Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Decades of Searching
The Mothers and Grandmothes of The Plaza de Mayo Movement

Sunday, July 30, 2017

History, Language, and 1984

When the government can control everything, who can control the true history of the world? That’s one of the many questions brought up by George Orwell’s novel 1984, in which the reader follows an average man in a not so average situation. Winston Smith lives in a fantasy world that most western readers wouldn’t think to be real, his life, his job, and the concept of Big Brother are at the center of the story. His job is to alter newspaper articles to match the current history of the storyline, but in the end the history is being rewritten with alternative facts. When the government can control everything, they can also control the flow of information even when the information is false. Through the story we’re introduced to the concept that history is something that existed for a certain time before the new world order took over. There is nothing beyond a certain time period because the past existed but the moment Big Brother took over everything else could be rewritten to align with thoughts and beliefs of the current regime. How does 1984 measure to the views of Fascism or is the government within the story a different kind of world order? Through the history of the story, the fascist thinkers of the twentieth century, and the language of the people of the book, it can be determined what kind of government is truly ruling within the pages of the classic novel.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Security in the Cyber Era


The debate over a free and unobstructed internet has been brewing over the last decade as countries have adopted laws in order to secure its borders. Many countries have adopted draconian laws in order to ensure that their citizens are protected but the laws restrict the free flow of information in an effort to keep others from having access to the country’s inner secrets. How these laws would impact the country’s national security against terrorism or other attacks is unknown. Yet the increased demand on the cyber world has made many countries open to any kind of attack from any source around the world. Terrorism is no long a singular attack against a specific target, it can now effect targets from multiple arenas with just the click of a button. The source of the attack may not even be terror related, it can in the end be one man attempting to reveal how one country is spying on all the others. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review – Haruki Murakami’s Underground

The people of terrorist attacks, which stem from breaches in the security of a city or nation are often the last to be seen when reading about the securitization of the world. Often times their voices are left out by those who seek to understand their story, and the impact it has on the security of the survivors. Haruki Murakami’s book Underground seeks to give a voice to the people affected by the attack on the Tokyo Subway in 1994. The first part of the book was originally published in 1997, with the testimonies of the victims of the sarin gas attack, the second part was published in 1998 with the testimonies of those involved with the cult Aum Shinrikyo. The translation came out two years later giving the world a look at the victims of a crime that most didn’t know about. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Opposites Attract:

Gender Roles in Early Cinema


Nothing shocks an audience as much as a character who intended to be one sexual orientation is played by the opposite sex. For them most part in Hollywood the reason why a studio would hire a male actor to play a female role or a female actress for a male role would have various meanings. An actress might be paid less, or the role is physically impossible for a male or female actor to play. This is something that is easily noticed in the earliest of cinema when Charlie Chaplin played the wife in the silent film A Busy Day, or when Betty Bronson played Peter Pan for the first time. Both characters are easily distinguishable for who they’re supposed to be, male or female, but their roles were played by the opposite gender.
This paper is meant to study how Hollywood used male and female actors to play roles for the opposite sex in order to understand sexuality in film. Where these characters meant to be portrayed as queer, were the actors themselves queer? Through a study of films from the early 1910’s until the Golden Era of film in the 1950’s this paper seeks to address the role of the male or female cross-dressed actor in their portrayal as well as the reason why queer actors were marketed as heterosexual during their time on screen.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Modern Girls: Japan’s Generation of Change

The modernization of the world that began during the industrial revolution slowly made its way across the word throughout the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. The Modern Girl or the Modern Woman was spreading throughout the world in the early twentieth century. When Western culture made its way to Japan the young girls no longer saw a need in their parents traditional ideals, they saw a freedom in clothing and self-expression that had once been frowned upon. Women wanted the right to vote, they wanted to work, and they wanted the ability to choose what they were able to do with their lives. Yet in Japan the Modern Girl, also known as modan gaaru or moga, became a subject of concern from those who valued traditional roles. Japan as a country wanted to preserve their national identity from industrialization while they adapted to the change that was sweeping the world. When the Modern Girl began to rise with the roaring twenties young women in Japan weren’t immune to the change in culture. What made them different created a cultural backlash against their wish for freedom. Yet they were able to become a cultural icon in their own right and usher in a new era of women’s freedoms in their country that included sexual freedoms which frightened their parents. Their power over the change of the pre-war Japanese era drove fashion and change for women of the country but also had a cultural impact on the future of Japanese women. What the modern girl offered the Japanese people in the new century was faced with both criticism and acceptance but it would also become the catalyst that would define what the future generations of Japanese women would become in popular culture. The rise of the modern girl would divide the country into those who embraced the new generation versus those who disregarded it as something that would bring the down fall of Japanese society, by looking at it from a historical perspective it is easy to note that the rise of this generation would bring forward a culture that would become Japanese in its own right through fashion, cosmetics, and the café culture that has been embraced by the Japanese people. The modern girl symbolized how the modernization of women in Japan lead to the fear for the future of Japan’s national identity and the downfall of their pride in their country.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book Review: Battle Royale Slam Book

            Book to movie adaptations aren’t a new genre of film, many books have been adapted into film during the short history of cinema. Although many have caused controversy over the years none have caused such a stir as the adaptation of the cult novel Battle Royale. The story of Battle Royale is simple but also devastating, a group of 30 students are trapped on an island with collars on their necks, they must kill one another until one is left standing as the ultimate victor. In The Battle Royale Slam Book: Essays on the Cult Classic by Houshun Takami edited by Nick Mamatas and Masumi Washington [Haika Soru; 2014; San Francisco; 185 pgs; $14.99; ISBN” 978-1421565996] is collection of essays analyzing the impact of not just the novel but the movie and Japanese manga as well. Mamatas and Washington brought together writers from every spectrum to show that the cult phenomenon that was released over 15 years ago still has an impact on the world today. As well as how the story of a group of classmates trapped in a battle to the death has changed the dystopian movie genre completely. So why is it important to look at this book? As an adaptation Battle Royale the movie as well as the books have thoroughly influenced other movies. In a time where dystopian movies where the central focus is a group of kids fighting the government or an outside power this book demonstrates why characters and history matter as well as teaching these stories within a school setting.