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Author: Jyhene Kebsi

Abstract

This paper looks at the field of world literature through the lens of the narratives of paperless migrants. I propose a paradigm of world literary texts that criticize the barriers preventing or restricting Southern border crossers’ ability to circulate freely in this so-called global village. Hakim Abderrezak coined the neologism “illiterature” in order to refer to the literature of “illegal” migration. This paper situates illiterature within the ongoing debate over the redefinition of world literature. It sheds light on contemporary theorizations of world literature in order to show that illiterature represents a transnational genre that incarnates a cross-national interaction exemplary of a world literary model that criticizes the hierarchy of mobility and the unequal access to movement.

In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

This essay provides an analysis of the impact of Netflix on the African screen media sector, by focusing on the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood). It follows the invitation to study Netflix in specific socio-historical and national contexts that several scholars have formulated over the past few years as a way to respond to the complexity of the emerging landscape of internet-distributed television. In order to achieve this objective, the essay focuses on the impact of Netflix’s involvement on the production and distribution of Nigerian content, offering also a few insights on the equally important topic of Netflix’s impact on African audiences. The overall aim is to historicize Netflix’s intervention, detailing the phases of its involvement in Nigeria, its specificities in relation to the intervention of previous local and international actors in the field of content production and distribution (on both streaming and digital television networks), and the controversies its arrival triggers among film professionals in the largest African screen media industry.

In: Studies in World Cinema
Author: Aakshi Magazine

In his precise yet evocative introduction to Bullets over Bombay: Satya and the Hindi film Gangster, film critic Uday Bhatia writes that as he began speaking to the crew members on the gangster film Satya (Ram Gopal Varna, 1998), he often found them narrating different accounts of the same behind-the-scenes moments. He jokes that maybe the Satya team had colluded “to each tell me a slightly different version of what went down” (p. 10). Instead of taking this as a limitation, Bhatia recognises this as reflecting the nature of the film’s making and narrates

In: Studies in World Cinema
Author: Matthew Marcus

Abstract

The mini-series Ethos (Bir Başkadır), produced by Netflix Turkey, was a critical and social media sensation, distinguished by its narrative and visual sophistication and its explicit engagement with contemporary social, cultural and political tensions. However, considered in light of larger questions about Netflix and streaming television in general, Ethos also provides a meta-commentary on contradictory aspects of streaming television, particularly those discussed by Ramon Lobato in his book Netflix Nations. In particular, Ethos self-consciously calls attention to ways in which it is simultaneously a local and transnational product. It also invites consideration of the divergent expectations and responses of its varied audiences, both in Turkey and abroad.

In: Studies in World Cinema
Author: Miya Treadwell

Abstract

In this article, I argue that recent Black American narratives on Netflix intersect with and can be understood through principles of world cinema. Black American narratives have long existed outside of the Hollywood conventions that often serve as a line of demarcation in world cinema scholarship. Building on Lúcia Nagib’s definition of world cinema () and her concept of realistic modes of production (2020a/2020b), I show how contemporary Black American narratives on Netflix are sustaining a diasporic perspective. Although originating in the US, its marginalized production and preoccupations with colonial dynamics or racial and geographical inequality help to regard this content as a mode of world cinema. Moreover, as In Our Mothers’ Gardens () and High on the Hog () demonstrate, these connections with world cinema have been intensified by Netflix’s production model.

Open Access
In: Studies in World Cinema

Abstract

The article analyzes the catalog, acts of curation, and promotional materials of the Romanian-based vod platform Cinepub (www.cinepub.ro). It also draws evidence from an interview conducted with the founder and manager of the platform, Lucian Georgescu. The analysis reveals the embedding of the service in the Romanian cinema culture, as well as in a global digital periphery. Some of the aspects that make Cinepub’s service stand out, the article argues, can be interpreted as responses to and reflections of its embedding. The broader question raised by my case study is to what extent and under what conditions vod s from the European periphery can become viable actors on present-day markets.

In: Studies in World Cinema

Abstract

This essay investigates the worldly parameters of the Netflix documentary genre. While Netflix on the surface communicates a rhetoric of a truly global vision for media production and circulation, data analysis shows that the documentary genre is still predominantly U.S. American. I use Raymond Williams’ 1975 caution that “genuinely open skies” would be almost impossible to materialize to interpret the implications of this in today’s global landscape. A close analysis of the 2019 Academy Award-winning documentary American Factory, a text that takes the cultural clash between the U.S. and China in the wake of globalization as its subject, reveals the geopolitical stakes of such documentary mediation and imbalance. Combining quantitative and qualitative readings ultimately offers a window onto the tensions between cultural imperialism and globalization in both form and content within the Netflix documentary genre.

In: Studies in World Cinema
Author: Amber Shields

Abstract

This article examines how through their competitive drive to expand in India’s rapidly growing market, the streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime are contributing to a shift in the country’s media production and content by opening up the market to more women creators and consumers. Beginning by looking at production shifts, this article will then explore how these shifts are impacting content. Streaming series examined here will include Netflix’s Bombay Begums (Alankrita Shrivastava, 2021) and Masaba Masaba (Ashvini Yardi, 2020) and Amazon Prime’s Four More Shots Please! (Rangita Pritish Nandy, 2019–2020) and Made in Heaven (Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, 2019). All these shows not only center on female protagonists, but are created, written, and directed by women. Just as the new possibilities of multiplex cinema impacted mainstream cinema as filmmakers crossed between the alternative and multiplex markets and the mainstream, this shift has the potential to have ramifications in further content creation and will be something to watch as the streaming service sector continues to grow in India.

In: Studies in World Cinema
Author: Nathanael Pree

Abstract

This article takes two epidemics, one historical and the other allegorical, for comparison against the current Covid-19 crisis. Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year consists of a narrator whose objectivity and existence are ambiguous. José Saramago’s Blindness, published in the original Portuguese as an “essay,” traces the journey of a cluster of citizens through a polis afflicted by a sudden, infectious outbreak. The respective experiences of confinement: at home, in a disused mental hospital, and within the wider spaces of the city, are analysed in this article with reference to Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization, alongside seminal works by Giorgio Agamben, Michel de Certeau and Susan Sontag. The article also aims to indicate how the current Covid-19 crisis may provide a scene of reading, alongside a contemporary response from Slavoj Žižek.

Open Access
In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

Both individual and public witnessing have always been integral to the process of living through catastrophe. Writing, and particularly literature, is a powerful form of witnessing. Reading José Saramago’s Blindness (1995) in tandem with Orhan Pamuk’s The While Caste (1985), this essay engages with the concept of witnessing, extending and deepening the way we might think about witnessing in a novel way in times of epidemics and pandemics. By reading these texts as narratives of plagues and epidemics at large, this essay aims to expand and challenge the association between witnessing and speech, between witnessing and sight through a critical attention to the role of affect, vitality, human and nonhuman materiality, and other communicative modes in these novels. While representing pandemics and epidemics, both Saramago and Pamuk, I argue, represent life, death, and the relation between self and other “beyond the human,” with powerful implications for our contemporary understanding of history, community, and politics. Thereby, these texts create dynamic, and unorthodox narrative strategy for relating to, connecting with, and narrating other and more-than-human worlds, affected by heteronomy amid contagion.

Free access
In: Journal of World Literature