JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

From the video
"Terri Music," 29 sec.

Honkey-tonk piano music is playing.

"Do you like that?"

Sounds of Terri's laughter.

"Do you like it? Huh?"

"What do you think?"

Click here to see video. Requires Real Player. Be sure to raise volume.

 

Terri Schiavo
Emergency analysis:
introduction

The papers in this section in Jump Cut were originally written for the Third Cultural Studies Association (of America) (CSA) meeting in April 21-24, 2005. Given the emphasis of CSA on political concerns related to cultural analysis, we offered a panel that would discuss how to do visual analysis in an “emergency” situation such as 9/11 or the Abu Ghraib scandal, when images are proliferating and progressives may desire to contribute to political analysis and debate. While many CSA members might know cultural products, we wanted to talk about how people might approach visual materials. Also we wanted not so much to read images per se but to emphasize techniques of image analysis. We proposed a similar “emergency” situation in which we would wait until about two months prior to the conference and then pick whatever visual material seemed to be circulating widely. 

While we considered the Michael Jackson trial and other events of spring 2005, in early April we were drawn—despite the complexity of the case—to the drama over Terri Schiavo whose husband was finally securing legal permission to remove her feeding tubes.   We settled on using six videos on her parents’ website at http://www.terrisfight.org/center.html[1]
since her parents were offering these as evidence of some mental viability for Schiavo. By the time of the conference, Schaivo had just passed away on March 31 although the results of the official autopsy and the Jeb-Bush-ordered final investigation of possible causes for her death had not yet occurred.

These papers are basically as presented at the conference, with customary minor changes. We would like to thank each other and the audience participants for the enthusiastic and intelligent response to this project. We hope the various approaches are helpful in contributing to progressive and effective political and cultural analysis. We would also like to thank Julia Lesage not only for her enthusiastic response to our panel and for inviting the publication of our presentations in this Jump Cut issue, but also for her and her colleagues’ vision to create an on-line journal so beautifully able to present new media analysis in an appropriately hyper-textual environment.

Notes

1. Accessed as late as April 21, 2005.  As of the submission of this article, the family has changed the website and the videos are no longer posted. 

Continued: Emergencies in visual culture


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