'Little madnesses' are our most deeply felt enthusiasms, investments and attachments in the sphere of culture. The term was coined by the child psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, whose work on transitional phenomena grew out of his naming of the transitional object, and extended into preliminary explorations of the crucial role played by cultural experience in a life that feels satisfying. In our socially and culturally sanctioned little madnesses, everyone can find relief from the burden of having to maintain a clear boundary between inner and outer worlds, fantasy and reality, because it is in the space between them that we can find the enthusiasms and passions that excite our creative imaginations. This idea offers intriguing pathways towards understanding how we can engage effectively with the world at a public, social level without setting aside our inner lives, our emotions and our most deeply felt attachments.
In Little Madnesses, writers, artists, scholars and experts in a range of fields and disciplines explore the idea of transitional phenomena and consider its potential to extend and deepen our understanding of cultural experience in mental and social life, focusing on the importance of space, place and boundaries in cultural experience; on how we can negotiate media use and cultural identity; and on the aesthetic and creative aspects of cultural experience. Topics covered include cult films, computer use, installation art, trips to the cinema, museums and galleries, the agony and ecstasy of making art and the significance of life stage in cultural experience.
Annette Kuhn is Emeritus Professor in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy. She has published widely in the areas of cultural theory, visual culture, film history and cultural memory, with authored books including Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination; An Everyday Magic: Cinema and Cultural Memory; Ratcatcher; and (with Guy Westwell) The Oxford Dictionary of Film Studies. She has edited and co-edited many anthologies, special issues of journals and reference books, including Locating Memory: Photographic Acts (with Kirsten Emiko McAllister) and Screen Theorizing Today.
Foreword by Lesley Caldwell Acknowledgments List of Illustrations Little Madnesses: An Introduction Annette Kuhn Part 1: Spaces and Frames 2.Spaces and Frames: An Introduction Annette Kuhn 3.The Location of Virtual Experience Victor Burgin 4.The Playing Spectator Phyllis Creme 5.Home is Where We Start From Annette Kuhn 6.Soundspace Amal Treacher Kabesh Part 2: Media Users 7. Media Users: An Introduction Matt Hills 8. Pleasure and Adult Development C. Lee Harrington and Denise D. Bielby 9. Recoded Transitional Objects & Fan Re-readings of Puzzle Films Matt Hills 10. The Reality of the Experience of Fiction Serge Tisseron 11. On the Use of a Film: Cultural Experiences as Symbolic Resources Tania Zittou Part 3: Cultural Experience and Creativity 12. Cultural Experience and Creativity: An Introduction Patricia Townsend 13. Cultural Experience and the Gallery Film Annette Kuhn 14. Making Space Patricia Townsend 15. The Little Madnesses of Museums Myna Trustram 16. Found Objects and Mirroring Forms Ken Wright Contributors Select Bibliography Index