Death, Genre, and Gender in the Graphic Novel I Kill Giants
Summary / Abstract: This paper analyzes the heroic narrative in the graphic novel for children and youth I Kill Giants. Since the central theme of the novel is the heroine’s dealing with the loss of a parent, the analysis relies on recent research on the topic of death in children’s and adolescent literature that emphasizes a close connection between this topic and gender representation/construction. Dealing with the death of loved ones and the awareness of the inevitability of one’s own death in children’s literature is often presented as part of the growing-up process in which heroines acquire knowledge about their position within social power structures. The paper focuses on the main structural elements of the heroic narrative, such as overcoming obstacles through action, triumphing over the enemy, perseverance, and commitment to the goal as the main features of the hero’s character. From the point of view of feminist literary criticism, the paper aims to show that progressiveness in terms of gender construction, apart from the inclusion of a female character in the position of a hero, requires redefining most of the main structural elements of this predominantly male genre. These changes in the graphic novel I Kill Giants have undermined clear boundaries within the binary oppositions: male-female, private-public, civilized-wild, realistic-fantastic, rational-emotional, adult-child, showing significant possibilities for these types of interventions within the genre framework of the heroic narrative.
Summary / Abstract: The patriarchal system is based on the idea of phallocentrism, in which phallus, or male sexual organ, represents the central element in the organization of society. In such a system, a woman is perceived through her lack of phallus by which she symbolizes the threat of castration, or in other words, castration anxiety. The gender difference, defined by this deficiency, is used to establish a system in which a woman is subordinate to men. As such, a woman is the subject of a controlling “male gaze.” Using the theoretical framework set by Laura Mulvey in her essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Film,” this paper shows how the “male gaze” influences the construction of female characters in contemporary cinematography. The example used for this analysis is the series Queen’s Gambit, which was well received by the feminist audience, despite the fact that the main character was adjusted on various levels to serve the requirements of the “male gaze.” Additionally, part of the paper will analyze harmful stereotypes through which racial and sexual minorities are presented in the series and point out how the film industry shapes social norms and lifestyles through the normalization of such models.
Keywords:Queen’s Gambit, male gaze, feminism, Laura Mulvey, addiction, stereotypes
Apocalyptic Discourses about Ecological Crisis in Contemporary Media Culture
Snežana Milin Perković
Summary / Abstract: Ecology is a very common topic in contemporary media, whether it concerns global problems, like climate change and devastation of ecosystems, or it addresses local questions of air, water, or soil pollution, waste disposal, or natural resources. As an inspiration for apocalyptic discourses, the ecological catastrophe remains in media culture, dispersing through visions of a changed future worlds, a collapse of an overpopulated and resourse-drained civilisation, devastation of natural and living worlds, pollution sickness, wars, and a growing social-economic gap. Media texts that are the subject of the research show shapes of apocalyptic scenarios in the everyday talk about ecological problems, but they also present many meanings and interpretations of these issues, especially in terms of economic and political interests that induce complex discourses about sustainable growth, that is the capability of the system to avoid collapse and control the risks it is based on. The text clearly presents several ecological topics and their different interpretations that imply a crisis of trust in institutions (a trust that they are capable of resolving ecological problems), as well as the potential of apocalyptic discourses as political and ideological means in defining the crisis and keeping it within the system.
Keywords: ecology, apocalypse, discourses about the end of the world, media text analysis, ecological catastrophe, climate change, overpopulation
Gender and Name: Towards Thinking of the Possible in the Work of Judith Butler and Sylvain Lazarus
Summary / Abstract: Judith Butler analyzes the concepts of name and naming in clear opposition to psychoanalytic theory, as well as structuralist anthropology, in which, starting from the experience of the lesbian position in Willa Cather’s prose, she recognizes and exposes patrilineal model of thinking and naming. This line of thought will be shown critique of Sigmund Freud’s critical studies regarding the status of the body and erogenity, the dialectic of having and being a phallus in the early phase of Jacques Lacan’s work, and examining the question of the imaginary or symbolic status of the phallus in Lacan’s work. However, starting from Miller’s (Jacques-Alain Miller) reading of Lacan’s seminar L’envers de la psychanalyse, in the section “Father’s Names,” we will reconstruct a radical break in the theory of the late Lacan, both in relation to Freud, but also regarding his own position from the early phases and point to the understanding of names as a place of convergence of the late psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan and the theory of Judith Butler. This will be followed by a discussion of the same problem (names) in the work of the French anthropologist Sylvain Lazarus in an attempt to show how the discussion of this problem can be understood homologously with Butler’s reading of Willa Cather’s prose. In the following part, we will try to show how late Lacan’s theory and Lazarus’s Anthropology of the name can provide a fruitful framework for a theoretical dialogue with Judith Butler and a re-examination of traditional conceptions of language and naming.
Keywords: name, gender, the name of the father, polysemy, intellectuality, prescription Judith Butler, Sylvain Lazarus
New Menstrual Terminology in the Context of Judith Butler’s Gender Theory
Summary / Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the new menstrual terminology in the context of certain principles of Judith Butler’s gender theory. Over the last few years, it has been emphasized, in public and academic discourse, that menstruation is not exclusively a feminine question, but it also affects people who do not feel or identify as cis women. It is about trans, intersexual, genderfluid, and non-binary people. Menstrual movements are formed to plead the linguistic reformulation of menstrual terminology and its gender neutrality. We will briefly expose the elements of Judith Butler’s gender theory that are relevant to this topic. We will focus on Butler’s thesis that sex and gender are socially, performatively constructed categories and that language is the main field of its origin and reformulation. We will study the origins and causes of this terminology, its consequences, and how the new menstrual concepts affect the redefinition of female and gender identities in general, considering the arguments of the trans movement and the arguments of radical feminism.
Violence TOWARDS Women, Violence OVER Women, Violence AGAINST Women: How Preposition Changes (or Does Not Change) the Conceptualization of Violence and the Conceptualization of Woman
Summary / Abstract: A more profound study of prepositions within the framework of cognitive linguistics has highlighted the importance of the category of space in structuring both concrete and abstract meanings. Simultaneous, inconsistent, but grammatically correct use of three prepositions in the constructions: “violence TOWARDS women,” “violence OVER women” (not used in the English language, but very common in the Serbian) and “violence AGAINST women” imposed the need for a detailed analysis of these three prepositions in the mentioned constructions and the similarities and differences of mental representations that may exist among speakers of the Serbian language, depending on which preposition is used. A key feature of cognitive linguistics – recognizing the influence of human beings and their environment on the formation and development of meaning – required an interdisciplinary approach, and therefore contextualization and explanation with the help of feminist theory, bearing in mind that the phenomenon of violence against women is primarily recognized, described and explained by feminist activism and theory. The interaction of language and environment can create or indicate cracks in certain concepts, which are especially prominent when there is a choice between several linguistic expressions that more closely denote and describe these concepts. Considering that the patriarchal structure of society creates a specific type of violence – violence that takes sex difference as an imperative, this paper seeks to show and explain the conceptual cracks related to violence and women and have arisen in the interaction of language and that patriarchal structure of society.
Long March of Women: Labour Movement and Its Impact on the Intellectual and Social History of Conflicts
Summary / Abstract: This paper analyzes basic theoretical notions of the oppression of women, class inequality, women’s history, and gender history discussed in the study named Dugi ženski marš. Položaj radnica i ženski aktivizam u Hrvatskoj između dvaju svjetskih ratova authored by a croatian historian Ana Rajković (2021). What is more, the paper examines the role of these assessments in creating the historiographical narrative as a whole. The study by Ana Rajković is an innovative synthesis of various insights about women’s history in both the labour and feminist movement in Yugoslavia in the interwar period. Furthermore, the study provides possibilities for (re)interpretation of these insights in the context of women’s contemporary social and intellectual history. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to re-examine the theoretical and methodological differences between contemporary historiography, of which Ana Rajković is a representative, and seminal historical syntheses in Yugoslavia after the Second World War, whose main focus was also on female members of the communist movement and their activity in the interwar period.
Keywords: gender history, women’s history, Ana Rajković, women, labour movement, social history, marxism, class