Mermaids (and Mer-Men) in 20th and 21st Century Audiovisual Media
By Philip Hayward, Published by John Libby Publishing
Mermaids have been a feature of western cinema since its inception and the number of films, television series, and videos representing them has expanded exponentially since the 1980s. Making a Splash analyses texts produced within a variety of audiovisual genres. Following an overview of mermaids in western culture that draws on a range of disciplines including media studies, psychoanalysis, and post- structuralism, individual chapters provide case studies of particular engagements with the folkloric figure.
From Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” to the creation of Ursula, Ariel’s tentacled antagonist in Disney’s 1989 film, to aspects of mermaid vocality, physicality, agency, and sexuality in films and even representations of mermen, this work provides a definitive overview of the significance of these ancient mythical figures in 110 years of western audio-visual media.
Philip Hayward is editor of the Island Studies journal Shima and holds adjunct professor positions at Southern Cross University and the University of Technology Sydney. He is also a member of audio-visual ensemble The Moviolas.
Professor Hayward will co-curate an exhibition Making a Splash: Mermaids and Modernity to be held in Sydney mid-2017.