatures appear. In spite of Dipper’s suspicions, the situation is revealed to have a rather different outcome. When the boyfriend tells Mabel he has a big secret to reveal, her mind wanders into another direction, choosing a different type of undead, as she expectantly thinks: “Please be a vampire…please be a vampire”. It is not difficult to spot the conceptual connection here to narratives such as Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga (2005-2008), both in its literary and cinematic variations, where brooding and mysterious teenage boys find ideal incarnations as the undead creature. The romanticised nature of teenage fictional narratives such as the Twilight saga is also mirrored in Mabel’s distinctive love-centred interest in the potential vampire, revealing an intertextual and highly contextual association to seeing the creature as part of an amorous relationship, as opposed to a blood-thirsty murderer. Mabel’s dreams of vampric love are unfortunately shattered when the boyfriend is revealed to be several gnomes carefully assembled to operate a human-like body, rather than one immortal lover. Irrespective of its desire to parody the Gothic, however, Gravity Falls still maintains unavoidable links to the notion of terror. Clear evidence of this is to be found in the fact that all “creatures” in the series present a level of anthropomorphism about them, and this is interpreted by the characters—and the viewers—as one of their scariest aspects. Leigh Blackmore suggests that a special brand of terror can be found in “anthropomorphic beings” that are in fact not human (Blackmore 95). Most of the creatures in the series are humanoid in shape, and can speak like humans. From gnomes to mermaids, mailboxes and demons, the creatures act as humans, but they are in fact something “other”, something that only recalls the human itself. This idea of being “almost human”, but “not quite”, is disturbing in itself, and connects the presentation of the creatures to the Gothic via the notion of the uncanny: “a crisis of the natural, touching upon everything that one might have thought was ‘part of nature’ […] human nature, the nature of reality and the world” (Royle 1). The uncanny nature of the creatures in Gravity Falls is maintained through their profound inhumanity, and their simultaneous links to human ways of acting, speaking, and even thinking. Indeed, most of the creatures are presented as petty, bitter, and childish, and often seen as greedy and sulking. In a way, the creatures lampoon some of the most intrinsic qualities of the human species, what separates us from animals. The supernatural creatures operate here as a critique of the humans themselves, exposing, as the Gothic often does, the most disturbing parts of humanity. The creatures are presented initially as scary, recalling—albeit very briefly—notions of terror and horror, but that façade is quickly destroyed as their “real nature” is exposed. They are de-terrorised by not only making them common, but also ridiculing their habits and de-constructing their thinly-veiled Gothic personas. The creatures in Gravity Falls are a subversion of the subversion, a re-thinking of the Gothic through parody that allows their conceptual, and culturally relevant, function to be rapidly exposed. The impact of the Gothic intertext in Gravity Falls is not only visible in its representational forms—its monsters and “creatures”—but also extends to its structural organisation. Jerrold Hogle has argued that, although they maintain a heterogeneous construction of texts and contexts, there are certain qualities applicable to “Gothic texts”: an antiquated space (often decaying); a concealed secret from the historical past; a physical or psychological haunting; and an oscillation between “reality” and the “supernatural” (3). Although Hogle’s pinpointing of what he calls the “Gothic matrix” (3) is mainly focused on the literary world, a broader and more wide-reaching understanding of the Gothic text allows these qualities to be clearly identifiable in other narrative mediums, such as an animated series. Indeed, Gravity Falls presents the main elements of the “Gothic matrix”: the Mystery Shack is an old and isolated place, physically crumbling and in constant state of disrepair; it is made clear that the Shack harbours many secrets—filled as it is with hidden passageways and underground vaults—connected to the shady past of Grunkle Stan and its unresolved connections to mysticism and magic; there are plenty of hauntings to be found in the series: from physical ones—in the form of demons and ghosts—to psychological ones, condensed in Dipper and Mabel’s difficulties with their approaching puberties and “growing up”; finally, the line between reality and supernatural is constantly challenged by the appearance of multiple creatures that are clearly not of this world, and even though several characters doubt their existence within the story, their very presence challenges the stability of the boundaries between real and unreal. On the surface, the series is presented as a standard linear narrative, where the linear journey of each 20-minute episode culminates with the resolution of the main “haunting”, and the usual destruction or appeasing of the “creature”. And while the series’ use of cliff-hangers is, in true television style, a common presence, they also expose and recall the unresolved nature of the narrative. Indeed, the story’s structure in Gravity Falls is reliant on narrative undertellings and off-shoots that often lie underneath the logical “line” of the plot. Sub-plots reign supreme, and multiple motives for the characters’ actions are introduced but not expanded upon, leaving the series impregnated with an aura of uncertainty and chaos. The focus of the storytelling is also denied; one moment, it appears to be Dipper’s desire to discover the “secrets” of the forest; the other, it is Grunkle Stan’s long-time battle with his arch-nemesis Gideon over the ownership of the Shack. This plot confusion in Gravity Falls continues to expose its narrative debt to the Gothic intertext, since “structural multiplicity”, as Round suggests, is “a defining feature of the Gothic” (19). The series’ narrative structure is based on numerous multiplicities, an open denial of linear journeys that is dependant, paradoxically, on the illusion of resolution. The most evocative example of Gravity Falls’ denial of clear-cut structures is arguably to be found in the narrative underlayers added by 3’s monster manual. It is obvious from the beginning that 3’s stay in the town of Gravity Falls was riddled with strange experiences, and that his sojourn intersected, at one point or the other, with the lives and secrets of Grunkle Stan and his enemies. It is also made clear that 3’s journal is not a solitary presence in the narrative, but is in fact only one in a triad of mystical books—these books, it is suggested, have great power once put together, but the resolution to this mystery is yet to be revealed. As Grunkle Stan and Gideon fight (secretly) over the possession of the three books, it is openly suggested that several uncovered stories haunt the main narrative in the series and, unknown Dipper and Mabel, are responsible for many of the strange occurrences during their stay at the Shack. Jean-Jacques Lecercle has long argued that one of the defining characteristics of the Gothic, and its intertextual structure, is the presence of “embedded narratives” (72). In Gravity Falls, the use of 3’s manual as not only an initiator of the plot, but also as a continuous performative link to the “haunted” past, uncovers the series’ re-elaboration of the traditional structure of Gothic narratives. As a paratextual presence in the story—one that is, however, often responsible for the development of the main narrative—3’s manual draws attention to the importance of constructing layered stories in order to create the structures of terror, and subsequent horror, that are essential to the Gothic itself. Although it often provides Dipper with information for solving the mysteries of the Shack, and subduing the supernatural creatures that overtake it, 3’s manual is, in reality, a very disruptive presence in the story. It creates confusion as it begins storytelling without concluding it, and opens the way to narrative pathways that are never fully explored. This is of course in keeping with the traditional narrative structures of the Gothic mode, where ancient books and stories— belonging to “antiquity”—are used as a catalyst for the present narrative to take place, but are also strangely displaced from it. This notion recalls Victor Sage’s suggestion that, in Gothic narratives, ancient books and stories paradoxically “disrupt” the main narrative, starting a separate dialogue with a storytelling structure that is inevitably unexplored and left unanswered (86). Canonical examples such as Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847) inevitably come to mind here, but also more recent cinematic examples such as the Evil Dead franchise (1978-), where ancient books and old storytellers uncover hoary secrets that instigate, as well as obscure, the main narrative. In Gravity Falls, the interaction with 3’s manual is inherently performative, and continuously intertextual, but it is also deeply confusing, adding to the feeling of strangeness and mystery that is the conceptual basis for the series itself. The intertextual connections that drive the narrative in Gravity Falls construct lampooned versions of both the traditional concepts of Gothic horror and Gothic terror. Hogle has suggested that Gothic terror is apparent in the construction of suspense, achieved through an exploration of psychological hauntings, human nature and its un/limitations, and that which is kept out sight, the expected “hidden secrets” (3). Gothic horror, on the other hand, is characterised by the consequences of these occurrences; the physical manifestation of the “haunting”, so to speak, is achieved through the presentation of something repulsive and horrific, the monstrous in its various incarnations (Hogle 3). In Gravity Falls, the connection to the traditional Gothic intertext is made clear through both elicitations of “terror”, and subsequent manifestations of “horror”. Indeed, the “hidden secrets” of the Shack, and to some extent, the fears and insecurities of the characters, are mediated through the appearance of horrific machinery and creatures. The Shack always conceals something hidden, a magical element of sort that is kept secret by intricate passageways. The shadowy nature of the building – evoking the psychological hauntings of Gothic terror – inevitably causes the appearance of something physically disturbing, finding its apogee in a Gothic horror experience. A clear example of this can be found in the episode “Double Dipper” (1.07). Desperate to impress his co-worker and secret love-interest Wendy, and “haunted” by his lack of self-worth, Dipper roams the rooms of the Shack and discovers a very old and enchanted photocopier machine; the machine copies “people”, making clones of the original. The “clones” themselves are a manifestation of horror, a presence that breaks the boundaries of propriety, and worries its viewers in view of its very existence. The cloning copy machine is strongly intertextual as it not only provides conceptual links to numerous cinematic and literary examples where a “haunted machine” threats to destroy humanity— in examples such as Stephen King’s Christine (1983) —but also evokes the threat of “doubles”, another powerfully Gothic conduit (Royle). As it is often the case in Gravity Falls, Dipper loses control of the situation, and the dozens of clones he unwittingly created take over his life and threaten to annihilate him. Dipper must destroy the “horror” —the clones—and confront the “terror”—his haunting insecurities and personal secrets—in order to restore the original balance. This intertextual dynamic validates Hogle’s contention that, in Gothic narratives, both the physical and the psychological “hauntings” rise from view “within the antiquated space” and “manifest unresolved conflicts that can no longer be successfully buried from view” (Hogle 2). The “hidden secrets” of Gravity Falls, and their manifestations through both Gothic horror and terror, are clearly connected to explorations of human nature and deeply existentialist crises that are put forward through humour and parody. These range from Grunkle Stan’ inability to commit to a relationship—and his feeling that life is slipping away in his old age—to the twins’ constant insecurities about pre-teen amorous encounters. Not to mention the knowledge that, in reality, Dipper and Mabel were “abandoned” by their mother in the care of Stan, as she had other plans for the summer. As Round has argued, the Gothic’s most significant development seems to have been the “transvaluation of moral issues”, as notions of “monsters have become less clear cut” (18). The series’ successful engagement with the wider “monstrous” intertext, and its connection to moral issues and “hidden” preoccupations, uncovers the ability of the Gothic, as Catherine Spooner puts it, to act as “commodity”, no longer a marginalised cultural presence, but a fully purchasable item in consumer-capitalist systems (Spooner 2007). The evocations of both horror and terror in Gravity Falls are, naturally, unavoidably diluted, a homage as much as a direct encounter. The use of the monstrous and the haunted in the series is domesticated, made accessible so that it can be presented to a younger and more commercial audience. The profound interlacings with the Gothic intertext remain, however, unchanged, as the series reconciles its subversive, uncanny elements with the inevitably conventional, Disney-fied context in which it is placed. References Blackmore, Leigh. “Marvels and Horrors: Terry Dowling’s Clowns at Midnight”. 21st Century Gothic: Great Gothic Novels Since 2000, ed. Danel Olson. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. 87-97. Gravity Falls. Disney Television. Disney Channel, Los Angeles. 2012-2014. Hogle, Jerrold. “Introduction: The Gothic in Western Culture”. The Cambridge Companion of Gothic Fiction, ed. Jerrold Hogle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 1-20. Lecercle, Jean-Jacques. “The Kitten’s Nose: Dracula and Witchcraft”. The Gothic, ed. Fred Botting. D.S Brewer: Cambridge, 2001. 71-86. Mandal, Anthony. “Intertext”. The Encyclopaedia of the Gothic, ed. David Punter, Bill Hughes and Andrew Smith. Basingstoke: Wiley, 2013. 350-355. Mishra, Vijay. The Gothic Sublime. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994. Round, Julia. Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels. Jefferson: McFarland, 2014. Royle, Nicholas. The Uncanny. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003. Sage, Victor. “Irish Gothic: C.R. Maturin and J.S. LeFanu. A Companion to the Gothic, ed. David Punter. Oxford; Blackwell, 2001. 81-93. Spooner, Catherine. Contemporary Gothic. London: Reaktion, 2007.

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Diniz-Sousa, Florêncio, Tiago Granja, Giorjines Boppre, Lucas Veras, Vítor Devezas, Hugo Santos-Sousa, John Preto, et al. "Effects of a Multicomponent Exercise Training Program on Balance Following Bariatric Surgery." International Journal of Sports Medicine, April13, 2022. http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1766-5803.

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AbstractPatients who undergo bariatric surgery (BS) have an increased risk of falls. Our aim was to determine if a multicomponent exercise intervention after BS improves balance. Eighty-four patients with obesity enrolled for BS were recruited and 1 month after BS randomly allocated to a control (CG; standard medical care) or exercise group (EG; exercise plus standard medical care) consisting of a supervised multicomponent training program (3d/week; 75 min/session; 5 months). Anthropometry, lower limb muscle strength (isokinetic dynamometer), vitamin D (ELISA) and balance in bipedal stance (force platform) were assessed pre-BS, 1 month and 6 months post-BS. One month post-BS, significant balance improvements were observed, namely in antero-posterior center of gravity (CoG) displacement and velocity, and medio-lateral and total CoG velocity. Between 1- and 6-months post-BS, improvements in balance were observed only in the EG, with a significant treatment effect on CoG displacement area and antero-posterior CoG displacement. No significant differences were observed between EG and CG over time in any of the anthropometric, muscle strength, and vitamin D variables assayed. In conclusion, a multicomponent exercise intervention program improves some balance parameters in patients with severe obesity following BS and therefore should be part of post-BS follow-up care as a potential strategy to reduce falls and associated injuries.

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Jones, Dina, Maura Robinson, Terry Kit Selfe, Lucinda Barnes, Sijin Wen, Samantha Shawley-Brzoska, Douglas Myers, and Sara Wilcox. "P10-02 Barriers to use of the internet as an alternative delivery channel for an evidence-based fall-prevention intervention for older adults." European Journal of Public Health 32, Supplement_2 (August27, 2022). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckac095.141.

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Abstract Issue/problem Physical activity (PA) can prevent falls, a leading cause of death globally. Alternative delivery channels may increase the “reach” of interventions into older adult populations in areas which lack trained instructors. Using technology is one alternative to traditional, face-to-face group classes where instructors and participants are in the same room. We delivered a PA program via the Internet for older adults in rural West Virginia (USA). This alternative could help other countries reach more older adults and reduce falls. Description of the problem Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance® (TJQMBB) is an evidence-based intervention for older adults that reduces falls. Adults, ≥ 55 years, attended free, 1-hour tele-TJQMBB sessions, twice weekly, for 16 weeks at 5 remote community sites (3 urban, 2 rural). Trained instructors (new to TJQMBB) led 6 classes from a classroom for participants at remote sites. Instructors/sites used minicomputer, web camera, microphone, and television(s) for live, 2-way verbal/audio exchange. A CPR-certified person was present with participants. This project identified barriers to implementing tele-TJQMBB. Data on barriers were collected from instructors' class logs and summarized. Results Fifty-two adults (81% female, mean age 70) attended 23 (median) of 32 sessions. Barriers that caused session cancelations included: participant vacations/unavailability (n = 7), inclement weather (n = 4), technical issues (n = 2), no CPR person (n = 1), classroom not available (n = 1), site closed for state holiday (n = 1), competing event at site (n = 1), and ill instructor (n = 1). Technical barriers during sessions included interruptions/lack of audio, video freezing, and Wi-Fi/Internet connectivity problems. Two participants did not like videoconferencing. Lessons Tele-TJQMBB may be easier to teach with instructors who have already taught the program in-person. Selecting instructors/sites that are comfortable with technology may reduce technological barriers. Some older adults may still prefer face-to-face classes. Most cancelations were due to reasons normally encountered in face-to-face classes. Use of technology added new barriers that will need addressed for future classes. Main messages Technology reached older adults in areas with no instructors. We think that this is the first time a live, evidence-based, group PA intervention was delivered using this method which could be a model for reaching older adults globally.

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Merchant, Melissa, KatieM.Ellis, and Natalie Latter. "Captions and the Cooking Show." M/C Journal 20, no.3 (June21, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1260.

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While the television cooking genre has evolved in numerous ways to withstand competition and become a constant feature in television programming (Collins and College), it has been argued that audience demand for televisual cooking has always been high because of the daily importance of cooking (Hamada, “Multimedia Integration”). Early cooking shows were characterised by an instructional discourse, before quickly embracing an entertainment focus; modern cooking shows take on a more competitive, out of the kitchen focus (Collins and College). The genre has continued to evolve, with celebrity chefs and ordinary people embracing transmedia affordances to return to the instructional focus of the early cooking shows. While the television cooking show is recognised for its broad cultural impacts related to gender (Ouellette and Hay), cultural capital (Ibrahim; Oren), television formatting (Oren), and even communication itself (Matwick and Matwick), its role in the widespread adoption of television captions is significantly underexplored. Even the fact that a cooking show was the first ever program captioned on American television is almost completely unremarked within cooking show histories and literature.A Brief History of Captioning WorldwideWhen captions were first introduced on US television in the early 1970s, programmers were guided by the general principle to make the captioned program “accessible to every deaf viewer regardless of reading ability” (Jensema, McCann and Ramsey 284). However, there were no exact rules regarding captioning quality and captions did not reflect verbatim what was said onscreen. According to Jensema, McCann and Ramsey (285), less than verbatim captioning continued for many years because “deaf people were so delighted to have captions that they accepted almost anything thrown on the screen” (see also Newell 266 for a discussion of the UK context).While the benefits of captions for people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing were immediate, its commercial applications also became apparent. When the moral argument that people who were D/deaf or hard of hearing had a right to access television via captions proved unsuccessful in the fight for legislation, advocates lobbied the US Congress about the mainstream commercial benefits such as in education and the benefits for people learning English as a second language (Downey). Activist efforts and hard-won legal battles meant D/deaf and hard of hearing viewers can now expect closed captions on almost all television content. With legislation in place to determine the provision of captions, attention began to focus on their quality. D/deaf viewers are no longer just delighted to accept anything thrown on the screen and have begun to demand verbatim captioning. At the same time, market-based incentives are capturing the attention of television executives seeking to make money, and the widespread availability of verbatim captions has been recognised for its multimedia—and therefore commercial—applications. These include its capacity for information retrieval (Miura et al.; Agnihotri et al.) and for creative repurposing of television content (Blankinship et al.). Captions and transcripts have been identified as being of particular importance to augmenting the information provided in cooking shows (Miura et al.; Oh et al.).Early Captions in the US: Julia Child’s The French ChefJulia Child is indicative of the early period of the cooking genre (Collins and College)—she has been described as “the epitome of the TV chef” (ray 53) and is often credited for making cooking accessible to American audiences through her onscreen focus on normalising techniques that she promised could be mastered at home (ray). She is still recognised for her mastery of the genre, and for her capacity to entertain in a way that stood out from her contemporaries (Collins and College; ray).Julia Child’s The French Chef originally aired on the US publicly-funded Public Broadcasting System (PBS) affiliate WBGH from 1963–1973. The captioning of television also began in the 1960s, with educators creating the captions themselves, mainly for educational use in deaf schools (Downey 70). However, there soon came calls for public television to also be made accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing—the debate focused on equality and pushed for recognition that deaf people were culturally diverse (Downey 70).The PBS therefore began a trial of captioning programs (Downey 71). These would be “open captions”—characters which were positioned on the screen as part of the normal image for all viewers to see (Downey 71). The trial was designed to determine both the number of D/deaf and hard of hearing people viewing the program, as well as to test if non-D/deaf and hard of hearing viewers would watch a program which had captions (Downey 71). The French Chef was selected for captioning by WBGH because it was their most popular television show in the early 1970s and in 1972 eight episodes of The French Chef were aired using open—albeit inconsistent—captions (Downey 71; Jensema et al. 284).There were concerns from some broadcasters that openly captioned programs would drive away the “hearing majority” (Downey 71). However, there was no explicit study carried out in 1972 on the viewers of The French Chef to determine if this was the case because WBGH ran out of funds to research this further (Downey 71). Nevertheless, Jensema, McCann and Ramsey (284) note that WBGH did begin to re-broadcast ABC World News Tonight in the 1970s with open captions and that this was the only regularly captioned show at the time.Due to changes in technology and fears that not everyone wanted to see captions onscreen, television’s focus shifted from open captions to closed captioning in the 1980s. Captions became encoded, with viewers needing a decoder to be able to access them. However, the high cost of the decoders meant that many could not afford to buy them and adoption of the technology was slow (Youngblood and Lysaght 243; Downey 71). In 1979, the US government had set up the National Captioning Institute (NCI) with a mandate to develop and sell these decoders, and provide captioning services to the networks. This was initially government-funded but was designed to eventually be self-sufficient (Downey 73).PBS, ABC and NBC (but not CBS) had agreed to a trial (Downey 73). However, there was a reluctance on the part of broadcasters to pay to caption content when there was not enough evidence that the demand was high (Downey 73—74). The argument for the provision of captioned content therefore began to focus on the rights of all citizens to be able to access a public service. A complaint was lodged claiming that the Los Angeles station KCET, which was a PBS affiliate, did not provide captioned content that was available elsewhere (Downey 74). When Los Angeles PBS station KCET refused to air captioned episodes of The French Chef, the Greater Los Angeles Council on Deafness (GLAD) picketed the station until the decision was reversed. GLAD then focused on legislation and used the Rehabilitation Act to argue that television was federally assisted and, by not providing captioned content, broadcasters were in violation of the Act (Downey 74).GLAD also used the 1934 Communications Act in their argument. This Act had firstly established the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and then assigned them the right to grant and renew broadcast licenses as long as those broadcasters served the ‘‘public interest, convenience, and necessity’’ (Michalik, cited in Downey 74). The FCC could, argued GLAD, therefore refuse to renew the licenses of broadcasters who did not air captioned content. However, rather than this argument working in their favour, the FCC instead changed its own procedures to avoid such legal actions in the future (Downey 75). As a result, although some stations began to voluntarily caption more content, it was not until 1996 that it became a legally mandated requirement with the introduction of the Telecommunications Act (Youngblood and Lysaght 244)—too late for The French Chef.My Kitchen Rules: Captioning BreachWhereas The French Chef presented instructional cooking programming from a kitchen set, more recently the food genre has moved away from the staged domestic kitchen set as an instructional space to use real-life domestic kitchens and more competitive multi-bench spaces. The Australian program MKR straddles this shift in the cooking genre with the first half of each season occurring in domestic settings and the second half in Iron Chef style studio competition (see Oren for a discussion of the influence of Iron Chef on contemporary cooking shows).All broadcast channels in Australia are mandated to caption 100 per cent of programs aired between 6am and midnight. However, the 2013 MKR Grand Final broadcast by Channel Seven Brisbane Pty Ltd and Channel Seven Melbourne Pty Ltd (Seven) failed to transmit 10 minutes of captions some 30 minutes into the 2-hour program. The ACMA received two complaints relating to this. The first complaint, received on 27 April 2013, the same evening as the program was broadcast, noted ‘[the D/deaf community] … should not have to miss out’ (ACMA, Report No. 3046 3). The second complaint, received on 30 April 2013, identified the crucial nature of the missing segment and its effect on viewers’ overall enjoyment of the program (ACMA, Report No. 3046 3).Seven explained that the relevant segment (approximately 10 per cent of the program) was missing from the captioning file, but that it had not appeared to be missing when Seven completed its usual captioning checks prior to broadcast (ACMA, Report No. 3046 4). The ACMA found that Seven had breached the conditions of their commercial television broadcasting licence by “failing to provide a captioning service for the program” (ACMA, Report No. 3046 12). The interruption of captioning was serious enough to constitute a breach due, in part, to the nature and characteristic of the program:the viewer is engaged in the momentum of the competitive process by being provided with an understanding of each of the competition stages; how the judges, guests and contestants interact; and their commentaries of the food and the cooking processes during those stages. (ACMA, Report No. 3046 6)These interactions have become a crucial part of the cooking genre, a genre often described as offering a way to acquire cultural capital via instructions in both cooking and ideological food preferences (Oren 31). Further, in relation to the uncaptioned MKR segment, ACMA acknowledged it would have been difficult to follow both the cooking process and the exchanges taking place between contestants (ACMA, Report No. 3046 8). ACMA considered these exchanges crucial to ‘a viewer’s understanding of, and secondly to their engagement with the different inter-related stages of the program’ (ACMA, Report No. 3046 7).An additional complaint was made with regards to the same program broadcast on Prime Television (Northern) Pty Ltd (Prime), a Seven Network affiliate. The complaint stated that the lack of captions was “Not good enough in prime time and for a show that is non-live in nature” (ACMA, Report No. 3124 3). Despite the fact that the ACMA found that “the fault arose from the affiliate, Seven, rather than from the licensee [Prime]”, Prime was also found to also have breached their licence conditions by failing to provide a captioning service (ACMA, Report No. 3124 12).The following year, Seven launched captions for their online catch-up television platform. Although this was a result of discussions with a complainant over the broader lack of captioned online television content, it was also a step that re-established Seven’s credentials as a leader in commercial television access. The 2015 season of MKR also featured their first partially-deaf contestant, Emilie Biggar.Mainstreaming Captions — Inter-Platform CooperationOver time, cooking shows on television have evolved from an informative style (The French Chef) to become more entertaining in their approach (MKR). As Oren identifies, this has seen a shift in the food genre “away from the traditional, instructional format and towards professionalism and competition” (Oren 25). The affordances of television itself as a visual medium has also been recognised as crucial in the popularity of this genre and its more recent transmedia turn. That is, following Joshua Meyrowitz’s medium theory regarding how different media can afford us different messages, televised cooking shows offer audiences stylised knowledge about food and cooking beyond the traditional cookbook (Oren; ray). In addition, cooking shows are taking their product beyond just television and increasing their inter-platform cooperation (Oren)—for example, MKR has a comprehensive companion website that viewers can visit to watch whole episodes, obtain full recipes, and view shopping lists. While this can be viewed as a modern take on Julia Child’s cookbook success, it must also be considered in the context of the increasing focus on multimedia approaches to cooking instructions (Hamada et al., Multimedia Integration; Cooking Navi; Oh et al.). Audiences today are more likely to attempt a recipe if they have seen it on television, and will use transmedia to download the recipe. As Oren explains:foodism’s ascent to popular culture provides the backdrop and motivation for the current explosion of food-themed formats that encourages audiences’ investment in their own expertise as critics, diners, foodies and even wanna-be professional chefs. FoodTV, in turn, feeds back into a web-powered, gastro-culture and critique-economy where appraisal outranks delight. (Oren 33)This explosion in popularity of the web-powered gastro culture Oren refers to has led to an increase in appetite for step by step, easy to access instructions. These are being delivered using captions. As a result of the legislation and activism described throughout this paper, captions are more widely available and, in many cases, now describe what is said onscreen verbatim. In addition, the mainstream commercial benefits and uses of captions are being explored. Captions have therefore moved from a specialist assistive technology for people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing to become recognised as an important resource for creative television viewers regardless of their hearing (Blankinship et al.). With captions becoming more accessible, accurate, financially viable, and mainstreamed, their potential as an additional television resource is of interest. As outlined above, within the cooking show genre—especially with its current multimedia turn and the demand for captioned recipe instructions (Hamada et al., “Multimedia Integration”, “Cooking Navi”; Oh et al.)—this is particularly pertinent.Hamada et al. identify captions as a useful technology to use in the increasingly popular educational, yet entertaining, cooking show genre as the required information—ingredient lists, instructions, recipes—is in high demand (Hamada et al., “Multimedia Integration” 658). They note that cooking shows often present information out of order, making them difficult to follow, particularly if a recipe must be sourced later from a website (Hamada et al., “Multimedia Integration” 658-59; Oh et al.). Each step in a recipe must be navigated and coordinated, particularly if multiple recipes are being completed at the same times (Hamada, et al., Cooking Navi) as is often the case on cooking shows such as MKR. Using captions as part of a software program to index cooking videos facilitates a number of search affordances for people wishing to replicate the recipe themselves. As Kyeong-Jin et al. explain:if food and recipe information are published as linked data with the scheme, it enables to search food recipe and annotate certain recipe by communities (sic). In addition, because of characteristics of linked data, information on food recipes can be connected to additional data source such as products for ingredients, and recipe websites can support users’ decision making in the cooking domain. (Oh et al. 2)The advantages of such a software program are many. For the audience there is easy access to desired information. For the number of commercial entities involved, this consumer desire facilitates endless marketing opportunities including product placement, increased ratings, and software development. Interesting, all of this falls outside the “usual” parameters of captions as purely an assistive device for a few, and facilitates the mainstreaming—and perhaps beginnings of acceptance—of captions.ConclusionCaptions are a vital accessibility feature for television viewers who are D/deaf or hard of hearing, not just from an informative or entertainment perspective but also to facilitate social inclusion for this culturally diverse group. The availability and quality of television captions has moved through three stages. These can be broadly summarised as early yet inconsistent captions, captions becoming more widely available and accurate—often as a direct result of activism and legislation—but not yet fully verbatim, and verbatim captions as adopted within mainstream software applications. This paper has situated these stages within the television cooking genre, a genre often remarked for its appeal towards inclusion and cultural capital.If television facilitates social inclusion, then food television offers vital cultural capital. While Julia Child’s The French Chef offered the first example of television captions via open captions in 1972, a lack of funding means we do not know how viewers (both hearing and not) actually received the program. However, at the time, captions that would be considered unacceptable today were received favourably (Jensema, McCann and Ramsey; Newell)—anything was deemed better than nothing. Increasingly, as the focus shifted to closed captioning and the cooking genre embraced a more competitive approach, viewers who required captions were no longer happy with missing or inconsistent captioning quality. The was particularly significant in Australia in 2013 when several viewers complained to ACMA that captions were missing from the finale of MKR. These captions provided more than vital cooking instructions—their lack prevented viewers from understanding conflict within the program. Following this breach, Seven became the only Australian commercial television station to offer captions on their web based catch-up platform. While this may have gone a long way to rehabilitate Seven amongst D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences, there is the potential too for commercial benefits. Caption technology is now being mainstreamed for use in cooking software applications developed from televised cooking shows. These allow viewers—both D/deaf and hearing—to access information in a completely new, and inclusive, way.ReferencesAgnihotri, Lalitha, et al. “Summarization of Video Programs Based on Closed Captions.” 4315 (2001): 599–607.Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Investigation Report No. 3046. 2013. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.acma.gov.au/~/media/Diversity%20Localism%20and%20Accessibility/Investigation%20reports/Word%20document/3046%20My%20Kitchen%20Rules%20Grand%20Final%20docx.docx>.———. Investigation Report No. 3124. 2014. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.acma.gov.au/~/media/Diversity%20Localism%20and%20Accessibility/Investigation%20reports/Word%20document/3124%20NEN%20My%20Kitchen%20Rules%20docx.docx>.Blankinship, E., et al. “Closed Caption, Open Source.” BT Technology Journal 22.4 (2004): 151–59.Collins, Kathleen, and John Jay College. “TV Cooking Shows: The Evolution of a Genre”. Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture (7 May 2008). 14 May 2017 <http://www.flowjournal.org/2008/05/tv-cooking-shows-the-evolution-of-a-genre/>.Downey, Greg. “Constructing Closed-Captioning in the Public Interest: From Minority Media Accessibility to Mainstream Educational Technology.” The Journal of Policy, Regulation and Strategy for Telecommunications, Information and Media 9.2/3 (2007): 69–82. DOI: 10.1108/14636690710734670.Hamada, Reiko, et al. “Multimedia Integration for Cooking Video Indexing.” Advances in Multimedia Information Processing-PCM 2004 (2005): 657–64.Hamada, Reiko, et al. “Cooking Navi: Assistant for Daily Cooking in Kitchen.” Proceedings of the 13th Annual ACM International Conference on Multimedia. ACM.Ibrahim, Yasmin. “Food p*rn and the Invitation to Gaze: Ephemeral Consumption and the Digital Spectacle.” International Journal of E-Politics (IJEP) 6.3 (2015): 1–12.Jensema, Carl J., Ralph McCann, and Scott Ramsey. “Closed-Captioned Television Presentation Speed and Vocabulary.” American Annals of the Deaf 141.4 (1996): 284–292.Matwick, Kelsi, and Keri Matwick. “Inquiry in Television Cooking Shows.” Discourse & Communication 9.3 (2015): 313–30.Meyrowitz, Joshua. No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.Miura, K., et al. “Automatic Generation of a Multimedia Encyclopedia from TV Programs by Using Closed Captions and Detecting Principal Video Objects.” Eighth IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia (2006): 873–80.Newell, A.F. “Teletext for the Deaf.” Electronics and Power 28.3 (1982): 263–66.Oh, K.J. et al. “Automatic Indexing of Cooking Video by Using Caption-Recipe Alignment.” 2014 International Conference on Behavioral, Economic, and Socio-Cultural Computing (BESC2014) (2014): 1–6.Oren, Tasha. “On the Line: Format, Cooking and Competition as Television Values.” Critical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies 8.2 (2013): 20–35.Ouellette, Laurie, and James Hay. “Makeover Television, Governmentality and the Good Citizen.” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 22.4 (2008): 471–84.ray, krishnendu. “Domesticating Cuisine: Food and Aesthetics on American Television.” Gastronomica 7.1 (2007): 50–63.Youngblood, Norman E., and Ryan Lysaght. “Accessibility and Use of Online Video Captions by Local Television News Websites.” Electronic News 9.4 (2015): 242–256.

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Warner, Kate. "Relationships with the Past: How Australian Television Dramas Talk about Indigenous History." M/C Journal 20, no.5 (October13, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1302.

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In recent years a number of dramas focussing on Indigenous Australians and Australian history have appeared on the ABC, one of Australia's two public television channels. These dramas have different foci but all represent some aspects of Australian Indigenous history and how it interacts with 'mainstream' representations of Australian history. The four programs I will look at are Cleverman (Goalpost Pictures, 2016-ongoing), Glitch (Matchbox Films, 2015-ongoing), The Secret River (Ruby Entertainment, 2015) and Redfern Now (Blackfella Films, 2012), each of which engages with the past in a unique way.Clearly, different creators, working with different plots and in different genres will have different ways of representing the past. Redfern Now and Cleverman are both produced by Indigenous creators whereas the creators of The Secret River and Glitch are white Australians. Redfern Now and The Secret River are in a realist mode, whereas Glitch and Cleverman are speculative fiction. My argument proceeds on two axes: first, speculative genres allow for more creative ways of representing the past. They give more freedom for the creators to present affective representations of the historical past. Speculative genres also allow for more interesting intellectual examinations of what we consider to be history and its uncertainties. My second axis argues, because it is hard to avoid when looking at this group of texts, that Indigenous creators represent the past in different ways than non-Indigenous creators. Indigenous creators present a more elliptical vision. Non-Indigenous creators tend to address historical stories in more overt ways. It is apparent that even when dealing with the same histories and the same facts, the understanding of the past held by different groups is presented differently because it has different affective meanings.These television programs were all made in the 2010s but the roots of their interpretations go much further back, not only to the history they represent but also to the arguments about history that have raged in Australian intellectual and popular culture. Throughout most of the twentieth century, indigenous history was not discussed in Australia, until this was disturbed by WEH Stanner's reference in the Boyer lectures of 1968 to "our great Australian silence" (Clark 73). There was, through the 1970s and 80s, increased discussion of Indigenous history, and then in the 1990s there was a period of social and cultural argument known locally as the 'History Wars'. This long-running public disagreement took place in both academic and public arenas, and involved historians, other academics, politicians, journalists and social commentators on each side. One side argued that the arrival of white people in Australia led to frontier wars, massacre, attempted genocide and the ongoing oppression of Indigenous people (Reynolds). The other posited that when white people arrived they killed a few Aborigines but mostly Aboriginal people were killed by disease or failure to 'defend' their culture (Windschuttle). The first viewpoint was revisionist from the 1960s onwards and the second represented an attempt at counter-revision – to move the understanding of history back to what it was prior to the revision. The argument took place not only among historians, but was taken up by politicians with Paul Keating, prime minister 1993-1996, holding the first view and John Howard, prime minister 1996-2007, aggressively pursuing the second. The revisionist viewpoint was championed by historians such as Henry Reynolds and Lyndall Ryan and academics and Aboriginal activists such as Tony Birch and Aileen Moreton Robinson; whereas the counter-revisionists had Keith Windschuttle and Geoffrey Blainey. By and large the revisionist viewpoint has become dominant and the historical work of the counter-revisionists is highly disputed and not accepted.This argument was prominent in Australian cultural discourse throughout the 1990s and has never entirely disappeared. The TV shows I am examining were not made in the 1990s, nor were they made in the 2000s - it took nearly twenty years for responses to the argument to make the jump from politicians' speeches and opinion pieces to television drama. John Ellis argues that the role of television in popular discourse is "working through," meaning contentious issues are first raised in news reports, then they move to current affairs, then talk shows and documentaries, then sketch comedy, then drama (Ellis). Australian Indigenous history was extensively discussed in the news, current affairs and talk shows in the 1990s, documentaries appeared somewhat later, notably First Australians in 2008, but sketch comedy and drama did not happen until in 2014, when Black Comedy's programme first aired, offering sketches engaging often and fiercely with indigenous history.The existence of this public discourse in the political and academic realms was reflected in film before television. Felicity Collins argues that the "Blak Wave" of Indigenous film came to exist in the context of, and as a response to, the history wars (Collins 232). This wave of film making by Indigenous film makers included the works of Rachel Perkins, Warwick Thornton and Ivan Sen – whose films chronicled the lives of Indigenous Australians. There was also what Collins calls "back-tracking films" such as Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) and The Tracker (2010) made by white creators that presented arguments from the history wars for general audiences. Collins argues that both the "blak wave" and the "back track" created an alternative cultural sphere where past injustices are acknowledged. She says: "the films of the Blak Wave… cut across the history wars by turning an Indigenous gaze on the colonial past and its afterlife in the present" (Collins 232). This group of films sees Indigenous gazes relate the past and present whereas the white gaze represents specific history. In this article I examine a similar group of representations in television programs.History is not an innocent discourse. In western culture 'history' describes a certain way of looking at the past that was codified in the 19th century (Lloyd 375). It is however not the only way to look at the past, theorist Mark Day has described it as a type of relation with the past and argues that other understandings of the past such as popular memory and mythology are also available (Day). The codification of history in the 19th century involved an increased reliance on documentary evidence, a claim to objectivity, a focus on causation and, often though not always, a focus on national, political history. This sort of history became the academic understanding of history – which claims to be, if not objective, at least capable of disinterest; which bases its arguments on facts and which can establish its facts through reference to documentary records (Froeyman 219). Aileen Moreton-Robinson would call this "white patriarchal knowledge" that seeks to place the indigenous within its own type of knowledge production ("The White Man's Burden" 414). The western version of history tends to focus on causation and to present the past as a coherent narrative leading to the current point in time. This is not an undisputed conception of history in the western academy but it is common and often dominant.Post-colonialist analyses of history argue that western writing about non-western subjects is biased and forces non-westerners into categories used to oppress them (Anderson 44). These categories exist ahistorically and deny non-westerners the ability to act because if history cannot be perceived then it is difficult to see the future. That is to say, because non-western subjects in the past are not seen as historical actors, as people whose actions effected the future, then, in the present, they are unable to access to powerful arguments from history. Historians' usual methodology casts Indigenous people as the 'subjects' of history which is about them, not by them or for them (Tuhiwai Smith 7, 30-32, 144-5). Aboriginal people are characterised as prehistoric, ancient, timeless and dying (Birch 150). This way of thinking about Indigenous Australia removes all agency from Aboriginal actors and restoring agency has been a goal of Aboriginal activists and historians. Aileen Moreton Robinson discusses how Aboriginal resistance is embodied through "oral history (and) social memory," engaging with how Aboriginal actors represent themselves and are represented in relation to the past and historical settings is an important act ("Introduction" 127).Redfern Now and Cleverman were produced through the ABC's Indigenous Department and made by Indigenous filmmakers, whereas Glitch and The Secret River are from the ABC drama department and were made by white Australians. The different programs also have different generic backgrounds. Redfern Now and The Secret River are different forms of realist texts; social realism and historical realism. Cleverman and Glitch, however, are speculative fiction texts that can be argued to be in the mode of magical realism, they "denaturalise the real and naturalise the marvellous" they are also closely tied ideas of retelling colonial stories and "resignify(ing) colonial territories and pasts" (Siskind 834-5).Redfern Now was produced by Blackfella Films for the ABC. It was, with much fanfare, released as the first drama made for television, by Aboriginal people and about Aboriginal people (Blundell). The central concerns of the program are issues in the present, its plots and settings are entirely contemporary. In this way it circumvents the idea and standard representation of Indigenous Australians as ancient and timeless. It places the characters in the program very much in the present.However, one episode "Stand Up" does obliquely engage with historical concerns. In this episode a young boy, Joel Shields, gets a scholarship to an expensive private school. When he attends his first school assembly he does not sing the national anthem with the other students. This leads to a dispute with the school that forms the episode's plot. As punishment for not singing Joel is set an assignment to research the anthem, which he does and he finds the song off-putting – with the words 'boundless plains to share' particularly disconcerting. His father supports him saying "it's not our song" and compares Joel singing it to a "whitefella doing a corrobboree". The national anthem stands metaphorically for the white hegemony in Australia.The school itself is also a metaphor for hegemony. The camerawork lingers on the architecture which is intended to imply historical strength and imperviousness to challenge or change. The school stands for all the force of history white Australia can bring to bear, but in Australia, all architecture of this type is a lie, or at least an exaggeration – the school cannot be more than 200 years old and is probably much more recent.Many of the things the program says about history are conveyed in half sentences or single glances. Arguably this is because of its aesthetic mode – social realism – that prides itself on its mimicry of everyday life and in everyday life people are unlikely to set out arguments in organised dot-point form. At one point the English teacher quotes Orwell, "those who control the past control the future", which seems overt but it is stated off-screen as Joel walks into the room. This seeming aside is a statement about history and directly recalls central arguments of the history wars, which make strong political arguments about the effects of the past, and perceptions of the past, on the present and future. Despite its subtlety, this story takes place within the context of the history wars: it is about who controls the past. The subtlety of the discussion of history allows the film makers the freedom to comment on the content and effects of history and the history wars without appearing didactic. They discuss the how history has effected the present history without having to make explicit historical causes.The other recent television drama in the realist tradition is The Secret River. This was an adaptation of a novel by Kate Grenville. It deals with Aboriginal history from the perspective of white people, in this way it differs from Redfern Now which discusses the issues from the perspective of Aboriginal people. The plot concerns a man transported to Australia as a convict in the early 19th century. The man is later freed and, with his family, attempts to move to the Hawksbury river region. The land they try to settle is, of course, already in use by Aboriginal people. The show sets up the definitional conflict between the idea of settler and invader and suggests the difference between the two is a matter of perspective. Of the shows I am examining, it is the most direct in its representation of historical massacre and brutality. It represents what Felicity Collins described as a back-tracking text recapitulating the colonial past in the light of recovered knowledge. However, from an Indigenous perspective it is another settler tale implying Aboriginal people were wiped out at the time of colonisation (Godwin).The Secret River is told entirely from the perspective of the invaders. Even as it portrays their actions as wrong, it also suggests they were unavoidable or inevitable. Therefore it does what many western histories of Indigenous people do – it classifies and categorises. It sets limits on interpretation. It is also limited by its genre, as a straightforward historical drama and an adaptation, it can only tell its story in a certain way. The television series, like the book before it, prides itself on its 'accurate' rendition of an historical story. However, because it comes from such a very narrow perspective it falls into the trap of categorising histories that might have usefully been allowed to develop further.The program is based on a novel that attracted controversy of its own. It became part of ongoing historiographical debate about the relationship between fiction and history. The book's author Kate Grenville claimed to have written a kind of affectively accurate history that actual history can never convey because the emotions of the past are hidden from the present. The book was critiqued by historians including Inge Clendinnen, who argued that many of the claims made about its historical accuracy were largely overblown (Clendinnen). The book is not the same as the TV program, but the same limitations identified by Clendinnen are present in the television text. However, I would not agree with Clendinnen that formal history is any better. I argue that the limitation of both these mimetic genres can be escaped in speculative fiction.In Glitch, Yurana, a small town in rural Victoria becomes, for no apparent reason, the site of seven people rising from the dead. Each person is from a different historical period. None are Indigenous. They are not zombies but simply people who used to be dead. One of the first characters to appear in the series is an Aboriginal teenager, Beau, we see from his point of view the characters crawling from their graves. He becomes friendly with one of the risen characters, Patrick Fitzgerald, who had been the town's first mayor. At first Fitzgerald's story seems to be one of working class man made good in colonial Australia - a standard story of Australian myth and historiography. However, it emerges that Fitzgerald was in love with an Aboriginal woman called Kalinda and Beau is his descendant. Fitzgerald, once he becomes aware of how he has been remembered by history, decides to revise the history of the town – he wants to reclaim his property from his white descendants and give it to his Indigenous descendants. Over the course of the six episodes Fitzgerald moves from being represented as a violent, racist boor who had inexplicably become the town's mayor, to being a romantic whose racism was mostly a matter of vocabulary. Beau is important to the plot and he is a sympathetic character but he is not central and he is a child. Indigenous people in the past have no voice in this story – when flashbacks are shown they are silent, and in the present their voices are present but not privileged or central to the plot.The program demonstrates a profoundly metaphorical relationship with the past – the past has literally come to life bringing with it surprising buried histories. The program represents some dominant themes in Australian historiography – other formerly dead characters include a convict-turned-bush-ranger, a soldier who was at Gallipoli, two Italian migrants and a girl who died as a result of sexual violence – but it does not engage directly with Indigenous history. Indigenous people's stories are told only in relation to the stories of white people. The text's magical realism allows a less prescriptive relationship with the past than in The Secret River but it is still restricted in its point of view and allows only limited agency to Aboriginal actors.The text's magical realism allows for a thought-provoking representation of relationships with the past. The town of Yurana is represented as a place deeply committed to the representation and glorification of its past. Its main street contains statues of its white founders and war memorials, one of its main social institutions is the RSL, its library preserves relics of the past and its publican is a war history buff. All these indicate that the past is central to the town's identity. The risen dead however dispute and revise almost every aspect of this past. Even the history that is unmentioned in the town's apparent official discourse, such as the WWII internment camp and the history of crimes, is disputed by the different stories of the past that the risen dead have to tell. This indicates the uncertainty of the past, even when it seems literally set in stone it can still be revised. Nonetheless the history of Indigenous people is only revised in ways that re-engage with white history.Cleverman is a magical realist text profoundly based in allegory. The story concerns the emergence into a near future society of a group of people known as the "Hairies." It is never made clear where they came from or why but it seems they appeared recently and are unable to return. They are an allegory for refugees. Hairypeople are part of many Indigenous Australian stories, the show's creator, Ryan Griffen, stated that "there are different hairy stories throughout Australia and they differ in each country. You have some who are a tall, some are short, some are aggressive, some are friendly. We got to sort of pick which ones will fit for us and create the Hairies for our show" (Bizzaca).The Hairies are forced to live in an area called the Zone, which, prior to the arrival of the Hairy people, was a place where Aboriginal people lived. This place might be seen as a metaphor for Redfern but it is also an allegory for Australia's history of displacing Aboriginal people and moving and restricting them to missions and reserves. The Zone is becoming increasingly securitised and is also operating as a metaphor for Australia's immigration detention centres. The prison the Hairy characters, Djukura and Bunduu, are confined to is yet another metaphor, this time for both the over-representation of Aboriginal people in prison and the securitisation of immigration detention. These multiple allegorical movements place Australia's present refugee policies and historical treatment of Aboriginal people within the same lens. They also place the present, the past and the future within the same narrative space.Most of the cast is Aboriginal and much of the character interaction is between Aboriginal people and Hairies, with both groups played by Indigenous actors. The disadvantages suffered by Indigenous people are part of the story and clearly presented as affecting the behaviour of characters but within the story Aboriginal people are more advantaged than Hairies, as they have systems, relationships and structures that Hairy people lack. The fact that so much of the interaction in the story is between Indigenous people and Hairies is important: it can be seen to be an interaction between Aboriginal people and Aboriginal mythology or between Indigenous past and present. It demonstrates Aboriginal identities being created in relation to other Aboriginal identities and not in relation to white people, where in this narrative, Aboriginal people have an identity other than that allowed for in colonialist terms.Cleverman does not really engage with the history of white invasion. The character who speaks most about this part of Aboriginal history and whose stated understanding of himself is based on that identity is Waruu. But Waruu is also a villain whose self-identity is also presented as jealous and dishonest. However, despite only passing mentions of westernised history the show is deeply concerned with a relationship with the past. The program engages with Aboriginal traditions about the past that have nothing to do with white history. It presents a much longer view of history than that of white Australia. It engages with the Aboriginal tradition of the Cleverman - demonstrated in the character of Uncle Jimmy who passes a nulla nulla (knob-headed hardwood club), as a symbol of the past, to his nephew Koen and tells him he is the new Cleverman. Cleverman demonstrates a discussion of Australian history with the potential to ignore white people. It doesn't ignore them, it doesn't ignore the invasion but it presents the possibility that it could be ignored.There is a danger in this sort of representation of the past that Aboriginal people could be relegated to the type of ahistorical, metahistorical myths that comprise colonialist history's representation of Indigenous people (Birch). But Cleverman's magical realist, near future setting tends to undermine this. It grounds representation in history through text and metaphor and then expands the definition.The four programs have different relationships with the past but all of them engage with it. The programs are both restrained and freed by the genres they operate in. It is much easier to escape the bounds of formal history in the genre of magical realism and both Glitch and Cleverman do this but have significantly different ways of dealing with history. "Stand up" and The Secret River both operate within more formally realist structures. The Secret River gives us an emotional reading of the past and a very affective one. However, it cuts off avenues of interpretation by presenting a seemingly inevitable tragedy. Through use of metaphor and silence "Stand up" presents a much more productive relationship with the past – seeing it as an ongoing argument rather than a settled one. Glitch engages with the past as a topic that is not settled and that can therefore be changed whereas Cleverman expands our definition of past and understanding of the past through allegory.It is possible to draw further connections. Those stories created by Indigenous people do not engage with the specifics of traditional dominant Australian historiography. However, they work with the assumption that everyone already knows this historiography. They do not re-present the pain of the past, instead they deal with it in oblique terms with allegory. Whereas the programs made by non-Indigenous Australians are much more overt in their representation of the sins of the past, they overtly engage with the History Wars in specific historical arenas in which those wars were fought. The non-Indigenous shows align themselves with the revisionist view of history but they do so in a very different way than the Indigenous shows.ReferencesAnderson, Ian. "Introduction: The Aboriginal Critique of Colonial Knowing." Blacklines: Contemporary Critical Writing by Indigenous Australians. Ed. Michele Grossman. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2003.Birch, Tony. "'Nothing Has Changed': The Making and Unmaking of Koori Culture." Blacklines: Contemporary Critical Writing by Indigenous Australians. Ed. Michele Grossman. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2003.Bizzaca, Chris. "The World of Cleverman." Screen Australia 2016.Blundell, Graeme. "Redfern Now Delves into the Lives of Ordinary People." The Australian 26 Oct. 2013: News Review.Clark, Anna. History's Children: History Wars in the Classroom. Sydney: New South, 2008.Clendinnen, Inga. “The History Question: Who Owns the Past?” The Quarterly Essay. Melbourne: Black Inc., 2006.Collins, Felicity. "After Dispossession: Blackfella Films and the Politics of Radical Hope." The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Politics. Eds. Yannis Tzioumakis and Claire Molloy. New York: Routledge, 2016.Day, Mark. "Our Relations with the Past." Philosophia 36.4 (2008): 417-27.Ellis, John. Seeing Things: Television in the Age of Uncertainty. London: I.B. Tauris, 2000.Froeyman, Anton. "The Ideal of Objectivity and the Public Role of the Historian: Some Lessons from the Historikerstreit and the History Wars." Rethinking History 20.2 (2016): 217-34.Godwin, Carisssa Lee. "Shedding the 'Victim Narrative' for Tales of Magic, Myth and Superhero Pride." The Conversation 2016.Lloyd, Christopher. "Historiographic Schools." A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography Ed. Tucker, Aviezer. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.Moreton-Robinson, Aileen. "Introduction: Resistance, Recovery and Revitalisation." Blacklines: Contemporary Critical Writing by Indigenous Australians. Ed. Michele Grossman. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2003.———. "The White Man's Burden." Australian Feminist Studies 26.70 (2011): 413-31.Reynolds, Henry. The Other Side of the Frontier: Aboriginal Resistance to the European Invasion of Australia. 2nd ed. Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin Books, 1995.Siskind, Mariano. "Magical Realism." The Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature. Vol. 2. Ed. Ato Quayson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 833-68.Tuhiwai Smith, Linda. Decolonizing Methodologies Research and Indigenous Peoples. 2nd ed. London: Zed Books, 2012.Windschuttle, Keith. The Fabrication of Aboriginal History. Paddington, NSW: Macleay Press, 2002.

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Piatti-Farnell, Lorna, and Erin Mercer. "Gothic: New Directions in Media and Popular Culture." M/C Journal 17, no.4 (August20, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.880.

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In a field of study as well-established as the Gothic, it is surprising how much contention there is over precisely what that term refers to. Is Gothic a genre, for example, or a mode? Should it be only applicable to literary and film texts that deal with tropes of haunting and trauma set in a gloomy atmosphere, or might it meaningfully be applied to other cultural forms of production, such as music or animation? Can television shows aimed at children be considered Gothic? What about food? When is something “Gothic” and when is it “horror”? Is there even a difference? The Gothic as a phenomenon is commonly identified as beginning with Horace Walpole’s novel The Castle of Otranto (1764), which was followed by Clara Reeve’s The Old English Baron (1778), the romances of Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (1796). Nineteenth-century Gothic literature was characterised by “penny dreadfuls” and novels such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). Frequently dismissed as sensational and escapist, the Gothic has experienced a critical revival in recent decades, beginning with the feminist revisionism of the 1970s by critics such as Ellen Moers, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar. With the appearance of studies such as David Punter’s The Literature of Terror (1980), Gothic literature became a reputable field of scholarly research, with critics identifying suburban Gothic, imperial Gothic, postcolonial Gothic and numerous national Gothics, including Irish Gothic and the Gothic of the American South. Furthermore, as this special edition on Gothic shows, the Gothic is by no means limited to literature, with film, television, animation and music all partaking of the Gothic inflection. Indeed, it would be unwise to negate the ways in which the Gothic has developed to find fertile ground beyond the bounds of literature. In our media-centred twenty-first century, the Gothic has colonised different forms of expression, where the impact left by literary works, that were historically the centre of the Gothic itself, is all but a legacy. Film, in particular, has a close connection to the Gothic, where the works of, for instance, Tim Burton, have shown the representative potential of the Gothic mode; the visual medium of film, of course, has a certain experiential immediacy that marries successfully with the dark aesthetics of the Gothic, and its connections to representing cultural anxieties and desires (Botting). The analysis of Gothic cinema, in its various and extremely international incarnations, has now established itself as a distinct area of academic research, where prominent Gothic scholars such as Ken Gelder—with the recent publication of his New Vampire Cinema (2012)—continue to lead the way to advance Gothic scholarship outside of the traditional bounds of the literary.As far as cinema is concerned, one cannot negate the interconnections, both aesthetic and conceptual, between traditional Gothic representation and horror. Jerrold Hogle has clearly identified the mutation and transformation of the Gothic from a narrative solely based on “terror”, to one that incorporates elements of “horror” (Hogle 3). While the separation between the two has a long-standing history—and there is no denying that both the aesthetics and the politics of horror and the Gothic can be fundamentally different—one has to be attuned to the fact that, in our contemporary moment, the two often tend to merge and intersect, often forming hybrid visions of the Gothic, with cinematic examples such as Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) playing testament to this. Indeed, the newly formed representations of “Gothic Horror” and “Gothic Terror” alerts us to the mutable and malleable nature of the Gothic itself, an adaptable mode that is always contextually based. Film is not, however, the only non-literary medium that has incorporated elements of the Gothic over the years. Other visual representations of the Gothic abound in the worlds of television, animation, comics and graphic novels. One must only think here of the multiple examples of recent television series that have found fruitful connections with both the psychologically haunting aspects of Gothic terror, and the gory and grisly visual evocations of Gothic horror: the list is long and diverse, and includes Dexter (2006-2013), Hannibal (2013-), and Penny Dreadful (2014-), to mention but a few. The animation front —in its multiple in carnations —has similarly been entangled with Gothic tropes and concerns, a valid interconnection that is visible both in cinematic and television examples, from The Corpse Bride (2005) to Coraline (2009) and Frankenweeinie (2012). Comics and graphics also have a long-standing tradition of exploiting the dark aesthetics of the Gothic mode, and its sensationalist connections to horror; the instances from this list pervade the contemporary media scope, and feature the inclusion of Gothicised ambiences and characters in both singular graphic novels and continuous comics —such as the famous Arkham Asylum (1989) in the ever-popular Batman franchise. The inclusion of these multi-media examples here is only representative, and it is an almost prosaic accent in a list of Gothicised media that extends to great bounds, and also includes the worlds of games and music. The scholarship, for its part, has not failed to pick up on the transformations and metamorphoses that the Gothic mode has undergone in recent years. The place of both Gothic horror and Gothic terror in a multi-media context has been critically evaluated in detail, and continues to attract academic attention, as the development of the multi-genre and multi-medium journey of the Gothic unfolds. Indeed, this emphasis is now so widespread that a certain canonicity has developed for the study of the Gothic in media such as television, extending the reach of Gothic Studies into the wider popular culture scope. Critical texts that have recently focused on identifying the Gothic in media beyond not only literature, but also film, include Helen Wheatley’s Gothic Television (2007), John C. Tibbetts’ The Gothic Imagination: Conversation of Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction in the Media (2011), and Julia Round’s Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels (2014). Critics often suggest that the Gothic returns at moments of particular cultural crisis, and if this is true, it seems as if we are in such a moment ourselves. Popular television shows such as True Blood and The Walking Dead, books such as the Twilight series, and the death-obsessed musical stylings of Lana Del Ray all point to the pertinence of the Gothic in contemporary culture, as does the amount of submissions received for this edition of M/C Journal, which explore a wide range of Gothic texts. Timothy Jones’ featured essay “The Black Mass as Play: Dennis Wheatley’s The Devil Rides Out” suggests that although scholarly approaches to the Gothic tend to adopt the methodologies used to approach literary texts and applied them to Gothic texts, yielding readings that are more-or-less congruous with readings of other sorts of literature, the Gothic can be considered as something that tells us about more than simply ourselves and the world we live in. For Jones, the fact that the Gothic is a production of popular culture as much as “highbrow” literature suggests there is something else happening with the way popular Gothic texts function. What if, Jones asks, the popular Gothic were not a type of work, but a kind of play? Jones uses this approach to suggest that texts such as Wheatley’s The Devil Rides Out might direct readers not primarily towards the real, but away from it, at least for a time. Wheatley’s novel is explored by Jones as a venue for readerly play, apart from the more substantial and “serious” concerns that occupy most literary criticism. Samantha Jane Lindop’s essay foregrounds the debt David Lynch’s film Mulholland Drive owes to J. Sheridan le Fanu’s Carmilla (1872) thus adding to studies of the film that have noted Lynch’s intertextual references to classic cinema such as Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950), Alfred Hitchco*ck’s Vertigo (1958) and Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966). Lindop explores not just the striking similarity between Carmilla and Mulholland Drive in terms of character and plot, but also the way that each text is profoundly concerned with the uncanny. Lorna Piatti-Farnell’s contribution, “What’s Hidden in Gravity Falls: Strange Creatures and the Gothic Intertext” is similarly interested in the intertextuality of the Gothic mode, noting that since its inception this has taken many and varied incarnations, from simple references and allusions to more complicated uses of style and plot organisation. Piatti-Farnell suggests it is unwise to reduce the Gothic text to a simple master narrative, but that within its re-elaborations and re-interpretations, interconnections do appear, forming “the Gothic intertext”. While the Gothic has traditionally found fertile ground in works of literature, other contemporary media, such as animation, have offered the Gothic an opportunity for growth and adaptation. Alex Hirsch’s Gravity Falls is explored by Piatti-Farnell as a visual text providing an example of intersecting monstrous creatures and interconnected narrative structures that reveal the presence of a dense and intertextual Gothic network. Those interlacings are connected to the wider cultural framework and occupy an important part in unravelling the insidious aspects of human nature, from the difficulties of finding “oneself” to the loneliness of the everyday. Issues relating to identity also feature in Patrick Usmar’s “Born To Die: Lana Del Rey, Beauty Queen or Gothic Princess?”, which further highlights the presence of the Gothic in a wide range of contemporary media forms. Usmar explores the music videos of Del Rey, which he describes as Pop Gothic, and that advance themes of consumer culture, gender identity, sexuality and the male gaze. Jen Craig’s “The Agitated Shell: Thinspiration and the Gothic Experience of Eating Disorders” similarly focuses on contemporary media and gender identity, problematising these issues by exploring the highly charged topic of “thinspiration” web sites. Hannah Irwin’s contribution also focuses on female experience. “Not of this earth: Jack the Ripper and the development of Gothic Whitechapel” focuses on the murder of five women who were the victims of an assailant commonly referred to by the epithet “Jack the Ripper”. Irwin discusses how Whitechapel developed as a Gothic location through the body of literature devoted to the Whitechapel murders of 1888, known as “Ripperature”. The subject of the Gothic space is also taken up by Donna Brien’s “Forging Continuing Bonds from the Dead to the Living: Gothic Commemorative Practices along Australia’s Leichhardt Highway.” This essay explores the memorials along Leichhardt’s highway as Gothic practice, in order to illuminate some of the uncanny paradoxes around public memorials, as well as the loaded emotional terrain such commemorative practices may inhabit. Furthering our understanding of the Australian Gothic is Patrick West’s contribution “Towards a Politics & Art of the Land: Gothic Cinema of the Australian New Wave and its Reception by American Film Critics.” West argues that many films of the Australian New Wave of the 1970s and 1980s can be defined as Gothic and that international reviews of such films tended to overlook the importance of the Australian landscape, which functions less as a backdrop and more as a participating element, even a character, in the drama, saturating the mise-en-scène. Bruno Starrs’ “Writing My Indigenous Vampires: Aboriginal Gothic or Aboriginal Fantastic” is dedicated to illuminating a new genre of creative writing: that of the “Aboriginal Fantastic”. Starrs’ novel That Blackfella Bloodsucka Dance! is part of this emerging genre of writing that is worthy of further academic interrogation. Similarly concerned with the supernatural, Erin Mercer’s contribution “‘A Deluge of Shrieking Unreason’: Supernaturalism and Settlement in New Zealand Gothic Fiction” explores the absence of ghosts and vampires in contemporary Gothic produced in New Zealand, arguing that this is largely a result of a colonial Gothic tradition utilising Maori ghosts that complicates the processes through which contemporary writers might build on that tradition. Although there is no reason why the Gothic must include supernatural elements, it is an enduring feature that is taken up by Jessica Balanzategui in “‘You Have a Secret that You Don’t Want To Tell Me’: The Child as Trauma in Spanish and American Horror Film.” This essay explores the uncanny child character and how such children act as an embodiment of trauma. Sarah Baker’s “The Walking Dead and Gothic Excess: The Decaying Social Structures of Contagion” focuses on the figure of the zombie as it appears in the television show The Walking Dead, which Baker argues is a way of exploring themes of decay, particularly of family and society. The essays contained in this special Gothic edition of M/C Journal highlight the continuing importance of the Gothic mode in contemporary culture and how that mode is constantly evolving into new forms and manifestations. The multi-faceted nature of the Gothic in our contemporary popular culture moment is accurately signalled by the various media on which the essays focus, from television to literature, animation, music, and film. The place occupied by the Gothic beyond representational forms, and into the realms of cultural practice, is also signalled, an important shift within the bounds of Gothic Studies which is bound to initiate fascinating debates. The transformations of the Gothic in media and culture are, therefore, also surveyed, so to continue the ongoing critical conversation on not only the place of the Gothic in contemporary narratives, but also its duplicitous, malleable, and often slippery nature. It is our hope that the essays here stimulate further discussion about the Gothic and we will hope, and look forward, to hearing from you. References Botting, Fred. Gothic: The New Critical Idiom. 2nd edition. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2014. Hogle, Jerrold. “Introduction: The Gothic in Western Culture”. The Cambridge Companion of Gothic Fiction, ed. Jerrold Hogle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 1-20.

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Dwyer, Tim. "Transformations." M/C Journal 7, no.2 (March1, 2004). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2339.

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The Australian Government has been actively evaluating how best to merge the functions of the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) and the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) for around two years now. Broadly, the reason for this is an attempt to keep pace with the communications media transformations we reduce to the term “convergence.” Mounting pressure for restructuring is emerging as a site of turf contestation: the possibility of a regulatory “one-stop shop” for governments (and some industry players) is an end game of considerable force. But, from a public interest perspective, the case for a converged regulator needs to make sense to audiences using various media, as well as in terms of arguments about global, industrial, and technological change. This national debate about the institutional reshaping of media regulation is occurring within a wider global context of transformations in social, technological, and politico-economic frameworks of open capital and cultural markets, including the increasing prominence of international economic organisations, corporations, and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Although the recently concluded FTA with the US explicitly carves out a right for Australian Governments to make regulatory policy in relation to existing and new media, considerable uncertainty remains as to future regulatory arrangements. A key concern is how a right to intervene in cultural markets will be sustained in the face of cultural, politico-economic, and technological pressures that are reconfiguring creative industries on an international scale. While the right to intervene was retained for the audiovisual sector in the FTA, by contrast, it appears that comparable unilateral rights to intervene will not operate for telecommunications, e-commerce or intellectual property (DFAT). Blurring Boundaries A lack of certainty for audiences is a by-product of industry change, and further blurs regulatory boundaries: new digital media content and overlapping delivering technologies are already a reality for Australia’s media regulators. These hypothetical media usage scenarios indicate how confusion over the appropriate regulatory agency may arise: 1. playing electronic games that use racist language; 2. being subjected to deceptive or misleading pop-up advertising online 3. receiving messaged imagery on your mobile phone that offends, disturbs, or annoys; 4. watching a program like World Idol with SMS voting that subsequently raises charging or billing issues; or 5. watching a new “reality” TV program where products are being promoted with no explicit acknowledgement of the underlying commercial arrangements either during or at the end of the program. These are all instances where, theoretically, regulatory mechanisms are in place that allow individuals to complain and to seek some kind of redress as consumers and citizens. In the last scenario, in commercial television under the sector code, no clear-cut rules exist as to the precise form of the disclosure—as there is (from 2000) in commercial radio. It’s one of a number of issues the peak TV industry lobby Commercial TV Australia (CTVA) is considering in their review of the industry’s code of practice. CTVA have proposed an amendment to the code that will simply formalise the already existing practice . That is, commercial arrangements that assist in the making of a program should be acknowledged either during programs, or in their credits. In my view, this amendment doesn’t go far enough in post “cash for comment” mediascapes (Dwyer). Audiences have a right to expect that broadcasters, production companies and program celebrities are open and transparent with the Australian community about these kinds of arrangements. They need to be far more clearly signposted, and people better informed about their role. In the US, the “Commercial Alert” <http://www.commercialalert.org/> organisation has been lobbying the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to achieve similar in-program “visual acknowledgements.” The ABA’s Commercial Radio Inquiry (“Cash-for-Comment”) found widespread systemic regulatory failure and introduced three new standards. On that basis, how could a “standstill” response by CTVA, constitute best practice for such a pervasive and influential medium as contemporary commercial television? The World Idol example may lead to confusion for some audiences, who are unsure whether the issues involved relate to broadcasting or telecommunications. In fact, it could be dealt with as a complaint to the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (TIO) under an ACA registered, but Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) developed, code of practice. These kind of cross-platform issues may become more vexed in future years from an audience’s perspective, especially if reality formats using on-screen premium rate service numbers invite audiences to participate, by sending MMS (multimedia messaging services) images or short video grabs over wireless networks. The political and cultural implications of this kind of audience interaction, in terms of access, participation, and more generally the symbolic power of media, may perhaps even indicate a longer-term shift in relations with consumers and citizens. In the Internet example, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Internet advertising jurisdiction would apply—not the ABA’s “co-regulatory” Internet content regime as some may have thought. Although the ACCC deals with complaints relating to Internet advertising, there won’t be much traction for them in a more complex issue that also includes, say, racist or religious bigotry. The DVD example would probably fall between the remits of the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s (OFLC) new “convergent” Guidelines for the Classification of Film and Computer Games and race discrimination legislation administered by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). The OFLC’s National Classification Scheme is really geared to provide consumer advice on media products that contain sexual and violent imagery or coarse language, rather than issues of racist language. And it’s unlikely that a single person would have the locus standito even apply for a reclassification. It may fall within the jurisdiction of the HREOC depending on whether it was played in public or not. Even then it would probably be considered exempt on free speech grounds as an “artistic work.” Unsolicited, potentially illegal, content transmitted via mobile wireless devices, in particular 3G phones, provide another example of content that falls between the media regulation cracks. It illustrates a potential content policy “turf grab” too. Image-enabled mobile phones create a variety of novel issues for content producers, network operators, regulators, parents and viewers. There is no one government media authority or agency with a remit to deal with this issue. Although it has elements relating to the regulatory activities of the ACA, the ABA, the OFLC, the TIO, and TISSC, the combination of illegal or potentially prohibited content and its carriage over wireless networks positions it outside their current frameworks. The ACA may argue it should have responsibility for this kind of content since: it now enforces the recently enacted Commonwealth anti-Spam laws; has registered an industry code of practice for unsolicited content delivered over wireless networks; is seeking to include ‘adult’ content within premium rate service numbers, and, has been actively involved in consumer education for mobile telephony. It has also worked with TISSC and the ABA in relation to telephone sex information services over voice networks. On the other hand, the ABA would probably argue that it has the relevant expertise for regulating wirelessly transmitted image-content, arising from its experience of Internet and free and subscription TV industries, under co-regulatory codes of practice. The OFLC can also stake its claim for policy and compliance expertise, since the recently implemented Guidelines for Classification of Film and Computer Games were specifically developed to address issues of industry convergence. These Guidelines now underpin the regulation of content across the film, TV, video, subscription TV, computer games and Internet sectors. Reshaping Institutions Debates around the “merged regulator” concept have occurred on and off for at least a decade, with vested interests in agencies and the executive jockeying to stake claims over new turf. On several occasions the debate has been given renewed impetus in the context of ruling conservative parties’ mooted changes to the ownership and control regime. It’s tended to highlight demarcations of remit, informed as they are by historical and legal developments, and the gradual accretion of regulatory cultures. Now the key pressure points for regulatory change include the mere existence of already converged single regulatory structures in those countries with whom we tend to triangulate our policy comparisons—the US, the UK and Canada—increasingly in a context of debates concerning international trade agreements; and, overlaying this, new media formats and devices are complicating existing institutional arrangements and legal frameworks. The Department of Communications, Information Technology & the Arts’s (DCITA) review brief was initially framed as “options for reform in spectrum management,” but was then widened to include “new institutional arrangements” for a converged regulator, to deal with visual content in the latest generation of mobile telephony, and other image-enabled wireless devices (DCITA). No other regulatory agencies appear, at this point, to be actively on the Government’s radar screen (although they previously have been). Were the review to look more inclusively, the ACCC, the OFLC and the specialist telecommunications bodies, the TIO and the TISSC may also be drawn in. Current regulatory arrangements see the ACA delegate responsibility for broadcasting services bands of the radio frequency spectrum to the ABA. In fact, spectrum management is the turf least contested by the regulatory players themselves, although the “convergent regulator” issue provokes considerable angst among powerful incumbent media players. The consensus that exists at a regulatory level can be linked to the scientific convention that holds the radio frequency spectrum is a continuum of electromagnetic bands. In this view, it becomes artificial to sever broadcasting, as “broadcasting services bands” from the other remaining highly diverse communications uses, as occurred from 1992 when the Broadcasting Services Act was introduced. The prospect of new forms of spectrum charging is highly alarming for commercial broadcasters. In a joint submission to the DCITA review, the peak TV and radio industry lobby groups have indicated they will fight tooth and nail to resist new regulatory arrangements that would see a move away from the existing licence fee arrangements. These are paid as a sliding scale percentage of gross earnings that, it has been argued by Julian Thomas and Marion McCutcheon, “do not reflect the amount of spectrum used by a broadcaster, do not reflect the opportunity cost of using the spectrum, and do not provide an incentive for broadcasters to pursue more efficient ways of delivering their services” (6). An economic rationalist logic underpins pressure to modify the spectrum management (and charging) regime, and undoubtedly contributes to the commercial broadcasting industry’s general paranoia about reform. Total revenues collected by the ABA and the ACA between 1997 and 2002 were, respectively, $1423 million and $3644.7 million. Of these sums, using auction mechanisms, the ABA collected $391 million, while the ACA collected some $3 billion. The sale of spectrum that will be returned to the Commonwealth by television broadcasters when analog spectrum is eventually switched off, around the end of the decade, is a salivating prospect for Treasury officials. The large sums that have been successfully raised by the ACA boosts their position in planning discussions for the convergent media regulatory agency. The way in which media outlets and regulators respond to publics is an enduring question for a democratic polity, irrespective of how the product itself has been mediated and accessed. Media regulation and civic responsibility, including frameworks for negotiating consumer and citizen rights, are fundamental democratic rights (Keane; Tambini). The ABA’s Commercial Radio Inquiry (‘cash for comment’) has also reminded us that regulatory frameworks are important at the level of corporate conduct, as well as how they negotiate relations with specific media audiences (Johnson; Turner; Gordon-Smith). Building publicly meaningful regulatory frameworks will be demanding: relationships with audiences are often complex as people are constructed as both consumers and citizens, through marketised media regulation, institutions and more recently, through hybridising program formats (Murdock and Golding; Lumby and Probyn). In TV, we’ve seen the growth of infotainment formats blending entertainment and informational aspects of media consumption. At a deeper level, changes in the regulatory landscape are symptomatic of broader tectonic shifts in the discourses of governance in advanced information economies from the late 1980s onwards, where deregulatory agendas created an increasing reliance on free market, business-oriented solutions to regulation. “Co-regulation” and “self-regulation’ became the preferred mechanisms to more direct state control. Yet, curiously contradicting these market transformations, we continue to witness recurring instances of direct intervention on the basis of censorship rationales (Dwyer and Stockbridge). That digital media content is “converging” between different technologies and modes of delivery is the norm in “new media” regulatory rhetoric. Others critique “visions of techno-glory,” arguing instead for a view that sees fundamental continuities in media technologies (Winston). But the socio-cultural impacts of new media developments surround us: the introduction of multichannel digital and interactive TV (in free-to-air and subscription variants); broadband access in the office and home; wirelessly delivered content and mobility, and, as Jock Given notes, around the corner, there’s the possibility of “an Amazon.Com of movies-on-demand, with the local video and DVD store replaced by online access to a distant server” (90). Taking a longer view of media history, these changes can be seen to be embedded in the global (and local) “innovation frontier” of converging digital media content industries and its transforming modes of delivery and access technologies (QUT/CIRAC/Cutler & Co). The activities of regulatory agencies will continue to be a source of policy rivalry and turf contestation until such time as a convergent regulator is established to the satisfaction of key players. However, there are risks that the benefits of institutional reshaping will not be readily available for either audiences or industry. In the past, the idea that media power and responsibility ought to coexist has been recognised in both the regulation of the media by the state, and the field of communications media analysis (Curran and Seaton; Couldry). But for now, as media industries transform, whatever the eventual institutional configuration, the evolution of media power in neo-liberal market mediascapes will challenge the ongoing capacity for interventions by national governments and their agencies. Works Cited Australian Broadcasting Authority. Commercial Radio Inquiry: Final Report of the Australian Broadcasting Authority. Sydney: ABA, 2000. Australian Communications Information Forum. Industry Code: Short Message Service (SMS) Issues. Dec. 2002. 8 Mar. 2004 <http://www.acif.org.au/__data/page/3235/C580_Dec_2002_ACA.pdf >. Commercial Television Australia. Draft Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. Aug. 2003. 8 Mar. 2004 <http://www.ctva.com.au/control.cfm?page=codereview&pageID=171&menucat=1.2.110.171&Level=3>. Couldry, Nick. The Place of Media Power: Pilgrims and Witnesses of the Media Age. London: Routledge, 2000. Curran, James, and Jean Seaton. Power without Responsibility: The Press, Broadcasting and New Media in Britain. 6th ed. London: Routledge, 2003. Dept. of Communication, Information Technology and the Arts. Options for Structural Reform in Spectrum Management. Canberra: DCITA, Aug. 2002. ---. Proposal for New Institutional Arrangements for the ACA and the ABA. Aug. 2003. 8 Mar. 2004 <http://www.dcita.gov.au/Article/0,,0_1-2_1-4_116552,00.php>. Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement. Feb. 2004. 8 Mar. 2004 <http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/us_fta/outcomes/11_audio_visual.php>. Dwyer, Tim. Submission to Commercial Television Australia’s Review of the Commercial Television Industry’s Code of Practice. Sept. 2003. Dwyer, Tim, and Sally Stockbridge. “Putting Violence to Work in New Media Policies: Trends in Australian Internet, Computer Game and Video Regulation.” New Media and Society 1.2 (1999): 227-49. Given, Jock. America’s Pie: Trade and Culture After 9/11. Sydney: U of NSW P, 2003. Gordon-Smith, Michael. “Media Ethics After Cash-for-Comment.” The Media and Communications in Australia. Ed. Stuart Cunningham and Graeme Turner. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2002. Johnson, Rob. Cash-for-Comment: The Seduction of Journo Culture. Sydney: Pluto, 2000. Keane, John. The Media and Democracy. Cambridge: Polity, 1991. Lumby, Cathy, and Elspeth Probyn, eds. Remote Control: New Media, New Ethics. Melbourne: Cambridge UP, 2003. Murdock, Graham, and Peter Golding. “Information Poverty and Political Inequality: Citizenship in the Age of Privatized Communications.” Journal of Communication 39.3 (1991): 180-95. QUT, CIRAC, and Cutler & Co. Research and Innovation Systems in the Production of Digital Content and Applications: Report for the National Office for the Information Economy. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, Sept. 2003. Tambini, Damian. Universal Access: A Realistic View. IPPR/Citizens Online Research Publication 1. London: IPPR, 2000. Thomas, Julian and Marion McCutcheon. “Is Broadcasting Special? Charging for Spectrum.” Conference paper. ABA conference, Canberra. May 2003. Turner, Graeme. “Talkback, Advertising and Journalism: A cautionary tale of self-regulated radio”. International Journal of Cultural Studies 3.2 (2000): 247-255. ---. “Reshaping Australian Institutions: Popular Culture, the Market and the Public Sphere.” Culture in Australia: Policies, Publics and Programs. Ed. Tony Bennett and David Carter. Melbourne: Cambridge UP, 2001. Winston, Brian. Media, Technology and Society: A History from the Telegraph to the Internet. London: Routledge, 1998. Web Links http://www.aba.gov.au http://www.aca.gov.au http://www.accc.gov.au http://www.acif.org.au http://www.adma.com.au http://www.ctva.com.au http://www.crtc.gc.ca http://www.dcita.com.au http://www.dfat.gov.au http://www.fcc.gov http://www.ippr.org.uk http://www.ofcom.org.uk http://www.oflc.gov.au Links http://www.commercialalert.org/ Citation reference for this article MLA Style Dwyer, Tim. "Transformations" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture <http://www.media-culture.org.au/0403/06-transformations.php>. APA Style Dwyer, T. (2004, Mar17). Transformations. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 7, <http://www.media-culture.org.au/0403/06-transformations.php>

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Haller, Beth. "Switched at Birth: A Game Changer for All Audiences." M/C Journal 20, no.3 (June21, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1266.

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The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Family Network show Switched at Birth tells two stories—one which follows the unique plot of the show, and one about the new openness of television executives toward integrating more people with a variety of visible and invisible physical embodiments, such as hearing loss, into television content. It first aired in 2011 and in 2017 aired its fifth and final season.The show focuses on two teen girls in Kansas City who find out they were switched due to a hospital error on the day of their birth and who grew up with parents who were not biologically related to them. One, Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano), lives with her wealthy parents—a stay-at-home mom Kathryn (Lea Thompson) and a former professional baseball player, now businessman, father John (D.W. Moffett). She has an older brother Toby (Lucas Grabeel) who is into music. In her high school science class, Bay learns about blood types and discovers her parents’ blood types could not have produced her. The family has professional genetic tests done and discovers the switch (ABC Family, “This Is Not a Pipe”).In the pilot episode, Bay’s parents find out that deaf teen, Daphne Vasquez (Katie Leclerc), is actually their daughter. She lives in a working class Hispanic neighbourhood with her hairdresser single mother Regina (Constance Marie) and grandmother Adrianna (Ivonne Coll), both of whom are of Puerto Rican ancestry. Daphne is deaf due to a case of meningitis when she was three, which the rich Kennishes feel happened because of inadequate healthcare provided by working class Regina. Daphne attends an all-deaf school, Carlton.The man who was thought to be her biological father, Angelo Sorrento (Gilles Marini), doesn’t appear in the show until episode 10 but becomes a series regular in season 2. It becomes apparent that Daphne believes her father left because of her deafness; however, as the first season progresses, the real reasons begin to emerge. From the pilot onwards, the show dives into clashes of language, culture, ethnicity, class, and even physical appearance—in one scene in the pilot, the waspy Kennishes ask Regina if she is “Mexican.” As later episodes reveal, many of these physical appearance issues are revealed to have fractured the Vasquez family early on—Daphne is a freckled, strawberry blonde, and her father (who is French and Italian) suspected infidelity.The two families merge when the Kennishes ask Daphne and her mother to move into their guest house in order get to know their daughter better. That forces the Kennishes into the world of deafness, and throughout the show this hearing family therefore becomes a surrogate for a hearing audience’s immersion into Deaf culture.Cultural Inclusivity: The Way ForwardShow creator Lizzy Weiss explained that it was actually the ABC Family network that “suggested making one of the kids disabled” (Academy of Television Arts & Sciences). Weiss was familiar with American Sign Language (ASL) because she had a “classical theatre of the Deaf” course in college. She said, “I had in the back of my head a little bit of background at least about how beautiful the language was. So I said, ‘What if one of the girls is deaf?’” The network thought it was wonderful idea, so she began researching the Deaf community, including spending time at a deaf high school in Los Angeles called Marlton, on which she modelled the Switched at Birth school, Carlton. Weiss (Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) says of the school visit experience:I learned so much that day and spoke to dozens of deaf teenagers about their lives and their experiences. And so, this is, of course, in the middle of writing the pilot, and I said to the network, you know, deaf kids wouldn’t voice orally. We would have to have those scenes only in ASL, and no sound and they said, ‘Great. Let’s do it.’ And frankly, we just kind of grew and grew from there.To accommodate the narrative structure of a television drama, Weiss said it became clear from the beginning that the show would need to use SimCom (simultaneous communication or sign supported speech) for the hearing or deaf characters who were signing so they could speak and sign at the same time. She knew this wasn’t the norm for two actual people communicating in ASL, but the production team worried about having a show that was heavily captioned as this might distance its key—overwhelmingly hearing—teen audience who would have to pay attention to the screen during captioned scenes. However, this did not appear to be the case—instead, viewers were drawn to the show because of its unique sign language-influenced television narrative structure. The show became popular very quickly and, with 3.3 million viewers, became the highest-rated premiere ever on the ABC Family network (Barney).Switched at Birth also received much praise from the media for allowing its deaf actors to communicate using sign language. The Huffington Post television critic Maureen Ryan said, “Allowing deaf characters to talk to each other directly—without a hearing person or a translator present—is a savvy strategy that allows the show to dig deeper into deaf culture and also to treat deaf characters as it would anyone else”. Importantly, it allowed the show to be unique in a way that was found nowhere else on television. “It’s practically avant-garde for television, despite the conventional teen-soap look of the show,” said Ryan.Usually a show’s success is garnered by audience numbers and media critique—by this measure Switched at Birth was a hit. However, programs that portray a disability—in any form—are often the target of criticism, particularly from the communities they attempting to represent. It should be noted that, while actress Katie Leclerc, who plays Daphne, has a condition, Meniere’s disease, which causes hearing loss and vertigo on an intermittent basis, she does not identify as a deaf actress and must use a deaf accent to portray Daphne. However, she is ASL fluent, learning it in high school (Orangejack). This meant her qualifications met the original casting call which said “actress must be deaf or hard of hearing and must speak English well, American Sign Language preferred” (Paz, 2010) Leclerc likens her role to that of any actor to who has to affect body and vocal changes for a role—she gives the example of Hugh Laurie in House, who is British with no limp, but was an American who uses a cane in that show (Bibel).As such, initially, some in the Deaf community complained about her casting though an online petition with 140 signatures (Nielson). Yet many in the Deaf community softened any criticism of the show when they saw the production’s ongoing attention to Deaf cultural details (Grushkin). Finally, any lingering criticisms from the Deaf community were quieted by the many deaf actors hired for the show who perform using ASL. This includes Sean Berdy, who plays Daphne’s best friend Emmett, his onscreen mother, played by actress Marlee Matlin, and Anthony Natale who plays his father; their characters both sign and vocalize in the show. The Emmett character only communicates in ASL and does not vocalise until he falls in love with the hearing character Bay—even then he rarely uses his voice.This seemingly all-round “acceptance” of the show gave the production team more freedom to be innovative—by season 3 the audience was deemed to be so comfortable with captions that the shows began to feature less SimCom and more all-captioned scenes. This lead to the full episode in ASL, a first on American mainstream television.For an Hour, Welcome to Our WorldSwitched at Birth writer Chad Fiveash explained that when the production team came up with the idea for a captioned all-ASL episode, they “didn’t want to do the ASL episode as a gimmick. It needed to be thematically resonant”. As a result, they decided to link the episode to the most significant event in American Deaf history, an event that solidified its status as a cultural community—the 1988 Deaf President Now (DPN) protest at Gallaudet University in Washington. This protest inspired the March 2013 episode for Switched at Birth and aired 25 years to the week that the actual DPN protest happened. This episode makes it clear the show is trying to completely embrace Deaf culture and wants its audience to better understand Deaf identity.DPN was a pivotal moment for Deaf people—it truly solidified members of a global Deaf community who felt more empowered to fight for their rights. Students demanded that Gallaudet—as the premier university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students—no longer have a hearing person as its president. The Gallaudet board of trustees, the majority of whom were hearing, tried to force students and faculty to accept a hearing president; their attitude was that they knew what was best for the deaf persons there. For eight days, deaf people across America and the world rallied around the student protestors, refusing to give in until a deaf president was appointed. Their success came in the form of I. King Jordan, a deaf man who had served as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the time of the protest.The event was covered by media around the world, giving the American Deaf community international attention. Indeed, Gallaudet University says the DPN protest symbolized more than just the hiring of a Deaf president; it brought Deaf issues before the public and “raised the nation’s consciousness of the rights and abilities of deaf and hard of hearing people” (Gallaudet University).The activities of the students and their supporters showed dramatically that in the 1980s deaf people could be galvanized to unite around a common issue, particularly one of great symbolic meaning, such as the Gallaudet presidency. Gallaudet University represents the pinnacle of education for deaf people, not only in the United States but throughout the world. The assumption of its presidency by a person himself deaf announced to the world that deaf Americans were now a mature minority (Van Cleve and Crouch, 172).Deaf people were throwing off the oppression of the hearing world by demanding that their university have someone from their community at its helm. Jankowski (Deaf Empowerment; A Metaphorical Analysis of Conflict) studied the Gallaudet protest within the framework of a metaphor. She found a recurring theme during the DPN protest to be Gallaudet as “plantation”—which metaphorically refers to deaf persons as slaves trying to break free from the grip of the dominant mastery of the hearing world—and she parallels the civil rights movement of African Americans in the 1960s. As an example, Gallaudet was referred to as the “Selma of the Deaf” during the protest, and protest signs used the language of Martin Luther King such as “we still have a dream.” For deaf Americans, the presidency of Gallaudet became a symbol of hope for the future. As Jankowski attests:deaf people perceived themselves as possessing the ability to manage their own kind, pointing to black-managed organization, women-managed organizations, etc., struggling for that same right. They argued that it was a fight for their basic human rights, a struggle to free themselves, to release the hold their ‘masters’ held on them. (“A Metaphorical Analysis”)The creators of the Switched at Birth episode wanted to ensure of these emotions, as well as historical and cultural references, were prevalent in the modern-day, all-ASL episode, titled Uprising. That show therefore wanted to represent both the 1988 DPN protest as well as a current issue in the US—the closing of deaf schools (Anderson). The storyline focuses on the deaf students at the fictitious Carlton School for the Deaf seizing one of the school buildings to stage a protest because the school board has decided to shut down the school and mainstream the deaf students into hearing schools. When the deaf students try to come up with a list of demands, conflicts arise about what the demands should be and whether a pilot program—allowing hearing kids who sign to attend the deaf school—should remain.This show accomplished multiple things with its reach into Deaf history and identity, but it also did something technologically unique for the modern world—it made people pay attention. Because captioning translated the sign language for viewers, Lizzy Weiss, the creator of the series, said, “Every single viewer—deaf or hearing—was forced to put away their phones and iPads and anything else distracting … and focus … you had to read … you couldn’t do anything else. And that made you get into it more. It drew you in” (Stelter). The point, Weiss said, “was about revealing something new to the viewer—what does it feel like to be an outsider? What does it feel like to have to read and focus for an entire episode, like deaf viewers do all the time?” (Stelter). As one deaf reviewer of the Uprising episode said, “For an hour, welcome to our world! A world that’s inconvenient, but one most of us wouldn’t leave if offered a magic pill” (DR_Staff).This episode, more than any other, afforded hearing television viewers an experience perhaps similar to deaf viewers. The New York Times reported that “Deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers commented by the thousands after the show, with many saying in effect, “Yes! That’s what it feels like” (Stelter).Continued ResonancesWhat is also unique about the episode is that in teaching the hearing viewers more about the Deaf community, it also reinforced Deaf community pride and even taught young deaf people a bit of their own history. The Deaf community and Gallaudet were very pleased with their history showing up on a television show—the university produced a 30-second commercial which aired within the episode, and held viewing parties. Gallaudet also forwarded the 35 pages of Facebook comments they’d received about the episode to ABC Family and Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz said of the episode (Yahr), “Over the past 25 years, [DPN] has symbolised self-determination and empowerment for deaf and hard of hearing people around the world”. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) also lauded the episode, describing it as “phenomenal and groundbreaking, saying the situation is very real to us” (Stelter)—NAD had been vocally against budget cuts and closings of US deaf schools.Deaf individuals all over the Internet and social media also spoke out about the episode, with overwhelmingly favourable opinions. Deaf blogger Amy Cohen Efron, who participated in 1988′s DPN movement, said that DPN was “a turning point of my life, forcing me to re-examine my own personal identity, and develop self-determinism as a Deaf person” and led to her becoming an activist.When she watched the Uprising episode, she said the symbolic and historical representations in the show resonated with her. In the episode, a huge sign is unfurled on the side of the Carlton School for the Deaf with a girl with a fist in the air under the slogan “Take Back Carlton.” During the DPN protest, the deaf student protesters unfurled a sign that said “Deaf President Now” with the US Capitol in the background; this image has become an iconic symbol of modern Deaf culture. Efron says the image in the television episode was much more militant than the actual DPN sign. However, it could be argued that society now sees the Deaf community as much more militant because of the DPN protest, and that the imagery in the Uprising episode played into that connection. Efron also acknowledged the episode’s strong nod to the Gallaudet student protestors who defied the hearing community’s expectations by practising civil disobedience. As Efron explained, “Society expected that the Deaf people are submissive and accept to whatever decision done by the majority without any of our input and/or participation in the process.”She also argues that the episode educated more than just the hearing community. In addition to DPN, Uprising was filled with other references to Deaf history. For example a glass door to the room at Carlton was covered with posters about people like Helen Keller and Jean-Ferdinand Berthier, a deaf educator in 19th century France who promoted the concept of deaf identity and culture—Efron says most people in the Deaf community have never heard of him. She also claims that the younger Deaf community may also not be aware of the 1988 DPN protest—“It was not in high school textbooks available for students. Many deaf and hard of hearing students are mainstreamed and they have not the slightest idea about the DPN movement, even about the Deaf Community’s ongoing fight against discrimination, prejudice and oppression, along with our victories”.Long before the Uprising episode aired, the Deaf community had been watching Switched at Birth carefully to make sure Deaf culture was accurately represented. Throughout season 3 David Martin created weekly videos in sign language that were an ASL/Deaf cultural analysis of Switched at Birth. He highlighted content he liked and signs that were incorrect, a kind of a Deaf culture/ASL fact checker. From the Uprising episode, he said he thought this quote from Marlee Matlin’s character said it all, “Until hearing people walk a day in our shoes they will never understand” (Martin). That succinctly states what the all-ASL episode was trying to capture—creating an awareness of Deaf people’s cultural experience and their oppression in hearing society.Even a deaf person who was an early critic of Switched at Birth because of the hiring of Katie Leclerc and the use of SimCom admitted he was impressed with the all-ASL episode (Grushkin):all too often, we see media accounts of Deaf people which play into our society’s perceptions of Deaf people: as helpless, handicapped individuals who are in need of fixes such as cochlear implants in order to “restore” us to society. Almost never do we see accounts of Deaf people as healthy, capable individuals who live ordinary, successful lives without necessarily conforming to the Hearing ‘script’ for how we should be. And important issues such as language rights or school closings are too often virtually ignored by the general media.In addition to the episode being widely discussed within the Deaf community, the mainstream news media also covered Uprising intensely, seeing it as a meaningful cultural moment, not just for the Deaf community but for popular culture in general. Lacob wrote that he realises that hearing viewers probably won’t understand what it means to be a deaf person in modern America, but he believes that the episodeposits that there are moments of understanding, commonalities, and potential bridge-building between these two communities. And the desire for understanding is the first step toward a more inclusive and broad-minded future.He continues:the significance of this moment can’t be undervalued, nor can the show’s rich embrace of deaf history, manifested here in the form of Gallaudet and the historical figures whose photographs and stories are papered on the windows of Carlton during the student protest. What we’re seeing on screen—within the confines of a teen drama, no less—is an engaged exploration of a culture and a civil rights movement brought to life with all of the color and passion it deserves. It may be 25 years since Gallaudet, but the dreams of those protesters haven’t faded. And they—and the ideals of identity and equality that they express—are most definitely being heard.Lacob’s analysis was praised by several Deaf people—by a Deaf graduate student who teaches a Disability in Popular Culture course and by a Gallaudet student who said, “From someone who is deaf, and not ashamed of it either, let me say right here and now: that was the most eloquent piece of writing by someone hearing I have ever seen” (Emma72). The power of the Uprising episode illustrated a political space where “groups actively fuse and blend their culture with the mainstream culture” (Foley 119, as cited in Chang 3). Switched at Birth—specifically the Uprising episode—has indeed fused Deaf culture and ASL into a place in mainstream television culture.ReferencesABC Family. “Switched at Birth Deaf Actor Search.” Facebook (2010). <https://www.facebook.com/SwitchedSearch>.———. “This Is Not a Pipe.” Switched at Birth. Pilot episode. 6 June 2011. <http://freeform.go.com/shows/switched-at-birth>.———. “Not Hearing Loss, Deaf Gain.” Switched at Birth. YouTube video, 11 Feb. 2013. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5W604uSkrk>.Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “Talking Diversity: ABC Family’s Switched at Birth.” Emmys.com (Feb. 2012). <http://www.emmys.com/content/webcast-talking-diversity-abc-familys-switched-birth>.Anderson, G. “‘Switched at Birth’ Celebrates 25th Anniversary of ‘Deaf President Now’.” Pop-topia (5 Mar. 2013). <http://www.pop-topia.com/switched-at-birth-celebrates-25th-anniversary-of-deaf-president-now/>.Barney, C. “’Switched at Birth’ Another Winner for ABC Family.” Contra Costa News (29 June 2011). <http://www.mercurynews.com/tv/ci_18369762>.Bibel, S. “‘Switched at Birth’s Katie LeClerc Is Proud to Represent the Deaf Community.” Xfinity TV blog (20 June 2011). <http://xfinity.comcast.net/blogs/tv/2011/06/20/switched-at-births-katie-leclerc-is-proud-to-represent-the-deaf-community/>.Chang, H. “Re-Examining the Rhetoric of the ‘Cultural Border’.” Essay presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Dec. 1988.DR_Staff. “Switched at Birth: How #TakeBackCarlton Made History.” deafReview (6 Mar. 2013). <http://deafreview.com/deafreview-news/switched-at-birth-how-takebackcarlton-made-history/>.Efron, Amy Cohen. “Switched At Birth: Uprising – Deaf Adult’s Commentary.” Deaf World as I See It (Mar. 2013). <http://www.deafeyeseeit.com/2013/03/05/sabcommentary/>.Emma72. “ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’ ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest.” Comment. The Daily Beast (28 Feb. 2013). <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/28/abc-family-s-switched-at-birth-asl-episode-recalls-gallaudet-protest.html>.Fiveash, Chad. Personal interview. 17 Jan. 2014.Gallaudet University. “The Issues.” Deaf President Now (2013). <http://www.gallaudet.edu/dpn_home/issues.html>.Grushkin, D. “A Cultural Review. ASL Challenged.” Switched at Birth Facebook page. Facebook (2013). <https://www.facebook.com/SwitchedatBirth/posts/508748905835658>.Jankowski, K.A. Deaf Empowerment: Emergence, Struggle, and Rhetoric. Washington: Gallaudet UP, 1997.———. “A Metaphorical Analysis of Conflict at the Gallaudet Protest.” Unpublished seminar paper presented at the University of Maryland, 1990.Lacob, J. “ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’ ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest.” The Daily Beast 28 Feb. 2013. <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/28/abc-family-s-switched-at-birth-asl-episode-recalls-gallaudet-protest.html>.Martin, D. “Switched at Birth Season 2 Episode 9 ‘Uprising’ ASL/Deaf Cultural Analysis.” David Martin YouTube channel (6 Mar. 2013). <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA0vqCysoVU>.Nielson, R. “Petitioned ABC Family and the ‘Switched at Birth’ Series, Create Responsible, Accurate, and Family-Oriented TV Programming.” Change.org (2011). <http://www.change.org/p/abc-family-and-the-switched-at-birth-series-create-responsible-accurate-and-family-oriented-tv-programming>.Orangejack. “Details about Katie Leclerc’s Hearing Loss.” My ASL Journey Blog (29 June 2011). <http://asl.orangejack.com/details-about-katie-leclercs-hearing-loss>.Paz, G. “Casting Call: Open Auditions for Switched at Birth by ABC Family.” Series & TV (3 Oct. 2010). <http://seriesandtv.com/casting-call-open-auditions-for-switched-at-birth-by-abc-family/4034>.Ryan, Maureen. “‘Switched at Birth’ Season 1.5 Has More Drama and Subversive Soapiness.” The Huffington Post (31 Aug. 2012). <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maureen-ryan/switched-at-birth-season-1_b_1844957.html>.Stelter, B. “Teaching Viewers to Hear with Their Eyes Only.” The New York Times 8 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/09/arts/television/teaching-viewers-to-hear-the-tv-with-eyes-only.html>.Van Cleve, J.V., and B.A. Crouch. A Place of Their Own: Creating the Deaf Community in America. DC: Gallaudet University Press, 1989.Yahr, E. “Gallaudet University Uses All-Sign Language Episode of ‘Switched at Birth’ to Air New Commercial.” The Washington Post 3 Mar. 2013 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/tv-column/post/gallaudet-university-uses-all-sign-language-episode-of-switched-at-birth-to-air-new-commercial/2013/03/04/0017a45a-8508-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394_blog.html>.

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Johnson, Laurie. "Agency." M/C Journal 5, no.4 (August1, 2002). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1969.

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Abstract:

This paper on cultural loops will begin slightly off-track, drawing on lessons that can be learned from a very basic non-terminating program, written in basic programming language: 100 Print "an infinite loop is" 110 Goto 100 Run an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is ... The output will continue looping through this cycle ad infinitum. Suppose that somebody has entered this program into a computer and entered a "Run" command as illustrated above. This somebody has then left the room and we enter a moment later. What we appear to be looking at is, strictly speaking, an "infinite loop," a programming sequence that has no condition for termination except for activation of the self same sequence. The screen has been filled with seemingly endless repetitions of the same string: "an infinite loop is" (or is it "is an infinite loop," or "loop is an infinite," or "infinite loop is an"?). In any case, we do not know that the loop is endless, nor even that this is a loop. Perhaps we could imagine that after so many repetitions the output will change. Perhaps we imagine that our absent programmer is really hard up for ways to pass the time and has spent countless hours entering repetitions of the same string into just one single line of programming: 100 Print "infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is an infinite loop is ... After several hours, perhaps the programmer finally tired of the exercise and finished off: ... an infinite loop is really a finite loop that thinks it can last forever and ever amen." For this matter, we might also wonder, as we watch the text scrolling up the screen, whether all of the preceding text has followed this exact pattern. Perhaps we just happened to stumble into the room at that moment, reflected in the current output, when our absent programmer decided to interrupt typing up a treatise on infinite loops with a banal illustration of what might constitute a loop of this sort. Wait for just a second or two more and surely the output will be different. Of course, in the present instance, we will be waiting for a very long time for any kind of change to appear in the output—how long is infinity again, does anybody know? Perhaps there is folly in trying to second guess the next piece of output produced by a program, particularly when the evidence on the screen provides no genuine clues to the structure of the program for which it is the output. At this point I hear the cries of dissent. How can I possibly say that the output of this program provides no clues to the structure of the program? After all, are we not faced here with output that, at the very least, appears to be endlessly repetitive? Without being drawn into a detailed discussion about the phenomenology of repetition, it is fair to say that, yes, when faced with the output on the screen as we enter the room, a reasonable expectation is that this output is several repetitions of a non-terminating series of repetitions. As each string is preceded and followed by the same string, the evidence suggests that the strings running off both the top and bottom of the screen have been preceded by and will be followed by the same string, according to the pattern. Yet I maintain that we can never be absolutely certain that the next thing that will appear on the screen will be yet another repetition of the same string. We cannot know the mind of the creator with sufficient certainty to predict this with perfect accuracy. Certainly, anybody who presumes that the string of strings on the screen is part of some non-repeating body of text is less likely to be right than the person who sees the pattern and guesses that the program for which this text is the output is an infinitely looping one. We need only to stop the program and bring it up on the screen to confirm the latter's suspicions to be correct. With this very strategy, however, we also illustrate the correctness of the claim I have made. In order to know with certainty what the program will be likely to output next, at some point we are required to terminate it and look at the program itself rather than its output. In other words, we need to stop the output if we want to know what will be put out next. The irony of this situation is of course that we cannot know from any series of outputs within an infinite loop that the loop is in fact infinite (or even that it is a loop), without first terminating the loop to look beyond its repeating output. An infinite loop is indeed a finite loop that we think can last forever and ever, amen. Douglas Hofstadter makes a similar point about the relationship between infinity and the finite parameters of strange loops in Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979). Strange loop phenomena emerge "whenever, by moving upwards (or downwards) through the levels of some hierarchical system, we unexpectedly find ourselves right back where we started" (10). A sense of paradox is associated with strange loops because they bring our notions of the finite and the infinite into conflict. Some object (A) always seems to contain or be the root cause of some other object (B) in a finite relationship, yet B also seems to contain or be the root cause of A, a paradox of infinite indeterminacy. Yet the paradox emerges because we are blinded from looking beyond what appears to be a fully self-contained system of determinations, even if we are unable to resolve the paradox of whether A determines B or vice versa. As we move upwards or downwards through the hierarchies in the system, we presume that we will move closer to its limit in either direction, yet we find ourselves perpetually drawn to reproduce the same steps within the hierarchy. For this reason, Hofstadter also refers to strange loops as tangled hierarchies (passim). The tangle is what draws us to repeat the same system of determinations endlessly, but Hofstadter points out that any system includes a protected or "inviolate level" which always remains "unassailable by the rules on other levels, not matter how tangled their interactions may be among themselves" (688). In the work of M.C. Escher, in particular, Hofstadter finds the most powerful visual realisations of strange loop phenomena: in Ascending and Descending, monks walk up and down staircases that loop around to join each other; in Waterfall, water falls into a pool that leads to an aqueduct flowing down to the waterfall that empties into the same pool; and in Drawing Hands, there are two hands that appear to be drawing each other. In each of these cases, however, the resolution of the apparent paradox is in realising the hand of Escher at work beyond the hierarchy: [In Drawing Hands,] levels which ordinarily are seen as hierarchical—that which draws and that which is drawn—turn back on each other, creating a Tangled Hierarchy. But the theme ... is borne out, of course, since behind it all lurks the undrawn but drawing hand of M.C. Escher, creator of both LH and RH. (689) The non-terminating program with which I began this paper provides a variation on this theme, since the output provides evidence of an infinite loop lurking in the structure of the program. A termination of the loop to look beyond the output will confirm this. Yet beyond the program is of course the programmer and, not necessarily the same person, the person who entered the "run" command to execute the program. In other words, there are several inviolate levels to consider in dealing with computer programs. The program itself contains the inviolate rules determining repetitions in the output. Beyond the program is the programmer. We might also consider the programming language and limitations of the technology mediating between the programmer and the program that is written, but I want to press ahead expeditiously. Beyond the programmer, there is also an executor, somebody who activates the program, making possible the generation of output. Perhaps we could refer to these two inviolate levels as those of the creator and the generator. In his examination of the strange loop of Escher's Drawing Hands, Hofstadter points out the hand of the creator lurking within the inviolate level beyond the frame of the picture. We might add that as a work of art, the picture is not a free-floating object presented to us in any unmediated way. The image circulates within an array of cultural institutions and contexts, all of which mediates our access to it, and which might be thought of here as the conditions for the generation of the image. Consider, for example, that we had never seen Drawing Hands before reading Hofstadter's book. We would have to take Hofstadter's word on the matter, that this drawing had been done by this Dutchman named Escher. Hofstadter—or, to be more precise, the book which carries his name as its authorial signature—has made possible our access to the image. Furthermore, it is within the context of a discussion about strange loops and such matters that we are asked to look at the image. Now, suppose we were to put the book down and think little of it for some time, perhaps because we are not very mathematically minded and we sort of got muddled up a bit by some of the other parts of Hofstadter's book. Years later, we find ourselves in an art gallery, and there is a special exhibit of Escher's work. We stumble upon the original, stare at it for a moment, then realise that we have seen it before. Suddenly, Hofstadter's discussion springs to mind and we are reminded of strange loops and we think smugly, ah, this is no paradox, since the hand of Escher existing at an inviolate level has drawn both the left and right hands which appear to be drawing each other. This situation leads to a strange cultural loop, since our reception of an original artwork has been already shaped by something we have seen elsewhere, in this instance, a copy of that exact same artwork. The point is of course that cultural products circulate within precisely just these sorts of loops all of the time. Indeed, I maintain that such loops constitute culture. Allow me to explain. What makes an object an example of a culture is its capacity to resonate with features that it has in common with other objects created within the same culture. Words such as genre, movement, poetics or style (among others) refer to ways in which original works of art remain tied together within structures of repetition of core features. In a similar vein, archaeologists excavating a dig and finding numerous pots will look for repeated patterns, shapes, and techniques to determine cultural affiliations. The strange loop emerges around the vexed question of origins: is a culture made up of repeated patterns on pots, or does a culture determine repetitions of patterns on pots? At this point it should be pertinent to bring cultural theory into play. According to the theoretical anthropology developed by Clifford Geertz in The Interpretation of Cultures (1975), culture can be defined as "a stratified hierarchy of meaningful structures" (7). The ethnographic method that he calls "thick description" is designed to enable anthropologists to sort out these structures from the concrete complexes of behaviour that are observed in the field. He takes as a reference point a question posed by the philosopher Gilbert Ryle: when is the closing of one eyelid a wink and when is it a twitch? As Stephen Greenblatt summarises the point, the distinction is in the shared code, a distinction that "is secured by the element of volition that is not itself visibly manifest in the contraction of the eyelid; a thin description would miss it altogether" (Practicing 23). To compare this situation with the situation I described earlier, we can imagine thick description as a method for second guessing cultural output by moving from the perceived pattern to expectations about the mind and method of the creator. The thickness of the description inheres in its intent to take fuller account of the conditions for the generation of this cultural output. Yet in practice, the method sometimes seems to rigidify. For example, Greenblatt's own literary criticism—referred to most commonly as New Historicism, although he himself prefers the name Cultural Poetics—is often accused of flattening out culture. The method typically proceeds by considering together a literary text and the text of some contemporary domestic circ*mstance or event (a legal extract, a travel journal, a royal decree or such like), so as to find patterns pointing to the system of meanings underlining both texts. Being unable to terminate the infinite loop of cultural production, whereupon all texts echo all other texts in something akin to what Michel Foucault called the "fantasia of the library," the new historicist tries to work backward from the conventions of textual production to the cultural matrix beneath. While Greenblatt frequently argues that a cultural poetics recognises the agency of the individuals who produce these texts, the core issues of methodology have at base been recently defined in terms of the inviolability of the base level of determination—the archive: If every trace of a culture is part of a massive text, how can one identify the boundaries of these units? What is the appropriate scale? There are, we conclude, no abstract, purely theoretical answers to these questions. To a considerable extent the units are given by the archive itself—that is, we almost always receive works whose boundaries have already been defined by the technology and generic assumptions of the original makers. (Practicing 14) Here again the tension emerges between the infinite and the finite in the attempt to come to terms with unidentifiable boundaries of the units of culture. The resolution, curiously enough, is a loop at the core of Greenblatt's cultural poetics: the structure of the archive determines for us the units of perception within which we view traces of culture, to determine the structure of the archive. Thus, from the perspective of Greenblatt's cultural poetics, the stratified hierarchy of meaningful structures constituting culture is a tangled hierarchy. Lurking at the inviolate level is, of course, Greenblatt himself. Greenblatt, Geertz and many others who practice these methods for reading culture as a text recognise this inviolate level openly. In the introduction to his landmark work, Renaissance Self-Fashioning (1980), Greenblatt confesses, "the resonance and centrality we find in our small group of texts and their authors is our invention" (6). This confession leads me one step closer to my final point here. Even as the method of cultural poetics tends at times to flatten culture out to nodes of production arising from a single, static archive, and threatens to forget the agency of cultural producers, the method itself relies entirely on the creative and constitutive role of the observer. Greenblatt's literary and cultural criticism functions in a way that bears striking resemblance to the flights of fancy we undertook in the opening passages of this paper, looking at a pattern of output and trying to imagine what the structure of production would be like behind this output. Like the archaeologists staring at patterns on pots, cultural theorists could sometimes be forgiven for overlooking the question of agency altogether. One of the reasons for this is that we tend to think of agency in terms of a capacity to effect change, rather than in terms of the repetition of existing patterns and structures. "Structure" and "agency" might seem to be mutually opposed terms in discussions of cultural production. Yet the lesson we might be able to learn from these discussions of strange loops and cultural production is that agency is just as necessary to shaping the cultural matrix as it is to the realisation of this system in the production of culture. When we find patterns, we are exercising the wholly productive force of the imagination. Beyond creators, generators, programs, archives and so on, there is the observer whose capacity for making sense of texts is what ultimately gives to culture its contours, patterns and limits. Furthermore—what remains to be discussed in another forum—this constitutive capacity is something that is present in everyday practice, not simply in the realms of anthropology or cultural studies. The person sitting in front of the television, for example, is in much the same situation as when we stared at the computer screen waiting to see if the output would change. The decisions we make about whether we recognise patterns, locate meaningful structures and so on are similar to cultural reception or consumption, which I maintain is as productive as creation or generation. It is the decisions we make that insinuate infinity when we observe a loop. As we observed at the outset here, the infinity of the loop is not inherent in the structure of the output but in the way we choose to make sense of the patterns, what we imagined to have preceded the present text and to be likely to come after. To illustrate the comparison between observation of an infinite loop and agency in the field of cultural production, in conclusion, we need only to go back again to where we started here, but I leave that task up to the reader. References Foucault, Michel. Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews. Trans. D.F.Bouchard and S.Simon. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977. Gallagher, Catherine and Stephen Greenblatt. Practicing New Historicism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. Geertz, Clifford. The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. London: Hutchinson, 1975. Greenblatt, Stephen. Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. ---. Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture. New York: Routledge, 1992. Hofstadter, Douglas R. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Sussex: Harvester Press, 1979. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Johnson, Laurie. "Agency" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5.4 (2002). [your date of access] < http://www.media-culture.org.au/mc/0208/agency.php>. Chicago Style Johnson, Laurie, "Agency" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5, no. 4 (2002), < http://www.media-culture.org.au/mc/0208/agency.php> ([your date of access]). APA Style Johnson, Laurie. (2002) Agency. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5(4). < http://www.media-culture.org.au/mc/0208/agency.php> ([your date of access]).

17

Jaaniste, Luke Oliver. "The Ambience of Ambience." M/C Journal 13, no.2 (May3, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.238.

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Well, you couldn't control the situation to that extent. The world just comes in on top of you. It creeps under the door. It falls out of the sky. It's all around. (Leunig) Like the world that cartoonist Michael Leunig describes, ambience is all around. Everywhere you go. You cannot get away from it. You cannot hide from it. You cannot be without it. For ambience is that which surrounds us, that which pervades. Always-on. Always by-your-side. Always already. Here, there and everywhere. Super-surround-sound. Immersive. Networked and cloudy. Ubiquitous. Although you cannot avoid ambience, you may ignore it. In fact, ambience is almost as ignored as it is pervasive. For the most part, our attention is given over to what’s in front of us, what we pick up, what we handle, what is in focus. Instead of ambience, our phenomenal existence is governed by what we bring into the foreground of our lives. Our attention is, almost by definition, occupied not by what is ambient, but what is salient (Jaaniste, Approaching Ch. 1). So, when Brian Eno coined the term Ambient Music in the 1970s (see Burns; Radywyl; and Ensminger in this issue), he was doing something strange. He was bringing ambience, as an idea and in its palpable sonic dimension, into salience. The term, and the penchant for attuning and re-thinking our connections to our surroundings, caught on. By the end of the twentieth century, it was deemed by one book author worthy of being called the ambient century (Prendergast). Eno is undoubtedly the great populariser of the term, but there’s a backstory to ambience. If Spitzer’s detailed semantic analysis of ‘ambience’ and its counterpart ‘milieu’ published back in the 1940s is anything to go by, then Newtonian physics had a lot to do with how ambience entered into our Modern vernacular. Isaac Newton’s laws and theories of gravity and the cosmos offered up a quandary for science back then: vast amounts of empty space. Just like we now know that most of an atom is empty space, within which a few miserly electrons, protons, neutrons and other particle fly about (and doesn’t that seem weird given how solid everything feels?) so too it is with planets, stars, galaxies whose orbits traverse through the great vacuum of the universe. And that vacuum Newton called ambience. But maybe outer-space, and ambience, is not actually empty. There could be dark matter everywhere. Or other things not yet known, observed or accounted for. Certainly, the history of our thinking around ambience since its birth in physics has seen a shift from vacuity to great density and polyphony. Over time, several ‘spaces’ became associated with ambience, which we might think of as the great scapes of our contemporary lives: the natural environment, the built environment, the social world, the aesthetic worlds encountered ‘within’ artefacts, and the data-cloud. Now is not the time or place to give a detailed history of these discursive manoeuvres (although some key clues are given in Spizter; and also Jaaniste, Approaching). But a list of how the term has been taken up after Eno–across the arts, design, media and culture–reveals the broad tenets of ambience or, perhaps, the ambience of ambience. Nowadays we find talk of (in alphabetical order): ambient advertising (Quinion), aesthetics (Foster), architecture (CNRS; Sample), art (Desmarias; Heynen et al.), calculus (Cardelli), displays (Ambient Displays Reserch Group; Lund and Mikael; Vogel and Balakrishnan), fears (Papastergiadis), findability (Morville), informatics (Morville), intelligence (Weber et al.), media (Meeks), narratives (Levin), news (Hagreaves and Thomas), poetics (Morton), television (McCarthy), and video (Bizzocchi). There’s probably more. Time, then, to introduce the authors assembled for this special ‘ambient’ issue of M/C Journal. Writing from the globe, in Spain, Ukraine, Canada, United Sates, and New Zealand, and from cities across Australia, in Melbourne, Canberra and Perth, they draw on and update the ambience of ambience. Alison Bartlett, in our feature article, begins with bodies of flesh (and sweat and squinting) and bodies of thought (including Continental theory). She draws us into a personal, present tense and tensely present account of the way writing and thinking intertwine with our physical locality. The heat, light and weathered conditions of her place of writing, now Perth and previously Townsville, are evoked, as is some sort of teased out relation with Europe. If we are always immersed in our ambient conditions, does this effect and affect everything we do, and think? Bruce Arnold and Margalit Levin then shift gear, from the rural and natural to the densely mediated contemporary urban locale. Urban ambience, as they say, is no longer about learning to avoid (or love?) harsh industrial noises, but it’s about interactivity, surveillance and signalling. They ambivalently present the ambient city as a dialectic, where feeling connected and estranged go hand-in-hand. Next we explore one outcome or application of the highly mediated, iPhone and Twitter-populated city. Alfred Hermida has previously advanced the idea of ‘ambient journalism’ (Hermida, Twittering), and in his M/C Journal piece he outlines the shift from ambient news (which relies on multiple distribution points, but which relays news from a few professional sources) to a journalism that is ambiently distributed across citizens and non-professional para-journalists. Alex Burns takes up Hermida’s framework, but seeks to show how professional journalism might engage in complex ways with Twitter and other always-on, socially-networked data sources that make up the ‘awareness system’ of ambient journalism. Burns ends his provocative paper by suggesting that the creative processes of Brian Eno might be a model for flexible approaches to working with the ambient data fields of the Internet and social grid. Enter the data artist, the marginal doodler and the darkened museum. Pau Waelder examines the way artists have worked with data fields, helping us to listen, observe and embody what is normally ignored. David Ensminger gives a folklorist-inspired account of the way doodles occupy the ambient margins of our minds, personalities and book pages. And Natalia Radywyl navigates the experiences of those who encountered the darkened and ambiguously ambient Screen Gallery of the Australian Centre for Moving Image, and ponders on what this mean for the ‘new museum’. If the experience of doodles and darkened galleries is mainly an individual thing, the final two papers delve into the highly social forms of ambience. Pauline Cheong explores how one particular type of community, Christian churches in the United States, has embraced (and sometimes critiqued) the use of Twitter to facilitate the communal ambience, 140 characters at a time. Then Christine Teague with Lelia Green and David Leith report on the working lives of transit officers on duty on trains in Perth. This is a tough ambience, where issues of safety, fear, confusion and control impact on these workers as much as they try to influence the ambience of a public transport network. The final paper gives us something to pause on: ambience might be an interesting topic, but the ambience of some people and some places might be unpalatable or despairing. Ambience is morally ambivalent (it can be good, bad or otherwise), and this is something threading through many of the papers before us. Who gets to control our ambient surrounds? Who gets to influence them? Who gets to enjoy them, take advantage of them, ignore them? For better or worse. The way we live with, connect to and attune to the ambience of our lives might be crucially important. It might change us. And it might do so on many levels. As is now evident, all the great scapes, as I called them, have been taken up in this issue. We begin with the natural environment (Bartlett’s weather) and the urban built environment (Arnold and Levin; and also Radywyl). Then we enter the data-cloud (Herminda; Burns; Waelder, and also Cheong), shifting into the aesthetic artefact (Waelder; Ensminger; Radywyl), and then into the social sphere (Cheong; Teague, Green and Leith). Of course, all these scapes, and the authors’ concerns, overlap. Ambience is a multitude, and presses into us and through us in many ways. References Ambient Displays Research Group. “Ambient Displays Research Group.” 25 July 2006 ‹http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Research/Projects/CS/io/ambient/›. Bizzocchi, Jim. “Ambient Video: The Transformation of the Domestic Cinematic Experience.” Media Environments and the Liberal Arts Conference, 10-13 June 2004, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. 26 July 2006 ‹http://www.dadaprocessing.com› [third version of this essay]. Cardelli, Luca. “Mobility and Security.” Lecture notes for Marktoberdorf Summer School 1999, summarising several Ambient Calculus papers by Luca Cardelli & Andrew Gordon. Foundations of Secure Computation. Eds. Friedrich L. Bauer and Ralf Steinbrüggen. NATO Science Series. Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Foundations of Secure Computation, Marktoberdorf, Germany, 27 July - 8 Aug. 1999. 3-37. ‹http://lucacardelli.name/Papers/Mobility%20and%20Security.A4.pdf›. CNRS. “UMR CNRS 1563: Ambiances architecturales et urbaines”. 2007. 9 Feb. 2007 ‹http://www.archi.fr/RECHERCHE/annuaireg/pdf/UMR1563.pdf›. Desmarias, Charles. “Nothing Compared to This: Ambient, Incidental and New Minimal Tendencies in Contemporary Art.” Catalogue essay for exhibition curated by Charles Desmarais at Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, 25 Sep. - 28 Nov. 2004. Foster, Cheryl. “The Narrative and the Ambient in Environmental Aesthetics.” Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism 56.2 (Spring 1998): 127-137. Hargreaves, Ian, and James Thomas. “New News, Old News.” ITC/BSC (October 2002). 3 May 2010 ‹http://legacy.caerdydd.ac.uk/jomec/resources/news.pdf›. Herminda, Alfred. “Twittering the News: The Emergence of Ambient Journalism.” Journalism Practice (11 March 2010). 3 May 2010 ‹http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a919807525›. Heynen, Julian, Kasper Konig, and Stefani Jansen. Ambiance: Des deux cơtes du Rhin. To accompany an exhibition of the same name at K21 Kuntstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf, 15 Oct. 2005 – 12 Feb. 2006. Köln: Snoeck. Jaaniste, Luke. Approaching the Ambient: Creative Practice and the Ambient Mode of Being. Doctoral thesis, Queensland University of Technology, 2007. 3 May 2010 ‹http://www.lukejaaniste.com/writings/phd›. Leunig, Michael. “Michael Leunig”. Enough Rope with Andrew Denton. ABC Television, 8 May 2006. 3 May 2010 ‹http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/transcripts/s1632918.htm›. Lund, Andreas, and Mikael Wiberg. “Ambient Displays beyond Convention.” HCI 2004, The 18th British HCI Group Annual Conference, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, 6-10 Sep. 2004. 18 Oct. 2005 ‹http://www.informatik.umu.se/~mwiberg/designingforattention_workshop_lund_wiberg.pdf›. Manovich, Lev. “Soft Cinema: Ambient Narratives.” Catalogue for the Soft Cinema Project presented at Future Cinema: The Cinemtic Imaginary after Film at ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, 16 Nov. 2002 - 30 March 2003. McCarthy, Anna. Ambient Television: Visual Culture and Public Space. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2001. Meeks, Cyan. Ambient Media: Meanings and Implications. Masters of Fine Arts thesis, Graduate School of the State University of New York, Department of Media Study, August 2005. Morton, Timothy. “Why Ambient Poetics?: Outline for a Depthless Ecology.” The Wordsworth Circle 33.1 (Winter 2002): 52-56. Morville, Peter. Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become. O’Reilly Media, 2005. Papastergiadis, Nikos. “Ambient Fears.” Artlink 32.1 (2003): 28-34. Prendergast, Mark. The Ambient Century: From Mahler to Trance, the Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age. London: Bloomsbury, 2000. Quinion, Michael. “Ambient Advertising.” World Wide Words 5 Sep. 1998. 3 Aug. 2006 ‹http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-amb1.htm›. Sample, Hilary. “Ambient Architecture: An Environmental Monitoring Station for Pasadena, California.” 306090 07: Landscape with Architecture. 306090 Architecture Journal 7 (Sep. 2004): 200-210. Spitzer, Leo. “Milieu and Ambiance: An Essay in Historical Semantics (Part 2).” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 3.2 (Dec. 1942): 169–218. Vogel, Daniel, and Ravin Balakrishnan. “Interactive Public Ambient Displays: Transitioning from Implicit to Explicit, Public to Personal, Interaction with Multiple Users.” Proceedings of the 18th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. Large Public Displays session, Santa Fe. New York: ACM Press. 137-146. Weber, W., J.M. Rabaey, and E. Aarts. Eds. Ambient Intelligence. Berlin: Springer, 2005.

18

Starrs, Bruno. "Publish and Graduate?: Earning a PhD by Published Papers in Australia." M/C Journal 11, no.4 (June24, 2008). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.37.

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Refereed publications (also known as peer-reviewed) are the currency of academia, yet many PhD theses in Australia result in only one or two such papers. Typically, a doctoral thesis requires the candidate to present (and pass) a public Confirmation Seminar, around nine to twelve months into candidacy, in which a panel of the candidate’s supervisors and invited experts adjudicate upon whether the work is likely to continue and ultimately succeed in the goal of a coherent and original contribution to knowledge. A Final Seminar, also public and sometimes involving the traditional viva voce or oral defence of the thesis, is presented two or three months before approval is given to send the 80,000 to 100,000 word tome off for external examination. And that soul-destroying or elation-releasing examiner’s verdict can be many months in the delivery: a limbo-like period during which the candidate’s status as a student is ended and her or his receipt of any scholarship or funding guerdon is terminated with perfunctory speed. This is the only time most students spend seriously writing up their research for publication although, naturally, many are more involved in job hunting as they pin their hopes on passing the thesis examination.There is, however, a slightly more palatable alternative to this nail-biting process of the traditional PhD, and that is the PhD by Published Papers (also known as PhD by Publications or PhD by Published Works). The form of my own soon-to-be-submitted thesis, it permits the submission for examination of a collection of papers that have been refereed and accepted (or are in the process of being refereed) for publication in academic journals or books. Apart from the obvious benefits in getting published early in one’s (hopefully) burgeoning academic career, it also takes away a lot of the stress come final submission time. After all, I try to assure myself, the thesis examiners can’t really discredit the process of double-blind, peer-review the bulk of the thesis has already undergone: their job is to examine how well I’ve unified the papers into a cohesive thesis … right? But perhaps they should at least be wary, because, unfortunately, the requirements for this kind of PhD vary considerably from institution to institution and there have been some cases where the submitted work is of questionable quality compared to that produced by graduates from more demanding universities. Hence, this paper argues that in my subject area of interest—film and television studies—there is a huge range in the set requirements for doctorates, from universities that award the degree to film artists for prior published work that has undergone little or no academic scrutiny and has involved little or no on-campus participation to at least three Australian universities that require candidates be enrolled for a minimum period of full-time study and only submit scholarly work generated and published (or submitted for publication) during candidature. I would also suggest that uncertainty about where a graduate’s work rests on this continuum risks confusing a hard-won PhD by Published Papers with the sometimes risible honorary doctorate. Let’s begin by dredging the depths of those murky, quasi-academic waters to examine the occasionally less-than-salubrious honorary doctorate. The conferring of this degree is generally a recognition of an individual’s body of (usually published) work but is often conferred for contributions to knowledge or society in general that are not even remotely academic. The honorary doctorate does not usually carry with it the right to use the title “Dr” (although many self-aggrandising recipients in the non-academic world flout this unwritten code of conduct, and, indeed, Monash University’s Monash Magazine had no hesitation in describing its 2008 recipient, musician, screenwriter, and art-school-dropout Nick Cave, as “Dr Cave” (O’Loughlin)). Some shady universities even offer such degrees for sale or ‘donation’ and thus do great damage to that institution’s credibility as well as to the credibility of the degree itself. Such overseas “diploma mills”—including Ashwood University, Belford University, Glendale University and Suffield University—are identified by their advertising of “Life Experience Degrees,” for which a curriculum vitae outlining the prospective graduand’s oeuvre is accepted on face value as long as their credit cards are not rejected. An aspiring screen auteur simply specifies film and television as their major and before you can shout “Cut!” there’s a degree in the mail. Most of these pseudo-universities are not based in Australia but are perfectly happy to confer their ‘titles’ to any well-heeled, vanity-driven Australians capable of completing the online form. Nevertheless, many academics fear a similarly disreputable marketplace might develop here, and Norfolk Island-based Greenwich University presents a particularly illuminating example. Previously empowered by an Act of Parliament consented to by Senator Ian Macdonald, the then Minister for Territories, this “university” had the legal right to confer honorary degrees from 1998. The Act was eventually overridden by legislation passed in 2002, after a concerted effort by the Australian Universities Quality Agency Ltd. and the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee to force the accreditation requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework upon the institution in question, thus preventing it from making degrees available for purchase over the Internet. Greenwich University did not seek re-approval and soon relocated to its original home of Hawaii (Brown). But even real universities flounder in similarly muddy waters when, unsolicited, they make dubious decisions to grant degrees to individuals they hold in high esteem. Although meaning well by not courting pecuniary gain, they nevertheless invite criticism over their choice of recipient for their honoris causa, despite the decision usually only being reached after a process of debate and discussion by university committees. Often people are rewarded, it seems, as much for their fame as for their achievements or publications. One such example of a celebrity who has had his onscreen renown recognised by an honorary doctorate is film and television actor/comedian Billy Connolly who was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by The University of Glasgow in 2006, prompting Stuart Jeffries to complain that “something has gone terribly wrong in British academia” (Jeffries). Eileen McNamara also bemoans the levels to which some institutions will sink to in search of media attention and exposure, when she writes of St Andrews University in Scotland conferring an honorary doctorate to film actor and producer, Michael Douglas: “What was designed to acknowledge intellectual achievement has devolved into a publicity grab with universities competing for celebrity honorees” (McNamara). Fame as an actor (and the list gets even weirder when the scope of enquiry is widened beyond the field of film and television), seems to be an achievement worth recognising with an honorary doctorate, according to some universities, and this kind of discredit is best avoided by Australian institutions of higher learning if they are to maintain credibility. Certainly, universities down under would do well to follow elsewhere than in the footprints of Long Island University’s Southampton College. Perhaps the height of academic prostitution of parchments for the attention of mass media occurred when in 1996 this US school bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters upon that mop-like puppet of film and television fame known as the “muppet,” Kermit the Frog. Indeed, this polystyrene and cloth creation with an anonymous hand operating its mouth had its acceptance speech duly published (see “Kermit’s Acceptance Speech”) and the Long Island University’s Southampton College received much valuable press. After all, any publicity is good publicity. Or perhaps this furry frog’s honorary degree was a cynical stunt meant to highlight the ridiculousness of the practice? In 1986 a similar example, much closer to my own home, occurred when in anticipation and condemnation of the conferral of an honorary doctorate upon Prince Philip by Monash University in Melbourne, the “Members of the Monash Association of Students had earlier given a 21-month-old Chihuahua an honorary science degree” (Jeffries), effectively suggesting that the honorary doctorate is, in fact, a dog of a degree. On a more serious note, there have been honorary doctorates conferred upon far more worthy recipients in the field of film and television by some Australian universities. Indigenous film-maker Tracey Moffatt was awarded an honorary doctorate by Griffith University in November of 2004. Moffatt was a graduate of the Griffith University’s film school and had an excellent body of work including the films Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1990) and beDevil (1993). Acclaimed playwright and screenwriter David Williamson was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by The University of Queensland in December of 2004. His work had previously picked up four Australian Film Institute awards for best screenplay. An Honorary Doctorate of Visual and Performing Arts was given to film director Fred Schepisi AO by The University of Melbourne in May of 2006. His films had also been earlier recognised with Australian Film Institute awards as well as the Golden Globe Best Miniseries or Television Movie award for Empire Falls in 2006. Director George Miller was crowned with an Honorary Doctorate in Film from the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School in April 2007, although he already had a medical doctor’s testamur on his wall. In May of this year, filmmaker George Gittoes, a fine arts dropout from The University of Sydney, received an honorary doctorate by The University of New South Wales. His documentaries, Soundtrack to War (2005) and Rampage (2006), screened at the Sydney and Berlin film festivals, and he has been employed by the Australian Government as an official war artist. Interestingly, the high quality screen work recognised by these Australian universities may have earned the recipients ‘real’ PhDs had they sought the qualification. Many of these film artists could have just as easily submitted their work for the degree of PhD by Published Papers at several universities that accept prior work in lieu of an original exegesis, and where a film is equated with a book or journal article. But such universities still invite comparisons of their PhDs by Published Papers with honorary doctorates due to rather too-easy-to-meet criteria. The privately funded Bond University, for example, recommends a minimum full-time enrolment of just three months and certainly seems more lax in its regulations than other Antipodean institution: a healthy curriculum vitae and payment of the prescribed fee (currently AUD$24,500 per annum) are the only requirements. Restricting my enquiries once again to the field of my own research, film and television, I note that Dr. Ingo Petzke achieved his 2004 PhD by Published Works based upon films produced in Germany well before enrolling at Bond, contextualized within a discussion of the history of avant-garde film-making in that country. Might not a cynic enquire as to how this PhD significantly differs from an honorary doctorate? Although Petzke undoubtedly paid his fees and met all of Bond’s requirements for his thesis entitled Slow Motion: Thirty Years in Film, one cannot criticise that cynic for wondering if Petzke’s films are indeed equivalent to a collection of refereed papers. It should be noted that Bond is not alone when it comes to awarding candidates the PhD by Published Papers for work published or screened in the distant past. Although yet to grant it in the area of film or television, Swinburne University of Technology (SUT) is an institution that distinctly specifies its PhD by Publications is to be awarded for “research which has been carried out prior to admission to candidature” (8). Similarly, the Griffith Law School states: “The PhD (by publications) is awarded to established researchers who have an international reputation based on already published works” (1). It appears that Bond is no solitary voice in the academic wilderness, for SUT and the Griffith Law School also apparently consider the usual milestones of Confirmation and Final Seminars to be unnecessary if the so-called candidate is already well published. Like Bond, Griffith University (GU) is prepared to consider a collection of films to be equivalent to a number of refereed papers. Dr Ian Lang’s 2002 PhD (by Publication) thesis entitled Conditional Truths: Remapping Paths To Documentary ‘Independence’ contains not refereed, scholarly articles but the following videos: Wheels Across the Himalaya (1981); Yallambee, People of Hope (1986); This Is What I Call Living (1988); The Art of Place: Hanoi Brisbane Art Exchange (1995); and Millennium Shift: The Search for New World Art (1997). While this is a most impressive body of work, and is well unified by appropriate discussion within the thesis, the cynic who raised eyebrows at Petzke’s thesis might also be questioning this thesis: Dr Lang’s videos all preceded enrolment at GU and none have been refereed or acknowledged with major prizes. Certainly, the act of releasing a film for distribution has much in common with book publishing, but should these videos be considered to be on a par with academic papers published in, say, the prestigious and demanding journal Screen? While recognition at awards ceremonies might arguably correlate with peer review there is still the question as to how scholarly a film actually is. Of course, documentary films such as those in Lang’s thesis can be shown to be addressing gaps in the literature, as is the expectation of any research paper, but the onus remains on the author/film-maker to demonstrate this via a detailed contextual review and a well-written, erudite argument that unifies the works into a cohesive thesis. This Lang has done, to the extent that suspicious cynic might wonder why he chose not to present his work for a standard PhD award. Another issue unaddressed by most institutions is the possibility that the publications have been self-refereed or refereed by the candidate’s editorial colleagues in a case wherein the papers appear in a book the candidate has edited or co-edited. Dr Gillian Swanson’s 2004 GU thesis Towards a Cultural History of Private Life: Sexual Character, Consuming Practices and Cultural Knowledge, which addresses amongst many other cultural artefacts the film Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean 1962), has nine publications: five of which come from two books she co-edited, Nationalising Femininity: Culture, Sexuality and Cinema in Britain in World War Two, (Gledhill and Swanson 1996) and Deciphering Culture: Ordinary Curiosities and Subjective Narratives (Crisp et al 2000). While few would dispute the quality of Swanson’s work, the persistent cynic might wonder if these five papers really qualify as refereed publications. The tacit understanding of a refereed publication is that it is blind reviewed i.e. the contributor’s name is removed from the document. Such a system is used to prevent bias and favouritism but this level of anonymity might be absent when the contributor to a book is also one of the book’s editors. Of course, Dr Swanson probably took great care to distance herself from the refereeing process undertaken by her co-editors, but without an inbuilt check, allegations of cronyism from unfriendly cynics may well result. A related factor in making comparisons of different university’s PhDs by Published Papers is the requirements different universities have about the standard of the journal the paper is published in. It used to be a simple matter in Australia: the government’s Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) held a Register of Refereed Journals. If your benefactor in disseminating your work was on the list, your publications were of near-unquestionable quality. Not any more: DEST will no longer accept nominations for listing on the Register and will not undertake to rule on whether a particular journal article meets the HERDC [Higher Education Research Data Collection] requirements for inclusion in publication counts. HEPs [Higher Education Providers] have always had the discretion to determine if a publication produced in a journal meets the requirements for inclusion in the HERDC regardless of whether or not the journal was included on the Register of Refereed Journals. As stated in the HERDC specifications, the Register is not an exhaustive list of all journals which satisfy the peer-review requirements (DEST). The last listing for the DEST Register of Refereed Journals was the 3rd of February 2006, making way for a new tiered list of academic journals, which is currently under review in the Australian tertiary education sector (see discussion of this development in the Redden and Mitchell articles in this issue). In the interim, some university faculties created their own rankings of journals, but not the Faculty of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) where I am studying for my PhD by Published Papers. Although QUT does not have a list of ranked journals for a candidate to submit papers to, it is otherwise quite strict in its requirements. The QUT University Regulations state, “Papers submitted as a PhD thesis must be closely related in terms of subject matter and form a cohesive research narrative” (QUT PhD regulation 14.1.2). Thus there is the requirement at QUT that apart from the usual introduction, methodology and literature review, an argument must be made as to how the papers present a sustained research project via “an overarching discussion of the main features linking the publications” (14.2.12). It is also therein stated that it should be an “account of research progress linking the research papers” (4.2.6). In other words, a unifying essay must make an argument for consideration of the sometimes diversely published papers as a cohesive body of work, undertaken in a deliberate journey of research. In my own case, an aural auteur analysis of sound in the films of Rolf de Heer, I argue that my published papers (eight in total) represent a journey from genre analysis (one paper) to standard auteur analysis (three papers) to an argument that sound should be considered in auteur analysis (one paper) to the major innovation of the thesis, aural auteur analysis (three papers). It should also be noted that unlike Bond, GU or SUT, the QUT regulations for the standard PhD still apply: a Confirmation Seminar, Final Seminar and a minimum two years of full-time enrolment (with a minimum of three months residency in Brisbane) are all compulsory. Such milestones and sine qua non ensure the candidate’s academic progress and intellectual development such that she or he is able to confidently engage in meaningful quodlibets regarding the thesis’s topic. Another interesting and significant feature of the QUT guidelines for this type of degree is the edict that papers submitted must be “published, accepted or submitted during the period of candidature” (14.1.1). Similarly, the University of Canberra (UC) states “The articles or other published material must be prepared during the period of candidature” (10). Likewise, Edith Cowan University (ECU) will confer its PhD by Publications to those candidates whose thesis consists of “only papers published in refereed scholarly media during the period of enrolment” (2). In other words, one cannot simply front up to ECU, QUT, or UC with a résumé of articles or films published over a lifetime of writing or film-making and ask for a PhD by Published Papers. Publications of the candidate prepared prior to commencement of candidature are simply not acceptable at these institutions and such PhDs by Published Papers from QUT, UC and ECU are entirely different to those offered by Bond, GU and SUT. Furthermore, without a requirement for a substantial period of enrolment and residency, recipients of PhDs by Published Papers from Bond, GU, or SUT are unlikely to have participated significantly in the research environment of their relevant faculty and peers. Such newly minted doctors may be as unfamiliar with the campus and its research activities as the recipient of an honorary doctorate usually is, as he or she poses for the media’s cameras en route to the glamorous awards ceremony. Much of my argument in this paper is built upon the assumption that the process of refereeing a paper (or for that matter, a film) guarantees a high level of academic rigour, but I confess that this premise is patently naïve, if not actually flawed. Refereeing can result in the rejection of new ideas that conflict with the established opinions of the referees. Interdisciplinary collaboration can be impeded and the lack of referee’s accountability is a potential problem, too. It can also be no less nail-biting a process than the examination of a finished thesis, given that some journals take over a year to complete the refereeing process, and some journal’s editorial committees have recognised this shortcoming. Despite being a mainstay of its editorial approach since 1869, the prestigious science journal, Nature, which only publishes about 7% of its submissions, has led the way with regard to varying the procedure of refereeing, implementing in 2006 a four-month trial period of ‘Open Peer Review’. Their website states, Authors could choose to have their submissions posted on a preprint server for open comments, in parallel with the conventional peer review process. Anyone in the field could then post comments, provided they were prepared to identify themselves. Once the usual confidential peer review process is complete, the public ‘open peer review’ process was closed and the editors made their decision about publication with the help of all reports and comments (Campbell). Unfortunately, the experiment was unpopular with both authors and online peer reviewers. What the Nature experiment does demonstrate, however, is that the traditional process of blind refereeing is not yet perfected and can possibly evolve into something less problematic in the future. Until then, refereeing continues to be the best system there is for applying structured academic scrutiny to submitted papers. With the reforms of the higher education sector, including forced mergers of universities and colleges of advanced education and the re-introduction of university fees (carried out under the aegis of John Dawkins, Minister for Employment, Education and Training from 1987 to 1991), and the subsequent rationing of monies according to research dividends (calculated according to numbers of research degree conferrals and publications), there has been a veritable explosion in the number of institutions offering PhDs in Australia. But the general public may not always be capable of differentiating between legitimately accredited programs and diploma mills, given that the requirements for the first differ substantially. From relatively easily obtainable PhDs by Published Papers at Bond, GU and SUT to more rigorous requirements at ECU, QUT and UC, there is undoubtedly a huge range in the demands of degrees that recognise a candidate’s published body of work. The cynical reader may assume that with this paper I am simply trying to shore up my own forthcoming graduation with a PhD by Published papers from potential criticisms that it is on par with a ‘purchased’ doctorate. Perhaps they are right, for this is a new degree in QUT’s Creative Industries faculty and has only been awarded to one other candidate (Dr Marcus Foth for his 2006 thesis entitled Towards a Design Methodology to Support Social Networks of Residents in Inner-City Apartment Buildings). But I believe QUT is setting a benchmark, along with ECU and UC, to which other universities should aspire. In conclusion, I believe further efforts should be undertaken to heighten the differences in status between PhDs by Published Papers generated during enrolment, PhDs by Published Papers generated before enrolment and honorary doctorates awarded for non-academic published work. Failure to do so courts cynical comparison of all PhD by Published Papers with unearnt doctorates bought from Internet shysters. References Brown, George. “Protecting Australia’s Higher Education System: A Proactive Versus Reactive Approach in Review (1999–2004).” Proceedings of the Australian Universities Quality Forum 2004. Australian Universities Quality Agency, 2004. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.auqa.edu.au/auqf/2004/program/papers/Brown.pdf>. Campbell, Philip. “Nature Peer Review Trial and Debate.” Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. December 2006. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.nature.com/nature/peerreview/> Crisp, Jane, Kay Ferres, and Gillian Swanson, eds. Deciphering Culture: Ordinary Curiosities and Subjective Narratives. London: Routledge, 2000. Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST). “Closed—Register of Refereed Journals.” Higher Education Research Data Collection, 2008. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.dest.gov.au/sectors/research_sector/online_forms_services/ higher_education_research_data_ collection.htm>. Edith Cowan University. “Policy Content.” Postgraduate Research: Thesis by Publication, 2003. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.ecu.edu.au/GPPS/policies_db/tmp/ac063.pdf>. Gledhill, Christine, and Gillian Swanson, eds. Nationalising Femininity: Culture, Sexuality and Cinema in Britain in World War Two. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1996. Griffith Law School, Griffith University. Handbook for Research Higher Degree Students. 24 March 2004. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.griffith.edu.au/centre/slrc/pdf/rhdhandbook.pdf>. Jeffries, Stuart. “I’m a celebrity, get me an honorary degree!” The Guardian 6 July 2006. 11 June 2008 ‹http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/comment/story/0,,1813525,00.html>. Kermit the Frog. “Kermit’s Commencement Address at Southampton Graduate Campus.” Long Island University News 19 May 1996. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.southampton.liu.edu/news/commence/1996/kermit.htm>. McNamara, Eileen. “Honorary senselessness.” The Boston Globe 7 May 2006. ‹http://www. boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/05/07/honorary_senselessness/>. O’Loughlin, Shaunnagh. “Doctor Cave.” Monash Magazine 21 (May 2008). 13 Aug. 2008 ‹http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/monmag/issue21-2008/alumni/cave.html>. Queensland University of Technology. “Presentation of PhD Theses by Published Papers.” Queensland University of Technology Doctor of Philosophy Regulations (IF49). 12 Oct. 2007. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.mopp.qut.edu.au/Appendix/appendix09.jsp#14%20Presentation %20of%20PhD%20Theses>. Swinburne University of Technology. Research Higher Degrees and Policies. 14 Nov. 2007. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.swinburne.edu.au/corporate/registrar/ppd/docs/RHDpolicy& procedure.pdf>. University of Canberra. Higher Degrees by Research: Policy and Procedures (The Gold Book). 7.3.3.27 (a). 15 Nov. 2004. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.canberra.edu.au/research/attachments/ goldbook/Pt207_AB20approved3220arp07.pdf>.

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O'Hara, Lily, Jane Taylor, and Margaret Barnes. "We Are All Ballooning: Multimedia Critical Discourse Analysis of ‘Measure Up’ and ‘Swap It, Don’t Stop It’ Social Marketing Campaigns." M/C Journal 18, no.3 (June3, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.974.

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BackgroundIn the past twenty years the discourse of the weight-centred health paradigm (WCHP) has attained almost complete dominance in the sphere of public health policy throughout the developed English speaking world. The national governments of Australia and many countries around the world have responded to what is perceived as an ‘epidemic of obesity’ with public health policies and programs explicitly focused on reducing and preventing obesity through so called ‘lifestyle’ behaviour change. Weight-related public health initiatives have been subjected to extensive critique based on ideological, ethical and empirical grounds (Solovay; Oliver; Gaesser; Gard; Monaghan, Colls and Evans; Wright; Rothblum and Solovay; Saguy; Rich, Monaghan and Aphramor; Bacon and Aphramor; Brown). Many scholars have raised concerns about the stigmatising and harmful effects of the WCHP (Aphramor; Bacon and Aphramor; O'Dea; Tylka et al.), and in particular the inequitable distribution of such negative impacts on women, people who are poor, and people of colour (Campos). Weight-based stigma is now well recognised as a pervasive and insidious form of stigma (Puhl and Heuer). Weight-based discrimination (a direct result of stigma) in the USA has a similar prevalence rate to race-based discrimination, and discrimination for fatter and younger people in particular is even higher (Puhl, Andreyeva and Brownell). Numerous scholars have highlighted the stigmatising discourse evident in obesity prevention programs and policies (O'Reilly and Sixsmith; Pederson et al.; Nuffield Council on Bioethics; ten Have et al.; MacLean et al.; Carter, Klinner, et al.; Fry; O'Dea; Rich, Monaghan and Aphramor). The ‘war on obesity’ can therefore be regarded as a social determinant of poor health (O'Hara and Gregg). Focusing on overweight and obese people is not only damaging to people’s health, but is ineffective in addressing the broader social and economic issues that create health and wellbeing (Cohen, Perales and Steadman; MacLean et al.; Walls et al.). Analyses of the discourses used in weight-related public health initiatives have highlighted oppressive, stigmatizing and discriminatory discourses that position body weight as pathological (O'Reilly; Pederson et al.), anti-social and a threat to the viable future of society (White). There has been limited analysis of discourses in Australian social marketing campaigns focused on body weight (Lupton; Carter, Rychetnik, et al.).Social Marketing CampaignsIn 2006 the Australian, State and Territory Governments funded the Measure Up social marketing campaign (Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing "Measure Up"). As the name suggests Measure Up focuses on the measurement of health through body weight and waist circumference. Campaign resources include brochures, posters, a tape measure, a 12 week planner, a community guide and a television advertisem*nt. Campaign slogans are ‘The more you gain, the more you have to lose’ and ‘How do you measure up?’Tomorrow People is the component of Measure Up designed for Indigenous Australians (Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing "Tomorrow People"). Tomorrow People resources focus on healthy eating and physical activity and include a microsite on the Measure Up website, booklet, posters, print and radio advertisem*nts. The campaign slogan is ‘Tomorrow People starts today. Do it for our kids. Do it for our culture.’ In 2011, phase two of the Measure Up campaign was launched (Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing "Swap It, Don't Stop It"). The central premise of Swap It, Don’t Stop It is that you ‘can lose your belly without losing all the things you love’ by making ‘simple’ swaps of behaviours related to eating and physical activity. The campaign’s central character Eric is made from a balloon, as are all of the other characters and visual items used in the campaign. Eric claims thatover the years my belly has ballooned and ballooned. It’s come time to do something about it — the last thing I want is to end up with some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. That’s why I’ve become a Swapper! What’s a swapper? It’s simple really. It just means swapping some of the things I’m doing now for healthier choices. That way I can lose my belly, without losing all the things I love. It’s easy! The campaign has produced around 30 branded resource items including brochures, posters, cards, fact sheets, recipes, and print, radio, television and online advertisem*nts. All resources include references to Eric and most also include the image of the tape measure used in the Measure Up campaign. The Swap It, Don’t Stop It campaign also includes resources specifically directed at Indigenous Australians including two posters from the generic campaign with a dot painting motif added to the background. MethodologyThe epistemological position in this project was constructivist (Crotty) and the theoretical perspective was critical theory (Crotty). Multimedia critical discourse analysis (Machin and Mayr) was the methodology used to examine the social marketing campaigns and identify the discourses within them. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) focuses on critiquing text for evidence of power and ideology. CDA is used to reveal the ideas, absences and assumptions, and therefore the power interests buried within texts, in order to bring about social change. As a method, CDA has a structured three dimensional approach involving textual practice analysis (for lexicon) at the core, within the context of discursive practice analysis (for rhetorical and lexical strategies particularly with respect to claims-making), which falls within the context of social practice analysis (Jacobs). Social practice analysis explores the role played by power and ideology in supporting or disturbing the discourse (Jacobs; Machin and Mayr). Multimodal CDA (MCDA) uses a broad definition of text to include words, pictures, symbols, ideas, themes or any message that can be communicated (Machin and Mayr). Analysis of the social marketing campaigns involved examining the vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, visuals and overall structure of the text for textual, discursive and social practices.Results and DiscussionIndividual ResponsibilityThe discourse of individual responsibility is strongly evident in the campaigns. In this discourse, it is ultimately the individual who is held responsible for their body weight and their health. The individual responsibility discourse is signified by the discursive practice of using epistemic (related to the truth or certainty) and deontic (compelling or instructing) modality words, particularly modal verbs and modal adverbs. High modality epistemic words are used to convince the reader of the certainty of statements and to portray the statement-maker as authoritative. High modality deontic words are used to instil power and authority in the instructions.The extensive use of high modality epistemic and deontic words is demonstrated in the following paragraph assembled from various campaign materials: Ultimately (epistemic modality adverb) individuals must take responsibility (deontic modality verb) for their own health, including their and weight. Obesity is caused (epistemic modality verb) by an imbalance in energy intake (from diet) (epistemic modality verb) and expenditure (from activity) (epistemic modality verb). Individually (epistemic modality adverb) we make decisions (epistemic modality verb) about how much we eat (epistemic modality verb) and how much activity we undertake (epistemic modality verb). Each of us can control (epistemic modality) our own weight by controlling (deontic modality) what we eat (deontic modality verb) and how much we exercise (deontic modality verb). To correct (deontic modality verb) the energy imbalance, individuals need to develop (deontic modality verb) a healthy lifestyle by making changes (deontic modality verb) to correct (deontic modality verb) their dietary habits and increase (deontic modality verb) their activity levels. The verbs must, control, correct, develop, change, increase, eat and exercise are deontic modality verbs designed to instruct or compel the reader.These discursive practices result in the clear message that individuals can and must control, correct and change their eating and physical activity, and thereby control their weight and health. The implication of the individualist discourse is that individuals, irrespective of their genes, life-course, social position or environment, are charged with the responsibility of being more self-surveying, self-policing, self-disciplined and self-controlled, and therefore healthier. This is consistent with the individualist orientation of neoliberal ideology, and has been identified in various critiques of obesity prevention public health programs that centralise the self-responsible subject (Murray; Rich, Monaghan and Aphramor) and the concept of ‘healthism’, the moral obligation to pursue health through healthy behaviours or healthy lifestyles (Aphramor and Gingras; Mansfield and Rich). The hegemonic Western-centric individualist discourse has also been critiqued for its role in subordinating or silencing other models of health and wellbeing including Aboriginal or indigenous models, that do not place the individual in the centre (McPhail-Bell, Fredericks and Brough).Obesity Causes DiseaseEpistemic modality verbs are used as a discursive practice to portray the certainty or probability of the relationship between obesity and chronic disease. The strength of the epistemic modality verbs is generally moderate, with terms such as ‘linked’, ‘associated’, ‘connected’, ‘related’ and ‘contributes to’ most commonly used to describe the relationship. The use of such verbs may suggest recognition of uncertainty or at least lack of causality in the relationship. However this lowered modality is counterbalanced by the use of verbs with higher epistemic modality such as ‘causes’, ‘leads to’, and ‘is responsible for’. For example:The other type is intra-abdominal fat. This is the fat that coats our organs and causes the most concern. Even though we don’t yet fully understand what links intra-abdominal fat with chronic disease, we do know that even a small deposit of this fat increases the risk of serious health problems’. (Swap It, Don’t Stop It Website; italics added)Thus the prevailing impression is that there is an objective, definitive, causal relationship between obesity and a range of chronic diseases. The obesity-chronic disease discourse is reified through the discursive practice of claims-making, whereby statements related to the problem of obesity and its relationship with chronic disease are attributed to authoritative experts or expert organisations. The textual practice of presupposition is evident with the implied causal relationship between obesity and chronic disease being taken for granted and uncontested. Through the textual practice of lexical absence, there is a complete lack of alternative views about body weight and health. Likewise there is an absence of acknowledgement of the potential harms arising from focusing on body weight, such as increased body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, and, paradoxically, weight gain.Shame and BlameBoth Measure Up and Swap It, Don’t Stop It include a combination of written/verbal text and visual images that create a sense of shame and blame. In Measure Up, the central character starts out as young, slim man, and as he ages his waist circumference grows. When he learns that his expanding waistline is associated with an increased risk of chronic disease, his facial expression and body language convey that he is sad, dejected and fearful. In the still images, this character and a female character are positioned looking down at the tape measure as they measure their ‘too large’ waists. This position and the looks on their faces suggest hanging their heads in shame. The male characters in both campaigns specifically express shame about “letting themselves go” by unthinkingly practicing ‘unhealthy’ behaviours. The characters’ clothing also contribute to a sense of shame. Both male and female characters in Measure Up appear in their underwear, which suggests that they are being publicly shamed. The clothing of the Measure Up characters is similar to that worn by contestants in the television program The Biggest Loser, which explicitly uses shame to ‘motivate’ contestants to lose weight. Part of the public shaming of contestants involves their appearance in revealing exercise clothing for weigh-ins, which displays their fatness for all to see (Thomas, Hyde and Komesaroff). The stigmatising effects of this and other aspects of the Biggest Loser television program are well documented (Berry et al.; Domoff et al.; Sender and Sullivan; Thomas, Hyde and Komesaroff; Yoo). The appearance of the Measure Up characters in their underwear combined with their head position and facial expressions conveys a strong, consistent message that the characters both feel shame and are deserving of shame due to their self-inflicted ‘unhealthy’ behaviours. The focus on ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ behaviours contributes to accepted and contested health identities (Fry). The ‘accepted health identity’ is represented as responsible and aspiring to and pursuing good health. The ‘contested health identity’ is represented as unhealthy, consuming too much food, and taking health risks, and this identity is stigmatised by public health programs (Fry). The ‘contested health identity’ represents the application to public health of Goffman’s ‘spoiled identity’ on which much stigmatisation theorising and research has been based (Goffman). As a result of both lexical and visual textual practices, the social marketing campaigns contribute to the construction of the ‘accepted health identity’ through discourses of individual responsibility, choice and healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, they contribute to the construction of the spoiled or ‘contested health identity’ through discourses that people are naturally unhealthy and need to be frightened, guilted and shamed into stopping ‘unhealthy’ behaviours and adopting ‘healthy’ behaviours. The ‘contested health identity’ constructed through these discourses is in turn stigmatised by such discourses. Thus the campaigns not only risk perpetuating stigmatisation through the reinforcement of the health identities, but possibly extend it further by legitimising the stigma associated with such identities. Given that these campaigns are conducted by the Australian Government, the already deeply stigmatising social belief system receives a significant boost in legitimacy by being positioned as a public health belief system perpetrated by the Government. Fear and AlarmIn the Measure Up television advertisem*nt the main male character’s daughter, who has run into the frame, abruptly stops and looks fearful when she hears about his increased risk of disease. Using the discursive practice of claims-making, the authoritative external source informs the man that the more he gains (in terms of his waist circumference), the more he has to lose. The clear implication is that he needs to be fearful of losing his health, his family and even his life if he doesn’t reduce his waist circumference. The visual metaphor of a balloon is used as the central semiotic trope in Swap It, Don’t Stop It. The characters and other items featuring in the visuals are all made from twisting balloons. Balloons themselves may not create fear or alarm, unless one is unfortunate to be afflicted with globophobia (Freed), but the visual metaphor of the balloon in the social marketing campaign had a range of alarmist meanings. At the population level, rates and/or costs of obesity have been described in news items as ‘ballooning’ (Body Ecology; Stipp; AFP; Thien and Begawan) with accompanying visual images of extremely well-rounded bodies or ‘headless fatties’ (Cooper). Rapid or significant weight gain is referred to in everyday language as ‘ballooning weight’. The use of the balloon metaphor as a visual device in Swap It, Don’t Stop It serves to reinforce and extend these alarmist messages. Further, there is no attempt in the campaigns to reduce alarm by including positive or neutral photographs or images of fat people. This visual semiotic absence – a form of cultural imperialism (Young) – contributes to the invisibilisation of ‘real life’ fat people who are not ashamed of themselves. Habermas suggests that society evolves and operationalises through rational communication which includes the capacity to question the validity of claims made within communicative action (Habermas The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere; Habermas The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalisation of Society). However the communicative action taken by the social marketing campaigns analysed in this study presents claims as uncontested facts and is therefore directorial about the expectations of individuals to take more responsibility for themselves, adopt certain behaviours and reduce or prevent obesity. Habermas argues that the lack or distortion of rational communication erodes relationships at the individual and societal levels (Habermas The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalisation of Society; Habermas The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere). The communicative actions represented by the social marketing campaigns represents a distortion of rational communication and therefore erodes the wellbeing of individuals (for example through internalised stigma, shame, guilt, body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, disordered eating and avoidance of health care), relationships between individuals (for example through increased blame, coercion, stigma, bias, prejudice and discrimination) and society (for example through stigmatisation of groups in the population on the basis of their body size and increased social and health inequity). Habermas proposes that power differentials work to distort rational communication, and that it is these distortions in communication that need to be the focal point for change (Habermas The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalisation of Society; Habermas The Theory of Communicative Action: The Critique of Functionalist Reason; Habermas The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere). Through critical analysis of the discourses used in the social marketing campaigns, we identified that they rely on the power, authority and status of experts to present uncontested representations of body weight and ‘appropriate’ health responses to it. In identifying the discourses present in the social marketing campaigns, we hope to focus attention on and thereby disrupt the distortions in the practical knowledge of the weight-centred health paradigm in order to contribute to systemic reorientation and change.ConclusionThrough the use of textual, discursive and social practices, the social marketing campaigns analysed in this study perpetuate the following concepts: everyone should be alarmed about growing waistlines and ‘ballooning’ rates of ‘obesity’; individuals are to blame for excess body weight, due to ignorance and the practice of ‘unhealthy behaviours’; individuals have a moral, parental, familial and cultural responsibility to monitor their weight and adopt ‘healthy’ eating and physical activity behaviours; such behaviour changes are easy to make and will result in weight loss, which will reduce risk of disease. 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International Journal of Obesity 32 (2008): 992-1000.Rich, Emma, Lee Monaghan, and Lucy Aphramor, eds. Debating Obesity: Critical Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011. Rothblum, Esther, and Sondra Solovay, eds. The Fat Studies Reader. New York: New York University Press, 2009. Saguy, Abigail. What's Wrong with Fat? New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.Sender, Katherine, and Margaret Sullivan. "Epidemics of Will, Failures of Self-Esteem: Responding to Fat Bodies in The Biggest Loser and What Not to Wear." Continuum 22.4 (2008): 573-84. Solovay, Sondra. Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight-Based Discrimination. New York: Prometheus Books, 2000.Stipp, David. "Obesity — Not Aging — Balloons Health Care Costs." Pacific Standard 2011. 17 Sep. 2013 ‹http://www.psmag.com/health/obesity-aging-cause-ballooning-health-care-costs-31879/›.Ten Have, M., et al. "Ethics and Prevention of Overweight and Obesity: An Inventory." Obesity Reviews 12.9 (2011): 669-79. Thien, Rachel, and Bandar Seri Begawan. "Obesity Balloons among Brunei Students." The Brunei Times 2010. 17 Sep. 2013 ‹http://www.bt.com.bn/news-national/2010/02/10/obesity-balloons-among-brunei-students›.Thomas, Samantha, Jim Hyde, and Paul Komesaroff. "'Cheapening the Struggle:' Obese People's Attitudes towards the Biggest Loser." Obesity Management 3.5 (2007): 210-15. Tylka, Tracy L., et al. "The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss." Journal of Obesity (2014): 18. Article ID 983495.Walls, Helen, et al. "Public Health Campaigns and Obesity – A Critique." BMC Public Health 11.1 (2011): 136. White, Francis Ray. "Fat, Queer, Dead: ‘Obesity’ and the Death Drive." Somatechnics 2.1 (2012): 1-17. Wright, Jan. "Biopower, Biopedagogies and the Obesity Epidemic." Biopolitics and the ‘Obesity Epidemic’: Governing Bodies. Ed. Jan Wright and Valerie Harwood. New York: Routledge, 2009. 1-14.Yoo, Jina H. "No Clear Winner: Effects of the Biggest Loser on the Stigmatization of Obese Persons." Health Communication 28.3 (2013): 294-303. Young, Iris Marion. "Five Faces of Oppression." The Philosophical Forum 19.4 (1988): 270-90.

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Polain, Marcella Kathleen. "Writing with an Ear to the Ground: The Armenian Genocide's "Stubborn Murmur"." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (March19, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.591.

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1909–22: Turkey exterminated over 1.5 million of its ethnically Armenian, and hundreds of thousands of its ethnically Greek and Assyrian, citizens. Most died in 1915. This period of decimation in now widely called the Armenian Genocide (Balakian 179-80).1910: Siamanto first published his poem, The Dance: “The corpses were piled as trees, / and from the springs, from the streams and the road, / the blood was a stubborn murmur.” When springs run red, when the dead are stacked tree-high, when “everything that could happen has already happened,” then time is nothing: “there is no future [and] the language of civilised humanity is not our language” (Nichanian 142).2007: In my novel The Edge of the World a ceramic bowl, luminous blue, recurs as motif. Imagine you are tiny: the bowl is broken but you don’t remember breaking it. You’re awash with tears. You sit on the floor, gather shards but, no matter how you try, you can’t fix it. Imagine, now, that the bowl is the sky, huge and upturned above your head. You have always known, through every wash of your blood, that life is shockingly precarious. Silence—between heartbeats, between the words your parents speak—tells you: something inside you is terribly wrong; home is not home but there is no other home; you “can never be fully grounded in a community which does not share or empathise with the experience of persecution” (Wajnryb 130). This is the stubborn murmur of your body.Because time is nothing, this essay is fragmented, non-linear. Its main characters: my mother, grandmother (Hovsanna), grandfather (Benyamin), some of my mother’s older siblings (Krikor, Maree, Hovsep, Arusiak), and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (Ottoman military officer, Young Turk leader, first president of Turkey). 1915–2013: Turkey invests much energy in genocide denial, minimisation and deflection of responsibility. 24 April 2012: Barack Obama refers to the Medz Yeghern (Great Calamity). The use of this term is decried as appeasem*nt, privileging political alliance with Turkey over human rights. 2003: Between Genocide and Catastrophe, letters between Armenian-American theorist David Kazanjian and Armenian-French theorist Marc Nichanian, contest the naming of the “event” (126). Nichanian says those who call it the Genocide are:repeating every day, everywhere, in all places, the original denial of the Catastrophe. But this is part of the catastrophic structure of the survivor. By using the word “Genocide”, we survivors are only repeating […] the denial of the loss. We probably cannot help it. We are doing what the executioner wanted us to do […] we claim all over the world that we have been “genocided;” we relentlessly need to prove our own death. We are still in the claws of the executioner. We still belong to the logic of the executioner. (127)1992: In Revolution and Genocide, historian Robert Melson identifies the Armenian Genocide as “total” because it was public policy intended to exterminate a large fraction of Armenian society, “including the families of its members, and the destruction of its social and cultural identity in most or all aspects” (26).1986: Boyajian and Grigorian assert that the Genocide “is still operative” because, without full acknowledgement, “the ghosts won’t go away” (qtd. in Hovannisian 183). They rise up from earth, silence, water, dreams: Armenian literature, Armenian homes haunted by them. 2013: My heart pounds: Medz Yeghern, Aksor (Exile), Anashmaneli (Indefinable), Darakrutiun (Deportation), Chart (Massacre), Brnagaght (Forced migration), Aghed (Catastrophe), Genocide. I am awash. Time is nothing.1909–15: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was both a serving Ottoman officer and a leader of the revolutionary Young Turks. He led Ottoman troops in the repulsion of the Allied invasion before dawn on 25 April at Gallipoli and other sites. Many troops died in a series of battles that eventually saw the Ottomans triumph. Out of this was born one of Australia’s founding myths: Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs), courageous in the face of certain defeat. They are commemorated yearly on 25 April, ANZAC Day. To question this myth is to risk being labelled traitor.1919–23: Ataturk began a nationalist revolution against the occupying Allies, the nascent neighbouring Republic of Armenia, and others. The Allies withdrew two years later. Ataturk was installed as unofficial leader, becoming President in 1923. 1920–1922: The last waves of the Genocide. 2007: Robert Manne published A Turkish Tale: Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide, calling for a recontextualisation of the cultural view of the Gallipoli landings in light of the concurrence of the Armenian Genocide, which had taken place just over the rise, had been witnessed by many military personnel and widely reported by international media at the time. Armenian networks across Australia were abuzz. There were media discussions. I listened, stared out of my office window at the horizon, imagined Armenian communities in Sydney and Melbourne. Did they feel like me—like they were holding their breath?Then it all went quiet. Manne wrote: “It is a wonderful thing when, at the end of warfare, hatred dies. But I struggle to understand why Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide continue to exist for Australians in parallel moral universes.” 1992: I bought an old house to make a home for me and my two small children. The rooms were large, the ceilings high, and behind it was a jacaranda with a sturdy tree house built high up in its fork. One of my mother’s Armenian friends kindly offered to help with repairs. He and my mother would spend Saturdays with us, working, looking after the kids. Mum would stay the night; her friend would go home. But one night he took a sleeping bag up the ladder to the tree house, saying it reminded him of growing up in Lebanon. The following morning he was subdued; I suspect there were not as many mosquitoes in Lebanon as we had in our garden. But at dinner the previous night he had been in high spirits. The conversation had turned, as always, to politics. He and my mother had argued about Turkey and Russia, Britain’s role in the development of the Middle East conflict, the USA’s roughshod foreign policy and its effect on the world—and, of course, the Armenian Genocide, and the killingof Turkish governmental representatives by Armenians, in Australia and across the world, during the 1980s. He had intimated he knew the attackers and had materially supported them. But surely it was the beer talking. Later, when I asked my mother, she looked at me with round eyes and shrugged, uncharacteristically silent. 2002: Greek-American diva Diamanda Galas performed Dexifiones: Will and Testament at the Perth Concert Hall, her operatic work for “the forgotten victims of the Armenian and Anatolian Greek Genocide” (Galas).Her voice is so powerful it alters me.1925: My grandmother, Hovsanna, and my grandfather, Benyamin, had twice been separated in the Genocide (1915 and 1922) and twice reunited. But in early 1925, she had buried him, once a prosperous businessman, in a swamp. Armenians were not permitted burial in cemeteries. Once they had lived together in a big house with their dozen children; now there were only three with her. Maree, half-mad and 18 years old, and quiet Hovsep, aged seven,walked. Then five-year-old aunt, Arusiak—small, hungry, tired—had been carried by Hovsanna for months. They were walking from Cilicia to Jerusalem and its Armenian Quarter. Someone had said they had seen Krikor, her eldest son, there. Hovsanna was pregnant for the last time. Together the four reached Aleppo in Syria, found a Christian orphanage for girls, and Hovsanna, her pregnancy near its end, could carry Arusiak no further. She left her, promising to return. Hovsanna’s pains began in Beirut’s busy streets. She found privacy in the only place she could, under a house, crawled in. Whenever my mother spoke of her birth she described it like this: I was born under a stranger’s house like a dog.1975: My friend and I travelled to Albany by bus. After six hours we were looking down York Street, between Mount Clarence and Mount Melville, and beyond to Princess Royal Harbour, sapphire blue, and against which the town’s prosperous life—its shopfronts, hotels, cars, tourists, historic buildings—played out. It took away my breath: the deep harbour, whaling history, fishing boats. Rain and sun and scudding cloud; cliffs and swells; rocky points and the white curves of bays. It was from Albany that young Western Australian men, volunteers for World War I, embarked on ships for the Middle East, Gallipoli, sailing out of Princess Royal Harbour.1985: The Australian Government announced that Turkey had agreed to have the site of the 1915 Gallipoli landings renamed Anzac Cove. Commentators and politicians acknowledged it as historic praised Turkey for her generosity, expressed satisfaction that, 70 years on, former foes were able to embrace the shared human experience of war. We were justifiably proud of ourselves.2005: Turkey made her own requests. The entrance to Albany’s Princess Royal Harbour was renamed Ataturk Channel. A large bronze statue of Ataturk was erected on the headland overlooking the Harbour entrance. 24 April 1915: In the town of Hasan Beyli, in Cilicia, southwest Turkey, my great grandfather, a successful and respected businessman in his 50s, was asleep in his bed beside his wife. He had been born in that house, as had his father, grandfather, and all his children. His brother, my great uncle, had bought the house next door as a young man, brought his bride home to it, lived there ever since; between the two households there had been one child after another. All the cousins grew up together. My great grandfather and great uncle had gone to work that morning, despite their wives’ concerns, but had returned home early. The women had been relieved to see them. They made coffee, talked. Everyone had heard the rumours. Enemy ships were massing off the coast. 1978: The second time in Albany was my honeymoon. We had driven into the Goldfields then headed south. Such distance, such beautiful strangeness: red earth, red rocks; scant forests of low trees, thin arms outstretched; the dry, pale, flat land of Norseman. Shimmering heat. Then the big, wild coast.On our second morning—a cool, overcast day—we took our handline to a jetty. The ocean was mercury; a line of cormorants settled and bobbed. Suddenly fish bit; we reeled them in. I leaned over the jetty’s side, looked down into the deep. The water was clear and undisturbed save the twirling of a pike that looked like it had reversed gravity and was shooting straight up to me. Its scales flashed silver as itbroke the surface.1982: How could I concentrate on splicing a film with this story in my head? Besides the desk, the only other furniture in the editing suite was a whiteboard. I took a marker and divided the board into three columns for the three generations: my grandparents, Hovsanna and Benyamin; my mother; someone like me. There was a lot in the first column, some in the second, nothing in the third. I stared at the blankness of my then-young life.A teacher came in to check my editing. I tried to explain what I had been doing. “I think,” he said, stony-faced, “that should be your third film, not your first.”When he had gone I stared at the reels of film, the white board blankness, the wall. It took 25 years to find the form, the words to say it: a novel not a film, prose not pictures.2007: Ten minutes before the launch of The Edge of the World, the venue was empty. I made myself busy, told myself: what do you expect? Your research has shown, over and over, this is a story about which few know or very much care, an inconvenient, unfashionable story; it is perfectly in keeping that no-one will come. When I stepped onto the rostrum to speak, there were so many people that they crowded the doorway, spilled onto the pavement. “I want to thank my mother,” I said, “who, pretending to do her homework, listened instead to the story her mother told other Armenian survivor-women, kept that story for 50 years, and then passed it on to me.” 2013: There is a section of The Edge of the World I needed to find because it had really happened and, when it happened, I knew, there in my living room, that Boyajian and Grigorian (183) were right about the Armenian Genocide being “still operative.” But I knew even more than that: I knew that the Diaspora triggered by genocide is both rescue and weapon, the new life in this host nation both sanctuary and betrayal. I picked up a copy, paced, flicked, followed my nose, found it:On 25 April, the day after Genocide memorial-day, I am watching television. The Prime Minister stands at the ANZAC memorial in western Turkey and delivers a poetic and moving speech. My eyes fill with tears, and I moan a little and cover them. In his speech he talks about the heroism of the Turkish soldiers in their defence of their homeland, about the extent of their losses – sixty thousand men. I glance at my son. He raises his eyebrows at me. I lose count of how many times Kemal Ataturk is mentioned as the Father of Modern Turkey. I think of my grandmother and grandfather, and all my baby aunts and uncles […] I curl over like a mollusc; the ache in my chest draws me in. I feel small and very tired; I feel like I need to wash.Is it true that if we repeat something often enough and loud enough it becomes the truth? The Prime Minister quotes Kemal Ataturk: the ANZACS who died and are buried on that western coast are deemed ‘sons of Turkey’. My son turns my grandfather’s, my mother’s, my eyes to me and says, It is amazing they can be so friendly after we attacked them.I draw up my knees to my chest, lay my head and arms down. My limbs feel weak and useless. My throat hurts. I look at my Australian son with his Armenian face (325-6).24 April 1915 cont: There had been trouble all my great grandfather’s life: pogrom here, massacre there. But this land was accustomed to colonisers: the Mongols, the Persians, latterly the Ottomans. They invade, conquer, rise, fall; Armenians stay. This had been Armenian homeland for thousands of years.No-one masses ships off a coast unless planning an invasion. So be it. These Europeans could not be worse than the Ottomans. That night, were my great grandfather and great uncle awoken by the pounding at each door, or by the horses and gendarmes’ boots? They were seized, each family herded at gunpoint into its garden, and made to watch. Hanging is slow. There could be no mistakes. The gendarmes used the stoutest branches, stayed until they were sure the men weredead. This happened to hundreds of prominent Armenian men all over Turkey that night.Before dawn, the Allies made landfall.Each year those lost in the Genocide are remembered on 24 April, the day before ANZAC Day.1969: I asked my mother if she had any brothers and sisters. She froze, her hands in the sink. I stared at her, then slipped from the room.1915: The Ottoman government decreed: all Armenians were to surrender their documents and report to authorities. Able-bodied men were taken away, my grandfather among them. Women and children, the elderly and disabled, were told to prepare to walk to a safe camp where they would stay for the duration of the war. They would be accompanied by armed soldiers for their protection. They were permitted to take with them what they could carry (Bryce 1916).It began immediately, pretty young women and children first. There are so many ways to kill. Months later, a few dazed, starved survivors stumbled into the Syrian desert, were driven into lakes, or herded into churches and set alight.Most husbands and fathers were never seen again. 2003: I arrived early at my son’s school, parked in the shade, opened The Silence: How Tragedy Shapes Talk, and began to read. Soon I was annotating furiously. Ruth Wajnryb writes of “growing up among innocent peers in an innocent landscape” and also that the notion of “freedom of speech” in Australia “seems often, to derive from that innocent landscape where reside people who have no personal scars or who have little relevant historical knowledge” (141).1984: I travelled to Vancouver, Canada, and knocked on Arusiak’s door. Afraid she would not agree to meet me, I hadn’t told her I was coming. She was welcoming and gracious. This was my first experience of extended family and I felt loved in a new and important way, a way I had read about, had observed in my friends, had longed for. One afternoon she said, “You know our mother left me in an orphanage…When I saw her again, it was too late. I didn’t know who they were, what a family was. I felt nothing.” “Yes, I know,” I replied, my heart full and hurting. The next morning, over breakfast, she quietly asked me to leave. 1926: When my mother was a baby, her 18 year-old sister, Maree, tried to drown her in the sea. My mother clearly recalled Maree’s face had been disfigured by a sword. Hovsanna, would ask my mother to forgive Maree’s constant abuse and bad behaviour, saying, “She is only half a person.”1930: Someone gave Hovsanna the money to travel to Aleppo and reclaim Arusiak, by then 10 years old. My mother was intrigued by the appearance of this sister but Arusiak was watchful and withdrawn. When she finally did speak to my then five-year-old mother, she hissed: “Why did she leave me behind and keep you?”Soon after Arusiak appeared, Maree, “only half a person,” disappeared. My mother was happy about that.1935: At 15, Arusiak found a live-in job and left. My mother was 10 years old; her brother Hovsep, who cared for her before and after school every day while their mother worked, and always had, was seventeen. She adored him. He had just finished high school and was going to study medicine. One day he fell ill. He died within a week.1980: My mother told me she never saw her mother laugh or, once Hovsep died, in anything other than black. Two or three times before Hovsep died, she saw her smile a little, and twice she heard her singing when she thought she was alone: “A very sad song,” my mother would say, “that made me cry.”1942: At seventeen, my mother had been working as a live-in nanny for three years. Every week on her only half-day off she had caught the bus home. But now Hovsanna was in hospital, so my mother had been visiting her there. One day her employer told her she must go to the hospital immediately. She ran. Hovsanna was lying alone and very still. Something wasn’t right. My mother searched the hospital corridors but found no-one. She picked up a phone. When someone answered she told them to send help. Then she ran all the way home, grabbed Arusiak’s photograph and ran all the way back. She laid it on her mother’s chest, said, “It’s all right, Mama, Arusiak’s here.”1976: My mother said she didn’t like my boyfriend; I was not to go out with him. She said she never disobeyed her own mother because she really loved her mother. I went out with my boyfriend. When I came home, my belongings were on the front porch. The door was bolted. I was seventeen.2003: I read Wajnryb who identifies violent eruptions of anger and frozen silences as some of the behaviours consistent in families with a genocidal history (126). 1970: My father had been dead over a year. My brothers and I were, all under 12, made too much noise. My mother picked up the phone: she can’t stand us, she screamed; she will call an orphanage to take us away. We begged.I fled to my room. I couldn’t sit down. I couldn’t keep still. I paced, pressed my face into a corner; shook and cried, knowing (because she had always told us so) that she didn’t make idle threats, knowing that this was what I had sometimes glimpsed on her face when she looked at us.2012: The Internet reveals images of Ataturk’s bronze statue overlooking Princess Royal Harbour. Of course, it’s outsized, imposing. The inscription on its plinth reads: "Peace at Home/ Peace in the World." He wears a suit, looks like a scholar, is moving towards us, a scroll in his hand. The look in his eyes is all intensity. Something distant has arrested him – a receding or re-emerging vision. Perhaps a murmur that builds, subsides, builds again. (Medz Yeghern, Aksor, Aghed, Genocide). And what is written on that scroll?2013: My partner suggested we go to Albany, escape Perth’s brutal summer. I tried to explain why it’s impossible. There is no memorial in Albany, or anywhere else in Western Australia, to the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide. ReferencesAkcam, Taner. “The Politics of Genocide.” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 11 Dec. 2011. 6 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.youtube.com/watchv=OxAJaaw81eU&noredirect=1genocide›.Balakian, Peter. The Burning Tigress: The Armenian Genocide. London: William Heinemann, 2004.BBC. “Kemal Ataturk (1881–1938).” BBC History. 2013. 6 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/ataturk_kemal.shtml›.Boyajian, Levon, and Haigaz Grigorian. “Psychological Sequelae of the Armenian Genocide.”The Armenian Genocide in Perspective. Ed. Richard Hovannisian. New Brunswick: Transaction, 1987. 177–85.Bryce, Viscount. The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1916.Galas, Diamanda. Program Notes. Dexifiones: Will and Testament. Perth Concert Hall, Perth, Australia. 2001.———.“Dexifiones: Will and Testament FULL Live Lisboa 2001 Part 1.” Online Video Clip. YouTube, 5 Nov. 2011. Web. 6 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvVnYbxWArM›.Kazanjian, David, and Marc Nichanian. “Between Genocide and Catastrophe.” Loss. Eds. David Eng and David Kazanjian. Los Angeles: U of California P, 2003. 125–47.Manne, Robert. “A Turkish Tale: Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide.” The Monthly Feb. 2007. 6 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.themonthly.com.au/turkish-tale-gallipoli-and-armenian-genocide-robert-manne-459›.Matiossian, Vartan. “When Dictionaries Are Left Unopened: How ‘Medz Yeghern’ Turned into a Terminology of Denial.” The Armenian Weekly 27 Nov. 2012. 6 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/11/27/when-dictionaries-are-left-unopened-how-medz-yeghern-turned-into-terminology-of-denial/›.Melson, Robert. Revolution and Genocide. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1996.Nicholson, Brendan. “ASIO Detected Bomb Plot by Armenian Terrorists.” The Australian 2 Jan. 2012. 6 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/cabinet-papers/asio-detected-bomb-plot-by-armenian-terrorists/story-fnbkqb54-1226234411154›.“President Obama Issues Statement on Armenian Remembrance Day.” The Armenian Weekly 24 Apr. 2012. 5 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/04/24/president-obama-issues-statement-on-armenian-remembrance-day/›.Polain, Marcella. The Edge of the World. Fremantle: Fremantle Press, 2007.Siamanto. “The Dance.” Trans. Peter Balakian and Nervart Yaghlian. Adonias Dalgas Memorial Page 5 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.terezakis.com/dalgas.html›.Stockings, Craig. “Let’s Have a Truce in the Battle of the Anzac Myth.” The Australian 25 Apr. 2012. 6 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/lets-have-a-truce-in-the-battle-of-the-anzac-myth/story-e6frgd0x-1226337486382›.Wajnryb, Ruth. The Silence: How Tragedy Shapes Talk. Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin, 2001.

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Currie, Susan, and Donna Lee Brien. "Mythbusting Publishing: Questioning the ‘Runaway Popularity’ of Published Biography and Other Life Writing." M/C Journal 11, no.4 (July1, 2008). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.43.

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Introduction: Our current obsession with the lives of others “Biography—that is to say, our creative and non-fictional output devoted to recording and interpreting real lives—has enjoyed an extraordinary renaissance in recent years,” writes Nigel Hamilton in Biography: A Brief History (1). Ian Donaldson agrees that biography is back in fashion: “Once neglected within the academy and relegated to the dustier recesses of public bookstores, biography has made a notable return over recent years, emerging, somewhat surprisingly, as a new cultural phenomenon, and a new academic adventure” (23). For over a decade now, commentators having been making similar observations about our obsession with the intimacies of individual people’s lives. In a lecture in 1994, Justin Kaplan asserted the West was “a culture of biography” (qtd. in Salwak 1) and more recent research findings by John Feather and Hazel Woodbridge affirm that “the undiminished human curiosity about other peoples lives is clearly reflected in the popularity of autobiographies and biographies” (218). At least in relation to television, this assertion seems valid. In Australia, as in the USA and the UK, reality and other biographically based television shows have taken over from drama in both the numbers of shows produced and the viewers these shows attract, and these forms are also popular in Canada (see, for instance, Morreale on The Osbournes). In 2007, the program Biography celebrated its twentieth anniversary season to become one of the longest running documentary series on American television; so successful that in 1999 it was spun off into its own eponymous channel (Rak; Dempsey). Premiered in May 1996, Australian Story—which aims to utilise a “personal approach” to biographical storytelling—has won a significant viewership, critical acclaim and professional recognition (ABC). It can also be posited that the real home movies viewers submit to such programs as Australia’s Favourite Home Videos, and “chat” or “confessional” television are further reflections of a general mania for biographical detail (see Douglas), no matter how fragmented, sensationalized, or even inane and cruel. A recent example of the latter, the USA-produced The Moment of Truth, has contestants answering personal questions under polygraph examination and then again in front of an audience including close relatives and friends—the more “truthful” their answers (and often, the more humiliated and/or distressed contestants are willing to be), the more money they can win. Away from television, but offering further evidence of this interest are the growing readerships for personally oriented weblogs and networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook (Grossman), individual profiles and interviews in periodical publications, and the recently widely revived newspaper obituary column (Starck). Adult and community education organisations run short courses on researching and writing auto/biographical forms and, across Western countries, the family history/genealogy sections of many local, state, and national libraries have been upgraded to meet the increasing demand for these services. Academically, journals and e-mail discussion lists have been established on the topics of biography and autobiography, and North American, British, and Australian universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in life writing. The commonly aired wisdom is that published life writing in its many text-based forms (biography, autobiography, memoir, diaries, and collections of personal letters) is enjoying unprecedented popularity. It is our purpose to examine this proposition. Methodological problems There are a number of problems involved in investigating genre popularity, growth, and decline in publishing. Firstly, it is not easy to gain access to detailed statistics, which are usually only available within the industry. Secondly, it is difficult to ascertain how publishing statistics are gathered and what they report (Eliot). There is the question of whether bestselling booklists reflect actual book sales or are manipulated marketing tools (Miller), although the move from surveys of booksellers to electronic reporting at point of sale in new publishing lists such as BookScan will hopefully obviate this problem. Thirdly, some publishing lists categorise by subject and form, some by subject only, and some do not categorise at all. This means that in any analysis of these statistics, a decision has to be made whether to use the publishing list’s system or impose a different mode. If the publishing list is taken at face value, the question arises of whether to use categorisation by form or by subject. Fourthly, there is the bedeviling issue of terminology. Traditionally, there reigned a simple dualism in the terminology applied to forms of telling the true story of an actual life: biography and autobiography. Publishing lists that categorise their books, such as BookScan, have retained it. But with postmodern recognition of the presence of the biographer in a biography and of the presence of other subjects in an autobiography, the dichotomy proves false. There is the further problem of how to categorise memoirs, diaries, and letters. In the academic arena, the term “life writing” has emerged to describe the field as a whole. Within the genre of life writing, there are, however, still recognised sub-genres. Academic definitions vary, but generally a biography is understood to be a scholarly study of a subject who is not the writer; an autobiography is the story of a entire life written by its subject; while a memoir is a segment or particular focus of that life told, again, by its own subject. These terms are, however, often used interchangeably even by significant institutions such the USA Library of Congress, which utilises the term “biography” for all. Different commentators also use differing definitions. Hamilton uses the term “biography” to include all forms of life writing. Donaldson discusses how the term has been co-opted to include biographies of place such as Peter Ackroyd’s London: The Biography (2000) and of things such as Lizzie Collingham’s Curry: A Biography (2005). This reflects, of course, a writing/publishing world in which non-fiction stories of places, creatures, and even foodstuffs are called biographies, presumably in the belief that this will make them more saleable. The situation is further complicated by the emergence of hybrid publishing forms such as, for instance, the “memoir-with-recipes” or “food memoir” (Brien, Rutherford and Williamson). Are such books to be classified as autobiography or put in the “cookery/food & drink” category? We mention in passing the further confusion caused by novels with a subtitle of The Biography such as Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. The fifth methodological problem that needs to be mentioned is the increasing globalisation of the publishing industry, which raises questions about the validity of the majority of studies available (including those cited herein) which are nationally based. Whether book sales reflect what is actually read (and by whom), raises of course another set of questions altogether. Methodology In our exploration, we were fundamentally concerned with two questions. Is life writing as popular as claimed? And, if it is, is this a new phenomenon? To answer these questions, we examined a range of available sources. We began with the non-fiction bestseller lists in Publishers Weekly (a respected American trade magazine aimed at publishers, librarians, booksellers, and literary agents that claims to be international in scope) from their inception in 1912 to the present time. We hoped that this data could provide a longitudinal perspective. The term bestseller was coined by Publishers Weekly when it began publishing its lists in 1912; although the first list of popular American books actually appeared in The Bookman (New York) in 1895, based itself on lists appearing in London’s The Bookman since 1891 (Bassett and Walter 206). The Publishers Weekly lists are the best source of longitudinal information as the currently widely cited New York Times listings did not appear till 1942, with the Wall Street Journal a late entry into the field in 1994. We then examined a number of sources of more recent statistics. We looked at the bestseller lists from the USA-based Amazon.com online bookseller; recent research on bestsellers in Britain; and lists from Nielsen BookScan Australia, which claims to tally some 85% or more of books sold in Australia, wherever they are published. In addition to the reservations expressed above, caveats must be aired in relation to these sources. While Publishers Weekly claims to be an international publication, it largely reflects the North American publishing scene and especially that of the USA. Although available internationally, Amazon.com also has its own national sites—such as Amazon.co.uk—not considered here. It also caters to a “specific computer-literate, credit-able clientele” (Gutjahr: 219) and has an unashamedly commercial focus, within which all the information generated must be considered. In our analysis of the material studied, we will use “life writing” as a genre term. When it comes to analysis of the lists, we have broken down the genre of life writing into biography and autobiography, incorporating memoir, letters, and diaries under autobiography. This is consistent with the use of the terminology in BookScan. Although we have broken down the genre in this way, it is the overall picture with regard to life writing that is our concern. It is beyond the scope of this paper to offer a detailed analysis of whether, within life writing, further distinctions should be drawn. Publishers Weekly: 1912 to 2006 1912 saw the first list of the 10 bestselling non-fiction titles in Publishers Weekly. It featured two life writing texts, being headed by an autobiography, The Promised Land by Russian Jewish immigrant Mary Antin, and concluding with Albert Bigelow Paine’s six-volume biography, Mark Twain. The Publishers Weekly lists do not categorise non-fiction titles by either form or subject, so the classifications below are our own with memoir classified as autobiography. In a decade-by-decade tally of these listings, there were 3 biographies and 20 autobiographies in the lists between 1912 and 1919; 24 biographies and 21 autobiographies in the 1920s; 13 biographies and 40 autobiographies in the 1930s; 8 biographies and 46 biographies in the 1940s; 4 biographies and 14 autobiographies in the 1950s; 11 biographies and 13 autobiographies in the 1960s; 6 biographies and 11 autobiographies in the 1970s; 3 biographies and 19 autobiographies in the 1980s; 5 biographies and 17 autobiographies in the 1990s; and 2 biographies and 7 autobiographies from 2000 up until the end of 2006. See Appendix 1 for the relevant titles and authors. Breaking down the most recent figures for 1990–2006, we find a not radically different range of figures and trends across years in the contemporary environment. The validity of looking only at the top ten books sold in any year is, of course, questionable, as are all the issues regarding sources discussed above. But one thing is certain in terms of our inquiry. There is no upwards curve obvious here. If anything, the decade break-down suggests that sales are trending downwards. This is in keeping with the findings of Michael Korda, in his history of twentieth-century bestsellers. He suggests a consistent longitudinal picture across all genres: In every decade, from 1900 to the end of the twentieth century, people have been reliably attracted to the same kind of books […] Certain kinds of popular fiction always do well, as do diet books […] self-help books, celebrity memoirs, sensationalist scientific or religious speculation, stories about pets, medical advice (particularly on the subjects of sex, longevity, and child rearing), folksy wisdom and/or humour, and the American Civil War (xvii). Amazon.com since 2000 The USA-based Amazon.com online bookselling site provides listings of its own top 50 bestsellers since 2000, although only the top 14 bestsellers are recorded for 2001. As fiction and non-fiction are not separated out on these lists and no genre categories are specified, we have again made our own decisions about what books fall into the category of life writing. Generally, we erred on the side of inclusion. (See Appendix 2.) However, when it came to books dealing with political events, we excluded books dealing with specific aspects of political practice/policy. This meant excluding books on, for instance, George Bush’s so-called ‘war on terror,’ of which there were a number of bestsellers listed. In summary, these listings reveal that of the top 364 books sold by Amazon from 2000 to 2007, 46 (or some 12.6%) were, according to our judgment, either biographical or autobiographical texts. This is not far from the 10% of the 1912 Publishers Weekly listing, although, as above, the proportion of bestsellers that can be classified as life writing varied dramatically from year to year, with no discernible pattern of peaks and troughs. This proportion tallied to 4% auto/biographies in 2000, 14% in 2001, 10% in 2002, 18% in 2003 and 2004, 4% in 2005, 14% in 2006 and 20% in 2007. This could suggest a rising trend, although it does not offer any consistent trend data to suggest sales figures may either continue to grow, or fall again, in 2008 or afterwards. Looking at the particular texts in these lists (see Appendix 2) also suggests that there is no general trend in the popularity of life writing in relation to other genres. For instance, in these listings in Amazon.com, life writing texts only rarely figure in the top 10 books sold in any year. So rarely indeed, that from 2001 there were only five in this category. In 2001, John Adams by David McCullough was the best selling book of the year; in 2003, Hillary Clinton’s autobiographical Living History was 7th; in 2004, My Life by Bill Clinton reached number 1; in 2006, Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman was 9th; and in 2007, Ishmael Beah’s discredited A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier came in at 8th. Apart from McCulloch’s biography of Adams, all the above are autobiographical texts, while the focus on leading political figures is notable. Britain: Feather and Woodbridge With regard to the British situation, we did not have actual lists and relied on recent analysis. John Feather and Hazel Woodbridge find considerably higher levels for life writing in Britain than above with, from 1998 to 2005, 28% of British published non-fiction comprising autobiography, while 8% of hardback and 5% of paperback non-fiction was biography (2007). Furthermore, although Feather and Woodbridge agree with commentators that life writing is currently popular, they do not agree that this is a growth state, finding the popularity of life writing “essentially unchanged” since their previous study, which covered 1979 to the early 1990s (Feather and Reid). Australia: Nielsen BookScan 2006 and 2007 In the Australian publishing industry, where producing books remains an ‘expensive, risky endeavour which is increasingly market driven’ (Galligan 36) and ‘an inherently complex activity’ (Carter and Galligan 4), the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal that the total numbers of books sold in Australia has remained relatively static over the past decade (130.6 million in the financial year 1995–96 and 128.8 million in 2003–04) (ABS). During this time, however, sales volumes of non-fiction publications have grown markedly, with a trend towards “non-fiction, mass market and predictable” books (Corporall 41) resulting in general non-fiction sales in 2003–2004 outselling general fiction by factors as high as ten depending on the format—hard- or paperback, and trade or mass market paperback (ABS 2005). However, while non-fiction has increased in popularity in Australia, the same does not seem to hold true for life writing. Here, in utilising data for the top 5,000 selling non-fiction books in both 2006 and 2007, we are relying on Nielsen BookScan’s categorisation of texts as either biography or autobiography. In 2006, no works of life writing made the top 10 books sold in Australia. In looking at the top 100 books sold for 2006, in some cases the subjects of these works vary markedly from those extracted from the Amazon.com listings. In Australia in 2006, life writing makes its first appearance at number 14 with convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby’s My Story. This is followed by another My Story at 25, this time by retired Australian army chief, Peter Cosgrove. Jonestown: The Power and Myth of Alan Jones comes in at 34 for the Australian broadcaster’s biographer Chris Masters; the biography, The Innocent Man by John Grisham at 38 and Li Cunxin’s autobiographical Mao’s Last Dancer at 45. Australian Susan Duncan’s memoir of coping with personal loss, Salvation Creek: An Unexpected Life makes 50; bestselling USA travel writer Bill Bryson’s autobiographical memoir of his childhood The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid 69; Mandela: The Authorised Portrait by Rosalind Coward, 79; and Joanne Lees’s memoir of dealing with her kidnapping, the murder of her partner and the justice system in Australia’s Northern Territory, No Turning Back, 89. These books reveal a market preference for autobiographical writing, and an almost even split between Australian and overseas subjects in 2006. 2007 similarly saw no life writing in the top 10. The books in the top 100 sales reveal a downward trend, with fewer titles making this band overall. In 2007, Terri Irwin’s memoir of life with her famous husband, wildlife warrior Steve Irwin, My Steve, came in at number 26; musician Andrew Johns’s memoir of mental illness, The Two of Me, at 37; Ayaan Hirst Ali’s autobiography Infidel at 39; John Grogan’s biography/memoir, Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, at 42; Sally Collings’s biography of the inspirational young survivor Sophie Delezio, Sophie’s Journey, at 51; and Elizabeth Gilbert’s hybrid food, self-help and travel memoir, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything at 82. Mao’s Last Dancer, published the year before, remained in the top 100 in 2007 at 87. When moving to a consideration of the top 5,000 books sold in Australia in 2006, BookScan reveals only 62 books categorised as life writing in the top 1,000, and only 222 in the top 5,000 (with 34 titles between 1,000 and 1,999, 45 between 2,000 and 2,999, 48 between 3,000 and 3,999, and 33 between 4,000 and 5,000). 2007 shows a similar total of 235 life writing texts in the top 5,000 bestselling books (75 titles in the first 1,000, 27 between 1,000 and 1,999, 51 between 2,000 and 2,999, 39 between 3,000 and 3,999, and 43 between 4,000 and 5,000). In both years, 2006 and 2007, life writing thus not only constituted only some 4% of the bestselling 5,000 titles in Australia, it also showed only minimal change between these years and, therefore, no significant growth. Conclusions Our investigation using various instruments that claim to reflect levels of book sales reveals that Western readers’ willingness to purchase published life writing has not changed significantly over the past century. We find no evidence of either a short, or longer, term growth or boom in sales in such books. Instead, it appears that what has been widely heralded as a new golden age of life writing may well be more the result of an expanded understanding of what is included in the genre than an increased interest in it by either book readers or publishers. What recent years do appear to have seen, however, is a significantly increased interest by public commentators, critics, and academics in this genre of writing. We have also discovered that the issue of our current obsession with the lives of others tends to be discussed in academic as well as popular fora as if what applies to one sub-genre or production form applies to another: if biography is popular, then autobiography will also be, and vice versa. If reality television programming is attracting viewers, then readers will be flocking to life writing as well. Our investigation reveals that such propositions are questionable, and that there is significant research to be completed in mapping such audiences against each other. This work has also highlighted the difficulty of separating out the categories of written texts in publishing studies, firstly in terms of determining what falls within the category of life writing as distinct from other forms of non-fiction (the hybrid problem) and, secondly, in terms of separating out the categories within life writing. Although we have continued to use the terms biography and autobiography as sub-genres, we are aware that they are less useful as descriptors than they are often assumed to be. In order to obtain a more complete and accurate picture, publishing categories may need to be agreed upon, redefined and utilised across the publishing industry and within academia. This is of particular importance in the light of the suggestions (from total sales volumes) that the audiences for books are limited, and therefore the rise of one sub-genre may be directly responsible for the fall of another. Bair argues, for example, that in the 1980s and 1990s, the popularity of what she categorises as memoir had direct repercussions on the numbers of birth-to-death biographies that were commissioned, contracted, and published as “sales and marketing staffs conclude[d] that readers don’t want a full-scale life any more” (17). Finally, although we have highlighted the difficulty of using publishing statistics when there is no common understanding as to what such data is reporting, we hope this study shows that the utilisation of such material does add a depth to such enquiries, especially in interrogating the anecdotal evidence that is often quoted as data in publishing and other studies. Appendix 1 Publishers Weekly listings 1990–1999 1990 included two autobiographies, Bo Knows Bo by professional athlete Bo Jackson (with Dick Schaap) and Ronald Reagan’s An America Life: An Autobiography. In 1991, there were further examples of life writing with unimaginative titles, Me: Stories of My Life by Katherine Hepburn, Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography by Kitty Kelley, and Under Fire: An American Story by Oliver North with William Novak; as indeed there were again in 1992 with It Doesn’t Take a Hero: The Autobiography of Norman Schwarzkopf, Sam Walton: Made in America, the autobiography of the founder of Wal-Mart, Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton, Every Living Thing, yet another veterinary outpouring from James Herriot, and Truman by David McCullough. In 1993, radio shock-jock Howard Stern was successful with the autobiographical Private Parts, as was Betty Eadie with her detailed recounting of her alleged near-death experience, Embraced by the Light. Eadie’s book remained on the list in 1994 next to Don’t Stand too Close to a Naked Man, comedian Tim Allen’s autobiography. Flag-waving titles continue in 1995 with Colin Powell’s My American Journey, and Miss America, Howard Stern’s follow-up to Private Parts. 1996 saw two autobiographical works, basketball superstar Dennis Rodman’s Bad as I Wanna Be and figure-skater, Ekaterina Gordeeva’s (with EM Swift) My Sergei: A Love Story. In 1997, Diana: Her True Story returns to the top 10, joining Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and prolific biographer Kitty Kelly’s The Royals, while in 1998, there is only the part-autobiography, part travel-writing A Pirate Looks at Fifty, by musician Jimmy Buffet. There is no biography or autobiography included in either the 1999 or 2000 top 10 lists in Publishers Weekly, nor in that for 2005. In 2001, David McCullough’s biography John Adams and Jack Welch’s business memoir Jack: Straight from the Gut featured. In 2002, Let’s Roll! Lisa Beamer’s tribute to her husband, one of the heroes of 9/11, written with Ken Abraham, joined Rudolph Giuliani’s autobiography, Leadership. 2003 saw Hillary Clinton’s autobiography Living History and Paul Burrell’s memoir of his time as Princess Diana’s butler, A Royal Duty, on the list. In 2004, it was Bill Clinton’s turn with My Life. In 2006, we find John Grisham’s true crime (arguably a biography), The Innocent Man, at the top, Grogan’s Marley and Me at number three, and the autobiographical The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama in fourth place. Appendix 2 Amazon.com listings since 2000 In 2000, there were only two auto/biographies in the top Amazon 50 bestsellers with Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life about his battle with cancer at 20, and Dave Eggers’s self-consciously fictionalised memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius at 32. In 2001, only the top 14 bestsellers were recorded. At number 1 is John Adams by David McCullough and, at 11, Jack: Straight from the Gut by USA golfer Jack Welch. In 2002, Leadership by Rudolph Giuliani was at 12; Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro at 29; Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper by Patricia Cornwell at 42; Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative by David Brock at 48; and Louis Gerstner’s autobiographical Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance: Inside IBM’s Historic Turnaround at 50. In 2003, Living History by Hillary Clinton was 7th; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson 14th; Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How President Bill Clinton Endangered America’s Long-Term National Security by Robert Patterson 20th; Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer 32nd; Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor of Jordan 33rd; Kate Remembered, Scott Berg’s biography of Katharine Hepburn, 37th; Who’s your Caddy?: Looping for the Great, Near Great and Reprobates of Golf by Rick Reilly 39th; The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship about a winning baseball team by David Halberstam 42nd; and Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong 49th. In 2004, My Life by Bill Clinton was the best selling book of the year; American Soldier by General Tommy Franks was 16th; Kevin Phillips’s American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush 18th; Timothy Russert’s Big Russ and Me: Father and Son. Lessons of Life 20th; Tony Hendra’s Father Joe: The Man who Saved my Soul 23rd; Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton 27th; co*kie Roberts’s Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised our Nation 31st; Kitty Kelley’s The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty 42nd; and Chronicles, Volume 1 by Bob Dylan was 43rd. In 2005, auto/biographical texts were well down the list with only The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion at 45 and The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls at 49. In 2006, there was a resurgence of life writing with Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman at 9; Grisham’s The Innocent Man at 12; Bill Buford’s food memoir Heat: an Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany at 23; more food writing with Julia Child’s My Life in France at 29; Immaculée Ilibagiza’s Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust at 30; CNN anchor Anderson Cooper’s Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters and Survival at 43; and Isabella Hatkoff’s Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship (between a baby hippo and a giant tortoise) at 44. In 2007, Ishmael Beah’s discredited A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier came in at 8; Walter Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe 13; Ayaan Hirst Ali’s autobiography of her life in Muslim society, Infidel, 18; The Reagan Diaries 25; Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI 29; Mother Teresa: Come be my Light 36; Clapton: The Autobiography 40; Tina Brown’s The Diana Chronicles 45; Tony Dungy’s Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices & Priorities of a Winning Life 47; and Daniel Tammet’s Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant at 49. Acknowledgements A sincere thank you to Michael Webster at RMIT for assistance with access to Nielsen BookScan statistics, and to the reviewers of this article for their insightful comments. Any errors are, of course, our own. References Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). “About Us.” Australian Story 2008. 1 June 2008. ‹http://www.abc.net.au/austory/aboutus.htm>. Australian Bureau of Statistics. “1363.0 Book Publishers, Australia, 2003–04.” 2005. 1 June 2008 ‹http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/1363.0>. Bair, Deirdre “Too Much S & M.” Sydney Morning Herald 10–11 Sept. 2005: 17. Basset, Troy J., and Christina M. Walter. “Booksellers and Bestsellers: British Book Sales as Documented by The Bookman, 1891–1906.” Book History 4 (2001): 205–36. Brien, Donna Lee, Leonie Rutherford, and Rosemary Williamson. “Hearth and Hotmail: The Domestic Sphere as Commodity and Community in Cyberspace.” M/C Journal 10.4 (2007). 1 June 2008 ‹http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/10-brien.php>. Carter, David, and Anne Galligan. “Introduction.” Making Books: Contemporary Australian Publishing. St Lucia: U of Queensland P, 2007. 1–14. Corporall, Glenda. Project Octopus: Report Commissioned by the Australian Society of Authors. Sydney: Australian Society of Authors, 1990. Dempsey, John “Biography Rewrite: A&E’s Signature Series Heads to Sib Net.” Variety 4 Jun. 2006. 1 June 2008 ‹http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117944601.html?categoryid=1238&cs=1>. Donaldson, Ian. “Matters of Life and Death: The Return of Biography.” Australian Book Review 286 (Nov. 2006): 23–29. Douglas, Kate. “‘Blurbing’ Biographical: Authorship and Autobiography.” Biography 24.4 (2001): 806–26. Eliot, Simon. “Very Necessary but not Sufficient: A Personal View of Quantitative Analysis in Book History.” Book History 5 (2002): 283–93. Feather, John, and Hazel Woodbridge. “Bestsellers in the British Book Industry.” Publishing Research Quarterly 23.3 (Sept. 2007): 210–23. Feather, JP, and M Reid. “Bestsellers and the British Book Industry.” Publishing Research Quarterly 11.1 (1995): 57–72. Galligan, Anne. “Living in the Marketplace: Publishing in the 1990s.” Publishing Studies 7 (1999): 36–44. Grossman, Lev. “Time’s Person of the Year: You.” Time 13 Dec. 2006. Online edition. 1 June 2008 ‹http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0%2C9171%2C1569514%2C00.html>. Gutjahr, Paul C. “No Longer Left Behind: Amazon.com, Reader Response, and the Changing Fortunes of the Christian Novel in America.” Book History 5 (2002): 209–36. Hamilton, Nigel. Biography: A Brief History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2007. Kaplan, Justin. “A Culture of Biography.” The Literary Biography: Problems and Solutions. Ed. Dale Salwak. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1996. 1–11. Korda, Michael. Making the List: A Cultural History of the American Bestseller 1900–1999. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2001. Miller, Laura J. “The Bestseller List as Marketing Tool and Historical Fiction.” Book History 3 (2000): 286–304. Morreale, Joanne. “Revisiting The Osbournes: The Hybrid Reality-Sitcom.” Journal of Film and Video 55.1 (Spring 2003): 3–15. Rak, Julie. “Bio-Power: CBC Television’s Life & Times and A&E Network’s Biography on A&E.” LifeWriting 1.2 (2005): 1–18. Starck, Nigel. “Capturing Life—Not Death: A Case For Burying The Posthumous Parallax.” Text: The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs 5.2 (2001). 1 June 2008 ‹http://www.textjournal.com.au/oct01/starck.htm>.

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Franks, Rachel. "Cooking in the Books: Cookbooks and Cookery in Popular Fiction." M/C Journal 16, no.3 (June22, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.614.

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Introduction Food has always been an essential component of daily life. Today, thinking about food is a much more complicated pursuit than planning the next meal, with food studies scholars devoting their efforts to researching “anything pertaining to food and eating, from how food is grown to when and how it is eaten, to who eats it and with whom, and the nutritional quality” (Duran and MacDonald 234). This is in addition to the work undertaken by an increasingly wide variety of popular culture researchers who explore all aspects of food (Risson and Brien 3): including food advertising, food packaging, food on television, and food in popular fiction. In creating stories, from those works that quickly disappear from bookstore shelves to those that become entrenched in the literary canon, writers use food to communicate the everyday and to explore a vast range of ideas from cultural background to social standing, and also use food to provide perspectives “into the cultural and historical uniqueness of a given social group” (Piatti-Farnell 80). For example in Oliver Twist (1838) by Charles Dickens, the central character challenges the class system when: “Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger and reckless with misery. He rose from the table, and advancing basin and spoon in hand, to the master, said, somewhat alarmed at his own temerity–‘Please, sir, I want some more’” (11). Scarlett O’Hara in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind (1936) makes a similar point, a little more dramatically, when she declares: “As God is my witness, I’m never going to be hungry again” (419). Food can also take us into the depths of another culture: places that many of us will only ever read about. Food is also used to provide insight into a character’s state of mind. In Nora Ephron’s Heartburn (1983) an item as simple as boiled bread tells a reader so much more about Rachel Samstat than her preferred bakery items: “So we got married and I got pregnant and I gave up my New York apartment and moved to Washington. Talk about mistakes [...] there I was, trying to hold up my end in a city where you can’t even buy a decent bagel” (34). There are three ways in which writers can deal with food within their work. Firstly, food can be totally ignored. This approach is sometimes taken despite food being such a standard feature of storytelling that its absence, be it a lonely meal at home, elegant canapés at an impressively catered co*cktail party, or a cheap sandwich collected from a local café, is an obvious omission. Food can also add realism to a story, with many authors putting as much effort into conjuring the smell, taste, and texture of food as they do into providing a backstory and a purpose for their characters. In recent years, a third way has emerged with some writers placing such importance upon food in fiction that the line that divides the cookbook and the novel has become distorted. This article looks at cookbooks and cookery in popular fiction with a particular focus on crime novels. Recipes: Ingredients and Preparation Food in fiction has been employed, with great success, to help characters cope with grief; giving them the reassurance that only comes through the familiarity of the kitchen and the concentration required to fulfil routine tasks: to chop and dice, to mix, to sift and roll, to bake, broil, grill, steam, and fry. Such grief can come from the breakdown of a relationship as seen in Nora Ephron’s Heartburn (1983). An autobiography under the guise of fiction, this novel is the first-person story of a cookbook author, a description that irritates the narrator as she feels her works “aren’t merely cookbooks” (95). She is, however, grateful she was not described as “a distraught, rejected, pregnant cookbook author whose husband was in love with a giantess” (95). As the collapse of the marriage is described, her favourite recipes are shared: Bacon Hash; Four Minute Eggs; Toasted Almonds; Lima Beans with Pears; Linguine Alla Cecca; Pot Roast; three types of Potatoes; Sorrel Soup; desserts including Bread Pudding, Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie and Peach Pie; and a Vinaigrette, all in an effort to reassert her personal skills and thus personal value. Grief can also result from loss of hope and the realisation that a life long dreamed of will never be realised. Like Water for Chocolate (1989), by Laura Esquivel, is the magical realist tale of Tita De La Garza who, as the youngest daughter, is forbidden to marry as she must take care of her mother, a woman who: “Unquestionably, when it came to dividing, dismantling, dismembering, desolating, detaching, dispossessing, destroying or dominating […] was a pro” (87). Tita’s life lurches from one painful, unjust episode to the next; the only emotional stability she has comes from the kitchen, and from her cooking of a series of dishes: Christmas Rolls; Chabela Wedding Cake; Quail in Rose Petal Sauce; Turkey Mole; Northern-style Chorizo; Oxtail Soup; Champandongo; Chocolate and Three Kings’s Day Bread; Cream Fritters; and Beans with Chilli Tezcucana-style. This is a series of culinary-based activities that attempts to superimpose normalcy on a life that is far from the everyday. Grief is most commonly associated with death. Undertaking the selection, preparation and presentation of meals in novels dealing with bereavement is both a functional and symbolic act: life must go on for those left behind but it must go on in a very different way. Thus, novels that use food to deal with loss are particularly important because they can “make non-cooks believe they can cook, and for frequent cooks, affirm what they already know: that cooking heals” (Baltazar online). In Angelina’s Bachelors (2011) by Brian O’Reilly, Angelina D’Angelo believes “cooking was not just about food. It was about character” (2). By the end of the first chapter the young woman’s husband is dead and she is in the kitchen looking for solace, and survival, in cookery. In The Kitchen Daughter (2011) by Jael McHenry, Ginny Selvaggio is struggling to cope with the death of her parents and the friends and relations who crowd her home after the funeral. Like Angelina, Ginny retreats to the kitchen. There are, of course, exceptions. In Ntozake Shange’s Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo (1982), cooking celebrates, comforts, and seduces (Calta). This story of three sisters from South Carolina is told through diary entries, narrative, letters, poetry, songs, and spells. Recipes are also found throughout the text: Turkey; Marmalade; Rice; Spinach; Crabmeat; Fish; Sweetbread; Duck; Lamb; and, Asparagus. Anthony Capella’s The Food of Love (2004), a modern retelling of the classic tale of Cyrano de Bergerac, is about the beautiful Laura, a waiter masquerading as a top chef Tommaso, and the talented Bruno who, “thick-set, heavy, and slightly awkward” (21), covers for Tommaso’s incompetency in the kitchen as he, too, falls for Laura. The novel contains recipes and contains considerable information about food: Take fusilli […] People say this pasta was designed by Leonardo da Vinci himself. The spiral fins carry the biggest amount of sauce relative to the surface area, you see? But it only works with a thick, heavy sauce that can cling to the grooves. Conchiglie, on the other hand, is like a shell, so it holds a thin, liquid sauce inside it perfectly (17). Recipes: Dishing Up Death Crime fiction is a genre with a long history of focusing on food; from the theft of food in the novels of the nineteenth century to the utilisation of many different types of food such as chocolate, marmalade, and sweet omelettes to administer poison (Berkeley, Christie, Sayers), the latter vehicle for arsenic receiving much attention in Harriet Vane’s trial in Dorothy L. Sayers’s Strong Poison (1930). The Judge, in summing up the case, states to the members of the jury: “Four eggs were brought to the table in their shells, and Mr Urquhart broke them one by one into a bowl, adding sugar from a sifter [...he then] cooked the omelette in a chafing dish, filled it with hot jam” (14). Prior to what Timothy Taylor has described as the “pre-foodie era” the crime fiction genre was “littered with corpses whose last breaths smelled oddly sweet, or bitter, or of almonds” (online). Of course not all murders are committed in such a subtle fashion. In Roald Dahl’s Lamb to the Slaughter (1953), Mary Maloney murders her policeman husband, clubbing him over the head with a frozen leg of lamb. The meat is roasting nicely when her husband’s colleagues arrive to investigate his death, the lamb is offered and consumed: the murder weapon now beyond the recovery of investigators. Recent years have also seen more and more crime fiction writers present a central protagonist working within the food industry, drawing connections between the skills required for food preparation and those needed to catch a murderer. Working with cooks or crooks, or both, requires planning and people skills in addition to creative thinking, dedication, reliability, stamina, and a willingness to take risks. Kent Carroll insists that “food and mysteries just go together” (Carroll in Calta), with crime fiction website Stop, You’re Killing Me! listing, at the time of writing, over 85 culinary-based crime fiction series, there is certainly sufficient evidence to support his claim. Of the numerous works available that focus on food there are many series that go beyond featuring food and beverages, to present recipes as well as the solving of crimes. These include: the Candy Holliday Murder Mysteries by B. B. Haywood; the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle; the Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke; the Hemlock Falls Mysteries by Claudia Bishop; the Memphis BBQ Mysteries by Riley Adams; the Piece of Cake Mysteries by Jacklyn Brady; the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs; and, the White House Chef Mysteries by Julie Hyzy. The vast majority of offerings within this female dominated sub-genre that has been labelled “Crime and Dine” (Collins online) are American, both in origin and setting. A significant contribution to this increasingly popular formula is, however, from an Australian author Kerry Greenwood. Food features within her famed Phryne Fisher Series with recipes included in A Question of Death (2007). Recipes also form part of Greenwood’s food-themed collection of short crime stories Recipes for Crime (1995), written with Jenny Pausacker. These nine stories, each one imitating the style of one of crime fiction’s greatest contributors (from Agatha Christie to Raymond Chandler), allow readers to simultaneously access mysteries and recipes. 2004 saw the first publication of Earthly Delights and the introduction of her character, Corinna Chapman. This series follows the adventures of a woman who gave up a career as an accountant to open her own bakery in Melbourne. Corinna also investigates the occasional murder. Recipes can be found at the end of each of these books with the Corinna Chapman Recipe Book (nd), filled with instructions for baking bread, muffins and tea cakes in addition to recipes for main courses such as risotto, goulash, and “Chicken with Pineapple 1971 Style”, available from the publisher’s website. Recipes: Integration and Segregation In Heartburn (1983), Rachel acknowledges that presenting a work of fiction and a collection of recipes within a single volume can present challenges, observing: “I see that I haven’t managed to work in any recipes for a while. It’s hard to work in recipes when you’re moving the plot forward” (99). How Rachel tells her story is, however, a reflection of how she undertakes her work, with her own cookbooks being, she admits, more narration than instruction: “The cookbooks I write do well. They’re very personal and chatty–they’re cookbooks in an almost incidental way. I write chapters about friends or relatives or trips or experiences, and work in the recipes peripherally” (17). Some authors integrate detailed recipes into their narratives through description and dialogue. An excellent example of this approach can be found in the Coffeehouse Mystery Series by Cleo Coyle, in the novel On What Grounds (2003). When the central protagonist is being questioned by police, Clare Cosi’s answers are interrupted by a flashback scene and instructions on how to make Greek coffee: Three ounces of water and one very heaped teaspoon of dark roast coffee per serving. (I used half Italian roast, and half Maracaibo––a lovely Venezuelan coffee, named after the country’s major port; rich in flavour, with delicate wine overtones.) / Water and finely ground beans both go into the ibrik together. The water is then brought to a boil over medium heat (37). This provides insight into Clare’s character; that, when under pressure, she focuses her mind on what she firmly believes to be true – not the information that she is doubtful of or a situation that she is struggling to understand. Yet breaking up the action within a novel in this way–particularly within crime fiction, a genre that is predominantly dependant upon generating tension and building the pacing of the plotting to the climax–is an unusual but ultimately successful style of writing. Inquiry and instruction are comfortable bedfellows; as the central protagonists within these works discover whodunit, the readers discover who committed murder as well as a little bit more about one of the world’s most popular beverages, thus highlighting how cookbooks and novels both serve to entertain and to educate. Many authors will save their recipes, serving them up at the end of a story. This can be seen in Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef Mystery novels, the cover of each volume in the series boasts that it “includes Recipes for a Complete Presidential Menu!” These menus, with detailed ingredients lists, instructions for cooking and options for serving, are segregated from the stories and appear at the end of each work. Yet other writers will deploy a hybrid approach such as the one seen in Like Water for Chocolate (1989), where the ingredients are listed at the commencement of each chapter and the preparation for the recipes form part of the narrative. This method of integration is also deployed in The Kitchen Daughter (2011), which sees most of the chapters introduced with a recipe card, those chapters then going on to deal with action in the kitchen. Using recipes as chapter breaks is a structure that has, very recently, been adopted by Australian celebrity chef, food writer, and, now fiction author, Ed Halmagyi, in his new work, which is both cookbook and novel, The Food Clock: A Year of Cooking Seasonally (2012). As people exchange recipes in reality, so too do fictional characters. The Recipe Club (2009), by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel, is the story of two friends, Lilly Stone and Valerie Rudman, which is structured as an epistolary novel. As they exchange feelings, ideas and news in their correspondence, they also exchange recipes: over eighty of them throughout the novel in e-mails and letters. In The Food of Love (2004), written messages between two of the main characters are also used to share recipes. In addition, readers are able to post their own recipes, inspired by this book and other works by Anthony Capella, on the author’s website. From Page to Plate Some readers are contributing to the burgeoning food tourism market by seeking out the meals from the pages of their favourite novels in bars, cafés, and restaurants around the world, expanding the idea of “map as menu” (Spang 79). In Shannon McKenna Schmidt’s and Joni Rendon’s guide to literary tourism, Novel Destinations (2009), there is an entire section, “Eat Your Words: Literary Places to Sip and Sup”, dedicated to beverages and food. The listings include details for John’s Grill, in San Francisco, which still has on the menu Sam Spade’s Lamb Chops, served with baked potato and sliced tomatoes: a meal enjoyed by author Dashiell Hammett and subsequently consumed by his well-known protagonist in The Maltese Falcon (193), and the Café de la Paix, in Paris, frequented by Ian Fleming’s James Bond because “the food was good enough and it amused him to watch the people” (197). Those wanting to follow in the footsteps of writers can go to Harry’s Bar, in Venice, where the likes of Marcel Proust, Sinclair Lewis, Somerset Maugham, Ernest Hemingway, and Truman Capote have all enjoyed a drink (195) or The Eagle and Child, in Oxford, which hosted the regular meetings of the Inklings––a group which included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien––in the wood-panelled Rabbit Room (203). A number of eateries have developed their own literary themes such as the Peaco*cks Tearooms, in Cambridgeshire, which blends their own teas. Readers who are also tea drinkers can indulge in the Sherlock Holmes (Earl Grey with Lapsang Souchong) and the Doctor Watson (Keemun and Darjeeling with Lapsang Souchong). Alternatively, readers may prefer to side with the criminal mind and indulge in the Moriarty (Black Chai with Star Anise, Pepper, Cinnamon, and Fennel) (Peaco*cks). The Moat Bar and Café, in Melbourne, situated in the basem*nt of the State Library of Victoria, caters “to the whimsy and fantasy of the fiction housed above” and even runs a book exchange program (The Moat). For those readers who are unable, or unwilling, to travel the globe in search of such savoury and sweet treats there is a wide variety of locally-based literary lunches and other meals, that bring together popular authors and wonderful food, routinely organised by book sellers, literature societies, and publishing houses. There are also many cookbooks now easily obtainable that make it possible to re-create fictional food at home. One of the many examples available is The Book Lover’s Cookbook (2003) by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen, a work containing over three hundred pages of: Breakfasts; Main & Side Dishes; Soups; Salads; Appetizers, Breads & Other Finger Foods; Desserts; and Cookies & Other Sweets based on the pages of children’s books, literary classics, popular fiction, plays, poetry, and proverbs. If crime fiction is your preferred genre then you can turn to Jean Evans’s The Crime Lover’s Cookbook (2007), which features short stories in between the pages of recipes. There is also Estérelle Payany’s Recipe for Murder (2010) a beautifully illustrated volume that presents detailed instructions for Pigs in a Blanket based on the Big Bad Wolf’s appearance in The Three Little Pigs (44–7), and Roast Beef with Truffled Mashed Potatoes, which acknowledges Patrick Bateman’s fondness for fine dining in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho (124–7). Conclusion Cookbooks and many popular fiction novels are reflections of each other in terms of creativity, function, and structure. In some instances the two forms are so closely entwined that a single volume will concurrently share a narrative while providing information about, and instruction, on cookery. Indeed, cooking in books is becoming so popular that the line that traditionally separated cookbooks from other types of books, such as romance or crime novels, is becoming increasingly distorted. The separation between food and fiction is further blurred by food tourism and how people strive to experience some of the foods found within fictional works at bars, cafés, and restaurants around the world or, create such experiences in their own homes using fiction-themed recipe books. Food has always been acknowledged as essential for life; books have long been acknowledged as food for thought and food for the soul. Thus food in both the real world and in the imagined world serves to nourish and sustain us in these ways. References Adams, Riley. Delicious and Suspicious. New York: Berkley, 2010. –– Finger Lickin’ Dead. New York: Berkley, 2011. –– Hickory Smoked Homicide. New York: Berkley, 2011. Baltazar, Lori. “A Novel About Food, Recipes Included [Book review].” Dessert Comes First. 28 Feb. 2012. 20 Aug. 2012 ‹http://dessertcomesfirst.com/archives/8644›. Berkeley, Anthony. The Poisoned Chocolates Case. London: Collins, 1929. Bishop, Claudia. Toast Mortem. New York: Berkley, 2010. –– Dread on Arrival. New York: Berkley, 2012. Brady, Jacklyn. A Sheetcake Named Desire. New York: Berkley, 2011. –– Cake on a Hot Tin Roof. New York: Berkley, 2012. Calta, Marialisa. “The Art of the Novel as Cookbook.” The New York Times. 17 Feb. 1993. 23 Jul. 2012 ‹http://www.nytimes.com/1993/02/17/style/the-art-of-the-novel-as-cookbook.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm›. Capella, Anthony. The Food of Love. London: Time Warner, 2004/2005. Carroll, Kent in Calta, Marialisa. “The Art of the Novel as Cookbook.” The New York Times. 17 Feb. 1993. 23 Jul. 2012 ‹http://www.nytimes.com/1993/02/17/style/the-art-of-the-novel-as-cookbook.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm›. Childs, Laura. Death by Darjeeling. New York: Berkley, 2001. –– Shades of Earl Grey. New York: Berkley, 2003. –– Blood Orange Brewing. New York: Berkley, 2006/2007. –– The Teaberry Strangler. New York: Berkley, 2010/2011. Collins, Glenn. “Your Favourite Fictional Crime Moments Involving Food.” The New York Times Diner’s Journal: Notes on Eating, Drinking and Cooking. 16 Jul. 2012. 17 Jul. 2012 ‹http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/your-favorite-fictional-crime-moments-involving-food›. Coyle, Cleo. On What Grounds. New York: Berkley, 2003. –– Murder Most Frothy. New York: Berkley, 2006. –– Holiday Grind. New York: Berkley, 2009/2010. –– Roast Mortem. New York: Berkley, 2010/2011. Christie, Agatha. A Pocket Full of Rye. London: Collins, 1953. Dahl, Roald. Lamb to the Slaughter: A Roald Dahl Short Story. New York: Penguin, 1953/2012. eBook. Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist, or, the Parish Boy’s Progress. In Collection of Ancient and Modern British Authors, Vol. CCXXIX. Paris: Baudry’s European Library, 1838/1839. Duran, Nancy, and Karen MacDonald. “Information Sources for Food Studies Research.” Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research 2.9 (2006): 233–43. Ephron, Nora. Heartburn. New York: Vintage, 1983/1996. Esquivel, Laura. Trans. Christensen, Carol, and Thomas Christensen. Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Instalments with Recipes, romances and home remedies. London: Black Swan, 1989/1993. Evans, Jeanne M. The Crime Lovers’s Cookbook. City: Happy Trails, 2007. Fluke, Joanne. Fudge Cupcake Murder. New York: Kensington, 2004. –– Key Lime Pie Murder. New York: Kensington, 2007. –– Cream Puff Murder. New York: Kensington, 2009. –– Apple Turnover Murder. New York: Kensington, 2010. Greenwood, Kerry, and Jenny Pausacker. Recipes for Crime. Carlton: McPhee Gribble, 1995. Greenwood, Kerry. The Corinna Chapman Recipe Book: Mouth-Watering Morsels to Make Your Man Melt, Recipes from Corinna Chapman, Baker and Reluctant Investigator. nd. 25 Aug. 2012 ‹http://www.allenandunwin.com/_uploads/documents/minisites/Corinna_recipebook.pdf›. –– A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2007. Halmagyi, Ed. The Food Clock: A Year of Cooking Seasonally. Sydney: Harper Collins, 2012. Haywood, B. B. Town in a Blueberry Jam. New York: Berkley, 2010. –– Town in a Lobster Stew. New York: Berkley, 2011. –– Town in a Wild Moose Chase. New York: Berkley, 2012. Hyzy, Julie. State of the Onion. New York: Berkley, 2008. –– Hail to the Chef. New York: Berkley, 2008. –– Eggsecutive Orders. New York: Berkley, 2010. –– Buffalo West Wing. New York: Berkley, 2011. –– Affairs of Steak. New York: Berkley, 2012. Israel, Andrea, and Nancy Garfinkel, with Melissa Clark. The Recipe Club: A Novel About Food And Friendship. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. McHenry, Jael. The Kitchen Daughter: A Novel. New York: Gallery, 2011. Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind. London: Pan, 1936/1974 O’Reilly, Brian, with Virginia O’Reilly. Angelina’s Bachelors: A Novel, with Food. New York: Gallery, 2011. Payany, Estérelle. Recipe for Murder: Frightfully Good Food Inspired by Fiction. Paris: Flammarion, 2010. Peaco*cks Tearooms. Peaco*cks Tearooms: Our Unique Selection of Teas. 23 Aug. 2012 ‹http://www.peaco*ckstearoom.co.uk/teas/page1.asp›. Piatti-Farnell, Lorna. “A Taste of Conflict: Food, History and Popular Culture In Katherine Mansfield’s Fiction.” Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 2.1 (2012): 79–91. Risson, Toni, and Donna Lee Brien. “Editors’ Letter: That Takes the Cake: A Slice Of Australasian Food Studies Scholarship.” Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 2.1 (2012): 3–7. Sayers, Dorothy L. Strong Poison. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930/2003. Schmidt, Shannon McKenna, and Joni Rendon. Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2009. Shange, Ntozake. Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo: A Novel. New York: St Martin’s, 1982. Spang, Rebecca L. “All the World’s A Restaurant: On The Global Gastronomics Of Tourism and Travel.” In Raymond Grew (Ed). Food in Global History. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1999. 79–91. Taylor, Timothy. “Food/Crime Fiction.” Timothy Taylor. 2010. 17 Jul. 2012 ‹http://www.timothytaylor.ca/10/08/20/foodcrime-fiction›. The Moat Bar and Café. The Moat Bar and Café: Welcome. nd. 23 Aug. 2012 ‹http://themoat.com.au/Welcome.html›. Wenger, Shaunda Kennedy, and Janet Kay Jensen. The Book Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages that Feature Them. New York: Ballantine, 2003/2005.

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Cinque, Toija. "A Study in Anxiety of the Dark." M/C Journal 24, no.2 (April27, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2759.

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Abstract:

Introduction This article is a study in anxiety with regard to social online spaces (SOS) conceived of as dark. There are two possible ways to define ‘dark’ in this context. The first is that communication is dark because it either has limited distribution, is not open to all users (closed groups are a case example) or hidden. The second definition, linked as a result of the first, is the way that communication via these means is interpreted and understood. Dark social spaces disrupt the accepted top-down flow by the ‘gazing elite’ (data aggregators including social media), but anxious users might need to strain to notice what is out there, and this in turn destabilises one’s reception of the scene. In an environment where surveillance technologies are proliferating, this article examines contemporary, dark, interconnected, and interactive communications for the entangled affordances that might be brought to bear. A provocation is that resistance through counterveillance or “sousveillance” is one possibility. An alternative (or addition) is retreating to or building ‘dark’ spaces that are less surveilled and (perhaps counterintuitively) less fearful. This article considers critically the notion of dark social online spaces via four broad socio-technical concerns connected to the big social media services that have helped increase a tendency for fearful anxiety produced by surveillance and the perceived implications for personal privacy. It also shines light on the aspect of darkness where some users are spurred to actively seek alternative, dark social online spaces. Since the 1970s, public-key cryptosystems typically preserved security for websites, emails, and sensitive health, government, and military data, but this is now reduced (Williams). We have seen such systems exploited via cyberattacks and misappropriated data acquired by affiliations such as Facebook-Cambridge Analytica for targeted political advertising during the 2016 US elections. Via the notion of “parasitic strategies”, such events can be described as news/information hacks “whose attack vectors target a system’s weak points with the help of specific strategies” (von Nordheim and Kleinen-von Königslöw, 88). In accord with Wilson and Serisier’s arguments (178), emerging technologies facilitate rapid data sharing, collection, storage, and processing wherein subsequent “outcomes are unpredictable”. This would also include the effect of acquiescence. In regard to our digital devices, for some, being watched overtly—through cameras encased in toys, computers, and closed-circuit television (CCTV) to digital street ads that determine the resonance of human emotions in public places including bus stops, malls, and train stations—is becoming normalised (McStay, Emotional AI). It might appear that consumers immersed within this Internet of Things (IoT) are themselves comfortable interacting with devices that record sound and capture images for easy analysis and distribution across the communications networks. A counter-claim is that mainstream social media corporations have cultivated a sense of digital resignation “produced when people desire to control the information digital entities have about them but feel unable to do so” (Draper and Turow, 1824). Careful consumers’ trust in mainstream media is waning, with readers observing a strong presence of big media players in the industry and are carefully picking their publications and public intellectuals to follow (Mahmood, 6). A number now also avoid the mainstream internet in favour of alternate dark sites. This is done by users with “varying backgrounds, motivations and participation behaviours that may be idiosyncratic (as they are rooted in the respective person’s biography and circ*mstance)” (Quandt, 42). By way of connection with dark internet studies via Biddle et al. (1; see also Lasica), the “darknet” is a collection of networks and technologies used to share digital content … not a separate physical network but an application and protocol layer riding on existing networks. Examples of darknets are peer-to-peer file sharing, CD and DVD copying, and key or password sharing on email and newsgroups. As we note from the quote above, the “dark web” uses existing public and private networks that facilitate communication via the Internet. Gehl (1220; see also Gehl and McKelvey) has detailed that this includes “hidden sites that end in ‘.onion’ or ‘.i2p’ or other Top-Level Domain names only available through modified browsers or special software. Accessing I2P sites requires a special routing program ... . Accessing .onion sites requires Tor [The Onion Router]”. For some, this gives rise to social anxiety, read here as stemming from that which is not known, and an exaggerated sense of danger, which makes fight or flight seem the only options. This is often justified or exacerbated by the changing media and communication landscape and depicted in popular documentaries such as The Social Dilemma or The Great Hack, which affect public opinion on the unknown aspects of internet spaces and the uses of personal data. The question for this article remains whether the fear of the dark is justified. Consider that most often one will choose to make one’s intimate bedroom space dark in order to have a good night’s rest. We might pleasurably escape into a cinema’s darkness for the stories told therein, or walk along a beach at night enjoying unseen breezes. Most do not avoid these experiences, choosing to actively seek them out. Drawing this thread, then, is the case made here that agency can also be found in the dark by resisting socio-political structural harms. 1. Digital Futures and Anxiety of the Dark Fear of the darkI have a constant fear that something's always nearFear of the darkFear of the darkI have a phobia that someone's always there In the lyrics to the song “Fear of the Dark” (1992) by British heavy metal group Iron Maiden is a sense that that which is unknown and unseen causes fear and anxiety. Holding a fear of the dark is not unusual and varies in degree for adults as it does for children (Fellous and Arbib). Such anxiety connected to the dark does not always concern darkness itself. It can also be a concern for the possible or imagined dangers that are concealed by the darkness itself as a result of cognitive-emotional interactions (McDonald, 16). Extending this claim is this article’s non-binary assertion that while for some technology and what it can do is frequently misunderstood and shunned as a result, for others who embrace the possibilities and actively take it on it is learning by attentively partaking. Mistakes, solecism, and frustrations are part of the process. Such conceptual theorising falls along a continuum of thinking. Global interconnectivity of communications networks has certainly led to consequent concerns (Turkle Alone Together). Much focus for anxiety has been on the impact upon social and individual inner lives, levels of media concentration, and power over and commercialisation of the internet. Of specific note is that increasing commercial media influence—such as Facebook and its acquisition of WhatsApp, Oculus VR, Instagram, CRTL-labs (translating movements and neural impulses into digital signals), LiveRail (video advertising technology), Chainspace (Blockchain)—regularly changes the overall dynamics of the online environment (Turow and Kavanaugh). This provocation was born out recently when Facebook disrupted the delivery of news to Australian audiences via its service. Mainstream social online spaces (SOS) are platforms which provide more than the delivery of media alone and have been conceptualised predominantly in a binary light. On the one hand, they can be depicted as tools for the common good of society through notional widespread access and as places for civic participation and discussion, identity expression, education, and community formation (Turkle; Bruns; Cinque and Brown; Jenkins). This end of the continuum of thinking about SOS seems set hard against the view that SOS are operating as businesses with strategies that manipulate consumers to generate revenue through advertising, data, venture capital for advanced research and development, and company profit, on the other hand. In between the two polar ends of this continuum are the range of other possibilities, the shades of grey, that add contemporary nuance to understanding SOS in regard to what they facilitate, what the various implications might be, and for whom. By way of a brief summary, anxiety of the dark is steeped in the practices of privacy-invasive social media giants such as Facebook and its ancillary companies. Second are the advertising technology companies, surveillance contractors, and intelligence agencies that collect and monitor our actions and related data; as well as the increased ease of use and interoperability brought about by Web 2.0 that has seen a disconnection between technological infrastructure and social connection that acts to limit user permissions and online affordances. Third are concerns for the negative effects associated with depressed mental health and wellbeing caused by “psychologically damaging social networks”, through sleep loss, anxiety, poor body image, real world relationships, and the fear of missing out (FOMO; Royal Society for Public Health (UK) and the Young Health Movement). Here the harms are both individual and societal. Fourth is the intended acceleration toward post-quantum IoT (Fernández-Caramés), as quantum computing’s digital components are continually being miniaturised. This is coupled with advances in electrical battery capacity and interconnected telecommunications infrastructures. The result of such is that the ontogenetic capacity of the powerfully advanced network/s affords supralevel surveillance. What this means is that through devices and the services that they provide, individuals’ data is commodified (Neff and Nafus; Nissenbaum and Patterson). Personal data is enmeshed in ‘things’ requiring that the decisions that are both overt, subtle, and/or hidden (dark) are scrutinised for the various ways they shape social norms and create consequences for public discourse, cultural production, and the fabric of society (Gillespie). Data and personal information are retrievable from devices, sharable in SOS, and potentially exposed across networks. For these reasons, some have chosen to go dark by being “off the grid”, judiciously selecting their means of communications and their ‘friends’ carefully. 2. Is There Room for Privacy Any More When Everyone in SOS Is Watching? An interesting turn comes through counterarguments against overarching institutional surveillance that underscore the uses of technologies to watch the watchers. This involves a practice of counter-surveillance whereby technologies are tools of resistance to go ‘dark’ and are used by political activists in protest situations for both communication and avoiding surveillance. This is not new and has long existed in an increasingly dispersed media landscape (Cinque, Changing Media Landscapes). For example, counter-surveillance video footage has been accessed and made available via live-streaming channels, with commentary in SOS augmenting networking possibilities for niche interest groups or micropublics (Wilson and Serisier, 178). A further example is the Wordpress site Fitwatch, appealing for an end to what the site claims are issues associated with police surveillance (fitwatch.org.uk and endpolicesurveillance.wordpress.com). Users of these sites are called to post police officers’ identity numbers and photographs in an attempt to identify “cops” that might act to “misuse” UK Anti-terrorism legislation against activists during legitimate protests. Others that might be interested in doing their own “monitoring” are invited to reach out to identified personal email addresses or other private (dark) messaging software and application services such as Telegram (freeware and cross-platform). In their work on surveillance, Mann and Ferenbok (18) propose that there is an increase in “complex constructs between power and the practices of seeing, looking, and watching/sensing in a networked culture mediated by mobile/portable/wearable computing devices and technologies”. By way of critical definition, Mann and Ferenbok (25) clarify that “where the viewer is in a position of power over the subject, this is considered surveillance, but where the viewer is in a lower position of power, this is considered sousveillance”. It is the aspect of sousveillance that is empowering to those using dark SOS. One might consider that not all surveillance is “bad” nor institutionalised. It is neither overtly nor formally regulated—as yet. Like most technologies, many of the surveillant technologies are value-neutral until applied towards specific uses, according to Mann and Ferenbok (18). But this is part of the ‘grey area’ for understanding the impact of dark SOS in regard to which actors or what nations are developing tools for surveillance, where access and control lies, and with what effects into the future. 3. Big Brother Watches, So What Are the Alternatives: Whither the Gazing Elite in Dark SOS? By way of conceptual genealogy, consideration of contemporary perceptions of surveillance in a visually networked society (Cinque, Changing Media Landscapes) might be usefully explored through a revisitation of Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon, applied here as a metaphor for contemporary surveillance. Arguably, this is a foundational theoretical model for integrated methods of social control (Foucault, Surveiller et Punir, 192-211), realised in the “panopticon” (prison) in 1787 by Jeremy Bentham (Bentham and Božovič, 29-95) during a period of social reformation aimed at the improvement of the individual. Like the power for social control over the incarcerated in a panopticon, police power, in order that it be effectively exercised, “had to be given the instrument of permanent, exhaustive, omnipresent surveillance, capable of making all visible … like a faceless gaze that transformed the whole social body into a field of perception” (Foucault, Surveiller et Punir, 213–4). In grappling with the impact of SOS for the individual and the collective in post-digital times, we can trace out these early ruminations on the complex documentary organisation through state-controlled apparatuses (such as inspectors and paid observers including “secret agents”) via Foucault (Surveiller et Punir, 214; Subject and Power, 326-7) for comparison to commercial operators like Facebook. Today, artificial intelligence (AI), facial recognition technology (FRT), and closed-circuit television (CCTV) for video surveillance are used for social control of appropriate behaviours. Exemplified by governments and the private sector is the use of combined technologies to maintain social order, from ensuring citizens cross the street only on green lights, to putting rubbish in the correct recycling bin or be publicly shamed, to making cashless payments in stores. The actions see advantages for individual and collective safety, sustainability, and convenience, but also register forms of behaviour and attitudes with predictive capacities. This gives rise to suspicions about a permanent account of individuals’ behaviour over time. Returning to Foucault (Surveiller et Punir, 135), the impact of this finds a dissociation of power from the individual, whereby they become unwittingly impelled into pre-existing social structures, leading to a ‘normalisation’ and acceptance of such systems. If we are talking about the dark, anxiety is key for a Ministry of SOS. Following Foucault again (Subject and Power, 326-7), there is the potential for a crawling, creeping governance that was once distinct but is itself increasingly hidden and growing. A blanket call for some form of ongoing scrutiny of such proliferating powers might be warranted, but with it comes regulation that, while offering certain rights and protections, is not without consequences. For their part, a number of SOS platforms had little to no moderation for explicit content prior to December 2018, and in terms of power, notwithstanding important anxiety connected to arguments that children and the vulnerable need protections from those that would seek to take advantage, this was a crucial aspect of community building and self-expression that resulted in this freedom of expression. In unearthing the extent that individuals are empowered arising from the capacity to post sexual self-images, Tiidenberg ("Bringing Sexy Back") considered that through dark SOS (read here as unregulated) some users could work in opposition to the mainstream consumer culture that provides select and limited representations of bodies and their sexualities. This links directly to Mondin’s exploration of the abundance of queer and feminist p*rnography on dark SOS as a “counterpolitics of visibility” (288). This work resulted in a reasoned claim that the technological structure of dark SOS created a highly political and affective social space that users valued. What also needs to be underscored is that many users also believed that such a space could not be replicated on other mainstream SOS because of the differences in architecture and social norms. Cho (47) worked with this theory to claim that dark SOS are modern-day examples in a history of queer individuals having to rely on “underground economies of expression and relation”. Discussions such as these complicate what dark SOS might now become in the face of ‘adult’ content moderation and emerging tracking technologies to close sites or locate individuals that transgress social norms. Further, broader questions are raised about how content moderation fits in with the public space conceptualisations of SOS more generally. Increasingly, “there is an app for that” where being able to identify the poster of an image or an author of an unknown text is seen as crucial. While there is presently no standard approach, models for combining instance-based and profile-based features such as SVM for determining authorship attribution are in development, with the result that potentially far less content will remain hidden in the future (Bacciu et al.). 4. There’s Nothing New under the Sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9) For some, “[the] high hopes regarding the positive impact of the Internet and digital participation in civic society have faded” (Schwarzenegger, 99). My participant observation over some years in various SOS, however, finds that critical concern has always existed. Views move along the spectrum of thinking from deep scepticisms (Stoll, Silicon Snake Oil) to wondrous techo-utopian promises (Negroponte, Being Digital). Indeed, concerns about the (then) new technologies of wireless broadcasting can be compared with today’s anxiety over the possible effects of the internet and SOS. Inglis (7) recalls, here, too, were fears that humanity was tampering with some dangerous force; might wireless wave be causing thunderstorms, droughts, floods? Sterility or strokes? Such anxieties soon evaporated; but a sense of mystery might stay longer with evangelists for broadcasting than with a laity who soon took wireless for granted and settled down to enjoy the products of a process they need not understand. As the analogy above makes clear, just as audiences came to use ‘the wireless’ and later the internet regularly, it is reasonable to argue that dark SOS will also gain widespread understanding and find greater acceptance. Dark social spaces are simply the recent development of internet connectivity and communication more broadly. The dark SOS afford choice to be connected beyond mainstream offerings, which some users avoid for their perceived manipulation of content and user both. As part of the wider array of dark web services, the resilience of dark social spaces is reinforced by the proliferation of users as opposed to decentralised replication. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can be used for anonymity in parallel to TOR access, but they guarantee only anonymity to the client. A VPN cannot guarantee anonymity to the server or the internet service provider (ISP). While users may use pseudonyms rather than actual names as seen on Facebook and other SOS, users continue to take to the virtual spaces they inhabit their off-line, ‘real’ foibles, problems, and idiosyncrasies (Chenault). To varying degrees, however, people also take their best intentions to their interactions in the dark. The hyper-efficient tools now deployed can intensify this, which is the great advantage attracting some users. In balance, however, in regard to online information access and dissemination, critical examination of what is in the public’s interest, and whether content should be regulated or controlled versus allowing a free flow of information where users self-regulate their online behaviour, is fraught. O’Loughlin (604) was one of the first to claim that there will be voluntary loss through negative liberty or freedom from (freedom from unwanted information or influence) and an increase in positive liberty or freedom to (freedom to read or say anything); hence, freedom from surveillance and interference is a kind of negative liberty, consistent with both libertarianism and liberalism. Conclusion The early adopters of initial iterations of SOS were hopeful and liberal (utopian) in their beliefs about universality and ‘free’ spaces of open communication between like-minded others. This was a way of virtual networking using a visual motivation (led by images, text, and sounds) for consequent interaction with others (Cinque, Visual Networking). The structural transformation of the public sphere in a Habermasian sense—and now found in SOS and their darker, hidden or closed social spaces that might ensure a counterbalance to the power of those with influence—towards all having equal access to platforms for presenting their views, and doing so respectfully, is as ever problematised. Broadly, this is no more so, however, than for mainstream SOS or for communicating in the world. References Bacciu, Andrea, Massimo La Morgia, Alessandro Mei, Eugenio Nerio Nemmi, Valerio Neri, and Julinda Stefa. “Cross-Domain Authorship Attribution Combining Instance Based and Profile-Based Features.” CLEF (Working Notes). Lugano, Switzerland, 9-12 Sep. 2019. Bentham, Jeremy, and Miran Božovič. The Panopticon Writings. London: Verso Trade, 1995. 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Weaving the Dark Web: Legitimacy on Freenet, Tor, and I2P. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2018. Gehl, Robert, and Fenwick McKelvey. “Bugging Out: Darknets as Parasites of Large-Scale Media Objects.” Media, Culture & Society 41.2 (2019): 219-235. Gillespie, Tarleton. Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media. London: Yale UP, 2018. Habermas, Jürgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Trans. Thomas Burger with the assistance of Frederick Lawrence. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989. Inglis, Ken S. This Is the ABC: The Australian Broadcasting Commission 1932–1983. Melbourne: Melbourne UP, 1983. Iron Maiden. “Fear of the Dark.” London: EMI, 1992. Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006. Lasica, J. D. Darknet: Hollywood’s War against the Digital Generation. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2005. Mahmood, Mimrah. “Australia's Evolving Media Landscape.” 13 Apr. 2021 <https://www.meltwater.com/en/resources/australias-evolving-media-landscape>. Mann, Steve, and Joseph Ferenbok. “New Media and the Power Politics of Sousveillance in a Surveillance-Dominated World.” Surveillance & Society 11.1/2 (2013): 18-34. McDonald, Alexander J. “Cortical Pathways to the Mammalian Amygdala.” Progress in Neurobiology 55.3 (1998): 257-332. McStay, Andrew. Emotional AI: The Rise of Empathic Media. London: Sage, 2018. Mondin, Alessandra. “‘Tumblr Mostly, Great Empowering Images’: Blogging, Reblogging and Scrolling Feminist, Queer and BDSM Desires.” Journal of Gender Studies 26.3 (2017): 282-292. Neff, Gina, and Dawn Nafus. Self-Tracking. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2016. Negroponte, Nicholas. Being Digital. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. Nissenbaum, Helen, and Heather Patterson. “Biosensing in Context: Health Privacy in a Connected World.” Quantified: Biosensing Technologies in Everyday Life. Ed. 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Guarini, Beaux Fen. "Beyond Braille on Toilet Doors: Museum Curators and Audiences with Vision Impairment." M/C Journal 18, no.4 (August7, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1002.

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Abstract:

The debate on the social role of museums trundles along in an age where complex associations between community, collections, and cultural norms are highly contested (Silverman 3–4; Sandell, Inequality 3–23). This article questions whether, in the case of community groups whose aspirations often go unrecognised (in this case people with either blindness or low vision), there is a need to discuss and debate institutionalised approaches that often reinforce social exclusion and impede cultural access. If “access is [indeed] an entry point to experience” (Papalia), then the privileging of visual encounters in museums is clearly a barrier for people who experience sight loss or low vision (Levent and Pursley). In contrast, a multisensory aesthetic to exhibition display respects the gamut of human sensory experience (Dudley 161–63; Drobnick 268–69; Feld 184; James 136; McGlone 41–60) as do discursive gateways including “lectures, symposia, workshops, educational programs, audio guides, and websites” (Cachia). Independent access to information extends beyond Braille on toilet doors.Underpinning this article is an ongoing qualitative case study undertaken by the author involving participant observation, workshops, and interviews with eight adults who experience vision impairment. The primary research site has been the National Museum of Australia. Reflecting on the role of curators as storytellers and the historical development of museums and their practitioners as agents for social development, the article explores the opportunities latent in museum collections as they relate to community members with vision impairment. The outcomes of this investigation offer insights into emerging issues as they relate to the International Council of Museums (ICOM) definitions of the museum program. Curators as Storytellers“The ways in which objects are selected, put together, and written or spoken about have political effects” (Eilean Hooper-Greenhill qtd. in Sandell, Inequality 8). Curators can therefore open or close doors to discrete communities of people. The traditional role of curators has been to collect, care for, research, and interpret collections (Desvallées and Mairesse 68): they are characterised as information specialists with a penchant for research (Belcher 78). While commonly possessing an intimate knowledge of their institution’s collection, their mode of knowledge production results from a culturally mediated process which ensures that resulting products, such as cultural significance assessments and provenance determinations (Russell and Winkworth), privilege the knowing systems of dominant social groups (Fleming 213). Such ways of seeing can obstruct the access prospects of underserved audiences.When it comes to exhibition display—arguably the most public of work by museums—curators conventionally collaborate within a constellation of other practitioners (Belcher 78–79). Curators liaise with museum directors, converse with conservators, negotiate with exhibition designers, consult with graphics designers, confer with marketing boffins, seek advice from security, chat with editors, and engage with external contractors. I question the extent that curators engage with community groups who may harbour aspirations to participate in the exhibition experience—a sticking point soon to be addressed. Despite the team based ethos of exhibition design, it is nonetheless the content knowledge of curators on public display. The art of curatorial interpretation sets out not to instruct audiences but, in part, to provoke a response with narratives designed to reveal meanings and relationships (Freeman Tilden qtd. in Alexander and Alexander 258). Recognised within the institution as experts (Sandell, Inclusion 53), curators have agency—they decide upon the stories told. In a recent television campaign by the National Museum of Australia, a voiceover announces: a storyteller holds incredible power to connect and to heal, because stories bring us together (emphasis added). (National Museum of Australia 2015)Storytelling in the space of the museum often shares the histories, perspectives, and experiences of people past as well as living cultures—and these stories are situated in space and time. If that physical space is not fit-for-purpose—that is, it does not accommodate an individual’s physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, or neurological needs (Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Cwlth)—then the story reaches only long-established patrons. The museum’s opportunity to contribute to social development, and thus the curator’s as the primary storyteller, will have been missed. A Latin-American PerspectiveICOM’s commitment to social development could be interpreted merely as a pledge to make use of collections to benefit the public through scholarship, learning, and pleasure (ICOM 15). If this interpretation is accepted, however, then any museum’s contribution to social development is somewhat paltry. To accept such a limited and limiting role for museums is to overlook the historical efforts by advocates to change the very nature of museums. The ascendancy of the social potential of museums first blossomed during the late 1960s at a time where, globally, overlapping social movements espoused civil rights and the recognition of minority groups (Silverman 12; de Varine 3). Simultaneously but independently, neighbourhood museums arose in the United States, ecomuseums in France and Quebec, and the integral museum in Latin America, notably in Mexico (Hauenschild; Silverman 12–13). The Latin-American commitment to the ideals of the integral museum developed out of the 1972 round table of Santiago, Chile, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Giménez-Cassina 25–26). The Latin-American signatories urged the local and regional museums of their respective countries to collaborate with their communities to resolve issues of social inequality (Round Table Santiago 13–21). The influence of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire should be acknowledged. In 1970, Freire ushered in the concept of conscientization, defined by Catherine Campbell and Sandra Jovchelovitch as:the process whereby critical thinking develops … [and results in a] … thinker [who] feels empowered to think and to act on the conditions that shape her living. (259–260)This model for empowerment lent inspiration to the ideals of the Santiago signatories in realising their sociopolitical goal of the integral museum (Assunção dos Santos 20). Reframing the museum as an institution in the service of society, the champions of the integral museum sought to redefine the thinking and practices of museums and their practitioners (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 37–39). The signatories successfully lobbied ICOM to introduce an explicitly social purpose to the work of museums (Assunção dos Santos 6). In 1974, in the wake of the Santiago round table, ICOM modified their definition of a museum to “a permanent non-profit institution, open to the public, in the service of society and its development” (emphasis added) (Hauenschild). Museums had been transformed into “problem solvers” (Judite Primo qtd. in Giménez-Cassina 26). With that spirit in mind, museum practitioners, including curators, can develop opportunities for reciprocity with the many faces of the public (Guarini). Response to Social Development InitiativesStarting in the 1970s, the “second museum revolution” (van Mensch 6–7) saw the transition away from: traditional roles of museums [of] collecting, conservation, curatorship, research and communication … [and toward the] … potential role of museums in society, in education and cultural action. (van Mensch 6–7)Arguably, this potential remains a work in progress some 50 years later. Writing in the tradition of museums as agents of social development, Mariana Lamas states:when we talk about “in the service of society and its development”, it’s quite different. It is like the drunk uncle at the Christmas party that the family pretends is not there, because if they pretend long enough, he might pass out on the couch. (Lamas 47–48)That is not to say that museums have neglected to initiate services and programs that acknowledge the aspirations of people with disabilities (refer to Cachia and Krantz as examples). Without discounting such efforts, but with the refreshing analogy of the drunken uncle still fresh in memory, Lamas answers her own rhetorical question:how can traditional museums promote community development? At first the word “development” may seem too much for the museum to do, but there are several ways a museum can promote community development. (Lamas 52) Legitimising CommunitiesThe first way that museums can foster community or social development is to:help the community to over come [sic] a problem, coming up with different solutions, putting things into a new perspective; providing confidence to the community and legitimizing it. (Lamas 52)As a response, my doctoral investigation legitimises the right of people with vision impairment to participate in the social and cultural aspects of publicly funded museums. The Australian Government upheld this right in 2008 by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (and Optional Protocol), which enshrines the right of people with disability to participate in the cultural life of the nation (United Nations).At least 840,700 people in Australia (a minimum of four per cent of the population) experiences either blindness or low vision (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2009). For every one person in the Australian community who is blind, nearly five other people experience low vision. The medical model of disability identifies the impairment as the key feature of a person and seeks out a corrective intervention. In contrast, the social model of disability strives to remove the attitudinal, social, and physical barriers enacted by people or institutions (Landman, Fishburn, and Tonkin 14). Therein lies the opportunity and challenge for museums—modifying layouts and practices that privilege the visual. Consequently, there is scope for museums to partner with people with vision impairment to identify their aspirations rather than respond as a problem to be fixed. Common fixes in the museums for people with disabilities include physical alterations such as ramps and, less often, special tours (Cachia). I posit that curators, as co-creators and major contributors to exhibitions, can be part of a far wider discussion. In the course of doctoral research, I accompanied adults with a wide array of sight impairments into exhibitions at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, and the National Museum of Australia. Within the space of the exhibition, the most commonly identified barrier has been the omission of access opportunities to interpreted materials: that is, information about objects on display as well as the wider narratives driving exhibitions. Often, the participant has had to work backwards, from the object itself, to understand the wider topic of the exhibition. If aesthetics is “the way we communicate through the senses” (Thrift 291), then the vast majority of exhibits have been inaccessible from a sensory perspective. For people with low vision (that is, they retain some degree of functioning sight), objects’ labels have often been too small to be read or, at times, poorly contrasted or positioned. Objects have often been set too deep into display cabinets or too far behind safety barriers. If individuals must use personal magnifiers to read text or look in vain at objects, then that is an indicator that there are issues with exhibition design. For people who experience blindness (that is, they cannot see), neither the vast majority of exhibits nor their interpretations have been made accessible. There has been minimal access across all museums to accessioned objects, handling collections, or replicas to tease out exhibits and their stories. Object labels must be read by family or friends—a tiring experience. Without motivated peers, the stories told by curators are silenced by a dearth of alternative options.Rather than presume to know what works for people with disabilities, my research ethos respects the “nothing about us without us” (Charlton 2000; Werner 1997) maxim of disability advocates. To paraphrase Lamas, we have collaborated to come up with different solutions by putting things into new perspectives. In turn, “person-centred” practices based on rapport, warmth, and respect (Arigho 206–07) provide confidence to a diverse community of people by legitimising their right to participate in the museum space. Incentivising Communities Museums can also nurture social or community development by providing incentives to “the community to take action to improve its quality of life” (Lamas 52). It typically falls to (enthusiastic) public education and community outreach teams to engage underserved communities through targeted programs. This approach continues the trend of curators as advocates for the collection, and educators as advocates for the public (Kaitavouri xi). If the exhibition briefs normally written by curators (Belcher 83) reinforced the importance of access, then exhibition designers would be compelled to offer fit-for-purpose solutions. Better still, if curators (and other exhibition team members) regularly met with community based organisations (perhaps in the form of a disability reference group), then museums would be better positioned to accommodate a wider spectrum of community members. The National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries already encourages museums to collaborate with disability organisations (40). Such initiatives offer a way forward for improving a community’s sense of itself and its quality of life. The World Health Organization defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. While I am not using quality of life indicators for my doctoral study, the value of facilitating social and cultural opportunities for my target audience is evident in participant statements. At the conclusion of one sensory based workshop, Mara, a female participant who experiences low vision in one eye and blindness in the other, stated:I think it was interesting in that we could talk together about what we were experiencing and that really is the social aspect of it. I mean if I was left to go to a whole lot of museums on my own, I probably wouldn’t. You know, I like going with kids or a friend visiting from interstate—that sort of thing. And so this group, in a way, replicates that experience in that you’ve got someone else to talk about your impressions with—much better than going on your own or doing this alone.Mara’s statement was in response to one of two workshops I held with the support of the Learning Services team at the National Museum of Australia in May 2015. Selected objects from the museum’s accessioned collection and handling collection were explored, as well as replicas in the form of 3D printed objects. For example, participants gazed upon and handled a tuckerbox, smelt and tasted macadamia nuts in wattle seed syrup, and listened to a genesis story about the more-ish nut recorded by the Butchulla people—the traditional owners of Fraser Island. We sat around a table while I, as the workshop mediator, sought to facilitate free-flowing discussions about their experiences and, in turn, mused on the capacity of objects to spark social connection and opportunities for cultural access. While the workshop provided the opportunity for reciprocal exchanges amongst participants as well as between participants and me, what was highly valued by most participants was the direct contact with members of the museum’s Learning Services team. I observed that participants welcomed the opportunity to talk with real museum workers. Their experience of museum practitioners, to date, had been largely confined to the welcome desk of respective institutions or through special events or tours where they were talked at. The opportunity to communicate directly with the museum allowed some participants to share their thoughts and feelings about the services that museums provide. I suggest that curators open themselves up to such exchanges on a more frequent basis—it may result in reciprocal benefits for all stakeholders. Fortifying IdentityA third way museums can contribute to social or community development is by:fortify[ing] the bonds between the members of the community and reaffirm their identities making them feel more secure about who they are; and give them a chance to tell their own version of their history to “outsiders” which empowers them. (Lamas 52)Identity informs us and others of who we are and where we belong in the world (Silverman 54). However, the process of identity marking and making can be fraught: “some communities are ours by choice … [and] … some are ours because of the ways that others see us” (Watson 4). Communities are formed by identifying who is in and who is out (Francois Dubet qtd. in Bessant and Watts 260). In other words, the construction of collective identity is reinforced through means of social inclusion and social exclusion. The participants of my study, as members or clients of the Royal Society for the Blind | Canberra Blind Society, clearly value participating in events with empathetic peers. People with vision impairment are not a hom*ogenous group, however. Reinforcing the cultural influences on the formation of identity, Fiona Candlin asserts that “to state the obvious but often ignored fact, blind people … [come] … from all social classes, all cultural, racial, religious and educational backgrounds” (101). Irrespective of whether blindness or low vision arises congenitally, adventitiously, or through unexpected illness, injury, or trauma, the end result is an assortment of individuals with differing perceptual characteristics who construct meaning in often divergent ways (De Coster and Loots 326–34). They also hold differing world views. Therefore, “participation [at the museum] is not an end in itself. It is a means for creating a better world” (Assunção dos Santos 9). According to the Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Professor Gillian Triggs, a better world is: a society for all, in which every individual has an active role to play. Such a society is based on fundamental values of equity, equality, social justice, and human rights and freedoms, as well as on the principles of tolerance and embracing diversity. (Triggs)Publicly funded museums can play a fundamental role in the cultural lives of societies. For example, the Powerhouse Museum (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences) in Sydney partnered with Vision Australia to host an exhibition in 2010 titled Living in a Sensory World: it offered “visitors an understanding of the world of the blindness and low vision community and celebrates their achievements” (Powerhouse Museum). With similar intent, my doctoral research seeks to validate the world of my participants by inviting museums to appreciate their aspirations as a distinct but diverse community of people. ConclusionIn conclusion, the challenge for museum curators and other museum practitioners is balancing what Richard Sennett (qtd. in Bessant and Watts 265) identifies as opportunities for enhancing social cohesion and a sense of belonging while mitigating parochialism and community divisiveness. Therefore, curators, as the primary focus of this article, are indeed challenged when asked to contribute to serving the public through social development—a public which is anything but hom*ogenous. Mindful of cultural and social differences in an ever-changing world, museums are called to respect the cultural and natural heritage of the communities they serve and collaborate with (ICOM 10). It is a position I wholeheartedly support. This is not to say that museums or indeed curators are capable of solving the ills of society. However, inviting people who are frequently excluded from social and cultural events to multisensory encounters with museum collections acknowledges their cultural rights. I suggest that this would be a seismic shift from the current experiences of adults with blindness or low vision at most museums.ReferencesAlexander, Edward, and Mary Alexander. Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums. 2nd ed. Lanham, Maryland: AltaMira Press, 2008.Arigho, Bernie. “Getting a Handle on the Past: The Use of Objects in Reminiscence Work.” Touch in Museums: Policy and Practice in Object Handling. Ed. Helen Chatterjee. Oxford: Berg, 2008. 205–12.Assunção dos Santos, Paula. Introduction. Sociomuseology 4: To Think Sociomuseologically. Eds. Paula Assunção dos Santos and Judite Primo. Lisbon: Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, 2010. 5–12.Australian Bureau of Statistics. “National Health Survey: Summary of Results (2007- 2008) (Reissue), Cat. No. 4364.0. 2009.” Australian Bureau of Statistics. 12 Feb. 2015 ‹http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4364.0›.Belcher, Michael. Exhibitions in Museums. Leicester: Leicester UP, 1991.Bessant, Judith, and Rob Watts. Sociology Australia. 3rd ed. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2007.Cachia, Amanda. “Talking Blind: Disability, Access, and the Discursive Turn.” Disability Studies Quarterly 33.3 (2013). 23 July 2015 ‹http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/3758›.Campbell, Catherine, and Sandra Jovchelovitch. "Health, Community and Development: Towards a Social Psychology of Participation." Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 10.4 (2000): 255–70.Candlin, Fiona. "Blindness, Art and Exclusion in Museums and Galleries." International Journal of Art & Design Education 22.1 (2003): 100–10.Charlton, James. Nothing about Us without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowerment. Berkeley: U of California P, 2000.De Coster, Karin, and Gerrit Loots. "Somewhere in between Touch and Vision: In Search of a Meaningful Art Education for Blind Individuals." International Journal of Art & Design Education 23.3 (2004): 32634.De Varine, Hugues. “Decolonising Museology.” ICOM News 58.3 (2005): 3.Desvallées, André, and François Mairesse. Key Concepts of Museology. Paris: Armand Colin, 2010. 16 Jun. 2015 ‹http://icom.museum/professional-standards/key-concepts-of-museology/›.Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cwlth). 14 June 2015 ‹https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Series/C2004A04426›.Drobnick, Jim. “Volatile Effects: Olfactory Dimensions of Art and Architecture.” Empire of the Senses: The Sensual Culture Reader. Ed. David Howes. New York: Berg, 2005. 265–80.Dudley, Sandra. “Sensory Exile in the Field.” Museums Objects: Experiencing the Properties of Things. Ed. Sandra H. Dudley. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2012. 161–63.Feld, Steven. “Places Sensed, Senses Placed: Toward a Sensuous Epistemology of Environments.” Empire of the Senses: The Sensual Culture Reader. Ed. David Howes. New York: Berg, 2005. 179–91.Fleming, David. “Positioning the Museum for Social Inclusion.” Museums, Society, Inequality. Ed. Richard Sandell. London: Routledge, 2002. 213–24.Giménez-Cassina, Eduardo. “Who Am I? An Identity Crisis. 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Paris: International Council of Museums, 2013. 6 June 2015 ‹http://icom.museum/the-vision/code-of-ethics/›.James, Liz. “Senses and Sensibility in Byzantium.” Museums Objects: Experiencing the Properties of Things. Ed. Sandra H. Dudley. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2012. 134–149.Kaitavouri, Kaija. Introduction. It’s All Mediating: Outlining and Incorporating the Roles of Curating and Education in the Exhibit Context. Eds. Kaija Kaitavouri, Laura Kokkonen, and Nora Sternfeld. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. x–xxi.Lamas, Mariana. “Lost in the Supermarket – The Traditional Museums Challenges.” Sociomuseology 3: To Understand New Museology in the XXI Century. Eds. Paula Assunção dos Santos and Judite Primo. Lisbon: Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, 2010. 42–58. Landman, Peta, Kiersten Fishburn, Lynda Kelly, and Susan Tonkin. Many Voices Making Choices: Museum Audiences with Disabilities. Sydney: Australian Museum and National Museum of Australia, 2005. Levent, Nina, and Joan Muyskens Pursley. “Sustainable Museum Acess: A Two-Way Street.” Disability Studies Quarterly 33.3 (2013). 22 July 2015 ‹http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/3742›.McGlone, Francis. “The Two Sides of Touch: Sensing and Feeling.” Touch in Museums: Policy and Practice in Object Handling. Ed. Helen Chatterjee. Oxford: Berg, 2008. 41–60.National Museum of Australia. “Stories Can Unite Us as One.” YouTube 28 May 2015. 16 Jun. 2015 ‹https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwxj_rC57zM›.National Standards Taskforce. National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries (Version 1.4, October 2014). Melbourne: The National Standards Taskforce, 2014. 20 June 2015 ‹http://www.mavic.asn.au/assets/NSFAMG_v1_4_2014.pdf›.Papalia, Carmen. “A New Model for Access in the Museum.” Disability Studies Quarterly 33.3 (2013). 23 July 2015 ‹http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/3757›.Powerhouse Museum. 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"Social Inclusion, the Museum and the Dynamics of Sectoral Change." Museum and Society 1.1 (2003): 45–62.Silverman, Lois. The Social Work of Museums. London: Routledge, 2010.Thrift, Nigel. “Understanding the Material Practices of Glamour.” The Affect Theory Reader. Eds. Melissa Gregg and Gregory Seigworth. Durham: Duke UP, 2010. 289–308.Triggs, Gillian. Social Inclusion and Human Rights in Australia. 2013. 6 June 2015 ‹https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/social-inclusion-and-human-rights-australia›. United Nations. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 2006. 16 Mar. 2015 ‹http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=150?›.United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation Round Table on the Development and the Role of Museums in the Contemporary World - Santiago de Chile, Chile 20-31 May 1972. 1973. 18 June 2015 ‹http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0002/000236/023679EB.pdf›.Van Mensch, Peter. Towards a Methodology of Museology. Diss. U of Zagreb, 1992. 16 June 2015 ‹http://www.muzeologie.net/downloads/mat_lit/mensch_phd.pdf›.Watson, Sheila. “Museum Communities in Theory and Practice.” Museums and Their Communities. Ed. Sheila Watson. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2007. 1–24.Werner, David. Nothing about Us without Us: Developing Innovative Technologies for, vy, and with Disabled Persons. Palo Alto, CA: Healthwrights, 1997.World Health Organization. Mental Health: Strengthening Our Response, Fact Sheet No. 220, Updated April 2014. 2014. 2 June 2015 ‹http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en/›.

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Nunes, Mark. "Failure Notice." M/C Journal 10, no.5 (October1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2702.

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Amongst the hundreds of emails that made their way to error@media-culture.org.au over the last ten months, I received the following correspondence: Failure noticeHi. This is the qmail-send program at sv01.wadax.ne.jp.I’m afraid I wasn’t able to deliver your message to the following addresses.This is a permanent error; I’ve given up. Sorry it didn’t work out.namewithheld@s.vodafone.ne.jp>:210.169.171.135 does not like recipient.Remote host said: 550 Invalid recipient:namewithheld@s.vodafone.ne.jp>Giving up on 210.169.171.135. Email of this sort marks a moment that is paradoxically odd and all too familiar in the digital exchanges of everyday life. The failure message arrives to tell me something “didn’t work out.” This message shows up in my email account looking no different from any other correspondence—only this one hails from the system itself, signalling a failure to communicate. Email from the “mailer-daemon” calls attention to both the logic of the post that governs email (a “letter” sent to an intended address at the intention of some source) and the otherwise invisible logic of informatic protocols, made visible in the system failure of a “permanent error.” In this particular instance, however, the failure notice is itself a kind of error. I never emailed namewithheld@s.vodafone.ne.jp—and by the mailer-daemon’s account, such a person does not exist. It seems that a spammer has exploited an email protocol as a way of covering his tracks: when a deliver-to path fails, the failure notice bounces to a third site. The failure notice marks the successful execution of a qmail protocol, but its arrival at our account is still a species of error. In most circ*mstances, error yields an invalid result. In calculation, error marks a kind of misstep that not only corrupts the end result, but all steps following the error. One error begets others. But as with the failure notice, error often marks not only the misdirections of a system, but also the system’s internal logic. The failure notice corresponds to a specific category of error—a potential error that the system must predict before it has actually occurred. While the notice signals failure (permanent error), it does so within the successful, efficient operation of a communicative system. What is at issue, then, is less a matter of whether or not error occurs than a system’s ability to handle error as it arises. Control systems attempt to close themselves off to error’s misdirections. If error signals a system failure, the “failure notice” of error foregrounds the degree to which in “societies of control” every error is a fatal error in that Baudrillardian sense—a failure that is subsumed in the operational logic of the system itself (40). Increasingly, the networks of a global marketplace require a rationalisation of processes and an introduction of informatic control systems to minimise wastage and optimise output. An informatic monoculture expresses itself through operational parameters that define communication according to principles of maximum transmission. In effect, in the growing dominance of a network society, we are witnessing the transcendence of a social and cultural system that must suppress at all costs the failure to communicate. This global communication system straddles a paradoxical moment of maximum exchange and maximum control. With growing frequency, social and commercial processes are governed by principles of quality assurance, what Lyotard defined nearly thirty years ago as a “logic of maximum performance” (xxiv). As Six Sigma standards migrate from the world of manufacturing to a wide range of institutions, we find a standard of maximum predictability and minimum error as the latest coin of the realm. Utopia is now an error-free world of 100% efficiency, accuracy, and predictability. This lure of an informatic “monoculture” reduces communication to a Maxwell’s demon for capturing transmission and excluding failure. Such a communicative system establishes a regime of signs that thrives upon the drift and flow of a network of signifiers, but that affirms its power as a system in its voracious incorporation of signs within a chain of signification (Deleuze and Guattari 111-117). Error is cast out as abject, the scapegoat “condemned as that which exceeds the signifying regime’s power of deterritorialization” (Deleuze and Guattari 117). Deleuze and Guattari describe this self-cycling apparatus of capture as “a funeral world of terror,” the terror of a black-hole regime that ultimately depends upon a return of the same and insures that everything that circulates communicates…or is cast off as abject (113). This terror marks a relation of control, one that depends upon a circulation of signs but that also insists all flows fall within its signifying regime. To speak of the “terror of information” is more than metaphorical to the extent that this forced binary (terror of signal/error of noise) imposes a kind of violence that demands a rationalisation of all singularities of expression into the functionalities of a quantifiable system. To the extent that systems of information imply systems of control, the violence of information is less metaphor than metonym, as it calls into high relief the scapegoat error—the abject remainder whose silenced line of flight marks the trajectory of the unclean. This cybernetic logic of maximum performance demands that error is either contained within the predictable deviations of a system’s performance, or nullified as outlying and asignifying. Statistics tells us that we are best off ignoring the outlier. This logic of the normal suggests that something very risky occurs when an event or an instance falls outside the scope of predicable variance. In the ascendancy of information, error, deviance, and outlying results cast a long shadow. In Norbert Wiener’s account of informatic entropy, this drift from systematic control marked a form of evil—not a Manichean evil of bad actors, but rather an Augustinian evil: a falling away from the perfection of order (34-36). Information utopia banishes error as a kind of evil—an aberration that is decidedly off the path of order and control. This cybernetic logic functions at all levels, from social systems theory to molecular biology. Our diseases are now described as errors in coding, transcription, or transmission—genetic anomalies, cancerous loop scripts, and neurochemical noise. Mutation figures as an error in reproduction—a straying from faithful replication and a falling away from the Good of order and control. But we should keep in mind that when we speak of “evil” in the context of this cybernetic logic, that evil takes on a specific form. It is the evil of the errant. Or to put it another way: it is the evil of the Sesame Street Muppet, Bert. In 2001, a U.S. high school student named Dino Ignacio created a graphic of the Muppet, Bert, with Osama bin Laden—part of his humorous Website project, “Bert is Evil.” A Pakistani-based publisher scanning the Web for images of bin Laden came across Ignacio’s image and, apparently not recognising the Sesame Street character, incorporated it into a series of anti-American posters. According to Henry Jenkins’s account of the events, in the weeks that followed, “CNN reporters recorded the unlikely sight of a mob of angry protestors marching through the streets chanting anti-American slogans and waving signs depicting Bert and bin Laden” (1-2). As the story of the Bert-sighting spread, new “Bert is evil” Websites sprang up, and Ignacio found himself the unwitting centre of a full-blown Internet phenomenon. Jenkins finds in this story a fascinating example of what he calls convergence culture, the blurring of the line between consumer and producer (3). From a somewhat different critical perspective, Mark Poster reads this moment of misappropriation and misreading as emblematic of global networked culture, in which “as never before, we must begin to interpret culture as multiple cacophonies of inscribed meanings as each cultural object moves across cultural differences” (11). But there is another moral to this story as well, to the extent that the convergence and cacophony described here occur in a moment of error, an errant slippage in which signification escapes its own regime of signs. The informatic (Augustinian) evil of Bert the Muppet showing up at an anti-American rally in Pakistan marks an event-scene in which an “error” not only signifies, but in its cognitive resonance, begins to amplify and replicate. At such moments, the “failure notice” of error signals a creative potential in its own right—a communicative context that escapes systemic control. The error of “evil Bert” introduces noise into this communicative system. It is abject information that marks an aberration within an otherwise orderly system of communication, an error of sorts marking an errant line of flight. But in contrast to the trance-like lure of 100% efficiency and maximum performance, is there not something seductive in these instances of error, as it draws us off our path of intention, leading us astray, pulling us toward the unintended and unforeseen? In its breach of predictable variance, error gives expression to the erratic. As such, “noise” marks a species of error (abject information) that, by failing to signify within a system, simultaneously marks an opening, a poiesis. This asignifying poetics of “noise,” marked by these moments of errant information, simultaneously refuses and exceeds the cybernetic imperative to communicate. This poetics of noise is somewhat reminiscent of Umberto Eco’s discussion of Claude Shannon’s information theory in The Open Work. For Shannon, the gap between signal and selection marks a space of “equivocation,” what Warren Weaver calls “an undesirable … uncertainty about what the message was” (Shannon and Weaver 21). Eco is intrigued by Shannon’s insight that communication is always haunted by equivocation, the uncertainty that the message received was the signal sent (57-58). Roland Barthes also picks up on this idea in S/Z, as N. Katherine Hayles notes in her discussion of information theory and post-structuralism (46). For these writers, equivocation suggests a creative potential in entropy, in that noise is, in Weaver’s words, “spurious information” (Shannon and Weaver 19). Eco elaborates on Shannon and Weaver’s information theory by distinguishing between actual communication (the message sent) and its virtuality (the possible messages received). Eco argues, in effect, that communication reduces information in its desire to actualise signal at the expense of noise. In contrast, poetics generates information by sustaining the equivocation of the text (66-68). It is in this tension between capture and escape marked by the scapegoats of error and noise that I find a potential for a contemporary poetics within a global network society. Error reveals the degree to which everyday life plays itself out within this space of equivocation. As Stuart Moulthrop addressed nearly ten years ago, our frequent encounters with “Error 404” on the Web calls attention to “the importance of not-finding”: that error marks a path in its own right, and not merely a misstep. Without question, this poetics of noise runs contrary to a dominant, cybernetic ideology of efficiency and control. By paying attention to drift and lines of flight, such erratic behaviour finds little favour in a world increasingly defined by protocol and predictable results. But note how in its attempt to capture error within its regime of signs, the logic of maximum performance is not above recuperating the Augustinian evil of error as a form of “fortunate fall.” Even in the Six Sigma world of 100% efficiency, does not corporate R & D mythologise the creative moment that allows error to turn a profit? Post-It Notes® and Silly Putty® present two classic instances in which happenstance, mistake, and error mark a moment in which “thinking outside of the box” saves the day. Error marks a kind of deviation from—and within—this system: a “failure” that at the same time marks a potential, a virtuality. Error calls attention to its etymological roots, a going astray, a wandering from intended destinations. Error, as errant heading, suggests ways in which failure, mutation, spurious information, and unintended results provide creative openings and lines of flight that allow for a reconceptualisation of what can (or cannot) be realised within social and cultural forms. While noise marks a rupture of signification, it also operates within the framework of a cybernetic imperative that constantly attempts to capture the flows that threaten to escape its operational parameters. As networks become increasingly social, this logic of rationalisation and abstraction serves as a dialectical enclosure for an information-based culture industry. But error also suggests a strategy of misdirection, getting a result back other than what one expected, and in doing so turns the cybernetic imperative against itself. “Google-bombing,” for example, creates an informatic structure that plays off of the creative potential of equivocation. Here, error of a Manichean sort introduces noise into an information system to produce unexpected results. Until recently, typing the word “failure” into the search engine Google produced as a top response George Bush’s Webpage at www.whitehouse.gov. By building Webpages in which the text “failure” links to the U.S. President’s page, users “hack” Google’s search algorithm to produce an errant heading. The cybernetic imperative is turned against itself; this strategy of misdirection enacts a “fatal error” that evokes the logic of a system to create an opening for poeisis, play, and the unintended. Information networks, no longer secondary to higher order social and cultural formations, now define the function and logic of social space itself. This culture of circulation creates equivalences by way of a common currency of “information,” such that “viral” distribution defines a social event in its own right, regardless of the content of transmission. While a decade earlier theorists speculated on the emergence of a collective intelligence via global networks, the culture of circulation that has developed online would seem to indicate that “emergence” and circulation are self-justifying events. In the moment of equivocation—not so much beyond good and evil, but rather in the spaces between signal and noise—slippage, error, and misdirection suggest a moment of opening in contrast to the black hole closures of the cybernetic imperative. The violence of an informatic monoculture expresses itself in this moment of insistence that whatever circulates signifies, and that which cannot communicate must be silenced. In such an environment, we would do well to examine these failures to communicate, as well as the ways in which error and noise seduce us off course. In contrast to the terror of an eternal return of the actual, a poetics of noise suggests a virtuality of the network, an opening of the possible in an increasingly networked society. The articles in this issue of M/C Journal approach error from a range of critical and social perspectives. Essays address the ways in which error marks both a misstep and an opening. Throughout this issue, the authors address error as both abject and privileged instance in a society increasingly defined by information networks and systems of control. In our feature article, “Revealing Errors,” Benjamin Mako Hill explores how media theorists would benefit from closer attention to errors as “under-appreciated and under-utilised in their ability to reveal technology around us.” By allowing errors to communicate, he argues, we gain a perspective that makes invisible technologies all the more visible. As such, error provides a productive moment for both interpretive and critical interventions. Two essays in this issue look at the place of error and noise within the work of art. Rather than foregrounding a concept of “medium” that emphasises clear, unimpeded transmission, these authors explore the ways in which the errant and unintended provide for a productive aesthetic in its own right. Using Shannon’s information theory, and in particular his concept of equivocation, Su Ballard’s essay, “Information, Noise, and et al.’s ‘maintenance of social solidarity-instance 5,” explores the productive error of noise in the digital installation art of a New Zealand artists’ collective. Rather than carefully controlling the viewer’s experience, et al.’s installation places the viewer within a field of equivocation, in effect encouraging misreadings and unintended insertions. In a similar vein, Tim Barker’s essay, “Error, the Unforeseen, and the Emergent: The Error of Interactive Media Art” examines the productive error of digital art, both as an expression of artistic intent and as an emergent expression within the digital medium. This “glitch aesthetic” foregrounds the errant and uncontrollable in any work of art. In doing so, Barker argues, error also serves as a measure of the virtual—a field of potential that gestures toward the “unforeseen.” The virtuality of error provides a framework of sorts for two additional essays that, while separated considerably in subject matter, share similar theoretical concerns. Taking up the concept of an asignifying poetics of noise, Christopher Grant Ward’s essay, “Stock Images, Filler Content, and the Ambiguous Corporate Message” explores how the stock image industry presents a kind of culture of noise in its attempt to encourage equivocation rather than control semiotic signal. By producing images that are more virtual than actual, visual filler provides an all-too-familiar instance of equivocation as a field of potential and a Derridean citation of undecidibility. Adi Kuntsman takes a similar theoretic tack in “‘Error: No Such Entry’: Haunted Ethnographies of Online Archives.” Using a database retrieval error message, “no such entry,” Kuntsman reflects upon her ethnographic study of an online community of Russian-Israeli queer immigrants. Error messages, she argues, serve as informatic “hauntings”—erasures that speak of an online community’s complex relation to the construction and archiving of a collective history. In the case of a database retrieval error—as in the mailer-daemon’s notice of the “550” error—the failure of an address to respond to its hailing calls attention to a gap between query and expected response. This slippage in control is, as discussed above, and instance of an Augustinian error. But what of the Manichean—the intentional engagement in strategies of misdirection? In Kimberly Gregson’s “Bad Avatar! Griefing in Virtual Worlds,” she provides a taxonomy of aberrant behaviour in online gaming, in which players distort or subvert orderly play through acts that violate protocol. From the perspective of many a gamer, griefing serves no purpose other than annoyance, since it exploits the rules of play to disrupt play itself. Yet in “Amazon Noir: Piracy, Distribution, Control,” Michael Dieter calls attention to “how the forces confined as exterior to control (virality, piracy, noncommunication) regularly operate as points of distinction to generate change and innovation.” The Amazon Noir project exploited vulnerabilities in Amazon.com’s Search Inside!™ feature to redistribute thousands of electronic texts for free through peer-to-peer networks. Dieter demonstrates how this “tactical media performance” challenged a cybernetic system of control by opening it up to new and ambiguous creative processes. Two of this issue’s pieces explore a specific error at the nexus of media and culture, and in keeping with Hill’s concept of “revealing errors,” use this “glitch” to lay bare dominant ideologies of media use. In her essay, “Artificial Intelligence: Media Illiteracy and the SonicJihad Debacle in Congress,” Elizabeth Losh focuses on a highly public misreading of a Battlefield 2 fan video by experts from the Science Applications International Corporation in their testimony before Congress on digital terrorism. Losh argues that Congress’s willingness to give audience to this misreading is a revealing error in its own right, as it calls attention to the anxiety of experts and power brokers over the control and distribution of information. In a similar vein, in Yasmin Ibrahim’s essay, “The Emergence of Audience as Victims: The Issue of Trust in an Era of Phone Scandals,” explores the revealing error of interactive television gone wrong. Through an examination of recent BBC phone-in scandals, Ibrahim explores how failures—both technical and ethical—challenge an increasingly interactive audience’s sense of trust in the “reality” of mass media. Our final essay takes up the theme of mutation as genetic error. Martin Mantle’s essay, “‘Have You Tried Not Being a Mutant?’: Genetic Mutation and the Acquisition of Extra-ordinary Ability,” explores “normal” and “deviant” bodies as depicted in recent Hollywood retellings of comic book superhero tales. Error, he argues, while signalling the birth of superheroic abilities, marks a site of genetic anxiety in an informatic culture. Mutation as “error” marks the body as scapegoat, signalling all that exceeds normative control. In each of these essays, error, noise, deviation, and failure provide a context for analysis. In suggesting the potential for alternate, unintended outcomes, error marks a systematic misgiving of sorts—a creative potential with unpredictable consequences. As such, error—when given its space—provides an opening for artistic and critical interventions. References “Art Fry, Inventor of Post-It® Notes: ‘One Man’s Mistake is Another’s Inspiration.” InventHelp. 2004. 14 Oct. 2007 http://www.inventhelp.com/articles-for-inventors-art-fry.asp>. Barthes, Roland. S/Z. Trans. Richard Miller. New York: Hill and Wang, 1974. Baudrillard, Jean. The Transparency of Evil. Trans. James Benedict. New York: Verso, 1993. Deleuze, Gilles. “Postscript on the Societies of Control.” October 59 (Winter 1992): 3-7. Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 1987. Eco, Umberto. The Open Work. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1989. “Googlebombing ‘Failure.’” Official Google Blog. 16 Sep. 2005. 14 Oct. 2007 http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/09/googlebombing-failure.html>. Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Became Posthuman. Chicago: U Chicago P, 1999. Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture. New York: NYU Press, 2006. Lyotard, Jean-Francois. The Postmodern Condition. Trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: Minnesota UP, 1984. Moulthrop, Stuart. “Error 404: Doubting the Web.” 2000. 14 Oct. 2007 http://iat.ubalt.edu/moulthrop/essays/404.html>. Poster, Mark. Information Please. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2006. Shannon, Claude, and Warren Weaver. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Urbana: U Illinois P, 1949. “Silly Putty®.” Inventor of the Week. 3 Mar. 2003. 14 Oct. 2007 http://web.mit.edu/Invent/iow/sillyputty.html>. Wiener, Norbert. The Human Use of Human Beings. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 1988. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Nunes, Mark. "Failure Notice." M/C Journal 10.5 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0710/00-editorial.php>. APA Style Nunes, M. (Oct. 2007) "Failure Notice," M/C Journal, 10(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0710/00-editorial.php>.

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