Scoping Audience Studies in Eco-Cinema Research

TitleScoping Audience Studies in Eco-Cinema Research
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Brereton, P.
Affiliation (1st Author)Dublin City University
Section or WGEnvironment, Science, and Risk Communication Working Group
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeENVW4a
Slot Code (Keyword)ENVW4a
Time of Session16:00-17:30
RoomHelix Blue Room
Session TitleEnvironmental Sustainability and Crises in Ireland: Performing Public Participation or Public Acceptance?
Submission ID5077

Scoping audience studies in Eco-cinema research (IAMCR Dublin Panel Paper Proposal) Pat Brereton DCU
The lack of robust audience research to help underpin and critique Film Studies’ preoccupation with grand theoretical analysis has become a major concern in the academy and needs to be addressed with some urgency. Hollywood movies remain valuable as artefacts for “seeing ecology” and for framing large-scale ethical debate. However, ecological agendas in Hollywood eco-films require extensive empirical analysis to test and evaluate hypothesis with inclusive, meta-narrative, audience engagement approaches, such as the area of study for new generations of students, as they relate directly to the future survival of the human species while their ecological beliefs, attitudes and values, and global cultural consciousness. In addition, new research efforts into non-fictional ecological risk (from ‘mad cow’ disease to nuclear and chemical abuse of the environment culminating in climate change), affirms that its impact is strongly predicated on how audiences/citizens use such ‘stigmas’ to produce ‘cognitive maps’. This paper aims to demonstrate the need for audience studies in eco-cinema research, in terms of developing robust strategy for future audience analysis to fully articulate the wide range of planetary and local ecological process and issues. It is argued that close textual analysis of film must become embedded within wider interdisciplinary studies, encouraging cultural/film scholars through their critical engagement with emerging ecological representations. Keywords: Audience studies, eco-cinema

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