Faculty Lecture Series Begins Winter Semester with Talk on Oscar-Winning Film The Hurt Locker

The Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences will continues its 2010–2011 Faculty Lecture Series with “The Hurt Locker: Chasing ‘The Man,’” presented by Kate Waites, Ph.D., professor in the college. The talk will take place on Thursday, Jan. 13, from noon to 1:00 p.m., in the Parker Building, room 240.

Kathryn Bigelow’s 2009 Oscar-winning film, The Hurt Locker, is composed of seven Bravo One missions, featuring newly assigned staff sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner), a cool and reckless technician and disposer of IEDs who sports his 873 dismantled bombs like so many notches on a gun or wins on a scorecard.

Fueled by what embedded journalist Chris Hedges refers to as the “drug” of war, James continually reenacts the trauma of hegemonic masculinity even as he fortifies himself with the armor it produces. Fundamental to this exercise is a distancing, not only from himself and “threatening” emotions and relational ties, but also from the traditional signifier of this brand of masculinity and its binary—the qualities, behaviors, and experience traditionally associated with the feminine.

This lecture examines how director Bigelow, wielding four muscular cameras in her action film, effectively employs the cinematic language of masculinity to explore the signifiers that serve to keep the hero/cowboy contained in the “hurt locker” of masculine gendering and, perhaps, the nation at war.

The annual Faculty Lecture Series draws from the knowledge and expertise of more than 120 full-time faculty members within the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences. The series explores the faculty’s diverse areas of interest in the arts, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences.

These talks are free and open to the public. For more information on the college’s Faculty Lecture Series, contact Jim Doan, Ph.D., professor in the college, at (954) 262-8207 or visit www.fcas.nova.edu/articles/fls.

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