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2.5 Is the author dead?

When Roland Barthes (1915–80) wrote ‘The Death of the Author’ (first published 1968, reprinted in Barthes 1977), he did not mean that, like Wimsatt and Beardsley, the author had been, or should always have been, absent in the interpretation of art works. Instead his position is a historicised one: while once it might have been acceptable to refer to the author in the interpretation of an art work, now, in a post-modern world, it is not. Michel Foucault (1926–84) responded to Barthes (
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Introduction

This course is on Christopher Marlowe's famous play Doctor Faustus. It considers the play in relation to Marlowe's own reputation as a rule-breaker and outsider and asks whether the play criticises or seeks to arouse audience sympathy for its protagonist, who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 24 years of power and pleasure. Is this pioneering drama a medieval morality play or a tragedy?

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in the Arts. You might be i
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2.7 Interpreting the classical form

The female nudes in The Death of Sardanapalus are of the curvaceous, fleshy, wild-haired type favoured by Rubens, slightly streamlined for a contemporary audience. We can see in the work the influence of Rubens’s Landing of Maria de’ Medici at Marseilles (1621–5) (Plate 6). The standing nude in the foreground of Delacroix’s painting was painted from life, but was influenced by a nereid (sea-nymph) in Rubens’s Landing as well as by one of the nudes in his Rape
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3.2 The propaganda function of Jaffa

When Jaffa was exhibited in 1804, it was greeted with great acclaim and would thus seem to have fulfilled the propaganda purpose for which it was intended. Like The Battle of Nazareth, it deals with the later stages of the Egyptian campaign after the French had invaded Syria, which, like Egypt, formed part of the Ottoman (Turkish) empire. The French assault on Jaffa in March 1799 culminated in the massacre on Bonaparte's orders of some 2,500–3,000 Turks, who had surrendered th
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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce materia
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Keep on learning

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Activity 26

Mainstream photographers, as we have seen, identified with traditions in the fine arts and aspirations of refinement and moral improvement. However, fairground and seaside operators exploited photography as a form of cheap popular entertainment. This and the fact that itinerants usually worked on spec rather than to commission ensured that they were generally viewed with contempt by the photographic establishment.

Contempt pervades the article entitled ‘Five minutes in a photographic
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6.3 Seaside photography

Image 88 Photographer/Painter: Anon. Subject: New Brighton beach featuri
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Activity 3

Various stock types of difficult sitter recur in the literature. Painters, of course, posed the biggest threat. Other difficult customers included those accompanying sitters: the gentleman with the lady, the mother with the child, the owner with the pet.

Activity 3a

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3.1 Introducing ideology in portraiture

Figure 9
Image 9 Phot
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand that photographs are shaped by a set of conventions based on ideas and practices which are not immediately apparent

  • understand that photographs, like other documentary records, are partial and biased

  • understand that photographs, like other documentary records, require critical analysis and careful interpretation

  • understand the importance of contextualisation in analysing ph
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3.6 Assessing James's argument

James argues as follows:

A It is impossible to experience an emotion without feeling bodily changes.

B Therefore, an emotion is a set of bodily feelings.

Activity 6

<
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2.3 Essential properties and central cases

What should we expect a finished answer to the ‘What is…?’ question to look like? It might be suggested that we should answer this question by identifying a set of features that are shared by all uncontroversial cases of emotion – for example, cases of anger or fear – and that are not shared by psychological occurrences of other kinds – for example, hunger or cowardice. Once we have identified these features, we will be able to refer to them to decide any controversial cases. An a
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2.2.4 Model 4: African + Roman = Afro-Roman cultural mixing (fusion)

This model proposes that the combination of a Roman conquest and an African context led to the creation of a new and vital mixture, a cultural fusion of African and Roman traits. In this scenario we might expect to find cultural elements which may be originally Roman but are reworked in the African context to produce something new and different. Perhaps we need a new term for the result – something like Afro-Roman or Romano-African culture. In the previous activity the temples of Saturn, Me
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2.7 Conclusion

Having asked you to think about these perspectives on religion and approaches to its study, I must again emphasize that this is a very crude way of characterizing a very complex area of research. These perspectives are not watertight compartments into which all study of religion fits – life is not that simple! Some religious standpoints are themselves reductionist: for example, Anglicans in the ‘Sea of Faith ’movement regard themselves as Christians, while considering belief in the supe
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2.3 Is religion a museum piece?

We have used the video sequence below to highlight the emic/etic problem and we would like you to carry out a short exercise using it to consolidate your understanding of these terms.

The video introduces St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in Glasgow, which has been described as the first public museum of religion in the world. Do note, however, that the Museum of Religions at the University of Marburg, Germany was founded in 1927 by Rudolf Otto. It contains a considerable number
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2.1 New perspectives

The purpose of studying religion is to make the strange familiar, and the familiar strange.

Exercise

We would encourage
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1.1 What are the issues?

Some themes recur when we start to think about religion. These include issues of continuity and change, representation, differing perspectives, authority, community and identity. In this course we start to consider some of them in detail.

The full list of themes and issues considered in this section are:

  • Continuity and change

  • Representation

  • The Victoria and Albert Museum 'Sacred Spaces' exhibition of 2000


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3.1 An introduction to gamelan music

The previous section introduced you to a music tradition which places great demands on the inventiveness and virtuosity of a single individual. Although this individual is supported by accompanists, it is to a large extent a soloistic music. We will now move on to a very different kind of music, in a tradition which places more emphasis on group interaction and ensemble playing. This is gamelan music of Sunda, an area comprising roughly the western third of the island of Java, in Indon
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