Hospital-as-Society in Vollmann’s “The Visible Spectrum”

Using a pseudo-scientific, case-study approach, “The Visible Spectrum” correlates the ideologies of a hospital to that of society. Vollmann’s sociological critique describes the hospital as a microcosm of the society in which it is located; although theoretically structured, efficient and beneficial to its patrons, in practice, however, the institution (and likewise, society) veils its omnipotence in the illusion of an individual’s agency and self-determination, while acting apathetically towards human suffering and misery.

Darwinian Dating and the Ideal Sibling

Tania Modleski’s “The Search for Tomorrow in Today’s Soap Operas‿ proposes that the unique appeal and function of soap opera lies in (a) the viewer’s ability to inhabit the text’s prescribed spectatorial position of ‘the good mother’, and (b) use the archetypal ‘villainess’ to displace one’s own repressed anger and powerlessness. It can be argued, using Modleski’s analytical perspectives on the interpellated spectatorial positions of soap operas, that a new genre of television programs (namely the reality- cum dating- shows) function in a similar way.