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Mc1week 10 09

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Newm1001 Media Cultures Lecture week 10 …

Newm1001 Media Cultures Lecture week 10
Tracey Meziane Benson

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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  • 1. Cultural Mythologies Media Cultures NEWM1001 Week 10 - 22 September 2009
  • 2. Myth
    • ‘ Ancient or not, mythology can only have an historical foundation, for myth is a type of speech chosen by history: it cannot possibly evolve from the ‘nature of things … Speech of this kind is a message … It can consist of modes of writing or of representations … photography, cinema, reporting, sport, shows, publicity …’ (Barthes, ‘Myth To-day’, 2000:110)
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 3. Semiotics and Interpretation
    • Ferdinand Sassure’s structure of language:
    • Signified object is ‘denoted’ by a Signifier
    • (an actual tree) (the word ‘tree’ or in another language …?)
    • The combination of the Signified + the Signifier = SIGN
    • (the object) + (the word)
    • This combination, this SIGN, ‘connotes’ many different meanings, and depending on how many of these we are familiar with, we interpret the sign’s meanings
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 4. A second level of interpretation
    • At the level of connotation and myth, this sign becomes a new signifier. The new signified are all the stories that can be interpreted and linked to the image, and the new sign is the ‘myth’.
    • i.e. Sign (1) + Signified (2) = SIGN (2)
    • word+ thing stories myth
    • referred to
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 5. ‘Reading’ Images
    • Denotation
    • The literal meaning of an image, the content what we can see and name as we look at the image. Our description of what the image depicts in a ‘commonsense’ way. What is ‘signified’.
    • Connotation
    • Wider fields of meaning that can be drawn from the image. The broader semantic field. All the possible interpretations that different people can read into an image – all the different stories it can tell. What the ‘sign’ has to say.
    • So let’s look again now at Barthes’ definition of ‘myth’…
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 6. Myth
    • ‘ Ancient or not, mythology can only have an historical foundation, for myth is a type of speech chosen by history: it cannot possibly evolve from the ‘nature of things … Speech of this kind is a message … It can consist of modes of writing or of representations … photography, cinema, reporting, sport, shows, publicity …’ (Barthes, ‘Myth To-day’, 2000:110)
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 7. Denotation – Connotation - Myth
    • Denotation
    • What is signifier? What is in the picture?
    • What does it refer to?
    • Connotation
    • Broader interpretation
    • Myth
    • What is the ‘wider, cultural message or theme?’ (Hall 1997:40)
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 8. What stories are here? Is there a myth? Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 9. Does it differ here? Or is it part of the same one? Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 10. Another kind of toy story Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 11. What myths does this image key into? Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 12.
    • Myth as a type of speech , communication, that has been ‘chosen by history’
    • Barthes,110
    • Likewise, societies choose what becomes history – we choose our myths
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 13. Myths are often Open Secrets
    • Eg. “wine” and “milk”
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 14. In terms of Foucault’s sense of ‘discourse’ and power:
    • Secrecy can serve to hide the mechanisms of the ways in which a particular discourse makes it easy to manipulate power.
    • Secrecy can also create ‘cracks’ in power systems where people can exercise some freedom in and gain some protection from the power wielded within a particular discourse.
    • Secrecy happens because it is to someone’s advantage if a story remains hidden.
    • Secrecy often has to do with shame or taboo.
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 15. Other Myths?
    • ANZAC
    • Princess Mary – Crown Princess of Denmark
    • New Media
    • Commonsense
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 16. Angels How many myths, or is it just a really big one embracing many beliefs and practices? Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes

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