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SCSMI2017 Helsinki has ended
The annual conference of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI) welcomes you to the Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, June 11th – 14th, 2017

SCSMI2017 Helsinki program is under construction and changes are to occur. Meanwhile you may complete your personal information with a photo and some tags, so the other attendees and speakers will get to know more of you and your interests, and vice versa.

Go to registration or check practical information about accommodation etc. at http://scsmi2017.aalto.fi/
avatar for Nathaniel Epstein

Nathaniel Epstein

The New School
MA candidate in Media Studies
USA
I am an MA candidate in Media Studies at the New School in New York City. My Thesis is tentatively titled A Joker for All Seasons. For my MA thesis I will examine how The Joker rose to popularity and how that popularity could be sustained. I will first provide an overview of comic origins (his artistic influences) as well as his various appearances in different media that led to his expanding appeal to mass audiences. From this overview, I will continue to use the four feature live-action films-Batman: The Movie (1966) Batman (1989), The Dark Knight (2008) and Suicide Squad (2016)-as case studies for how he became a household name and how, perhaps subconsciously, he alleviated fears in the American psyche and simultaneously reflected those very same anxieties. I am using these four live-action films as opposed to televisual (animated or live action), textual (comic books and graphic novels), and ludonarrative (video games) depictions to contend that live-action films have appealed and continue to appeal to mass audiences as opposed to more select demographics. I also wish to use different theorists: Lewis Hyde, Walter Benjamin, and Mikhail Bakhtin to assess The Joker’s various appearances in film not only as brought on by popular demand, but also as necessary for the American psyche and its goodwill. All three theorists posit certain archetypes. Hyde details the mythological trickster, Benjamin outlines the flâneur, and Bakhtin posits Renaissance fool-all of whom were not only integral characters, but also requisite characters. The raison d’etre for these archetypes are to fulfill societal needs and to blur the lines between countless different boundaries and limitations. Finally, it is necessary to show why The Joker is a necessary character. To simply state his necessity in life by using theorists such as Benjamin, Hyde, and Bakhtin would be both reductive and unsubstantiated by any evidence. Instead, I seek to use periodicals as well as secondary sources relating to each of the film’s respective eras to point out to the common anxieties, fears, and worries of the time in the United States of America and how The Joker may amplify the fears of the time with his malicious and malevolent acts of mayhem, but also how The Joker through his humor may distract the American populace from problems in the real world or even how he may assuage the fears of the American psyche. I did my undergraduate work in film and media studies at the University of Chicago. My undergraduate thesis was titled Brechtian Elements in Three Films by P.T. Anderson.
Sunday, June 11
 

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Monday, June 12
 

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Tuesday, June 13
 

09:15

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Wednesday, June 14
 

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