“Melodrama and Natural Science: Reading the “Greenwich Murder” in the Mid-Century Periodical Press” by Anne Rodrick
The “Greenwich Murder,” an 1846 infanticide and incest case, was covered extensively in the newspaper press. Reporters and editors employed both the language of melodrama and the language of the natural science lecture in order to help their readers understand how the arcane chemical data of the coroner’s inquest could reinforce the familiar tropes of good and evil embedded in domestic melodrama. This case demonstrates the ways in which these two competing frames existed in tension with one another and how journalistic practices began to change in order to accommodate readers’ appetites for complex criminal reporting.
Anarcho-Feminist Melodrama and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Claire T. Solomon
In her article “Anarcho-Feminist Melodrama and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (1929-2016)” Claire Solomon analyzes the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope as an apparatus of capture (Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand). More precisely, her article models how such tropes imply modes of reading anachronistically and metafictionally that decontextualize gestures of resistance and conflate female writers, performers, and characters across time and place. Solomon offers a situated formalist reading of Argentine playwright Salvadora Medina Onrubia’s 1929 drama, Las descentradas, revealing an avant-garde counterpoint of melodrama and metafiction as an ambiguous alternative to capture.
A postcolonial iconi-city: Re-reading Uttam Kumar’s cinema as metropolar melodrama” by Sayandeb Chowdhury
Since the early years of India’s emergence into a ‘post-colony’, the possibilities of the popular in Bengali cinema had to be renegotiated within the complex registers offered by a severely decimated cultural economy of the region. It could be claimed that by early 1950s, Bengali cinema’s negotiation of a linguistic and spatial equivalent of ‘disputed’ and ‘lost’ nation led to it trying to constantly spatialize Calcutta, offering several possibilities to reinterpret the metropolar visuality in and of the postcolonial city. Calcutta provided Bengali cinema a habitation, a metaphor of modernity and a spatial equivalent of a nation. A substantive share of Bengali cinema’s spatial turn was within the formal configurations of melodrama, the talisman of which was the star figure of Uttam Kumar. Kumar’s effortless urbanity stood vanguard to the popular-modern of postcolonial Bengali cinema, while his films also provided a sustained critique of the same. This article interrogates popular cinema from the vantage of the visualized space of the city. Drawing from space theory, melodrama and star studies, it interrogates the nature of the Bengali metropolitan-popular and would hope to provide a new understanding of cinema’s aesthetic institutionalization and narrative function within the scope of melodrama and stardom.