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geopolitical aesthetic


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A type of narrative whose essential subject is the inter-relations between nation states. Fredric Jameson coined the concept for a series of lectures he gave at the British Film Institute in London in 1990 dealing with the differences between First World, Second World, and Third World cinemas. Subsequently published as a book entitled The Geopolitical Aesthetic (1992), these lectures highlight the difficulty film-makers face in representing the relationship between nations. In later work Jameson has suggested that films like Dirty Pretty Things (director Frears, 2001), In This World (director Winterbottom, 2003), and the British TV miniseries Traffik (director Reid, 1989), which revolve around international criminal conspiracies—illegal human organ trading, people smuggling, and drug smuggling respectively—call to attention the way the lives of people in different parts of the world are inextricably linked. See also cognitive mapping; national allegory.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.


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