Numer 14 (1/2020)
Redaktor: Marek Paryż
Spis treści
Strony
Pobierz
Justyna Włodarczyk
Beyond Bizarre: Nature, Culture and the Spectacular Failure of B.F. Skinner’s Pigeon-Guided Missiles
7 – 20
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Słowa kluczowe

World War II | animal studies | behaviorism | behavioral science | positive reinforcement | B.F. Skinner | pigeons | animal training|
instinctive behavior | military animals | bioweapons

Streszczenie

The article uses posthumanism and animal studies as a framework for making sense of B.F. Skinner’s wartime project of training pigeons to guide missiles, with emphasis on explaining the negative response of the donors and the public. The article first considers the hypothesis that the donors’ incredulity was evoked by the species of the animal. During World War II the United States began a massive program for the training of dogs for the military, and the campaign received unanimously positive publicity in the media. Possibly, thus, dogs were perceived as capable of bravery and sacrifice while pigeons were not. However, messenger pigeons had been traditionally incorporated into the war machine and were perceived as heroic. Thus, the analysis moves on to suggest that the perception of the project as ridiculous was related to the type of behavior performed by the animals: a behavior perceived as trained (artificially acquired) and not instinctive. The analysis then shifts into how the distinction between what is perceived as instinctive (natural) and learned (artificial) behavior influences the reception of different performances involving animals. Performances built around “natural” behaviors generate much stronger positive responses, even if the naturalness of these behaviors is a carefully crafted effect.

Afiliacja

Uniwersytet Warszawski
Małgorzata Olsza
Feminist (and/as) Alternative Media Practices in Women’s Underground Comix in the 1970s
21 – 37
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Słowa kluczowe

American comics | American comix | women’s comix | feminist art and theory | media practices

Streszczenie

The American underground comix scene in general, and women’s comix that flourished as a part of that scene in the 1970s in particular, grew out of and in response to the mainstream American comics scene, which, from its “Golden Age” to the 1970s, had been ruled and construed in accordance with commercial business practices and “assembly-line” processes. This article discusses underground comix created by women in the 1970s in the wider context of alternative and second-wave feminist media practices. I explain how women’s comix used “activist aesthetics” and parodic poetics, combining a radical political and social message with independent publishing and distributive networks.

Afiliacja

Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Arkadiusz Misztal
Dream Time, Modality, and Counterfactual Imagination in Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon
39 – 57
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Słowa kluczowe

Thomas Pynchon | temporal imagination | narrative time | modality | possibility

Streszczenie

This paper elucidates the structure and scope of Pynchon’s temporal imagination by studying the complex relations between narrative time and modality in his 1997 novel Mason & Dixon using the conceptual framework of contemporary narratology. It argues that Pynchon’s use of the subjunctive mode allows him not only to articulate the political and ideological concerns in his vision of America on the eve of its founding but also to address the problems of historicity, causality and irreversibility of time. By employing the subjunctive as a general narrative strategy, Mason & Dixon challenges the various temporal regimes and discourses of modernity, and projects imaginative re-figurations of time and space. In carrying this out, the novel moves beyond what Pynchon calls “the network of ordinary latitude and longitude” (Against the Day 250) and replaces a totalizing singularity with plurality of times and timescapes.

Afiliacja

Uniwersytet Gdański
Ewelina Bańka
Walking with the Invisible: The Politics of Border Crossing in Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway: A True Story
59 – 69
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Słowa kluczowe

immigration | U.S.-Mexico border | border crossing | illegal alien | Luis Alberto Urrea

Streszczenie

The article focuses on Luis Alberto Urrea’s non-fiction book The Devil’s Highway: A True Story (2004) as a critique of the politics of border crossing and of the mechanisms of state power that shape the contemporary anti-immigration discourse. Drawing on diverse sources, the writer reconstructs the story of twenty-six Mexican men who in May 2001 attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border at one of its deadliest stretches—The Devil’s Highway. Documenting the story of the “undocumented,” Urrea reveals the forces that render the migrants alienated, racially stigmatized, criminalized, and dehumanized. The writer also points out that the current political debate on illegal immigration essentially pre-empts the need for a discussion that would focus on the human conditions that trigger migration rather than on the illegality of border crossing. Thus, the book reconstructs the tragic incident at the border that not only shows how the story was controlled and narrated by the entities of power but, more importantly, how it was experienced by the walkers.

Afiliacja

Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II
Alicja Piechucka
“We All Want to Be Seen”: The Male Gaze, the Female Gaze and the Act of Looking as Metaphor in Emma Cline’s The Girls
71 – 82
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Słowa kluczowe

feminism | Emma Cline | The Girls | Laura Mulvey | the male gaze | the female gaze | American novel

Streszczenie

Emma Cline’s 2016 novel The Girls, famously inspired by the Manson family and the murders committed by the group in 1969, is in fact a feminist bildungsroman. Its middle-aged protagonist-cum-narrator reflects not only on her own life and identity, but, most importantly perhaps, on what it means to grow up as a woman in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The present article centers on the ocular trope which Cline uses in her novel in order to showcase issues such as self-perception, self-worth and the shaping of young women’s identity. Focusing on the metaphorical dimensions of the act of looking, I propose to read Cline’s novel in light of Laura Mulvey’s seminal feminist theory of the male gaze and the opposite notion of the female gaze formulated by later feminist scholars. My analysis foregrounds those aspects of The Girls which make it a protest novel, denouncing the female condition in patriarchal societies and suggesting ways of opposing the objectification and indoctrination which lead to women being manipulated and victimized.

Afiliacja

Uniwersytet Łódzki
Łukasz Muniowski
“Stealing Stuff Is about the Stuff, not the Stealing”: Rick and Morty and Narrative Instability
84 – 94
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Słowa kluczowe

TV series | narrative instability | Rick and Morty | narrative theory | animated series

Streszczenie

Rick and Morty, one of the most popular presently-airing American TV series, is deeply rooted in popular culture. Each episode is full of allusions and references to other cultural texts, accentuating the show’s own status as a pop cultural text. This article analyzes the third episode of the fourth season of Rick and Morty, “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty,” using Stefan Schubert’s concept of narrative instability. The episode mocks twist films by introducing a ridiculous number of twists, eventually making the viewer immune to the element of surprise usually brought on by what Schubert understands as unstable moments. In doing so, the episode also emphasizes the overuse of that narrative device in recent decades in films, TV series and video games. “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty” deconstructs twist films while sticking to the rules of the sub-genre and remaining entertaining in its own right. Instability can pose quite a problem for the showrunners, who usually have to adjust to the norms of serialized storytelling. By using Schubert’s theory of narrative instability to discuss a singular episode of a series, I hope to demonstrate the extent to which this quality has permeated modern storytelling. The episode highlights the effects of over-reliance on narrative instability as a tool, as even the most elaborate form is not enough to make up for the lack of essence. This is exactly what Rick criticizes in the episode, when he states: “stealing stuff is about the stuff, not the stealing.”

Afiliacja

Uniwersytet Warszawski
Julia Nikiel
Epic Fail: The Failure of the Anthropostory in Douglas Coupland’s Post-Millennial Prose
95 – 107
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Słowa kluczowe

Anthropocene | posthumanism | Douglas Coupland | extreme present | making-with | Narrative Drive | storyliving

Streszczenie

The aim of the paper is to discuss the conceptualization of humanity’s planetary agency offered by a Canadian author, Douglas Coupland, in his three post-millennial novels: Generation A, Player One: What Is to Become of Us?, and Worst.Person.Ever. Exposing the egotism of what for years he has been calling humanity’s “Narrative Drive,” Coupland comments on the fallacies of the Anthropocene. Advocating the power of stories to act as models for approaching climate change in its hyperobjectivity, the three novels hint that unless people learn to story-tell-with other terran forces and agents, the anthropostory, which positions humans as the only active agents in a sequential narrative of conquest and destitution, is bound to come to an abrupt end.

Afiliacja

Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
Grzegorz Welizarowicz
Weirdness at Midnight (review essay)
109 – 122
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Afiliacja

Uniwersytet Gdański
Michał Choiński
Book review: David A. Davis, World War I and Southern Modernism
123 – 125
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Afiliacja

Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie
Tomasz Sawczuk
Book review: Harri Veivo, Petra James, and Dorota Walczak-Delanois (editors), Beat Literature in a Divided Europe
126 – 128
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Afiliacja

Uniwersytet w Białymstoku
Jennifer Ryan-Bryant
Book review: Denijal Jegić, Trans/Intifada: The Politics and Poetics of Intersectional Resistance
128 – 130
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Afiliacja

State University of New York, USA
Łukasz Muniowski
Book review: Stefan Schubert, Narrative Instability: Destabilizing Identities, Realities, and Textualities in Contemporary American Popular Culture
131 – 132
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Afiliacja

Wszechnica Polska Szkoła Wyższa w Warszawie
Jędrzej Burszta
Book review: Aldona Kobus and Łukasz Muniowski (editors), Sex, Death, and Resurrection in Altered Carbon: Essays on the Netflix Series
133 – 138
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Afiliacja

Uniwersytet Warszawski
Pobierz cały numer
1 – 138
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Polish Association
Institute of English Studies
ISSN 1733-9154
for American Studies
University of Warsaw
e-ISSN 2544-8781