Tag Article List: film

Conceptualizing Empathy and Prosocial Action: Teaching Film within theLiterature Classroom

Mayuri Deka
University of the Bahamas
Nassau, The Bahamas
mayuri.deka@ub.edu.bs

Abstract

The experience of viewing a movie in the global era is multi-faceted. A viewer’s response to a cinematic experience as Carl Plantinga explains in Moving Viewers: American Film and the Spectator’s Experience is not only admiration for the aesthetics and techniques employed in the movie but also in the emotions aroused by the storyline. Audiences react to the story and characters presented with directed emotions by imagining either their mental lives and feelings or their situations. Empathy occurs within this framework of imagination where the audience engages with the story and character based on these directed emotions. The audience could not only empathize with the story or character by experiencing a similar emotion but also think about a similar situation they have experienced and attribute the emotion they experienced to the story or character. Watching a film such as How to Train Your Dragon (2010) would allow the instructor to help students sustain a coherent identity and find similarities with more and more diverse groups of people, leading to a reduction in prejudice while promoting an empathic identity. This facilitation of the development of complex identity-contents in the students based on universal affective states and life-conditions should result in them taking practical steps to alleviate the Other’s suffering and engage in social change through empathic reflection.

Keywords: Film, literature, empathy, Self/Other, pedagogy

Author Bio

Dr. Mayuri Deka is the Chair of English Studies at The University of the Bahamas. She has published and presented numerous papers on the areas of multi-ethnic identities, diasporic literatures, Postcolonial literatures, cinema, and pedagogy. Articles and chapters can be found in South Asian Review, The Journal of the School of Language, Literature & Culture Studies,Teaching Hemingway and Race and such. She is in the process of writing her book on pro-social pedagogy and social justice. Deka has taught a wide range of American and World literature courses, including texts from various diasporas and focusing on the interactions within cultures and races.

Suggested References

APA

Deka, M. (2021). Conceptualizing empathy and prosocial action: Teaching film within the literature classroom. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 8(3). http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v8-issue-2/conceptualizing-empathy-and-prosocial-action-teaching-film-within-theliterature-classroom/

MLA

Deka, Mayuri. “Conceptualizing Empathy and Prosocial Action: Teaching Film within the Literature Classroom.” Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, vol. 8, no. 3. http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v8-issue-2/conceptualizing-empathy-and-prosocial-action-teaching-film-within-theliterature-classroom/

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A Gendered Perspective on Policing Violence in Happy Valley and Fargo

T. Allen Culpepper
Tulsa Community College
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
allen.culpepper@tulsacc.edu

Abstract

Portrayal of a police officer determined to fight crime and execute justice in a harsh, isolated environment has become a television and film subgenre, often featuring women facing gender-related challenges. The issues raised in Sally Wainwright’s British television series Happy Valley, can be made more accessible, particularly to American undergraduate students, via its commonalities with the Coen brothers film Fargo. In both, a tough but compassionate policewoman pursues the more sociopathic of a pair of criminals involved in a botched kidnapping attempt instigated by an inept businessman, taking on the case for personal and professional honor, and as a responsibility to family and community. Catherine in Happy Valley and Marge in Fargo juggle “masculine” and “feminine” roles as they care for family members while policing violence.  The women generally succeed in balancing their gender roles, whereas the men around them do not. But they sometimes assume the aggression associated with the male criminals they pursue. Happy Valley takes these issues deeper by giving Catherine a more intimate connection with one of the perpetrators and presenting the story more directly through a woman’s extra-patriarchal perspective, thus revealing the performative nature of gender roles and the limits of a patriarchal binary view of them. Looking at these issues in relation to Fargo paves the way for examination of their more complex and extensive treatment in Happy Valley.  

Keywords: television, women, gender, police officers, crime, northern England, film, violence, Happy Valley, detective, Fargo

Author Bio 

T. Allen Culpepper is an associate professor of English at Tulsa Community College in Oklahoma, where he teaches literature, composition, and creative writing.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tulsa, with a primary specialization in 20th-century British literature. He has a longstanding interest in the interplay between literature and popular culture. He is also a poet, and he currently serves as faculty managing editor of the online literary and arts magazine Tulsa Review, and as a reader for Whale Road Review and Nimrod.

Reference Citation

APA
Culpepper, T. A. (2018). A gendered perspective on policing violence in Happy Valley and Fargo. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy. 5(3). http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v5-issue-3/a-gendered-perspective-on-policing-violence-in-happy-valley-and-fargo/

MLA
Culpepper, T. Allen. A Gendered Perspective on Policing Violence in Happy Valley and Fargo. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy. 2018, vol 5, no. 3. http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v5-issue-3/a-gendered-perspective-on-policing-violence-in-happy-valley-and-fargo/

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