Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Narrative reflective self-understanding: the corporeal

This PhD project analyses the politics and aesthetics of depictions of torture in American and European ‘war on terror’ films.

Duration
2011  -   2015
Funding
NWO-Horizon NWO-Horizon

I explore which motivations and conditions are presented (how and if torture is presented as justifiable), which effects (such as information, or PTSS) are presented and which ideas about dominance, power, vulnerability and masculinity are a recurring theme and the ambivalent role of femininity in this. Furthermore, I analyse the extent to which torturers and victims invite the spectator to identify with their position.

I explore how these depictions convey agency, vulnerability and precarity, femininity and masculinity, the element of performance or role-play, which motivations, conditions and effects are presented (how and if torture is presented as justifiable), and the extent to which torturers and victims invite the spectator to identify with their position. My research is part of the NWO-funded interdisciplinary programme What can the humanities contribute to our practical self-understanding? that takes place at Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University.

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