Barthes’ "Mythologies" Today
Readings of Contemporary Culture
Edited by Pete Bennett, Julian McDougall
Routledge – 2013 – 174 pages
This is Barthes’ seminal text reimagined in a contemporary context by contemporary academics. Through a revisiting of Mythologies, a key text in cultural and media studies, this volume explores the value these disciplines can add to an understanding of contemporary society and culture. Leading academics in media, English, education, and cultural studies here are tasked with identifying the "new mythologies" some fifty or so years on from Barthes’ original interventions. The contributions in this volume, then, are readings of contemporary culture, each engaging with a cultural event, practice, or text as mythological. These readings are then contextualized by an introduction which reflects on the ‘how’ of these engaging responses and an "essay at the back of the book" which replaces Myth Today with a reflection on the contemporary provenance of both Barthes and his most famous book. Thus the book is at least two things at once whichever way you look: a ‘new’ Mythologies and a book about Barthes’ legacy, an exploration of the place of theory in critical writing, and a book about contemporary culture.
Part I: Fables of Reconstructions 1. Fables of Reconstructions Julian McDougall Part II: Mythologies 2.: The Face of Assange Oscar Gomez 3. The X Factor Tim Wall 4. Tastes of Paradise: The ‘Fair’ Trade Myth Jenni Ramone 5. Batgirl Will Brooker 6. Education as Mythology Nick Peim 7. Sherlocks for the Twenty-First Century Matt Hills 8. Myths of the Digital Age Gabriel Menotti and Antonio Fernandez-VicenteChapter 9: The Zombie Walk Julia Round 10. The Mythologised Accretions of Press Freedom Julian Petley 11. In Search of Higg’s Boson Angia Voela 12. The Cultural Politics of Being a Knob Ben Pitcher 13. Kylie Écriture Sunil Manghani 14. Signs and Symptoms of the Mad Genius Simon Cross 15. The Museum of Champions, Hyde Park, May 2011 Eileen Kennedy 16. Femininity and the Body: Spectacle and Signification Richard Berger and Mark ReadmanChapter 17: Reflections on a Passport Liesbet Van Zoonen 18. Lobottonised Media - Mythological Thought for the Day Paul A. Taylor 19. Ripper Dan Laughey 20. The Face of Noomi Rapace Roy Stafford 21. Time and the Pips Gary Seal 22. The National Team John Poulter 23. The Citroën Xsara Picasso Ben Taylor and Steve Jones 24. The Peculiar Pose of Jessica Lynch Andrew Panay 25. The 7/7 Bus Ruth Deller 26. Resisting the Myths: Dodging the Bullets Jayne Sheridan 27.Vilnius: Discredited Capital of Culture Evelina Kazakevičiūtė and Kęstas Kirtiklis 28. The Shahida's Claim: Ayat Muhammed Lutfi Al Akhras Norma Musih 29. The Myth of ‘Toxic Childhood’ Jane O’Connor Part III: Barthes’ Myth Today 30. Barthes’ Myth Today: Barthes after Barthes Pete Bennett
Pete Bennett is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.
Julian McDougall is Associate Professor in the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, Bournemouth University, UK.