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Desiring resistance in the age of globalization

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The aim of this article is to explore the theoretical implications of the popularity of the South Korean film Shiri (1999) and that of the academic bestseller, Empire (2000) in thinking through the concept of ‘resistance’. Though different in their respective media and discursive fields, both texts display a symptomatic denouncement and recuperation of the humanist discourse of ‘resistance’ in the age of globalization and metanarrative criticism. What is at stake, it is argued, is the collective, political fantasy of becoming what Michael Warner calls ‘the mass subject’. The operation these two texts perform is to give the consuming mass subjects the thrill of imminent revolution, accompanied by the spectacular destruction of the social order, all the while maintaining the basic tenet of humanist belief: the solidarity with fellow ‘human’ beings.

Keywords: Globalization; Humanism; Mass Subject; Metanarrative criticism; Resistance; Spectacle

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Brown University

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.  
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