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Contested Mindscapes: Exploring Approaches to Dementia in Modern Popular Culture

Contested Mindscapes: Exploring Approaches to Dementia in Modern Popular Culture

by Thomas A. Christie


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Dementia is a mental health condition which affects an estimated 50 million people worldwide. Yet it has, until recently, been an unfairly neglected subject in popular culture.

Contested Mindscapes considers the ways in which the arts have engaged with dementia over the past twenty years, looking at particular examples drawn from the disciplines of film and television, popular music, performance art, and interactive entertainment.

Examining a variety of creative approaches ranging from the thought-provoking to the controversial, Contested Mindscapes carefully contemplates the many ways in which the humanities and entertainment industries have engaged with dementia, exploring how the wide-ranging implications of this complex condition have been communicated through a variety of artistic nodes.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780995589759
Publisher: Extremis Publishing Ltd.
Publication date: 11/30/2018
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Dr Thomas A. Christie is a Scottish author with research interests in popular culture, literary analysis, interactive fiction and modern cinema. He has many years of experience as a literary professional, working in collaboration with several publishing companies including Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Crescent Moon Publishing and Robert Greene Publishing. His full-length works to date have focused upon subjects such as cinema history and literary criticism, as well as the production of original prose fiction.

A passionate advocate of the written word and literary arts, over the years Tom has produced original writing for respected organisations such as the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum and a leading independent higher education research unit based at the University of Stirling. Additionally, he is regularly involved in public speaking events and has delivered guest lectures and presentations about his work at many locations around the United Kingdom.

Tom holds a PhD in English Studies, on the subject of Scottish Literature, from the University of Stirling. He has also been awarded a first-class Honours degree in Literature and a Master's degree in Humanities, specialising with distinction in British cinema history, from the Open University in Milton Keynes.

For enquiries related to the commissioning of new work from Tom, his literary agent is Professor Robert Lecker of the Robert Lecker Agency in Montreal, Canada.

For more details about Tom and his work, please visit his website at www.tomchristiebooks.co.uk.

Table of Contents

Introduction (Page i)

Film and Television

1. Pathos and the Sitcom: Keeping Mum and The League of Gentlemen (Page 3)

2. Time and Intergenerational Relationships: John Williams’ Firefly Dreams (Page 17)

3. The Many Faces of Dementia: Alan Alda and Portrayals of Mental Health in ER and Diminished Capacity (Page 25)

4. Living Long and Prospering: Changing Representations of Dementia in the Star Trek Franchise (Page 33)

5. Dementia and the Challenge of Deduction: Nicolas Boukhrief’s Cortex (Page 47)

6. Festive Themes and Christmas Memories: Chazz Palminteri’s Noel (Page 55)

7. Satirical Approaches and Dementia Clichés: South Park’s Grey Dawn (Page 63)

8. Eliminating the Impossible: Mitchell and Webb, Sherlock Holmes and Dementia (Page 71)


9. Stoking the Flames of Remembrance: Ed Sheeran’s ‘Afire Love’ (Page 81)

10. In Search of Lost Memories: Jill Sobule’s ‘Claire’ (Page 89)

11. Determining Personas in Shifting Soundscapes: Brian Griffith’s Memoirs of Dementia (Page 97)

12. Understanding That Transcends Generations: Harry Gardner’s ‘Not Alone’ (Page 105)

13. Rage Against Complacency and Expectation: Whitechapel’s ‘I, Dementia’ (Page 113)

14. Celebrating Superheroes of the Everyday: Massive Dog’s ‘When You Were Superman’ (Page 121)

15. True Emotion and Nebulous Perception: Chadwick Johnson’s ‘Remember Love’ (Page 129)

16. A Euphoric Challenge to Delirium: Owl City’s ‘Dementia’ (Page 137)

Dramatic and Performance Arts

17. An Operatic Interpretation of Dementia: John O’Hara and Karen Hayes’s The Bargee’s Wife (Page 147)

18. Misplaced Property and Recollections: Ian Kershaw’s Lost and Found (Page 155)

19. The Quiet Power of Monologic Discourse: Maria Jastrzebska’s Dementia Diaries (Page 163)

20. Constructing and Exploring a Box of Memories: Brendan Murray’s Monday’s Child (Page 171)

21. Grace, Motion and Freedom: The Chaturangan Dance Company and Fleeting Moments (Page 179)

22. Abstruse Existence and Malleable Realities: Jackie Kay’s Mind Away (Page 187)

23. Jubilation and Apprehension: The Sandglass Theater’s D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks (Page 195)

24. Bridging Laughter and Despondency: Patrick Jones’s Before I Leave (Page 203)

Video Games and Interactive Entertainment

25. A Journey to Mania and Dementia: Bethesda Softworks’ The Elder Scrolls: The Shivering Isles (Page 213)

26. Dementia in the Digital Domain: CRL Software and Mel Croucher’s iD (Page 221)

27. Exploring Dark Corners of the Mind: AGaming+’s Dementia (Page 229)

28. Illumination and Hallucinations: Rainbird Software’s Weird Dreams (Page 237)

29. Inner Disquiet in Outer Space: Visceral Games’ Dead Space (Page 245)

30. Virtual Worlds and Mindscapes: White Paper Games’ Ether One (Page 253)

31. Mystery and Suspense in Unexpected Places: Campo Santo’s Firewatch (Page 261)

32. Digital Challenges with Real-Life Benefits: Glitchers’ Sea Hero Quest (Page 269)

Image Credits (Page 277)

Acknowledgements (Page 281)

About the Author (Page 283)

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