Coded Realities

Broj 1 - Godina 4 - 12/2013

Uvodnik

The seventh issue of [sic] was conceived as an open-themed issue, unrestricted by a specific topic, genre or mood. Yet, the papers that made it through the review process all seem to remind the readers that our reality is coded in so many ways. Whether it is by means of a literal code, such as the one used between the brothers Vrančić, one a cardinal and writer, the other a diplomat and poet, to prevent others from reading their letters, or a less conspicuous one, such as the one that transforms reality into reality TV, our literature, art and culture seem to rely heavily on cyphers, secrets and the tension between the real and the false. At times, in Grand-Guignol, the boundaries between viewing a play and witnessing a violent act become blurred as the viewer unintentionally becomes a witness or even the perpetrator of violent acts represented (faked!) on a stage in order to seem real. Questions of (in)authenticity and the construction of personal or cultural identity also contribute to our sense of our life, our very existence being coded intentionally and unintentionally in a myriad of ways. ..

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Izdvojeno

Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys provides different perspectives of the educational system, which are reflected in different teaching techniques used by the fictional teachers. The play reflects the clash between two ways of producing legitimacy for education – the modern that relies on grand narratives, and the postmodern that relies on performativity and profitability. The issues raised by Bennett concern the changes in the educational system triggered by reforms introduced in the 1980s that were perceived as a gradual commodification of education. Changes in educational policy governed by neoliberal logic continue to have great impact on contemporary education with the introduction of the Bologna process. The only female teacher in Bennett’s play Mrs Lintott, offers a feminist critique of the system of education as well.Keywords: Alan Bennett, The History Boys, neoliberalism, education, commodificationSet during the rule of Margaret Thatcher in England, Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys reflects the changes in educational policy and strategies at that period (Jacobi, 76), and raises many issues about the nature of education and knowledge that remain important even today. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate two ways of producing legitimacy for knowledge that can be detected in Bennett’s work: the modern that relies on grand narratives and the postmodern that uses performativity as the crucial criterion of legitimacy. In the play, the clash of the two ways of producing legitimacy is represented as the clash of teaching methods employed by different teachers and is most evident in opposing ideas about knowledge espoused by the teacher of general studies Hector and the history teacher Irwin. New ways of producing legitimacy need to be analyzed in the context of the changes in social and political reality that started in the 1980s and continue to have great impact on contemporary education with the introduction of the Bologna process. Irwin’s teaching ethics and his approach to history go hand in hand with the changing perspectives on education supported by the school headmaster who embraces educational reforms that seek to adapt systems of education to the new economic climate governed by neoliberal logic that subjects all aspects of life to demands of the market. In addition, the history teacher Mrs Lintott, whose teaching method is not suitable for the new political and economic context either, offers a critique of the educational system from a feminist perspective....

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The paper analyzes the use of humor in the work of Luiseno artist James Luna. Utilizing the media of performance, photography and installation, using himself as the object of representation, Luna has created a recognizable artistic style that addresses the complex issues of American Indian identity and representation. His installations The End of the Frail (1990-91) and The Artifact Piece (1987, 1990) both point at the constructed nature of Native identity. Whereas the former employs satire, self-stereotyping, parody and humor to expose and confront the colonial myths, distorted attitudes and pictographic representations of Native Americans, the latter addresses the issues of Native absence and invisibility in the dominant culture. Representing himself as an artifact to provoke laughter, shock and discomfort, in The Artifact Piece Luna clearly disclosed the relationship between Western institutions of knowledge and the culture of the spectacle. Both installations draw attention to the tie between imperialism and material forms of production and representation, indicating the still ongoing institutional investment in Native allegorization through commodification and scientific practices, the fact that even today Native American identity is compromised by the colonial discourse and its disciplinary practices and imagination. Using Bhabha’s concepts of mimicry and hybridity, Bakhtin’s theory of humor and Vizenor’s trickster holotrope, our analysis discusses the subversive potential of Luna’s auto-ethnographic project, its potential to deconstruct the meta-narratives of Otherness and colonization, and create new spaces for social dialogue and cultural survival. ...

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Otkako je u selu ostalo još samo jedanaest učenika i četiri učitelja, koji zajedno čine osnovnu školu, nastavnik tjelesnog odgoja predaje prirodu i društvo. Otada se na satovima prirode i društva uvježbava skok u dalj preko jedne vječito mokre pješčare i igra graničar, ljeti s loptama, zimi s grudama. U ovoj igri učenici se dijele na narode. Koga lopta pogodi, mora se povući iza linije paljbe jer je mrtav i gledati dok svi iz njegova naroda ne budu pogođeni, gledati dok, kako to selo zove, ne padnu. Nastavniku tjelesnog teško je podijeliti učenike. Zato nakon svakog sata zapisuje kojem je narodu koji pripadao. Tko je na prošlom satu bio Nijemac, na sljedećem mora biti Rus, a tko je na prošlom satu bio Rus, taj smije na sljedećem biti Nijemac. Događa se da nastavnik ne uspije nagovoriti dovoljan broj učenika da budu Rusi. Kad više ne zna kako dalje, samo kaže, Budite onda svi Nijemci. Idemo! Budući da u ovom slučaju učenici više ne shvaćaju za što bi se borili, dijele se na Sase i Švabe. ...

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Na ovim je sjevernim zemljopisnim širinama temperatura od 17 stupnjeva ispod ništice bila pravo ljeto. To je najhladnije nastanjeno mjesto na zemlji. Pričalo se da se jedan starac na trenutak zaustavio jednog popodneva i krv mu se sledila u žilama. Stoga su Eveni, nomadski narod, s razlogom nastavljali svoj put, uostalom, samo su držali korak sa životinjama. Njihov bog Hovki stvorio je sve oko njih, iako su pojedinosti o tome kako je to činio pomalo nejasne. Ipak je to bilo jako davno, no oni znaju da pripadaju svemu ovome, svemu oko sebe i prirodi, kao da im je rođak. Njihova riječ za medvjeda ista je kao ona za djeda. I dovoljno dugo su tu da bi znali da starješine lete prema suncu na leđima sobova. Životinje su se teškim korakom kretale po mahovini, a njen je paperjasti prekrivač upijao svaki zvuk. Kroz nepregledni gustiš breza tanke zrake sunca, poput bambusovih stabljika, pokazivale su smjer, a tajga se činila kao da joj nema kraja. Goniči sobova zgrbili su se od hladnoće, a krhki se led hvatao za slojeve sirove kože i krzna koji su ih poput kukuljica branili od zraka na kojem se sve smrzavalo kao u tekućem dušiku. A tempom od pet milja na dan uz životinje probijao se i Boz koji je na ove ledene sibirske temperature došao kako bi pobjegao od žene. ...

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