The New Book by Dario Martinelli Will Interest Academics and Animal Lovers Alike

Leisure | 2014-09-25

Sunday 28 September KTU semiotics professor and the head of International Semiotics Institute Dario Martinelli will present his new book Lights, Camera, Bark! The presentation is a part of the International Kaunas Film Festival programme.

Non-human animals and film industry constitute an intense and enduring relationship in popular culture. When Eadweard Muybridge invented the first prototype of a movie projector in 1878, he chose a galloping horse as the quintessential example of cinematic movement. Since then, all sorts of species have appeared in all sorts of films and film genres. Non-human animals in movies are antagonists, protagonists, donors, helpers, foreground and background characters. They represent themselves but also say something about human beings. They are symbols, projections, stereotypes, allegories, taboos, myths and superstitions.

Although an academic publication the book will appeal to all animal and film lovers, everyone interested in semiotics or culture in general.

‘I have been occasionally criticized for my attitude, but the thing is: I like “academic” books to be for everybody, not just for scholars. In that sense, I always do my best to make my arguments understandable, to use a slightly less academic and more informal style, to employ humour,’, says Martinelli.

The KTU professor admits that he does not believe in a boundary between academic and popular, and invites to remember masters like Umberto Eco or Roland Barthes, who have a very engaging and entertaining writing style, that does not resemble “academic writing” at all.

Lights, Camera, Bark! is the seventh book by Dario Martinelli. He also has more than a hundred other publications including edited collections, studies and scientific articles. His most recent monographs include: Authenticity, Performance and Other Double-Edged Words (Acta Semiotica Fennica, 2011), A Critical Companion to Zoosemiotics (Springer, 2010), Of Birds, Whales and Other Musicians (University of Scranton Press, 2009). In 2006, he was knighted by the Italian Republic for his contribution to Italian culture.

The presentation of Lights, Camera, Bark! will take place on Sunday 28 September at KTU Building III (Laisvės al. 13).

The programme:

1–2 pm Introduction of the book by Dario Martinelli, book signing

2–4 pm The Birds (1963, Alfred Hitchcock) – film demonstration