Senior Lecturer in Media and Film Studies, Stephen Harper will host a public Research Seminar on the 28th of March in Eldon Building, room 0.20, between 3 pm and 5 pm.
The Seminar is open to staff and students, as well as members of the public.
The Seminar is based on Stephen’s research, entitled, Girls on a Mission: Feminist Humanitarianism and the War on Terror in Tony Grounds’s Our Girl (BBC 2013-), and an abstract of which can be found below.
Our Girl (2013-) is a prime-time BBC television drama series about a young female Combat Medical Technician working for the British Army. The production recycles televisual and cinematic iconographies of the ‘war on terror’, blending the cosy conventions of soap opera with the grainy realism of the grunt film and the thematic and structural conventions of recent television documentaries about British soldiering overseas.
The drama also foregrounds a liberal-feminist sensibility, registering recent changes in the position of women in the armed forces and focusing on the attempts of a career-focused, working-class white woman to protect Muslim girls from the phallocentric fundamentalists who would exploit them.
Through a psychoanalytically-informed textual analysis of three of Our Girl’s central discursive strategies – its insistence on the human rights of young girls, its patriotic assertions of national and institutional belonging, and its careful recuperation of geopolitical critique – Stephen argues that Grounds’s drama offers audiences the pleasures of nationalistic ‘militainment’ (Stahl 2009) and evinces a paranoid anxiety about the existential threat posed by Muslim others, at home and abroad.
To contact Stephen, you can email him on Stephen.Harper@port.ac.uk
This lecture is a part of a series of Research Seminars, organised by Lincoln Geraghty, Stephen Harper, Laurel Forster, and Deborah Shaw; hosted by the Culture and Conflict Research Group, and the Media, Culture and Communication Research Group.