Much like Zayn Malik’s ‘shock’ departure from One Direction, one of the world’s least well-kept secrets is the unfailing power of American concerns to inform Hollywood’s film-making machine.

A central theme in Pacheco’s work is the abuse of control and power and the vulnerability and alienation faced by victims of oppression. Her work is partly a response to the troubled period in Brazil’s history culminating in the military coup of 1964, to which she was an eyewitness.

This is the age of superheroes. Hardly a month goes by without a new superhero flick. If cinema is the engine of empire, as Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies tell us in American Terminator, then a declining empire indicates that the engine itself is in serious trouble.

The former East Asian powerhouses of Japan and South Korea find themselves once more in the shadow of a giant. China’s momentum has also been matched by a recent surge in ambition. President Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’ strapline seems to suggest an alternative to the American Dream, which speaks volumes on how the architects of China’s rise see its trajectory.

When did the concept of ‘the West’ emerge? How is it related to what (until recently) was referred to as the ‘Orient’? And what has ‘the West’ come to connote in the twentieth century?

One progressive way of reading the history of the world is as a story of the successive enlargement of our sympathies. We start as completely tribal beings, for whom the destruction of the neighbouring tribe is a pure blessing. There is no suggestion that God, or whatever spiritual entities preceded the idea of God, has any objection to the elimination of rivals.

What do we do when we talk about, or think of, the West? Consciously or unconsciously, we envisage the West in terms of its binary opposite: the East. But what is the East; and where exactly is the East located?