Adams to publish article in film journal showing links between Iago, The Joker

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Adams to publish article in film journal showing links between Iago, The Joker

January 27, 2016

 Dr. Richmond Adams

A Northwestern Oklahoma State University assistant professor of English is set to publish an article in the journal “Film International: Thinking Film Since 1973” in its February issue.

Dr. Richmond Adams’ article, “Cannibalized Chaos: Iago, The Joker and the ‘Good Sport’ of Post Modernism,” explores the links, despite their 400-year gap, between Iago in Shakespeare’s play “Othello” and the portrayal of The Joker by Heath Ledger in the film “The Dark Knight” as directed by Christopher Nolan. Adams argues that both villains lack a clearly discernible motive for the chaos they bring upon their fellows.

“Such lack of motive, especially regarding Ledger’s Joker as opposed to that of the clearly driven Joker played by Jack Nicholson in ‘Batman’ (1989), in turn suggests criticism of recent cultural movements centered around what came to be called ‘postmodernism,’ ” Adams said.

“While its criticisms of unjust social and cultural relationships have much to commend it, postmodernism’s logic of subverting without replacing opens civilization to the destructive chaos, as both Iago and The Joker—via Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s confidant and adviser—suggest. More ominously and even beyond their bringing about a descent into chaos, both Iago and The Joker make clear their motiveless actions are done simply for the sake of ‘sport,’” Adams said.

“Given the ongoing discussions concerning Nolan’s second film in his Batman trilogy and Ledger’s Academy Award-winning performance, coupled with the lack of scholarly discussion over links between Iago and The Joker and their possible implications for our ongoing post 9/11 world, such connections are ideas worth exploring,” Adams said.

For approximately five years Adams has been developing this publication. It will be his fourth published article since joining the Northwestern faculty, and he plans for additional works to be published in the coming years.

For more information on Adams’ publication please call (580) 327-8428 or email him at