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Embodied VisionsEvolution, Emotion, Culture and Film$
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Torben Grodal

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371314.001.0001

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Evolution, Biology, Culture, and Film

(p.3) 1 Introduction
Embodied Visions

Torben Grodal

Oxford University Press

This chapter advocates an embodied approach to studying the film experience because mind and body is a functional totality, and it argues that film studies and other fields within the humanities would benefit greatly by cooperating with the sciences, especially evolutionary studies and cognitive and neurological science. It describes an approach called bioculturalism that combines scientific research on the embodied human mind with cultural analysis; it further discusses why the neglect of the biological aspects of humans has led to problematic research in film studies and the humanities in general, and some of the reasons that the humanities have been hostile to science and to Darwinism. It discusses how central features of films are molded by emotions and cognitive structures that evolved in prehistoric Pleistocene hunter-gatherer societies, and demonstrates why those social constructionist descriptions of films that take language and discourse as their models miss how basic aspects of the film experience take place in nonlinguistic perceptual, emotional, and muscular parts of the embodied brain. It finally provides an overview of the content of the book.

Keywords:   evolutionary theory, embodied experience, cognitive film theory, neuroaesthetics, culture and film, social constructivism, universalism in film, bioculturalism

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