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Out of Sync & Out of Work

History and the Obsolescence of Labor in Contemporary Culture

Joel Burges (author)

ISBN: 9780813597119

Publication Date: Jun 2018

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Explores the representation of obsolescence, particularly of labour, in film and literature during a historical moment in which automation has intensified in capitalist economies. Joel Burges analyses texts such as The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wreck-It Ralph, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Iron Council, and examines their "means" of production.
£29.50

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Out of Sync & Out of Work explores the representation of obsolescence, particularly of labor, in film and literature during a historical moment in which automation has intensified in capitalist economies. Joel Burges analyzes texts such as The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wreck-It Ralph, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Iron Council, and examines their "means" of production. Those means include a range of subjects and narrative techniques, including the "residual means" of including classic film stills in a text, the "obstinate means" of depicting machine breaking, the "dated means" of employing the largely defunct technique of stop-motion animation, and the "obsolete" means of celebrating a labor strike. In every case, the novels and films that Burges scrutinizes call on these means to activate the reader's/viewer's awareness of historical time. Out of Sync & Out of Work advances its readers' grasp of the complexities of historical time in contemporary culture, moving the study of temporality forward in film and media studies, literary studies, critical theory, and cultural critique.
Illustrations 5 colour, 25 black & white illustrations
Pages 236
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Jun 2018
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Subject/s Social classes   Literature: history & criticism   Media studies   Social theory   Personnel & human resources management   Film theory & criticism  
  • Introduction: Falling into History
  • 1 Culture by Outmoded Means
  • 2 Reading by Residual Means
  • 3 Narrative by Obstinate Means
  • 4 Cinema by Dated Means
  • 5 Politics by Obsolete Means
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Index
Joel Burges is an assistant professor of English at the University of Rochester in New York. He is coeditor of Time: A Vocabulary of the Present.

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