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  • Series: New Horizons in Leadership Studies series x
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Kristin M.S. Bezio

This chapter addresses Christopher Marlowe, whose influence over his own time was significant, as he was one of the first playwrights to develop the dramatic formula we have come to associate with the now more-famous Shakespeare. In the years since his death in 1593, Marlowe has become an icon of early atheism and heresy, as well as resistance to an authoritarian government. In addition to his impact on the dramatic genre, Marlowe’s work, particularly Massacre at Paris, shows disdain for the violence that seemed to him endemic to the English Reformation, and suggests a nihilistic view of religion as detrimental to society.

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Kavitha Ganesan

During Malaysia’s colonial era in the nineteenth century, Abdullah Abdul Karid Munsyi began the Malay writing tradition through a form of travelogue recording the rich historical and cultural roots of the Malay world. Better known as Munsyi Abdullah and now recognized as the Father of Modern Malay Literature, Abdullah disengaged classical Malay writings from existing preoccupations with fantasies and legends and, instead, introduced a narrative prose that was journalistic and observational in style. This chapter explores the Malay writing tradition as a form of popular culture that has led to lasting changes—simultaneously cutting across linguistic, ethnic and generational differences in contemporary Malaysia’s writings in English.

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Mark A. Menaldo

This chapter focuses on the moral and psychological consequences of destructive leadership through a literary examination of Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa’s epic political thriller, The Feast of the Goat (2000). Vargas Llosa uses realism to bring to life the complex psychological portrait of the Caribbean despot Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Trujillo, who fits the stereotypical Latin American leader, embraces machismo as the source of his political power, and, as a result, his character shows no consideration for ethical and political principles. Trujillo’s will to power enervates the wills of his followers and denies the entire country its freedom, resulting in the destruction of the community’s moral imagination.

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Kimberly Yost

This chapter examines the evolution of Harry Potter to a transformational leader and reflects upon how popular culture can be useful in understanding the dynamics of resistance and social change. Harry is usually discussed in terms of heroic qualities and not properly seen as a character that develops into a leader within a shared power structure where resistance is the primary objective. What we find in the Harry Potter books is an example of empowering others to resist detrimental social change and create a renewal of the social contract. Throughout the series of novels, we see Harry and his peers demonstrating resistance and enacting change in creative ways that bring order from chaos and a renewed stability to their community.

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Susan J. Erenrich

This chapter revisits the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964 through the eyes of the women singer-songwriters who went to the Black Belt. It highlights the gains and losses, the music, the alternative education programs, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the voter registration drive. Erenrich examines leadership without followership as it relates to the Freedom Summer Project and encourages readers to reflect upon the benefits and drawbacks of popular education methodological practice. Fifty years later, this chapter celebrates, ruminates on and engages in discourse about one of the most momentous initiatives ever launched in the United States and the part played by women troubadours during that hot Mississippi Summer of 1964.

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Patricia D. Catoira and Virginia K. Bratton

The Mexican government gloated when it captured drug lord Joaquin Guzmán in January 2016. But El Chapo is considered a folk hero by many Mexicans for standing up to highly corrupt authorities. These sentiments are reflected in the popular narcocorridos (songs about the drug world) and other forms of (narco) “pop culture.” Their celebration of narco figures and lifestyle is problematic, but, in the Mexican context, it responds to an endemic frustration with failed State and leadership. In this chapter, Catoria and Bratton investigate Guzmán’s manifestation of paternalistic charisma, his relationship with his followers as expressed in popular culture and the political and cultural context that has given rise to his leadership success in Mexico.

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Shawna Guenther

In this chapter, Guenther discusses how David Bowie’s cultural production changed the way we see the world. Bowie’s prolific creative output breaches diverse cultural, political and individual boundaries—identity and sexual ambiguity, authoritarianism and revolution, apocalypse and messianic cultism, fanaticism and celebrity, futurity and intergalactic life—while suggesting the temporal solution of wild escapism, through drugs, alcohol, sex and, perhaps most importantly, art. While other musicians have used their celebrity for public leadership, Bowie used all facets of creative production and the establishment of his own microcosmic presence as the sources of his influencing power. His lyrics frequently allude to other cultural productions, and in turn, others draw on Bowie’s work as influences in their own music, as fragments of their own songs, and as important pieces that deserve homage.

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Nicholas O. Warner

This chapter comparatively analyzes the films Twelve O’Clock High and Glory, which rank among cinema’s most interesting and compelling treatments of leadership. Both films had a significant impact on public awareness of certain facets of combat experience and military history. Warner blends leadership theory with analysis of cinematic factors, such as dialogue, storyline, characterization, cinematography, mise en scène and sound, to demonstrate the ways that such elements combine to create powerful, thought-provoking and nuanced portrayals of leadership (and of leader-follower relations) in the context of war.

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Kimberly Yost

This chapter explores the social, economic and political tensions of exclusion through embodied experiences of transformation to Other as depicted in Neill Blomkamp films, District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015). As a result of the journey to Otherness, the protagonists are empowered to enact social change and subvert the interests of the powerful within their social systems. The chapter frames the argument within social justification theory and discusses love and redemption as concepts inextricably tied to leadership and social change.