Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Stanley D. Brunn

Abstract

Geographers researching cinema have predominantly been interested in how geographic meaning is constructed and negotiated within film, but have been less productive in accounting for how these constructs are received by viewers. Using the method of observational online ethnography, I therefore investigate how fans in online reviews have interpreted the nature/society binary in the film Dersu Uzala. Working from a social constructionist view of nature I begin by deconstructing the binary as it appears in Dersu Uzala before proceeding to illustrate the way this constitutive absence is made up for by the visuality of the film’s landscapes and techniques of geographic realism. Turning to the fan reviews I find that, rather than challenge the historical and constructed division between nature and society, many fans accept the binary as inevitable and consistent with their ideas about contemporary reality. More than passive consumption however, this concurrence is actively rearticulated in the ways that the fans incorporate the binary into their own lives and in the new discursive practices of the internet. In so doing I make headway into the exploration of audience analysis by geographers and continue to advance geography’s foray into cultures of the internet.