The Vampire and the Pirate: Art and Archetype in the Political Imagination

By Kerric Harvey.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article re-frames the current media fascination with the supernatural as a
way of understanding the deep structure of culture on which political sensibilities are built. Bringing together literature from media theory, cultural studies, semiotics, Drama for Conflict Transformation (DCT), and the anthropology of art, it explores the notion that insights regarding contemporary fears, anxieties, and social chaos are encoded within the specifics of “preferred” archetypal imaginaries outside of the regular human social order. Three of popular culture’s most high-profile villains - pirates, wizards, and vampires - are counterposed in terms of what each embodies regarding outsider ideology and political worldview. Explores archetypal imaginaries as the iconic interface between cultural reality and media representation.

Keywords: Popular Culture, Semiotics, Pirate Folklore, Vampire Mythology, Archetypes, Anthropology of Art, Social Uses of Myth, Political Imagination, Film and Society

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.277-290. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.205MB).

Dr. Kerric Harvey

Associate Professor, The School of Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA

A tenured associate professor at George Washington University, Dr. Kerric Harvey is also a cultural researcher and a working playwright and screenwriter who explores the anthropology of art, new technologies, and their impact on intercultural conflict in a variety of historical periods and places.

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