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Slamdance Film Festival 2023 Introduction, William L. Blizek 2023 University of Nebraska at Omaha

Slamdance Film Festival 2023 Introduction, William L. Blizek

Journal of Religion & Film

Introduction to the 2023 Slamdance Film Festival


Sundance Film Festival 2023 Introduction, John C. Lyden 2023 University of Nebraska Omaha

Sundance Film Festival 2023 Introduction, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

Introduction to our coverage of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.


“For The Moment, I Am Not F*Cking,” I Am Tweeting: Platforms Of / As Sexuality, Jacob Johanssen 2023 St. Mary's University

“For The Moment, I Am Not F*Cking,” I Am Tweeting: Platforms Of / As Sexuality, Jacob Johanssen

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This article develops the argument that digital platforms are significantly infused with originary (and unconscious) residues of the sexual. Drawing on Laplancheian conceptualizations of sexuality, I argue that the digital has always been sexual(ised) in itself – a process that precedes and exceeds the erotic or pornographic. For Laplanche, sexuality is constitutive of the human subject as such. Infantile sexuality is shaped and transformed in an enigmatic relation with the caregiver. Drawing on this model as an analogy, I claim that users are drawn to platforms because they (unconsciously) desire to return to infantile sexuality and a holding environment but …


Amazon Web Services, The Lacanian Unconscious, And Digital Life, Marshall N. Armintor 2023 University of North Texas

Amazon Web Services, The Lacanian Unconscious, And Digital Life, Marshall N. Armintor

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In late 2011, ex-Amazon developer Steve Yegge’s rant about his former company described Amazon’s rapid transformation from an online bookstore to a web-services entity with a ruthlessly unified platform, all guided by the idea that the company’s effort to streamline its internal efficiency could be monetized, and the resultant software products sold through Amazon Web Services. The media consumerism that fed Amazon’s early years funded a surveilling behemoth, one that everyone feared Microsoft would become. As such, AWS has become a manifestation of the internet’s Lacanian unconscious (even providing the services and hosting for Reddit), structured around the optimization of …


Purloined Significance: How Recidivism Algorithms Capture, Transform, And Automate Our Intersubjective Unconscious As Data, Macy McDonald 2023 SUNY University at Buffalo

Purloined Significance: How Recidivism Algorithms Capture, Transform, And Automate Our Intersubjective Unconscious As Data, Macy Mcdonald

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Ever since ProPublica published their groundbreaking analysis of Northpointe’s Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions Core Risk and Needs Assessment software (COMPAS) in 2016, this web-based decision support system (DSS) has spawned a wide range of critiques and charges of racial bias. COMPAS provides a full suite of decision support applications to the US prison-industrial complex, including algorithmically derived recidivism predictions that increasingly guide parole decisions. The larger conversation surrounding COMPAS raises the question of how we analyze powerful, and yet opaque, data assemblages. In this article, I model an allegorical analysis of data assemblages. I argue the skills …


Community Despite Connection: Resisting The Digital Logics Of Optimization And Failure, Irina Kalinka 2023 Brown University

Community Despite Connection: Resisting The Digital Logics Of Optimization And Failure, Irina Kalinka

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

If a certain brand of aspirational tech-utopian discourse is to be believed, those privileged enough to be plugged into digital information technology are living through a golden age of connection. Platforms claim to facilitate sharing and partaking, bring people together, and bestow upon them new and improved spaces to gather and build communities. While reality differs decidedly from such idealized conceptions, it is nonetheless crucial to ask what kind of guiding vision is being instituted through such representational efforts: namely, the figure of community made operational and optimizable. This project will reject such idealized visions of coherent communities drawn together …


The Social Sinthome, Ryan Engley 2023 Pomona College

The Social Sinthome, Ryan Engley

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Much of the critical discourse on social media misidentifies its problematic features as bugs, or problems to solve. Supposed solutions to these problems tend to focus on individual actions. We should delete the apps, own our own data, never click on recommended videos, and realize that we are the product. But if predatory algorithms succeed by individuating people—selling people “choice” and “options” as it harvests user data—then an entire online ecosystem arranged through the logic of that design can neither be meaningfully challenged nor effectively understood at the level of the individual alone. Transformative action addressing social media can only …


#Emotional: Exploitation & Burnout In Creator Culture, Sarah Thorne 2023 Memorial University of Newfoundland

#Emotional: Exploitation & Burnout In Creator Culture, Sarah Thorne

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In recent years, a growing list of content creators have published videos announcing that they are leaving YouTube, taking a break, or reducing their upload schedule (Alexander). Many of these young creators state that their decision resulted from burnout, caused by a relentless schedule and obsession with YouTube’s algorithm and analytics— tools essential to success on this highly competitive creative platform (Srnicek). Its opaque algorithm, however, induces anxiety; an affect described as that which “arises when the subject is confronted by the desire of the Other and does not know what object he is for that desire” (Evans 12). Here, …


Everybody Wants To Be A Fascist Online: Psychoanalysis And The Digital Architecture Of Fascism, Anthony Faramelli, Imogen Piper 2023 Goldsmiths College, University of London

Everybody Wants To Be A Fascist Online: Psychoanalysis And The Digital Architecture Of Fascism, Anthony Faramelli, Imogen Piper

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Félix Guattari and Franco Berardi have both argued that media ecologies and psychic ecologies are intimately intertwined and as such, any exploration of the collective unconscious must engage with how the mind is formed with and through media. This understanding of networks of interdependence necessitates an exploration of how platformization has impacted users” collective psyche. Drawing from psychosocial theory, psychoanalysis and the work of Félix Guattari, this article analizes the micropolitics of desire of digital platforms, with an explicit focus on how algorithmic structures amplify extreme Right content, allowing fascisms to metastasis throughout digital spaces. It will first examine the …


“There Is No Pandemic”: On Memes, Algorithms And Other Interpassive Forms Of Right-Wing Disbelief, Scott Krzych 2023 Colorado College

“There Is No Pandemic”: On Memes, Algorithms And Other Interpassive Forms Of Right-Wing Disbelief, Scott Krzych

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This essay examines several prominent memes that have circulated on Right-wing social media during the Covid-19 pandemic. The memes coordinate what I describe as a mode of interpassive humor, which positions those who “believe” in the crisis as naïve dupes, infantilizing those subjects who have fallen prey to the idea that they should take the pandemic seriously, and thereby delegating fearfulness to the other so that reactionary Covid-19 denialists may continue with their lives unaffected. The essay thereby seeks to draw suggestive lines of affiliation between studies of digital memes, evolutionary mimetics, and psychoanalytic theory, pointing to the algorithmic …


“Love Thy Social Media!”: Hysteria And The Interpassive Subject, Jack Black 2023 Sheffield Hallam University

“Love Thy Social Media!”: Hysteria And The Interpassive Subject, Jack Black

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

According to the 2020 docudrama, The Social Dilemma, our very addiction to “social media” has, today, become encapsulated in the tensions between its facilitation as a mode of interpersonal communication and as an insidious conduit for machine learning, surveillance capitalism and manipulation. Amidst a variety of interviewees – many of whom are former employees of social media companies – the documentary finishes on a unanimous conclusion: something must change. By using the docudrama as a pertinent example of our “social media malaise,” and while remaining aware of the problems and unethical practices encompassing international digital/social media companies, this paper …


Lacan And The Algorithm, Clint Burnham 2023 Simon Fraser University

Lacan And The Algorithm, Clint Burnham

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Exploring the development of algorithms in Lacanian theory, specifically the "R schema" in the 1950s, I argue that psychoanalysis, read through contemporary debates about the "algorithmic cult" of Netflix and other avatars of popular culture, can be said to reveal the inhuman, machinic essence of subjectivity. The etiology of algorithms, mathemes, and other formulae and diagrams in Lacan’s oeuvre has been under-studied, in part because for some readers they are not as attractive as his more bravura flourishes of word play as exegetical excess, and in part because they derive largely from the ‘hard’ structuralist moment of his work in …


Platform Psychoanalysis: What Does The Algorithm Want?, Matthew Flisfeder 2023 University of Winnipeg

Platform Psychoanalysis: What Does The Algorithm Want?, Matthew Flisfeder

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

No abstract provided.


When Sexuality Becomes Healing: An Interview With Elsbeth Fraanje On Her Documentary Sexual Healing, Johan Roeland 2023 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

When Sexuality Becomes Healing: An Interview With Elsbeth Fraanje On Her Documentary Sexual Healing, Johan Roeland

Journal of Religion & Film

This is an interview with Elsbeth Fraanje, the director of Sexual Healing.


Sexual Healing, Johan Roeland 2023 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Sexual Healing, Johan Roeland

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Sexual Healing (2022) directed by Elsbeth Fraanje.


Okay! (The Asd Band Film), Michele M. Desmarais 2023 University of Nebraska at Omaha

Okay! (The Asd Band Film), Michele M. Desmarais

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of OKAY! (The ASD Band Film) (2022) directed by Mark Bone.


A Still Small Voice, Dereck Daschke 2023 Truman State University

A Still Small Voice, Dereck Daschke

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of A Still Small Voice (2023), directed by Luke Lorentzen.


Bagdad On Fire, John C. Lyden 2023 University of Nebraska Omaha

Bagdad On Fire, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Bagdad on Fire (2023), directed by Karrar Al-Azzawi.


Good Grief, John C. Lyden 2023 University of Nebraska Omaha

Good Grief, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Good Grief (2023), directed by Rob Sharp.


Don't Worry About It, John C. Lyden 2023 University of Nebraska Omaha

Don't Worry About It, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Don't Worry About It (2023), directed by Melissa Kong.


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