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Semiotics at the Circus by Paul Bouissac

Title Semiotics at the Circus
Author Paul Bouissac
Publisher Walter de Gruyter
Release 2010
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 196
ISBN 3110218291
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

What do circus performances communicate? They are rich in extreme skills and clever staging. They trigger strong emotions. They make beautiful sense. This book, which is grounded in the personal circus experience of the author, uses semiotics, pragmatics, and cultural studies to explain why we are irresistibly drawn to the circus. It shows how semiotics can be applied to understand and enhance our enjoyment. This series focuses on the state of contemporary semiotics and its current applications Each volume in the series places its topic within a general understanding of today's semiotics, an interdisciplinary field which investigates the application of sign theory not only to culture, but also to nature. The books are accessibly written and communicate with an academic readership that is not overspecialized.

Semiotics at the Circus by Paul Bouissac

Title Semiotics at the Circus
Author Paul Bouissac
Publisher Walter de Gruyter
Release 2010-06-17
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 205
ISBN 3110218313
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Semiotics is long on theoretical, often obscure discourses, but short on applications that demonstrate with clarity the applicability of its methods. This book confronts a challenging object, the circus, and endeavors to describe its performances in ways that explain how circus acts produce meaning and cause a deep emotional involvement for their audiences. The approach is not top-down, such as would be a method that would dogmatically apply a particular theory to fully explain the phenomena in terms of this theory alone. Epistemologically, this book is an example of the bottom-up strategy, which consists of considering first the objects and heuristically calling upon methodological resources in a broad theoretical array to come to grips with the problems that are encountered. Any circus act is a complex event that has cognitive and emotional dimensions. It is also a part of a history and an institution, and cannot be abstracted from its cultural and sociological contexts. Thus the range of relevant theoretical and methodological approaches must include structural semiotics, biosemiotics, pragmatics, socio-semiotics, cultural anthropology, the cognitive sciences, the psychology and sociology of emotions, to name only the most important. But the ultimate focus of this book is to enable the readers to better understand the meaning of circus performances and to appreciate the skills and creativity of this traditional popular art, which constantly renews itself from generation to generation.

Title The Semiotics of Clowns and Clowning
Author Paul Bouissac
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Release 2015-05-28
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 272
ISBN 1472525086
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

During the last 300 years circus clowns have emerged as powerful cultural icons. This is the first semiotic analysis of the range of make-up and costumes through which the clowns' performing identities have been established and go on developing. It also examines what Bouissac terms 'micronarratives' - narrative meanings that clowns generate through their acts, dialogues and gestures. Putting a repertory of clown performances under the semiotic microscope leads to the conclusion that the performances are all interconnected and come from what might be termed a 'mythical matrix'. These micronarratives replicate in context-sensitive forms a master narrative whose general theme refers to the emergence of cultures and constraints that they place upon instinctual behaviour. From this vantage point, each performance can be considered as a ritual which re-enacts the primitive violence inherent in all cultures and the temporary resolutions which must be negotiated as the outcome. Why do these acts of transgression and re-integration then trigger laughter and wonder? What kind of mirror does this put up to society? In a masterful semiotic analysis, Bouissac delves into decades of research to answer these questions.

Circus and Culture by Paul Bouissac

Title Circus and Culture
Author Paul Bouissac
Publisher
Release 1976
Category Circus
Total Pages 206
ISBN
Language English, Spanish, and French
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The End of the Circus by Paul Bouissac

Title The End of the Circus
Author Paul Bouissac
Publisher Bloomsbury Academic
Release 2021-06-17
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 256
ISBN 9781350166493
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This book analyses two features of the traditional circus that have come under increasing attack since the mid-20th century: the use of wild animals in performance and the act of clowning. Positioning this socio-cultural change within the broader perspective of evolutionary semiotics, renowned circus expert Paul Bouissac examines the decline of the traditional circus and its transformation into a purely acrobatic spectacle. The End of the Circus draws on Bouissac's extensive ethnographic research, including previously unpublished material on the training of wild animals and clown make-up, to chart the origins of the circus in Gypsy culture and the drastic change in contemporary Western attitudes on ethical grounds. It scrutinizes the emergence of the new form of circus, with its focus on acrobatics and the meaning of the body, showing how acrobatic techniques have been appropriated from traditional Gypsy heritage and brought into the fold of mainstream popular entertainment. Questioning the survival of the new circus and the likely resurgence of its traditional forms, this book showcases Bouissac's innovative approach to semiotics and marks the culmination of his ground-breaking work on the circus.

The Meaning of the Circus by Paul Bouissac

Title The Meaning of the Circus
Author Paul Bouissac
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Release 2018-08-23
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 224
ISBN 1350044148
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This book documents and discusses the meaning(s) of the creative process at play in the crafting and staging of circus acts. It highlights the experience of circus artists as their skills develop and mature into public performances that create aesthetic and emotional values in the modern economy of live spectacles. It scrutinizes the meaning that circus acts produce for the spectators and for the artists themselves who live this process from the inside. This is a book for those studying semiotics and wanting to see it applied to a real life milieu in accessible and passionate prose. The Meaning of the Circus is grounded on the personal experience of Professor Paul Bouissac as both a circus entrepreneur and a researcher with decades of primary material on the significance of past and contemporary circus acts. It is based on substantial accounts provided by many men and women who have agreed to share the challenges, joys, and anxieties of their life as artists. Personal and rigorous, it contributes to the hermeneutics of the circus arts by adding existential depth to the production and reception of their performances.

Title Circus as Multimodal Discourse
Author Paul Bouissac
Publisher A&C Black
Release 2012-10-11
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 288
ISBN 1441135758
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Now available in paperback, this volume presents a theory of the circus as a secular ritual and introduces a method to analyze its performances as multimodal discourse. The book's fifteen chapters cover the range of circus specialties (magic, domestic and wild animal training, acrobatics, and clowning) and provide examples to show how cultural meaning is produced, extended and amplified by circus performances. Bouissac is one of the world's leading authorities on circus ethnography and semiotics and this work is grounded on research conducted over a 50 year span in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. It concludes with a reflection on the potentially subversive power of this discourse and its contemporary use by activists. Throughout, it endeavours to develop an analytical approach that is mindful of the epistemological traps of both positivism and postmodernist license. It brings semiotics and ethnography to bear on the realm of the circus.

Title Studies in Visual Communication
Author
Publisher
Release 1980
Category Communication
Total Pages
ISBN
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Title Journal of American Folklore
Author
Publisher
Release 1979
Category Folklore
Total Pages
ISBN
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Title Ars Semeiotica
Author
Publisher
Release 1978
Category Semiotics
Total Pages
ISBN
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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