The Faculty of Arts and Media delivers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate media and creative arts courses across both campuses at Chester and Warrington, and supports considerable foundation degree delivery at a number of partner colleges. The Faculty received our highest research rating in the 2008 research assessment exercise. .

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  • Can political public relations be used as a tool for social integration, with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK?

    Okour, Sarah (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-12)
    Political, social and demographic change has resulted in a search for new techniques for building public trust and reconciling relationships between the Muslim community and others in society. In this study, extremism and social cohesion have been chosen as potential new aims for the PR industry. This study assesses whether political PR can be diverted from its role in spin doctoring towards new cultural and social functions. My argument is that political public relations can be used as a tool for social integration with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK. This research distinguishes between two issues. The first connects with political PR within a political communication background, which relates to politicians, election campaigns, news management, and their relationship with the media. The second issue is that political PR can be reconsidered from a corporate perspective, one that endorses the use of PR in challenging political environments. My study places emphasis on the second issue. It applies a triangulating methodology based on using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to answer the research questions. A sample of seven UK public relations academics evaluated the current communication policies for their effectiveness, explained how political PR could help, and gave their recommendations. In addition, seven NGOs in Britain described their work, the problems they encountered, and their concerns. A lack of social integration and the continuing rise of extremism were repeatedly explained in terms of stereotyping, marginalisation, and counter-productive techniques. The results suggest that a change in political PR is possible and should be encouraged to intervene in fighting against radicalisation, extremism, and enhancing social cohesion. They also show a lack of PR support for NGOs. More broadly, my findings move the field of inclusivity forward by working on a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down model of communication. The best answer for sustaining long-term community relationships was improved communication and engagement, inclusive messages and campaigns, and the Muslim community remaining open to others in society.
  • A Trace of Actions Unseen: The Photographic Error as Photography ‘in performance’

    Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester
    In contemporary digital photography the accident or fault is an increasingly rare and unusual phenomenon, but it presents valuable insights into the practice of photography. This article discusses how the photographic error reveals qualities of the photographic experience normally hidden in conventional photographs, and proposes a reconsideration of time in relation to photography perceived through the accidental image. The error is conceived as a performance, extending the conventional time scales of the photograph from the ‘snap’ into three ‘acts’: the photographic event, the recording of an image and, lastly, interpretation by the viewer. In each stage the error’s relationship to time is shown to be ambiguous and multifaceted, counterpointing a simplified concept of time which prevails in the conventional photograph. The error exposes the entanglement of actors and relationships within the act of photographing and in so doing destabilises common assumptions about photographs as simple, immediate documents.
  • Knowsley Flower Show Archive: a Resource and Celebration

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
    The Knowlsey Flower Show Archive presents personal memories, materials and memorabilia of Knowsley Flower Show, between its inception in 1999 and today. In particular, the Archive focuses on the growers, competitors and visitors to the Marquee, which remains the centre of the event. Knowsley Flower Show averages around 20,000 visitors to its large day event in August every year. It is a free public event held at Court Hey Park, a public park in Knowsley. The event centres on a traditional Marquee with around 90 amateur growers exhibiting and competing for prizes in categories encompassing fruit and vegetables, flowers, produce and crafts. The Archive includes a free online image and text archive, a publication and a touring exhibition.
  • The New Map of Barset

    Williamson, Michael; Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
    A comprehensive map of the County of Barsetshire, based on Anthony Trollope’s original sketch plan (1860) but incorporating all the references contained within the Barchester and Palliser Series of novels and other references within Trollope’s works.
  • Beyond Facsimile: The haptic photobook as a distributed archive

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (2019-03-15)
    This is a case study describing the development of a dossier format photobook as a distributed archive, Long Grove Asylum Medical Journal by Tim Daly. The work presents a twenty-five year long project recording the interior spaces, ephemera and artifacts of an abandoned large scale hospital facility, alongside material collected separately by a county archivist. The work makes explicit the link between past and present by re-materialising archive matter and original photography to create new, tactile ‘things’ that challenge our notions of the past and the present; public and private and the original and the copy. The books forefronts the materiality of collected photographs, documents and ephemera through touch and disruptive sequencing. By handling the loose-leaf contents of the books, viewers are presented with an enhanced, haptic reading experience. The recirculation of material artefacts within the dossier provides an additional kind of archive experience recalling souvenirs, the museum and private collecting. As Scott (2014: 130) suggests ‘The interaction between the book as a material object and its readers brings the book to life, just as the materiality of the book interacts with its narrative.’ Designed to be handled and navigated in a manner that wouldn’t be possible with fragile originals, the choice of papers, unconventional printing processes and hand assembly techniques creates an enhanced experience for the reader. Disrupting the reader’s expectations of a facsimile, the book encourages touch and explores a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone.
  • Emotional Fusebox: Presence, absence and sibling loss in Adult Life Skills

    Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (2018-09-05)
    “Are you still a twin if your twin is dead?” This is the question that Anna (Jodie Whittaker) poses as she struggles to come to terms with the death of her brother Billy and her—their—imminent 30th birthday. The question structures much of Rachel Tunnard’s 2016 film Adult Life Skills, as Anna attempts to rebuild a life around the gaping absence of Billy and their shared childhood. Anna is challenged by those around her to both ‘let go’ of her brother and ‘grow up’. The film treats these not as parallel problems but, as it were, twin problems: one is inextricably linked to the other. As such, Tunnard’s film addresses the place and function of sibling relationships in adult life. In sociology, psychology and developmental studies, sibling relationships are often perceived as being primarily a facet of childhood, a lateral bond whose significance diminishes into adulthood. Adult Life Skills appears to give space to the adult brother-sister relationship and yet complicates this by erasing one of the pair; such a relationship is only ever figured, on screen, as one that twins presence with absence. Likewise, the narrative drives towards a point at which Anna might embark on a romantic relationship with a man. Indeed, Anna’s mother (Lorraine Ashbourne) measures her daughter’s grief by her willingness to engage with members of the opposite sex. There remains a sense that Anna would always have to ‘let go’ of Billy (absent or not), to avoid expending her energy on what amounts to the ‘wrong’ heterosocial pairing. This paper examines Adult Life Skills as one example of a recent film that tackles a young adult woman’s loss of her brother (see also Into the Wild [2007], Personal Shopper [2016]), and explores the ways in which a close brother-sister relationship is persistently figured through absence rather than presence.
  • The Evolution of Alan Grant: Narratives of Reproductive Futurism in Jurassic Park

    Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (2018-06-08)
    As a quintessential product of 1990s Hollywood, Jurassic Park is reflective not only of shifts in form, production, and marketing, but of the underlying cultural preoccupations of the decade. In an era when Hollywood’s action heroes were increasingly making the transition to domesticated fatherhood, Jurassic Park offers a version of this narrative through the character of Alan Grant (Sam Neill). Alan Grant begins the film averse to the idea of parenthood and children in general; he dismisses them as “noisy, messy, expensive [and] smelly”, and is reluctant to engage with Lex and Tim on their tour of the park. This paper will examine the evolution of Grant’s character from this taciturn, aloof version of himself to a man who comes to embrace a paternal role by the end of the film. Shunted into the role of protector after the dinosaurs breach their compounds, he turns his focus to the survival of himself and the children. The narrative of Jurassic Park is preoccupied with reversing extinction. On a literal level, this concerns the dinosaurs resurrected by John Hammond. Beyond this, it is also applicable to Grant’s rehabilitation as a paternal figure. By the 1990s, Hollywood’s action heroes were diminishing, a reflection of the industry’s own preoccupation with the presumption of masculine crisis. Fatherhood was persistently constructed, throughout the decade, as an answer to this crisis, a way of ‘saving’ men and reaffirm their worth. As such, Jurassic Park may be read as a narrative of reproductive futurism, offering a tangible future as a father to Grant, channelling his energy towards his own survival as the helicopter flies past a flock of birds, the ancestors of the dinosaurs they have left on the island below.
  • Rattling- Arts Based Initiatives in learning and transformation

    Owens, Allan; Passila, Anne (IKAM, 2015-06-10)
    This track explores the process of arts-based initiatives, ABIs, (Schiuma, 2011; 2013) in the context of practice-based innovation (Melkas & Harmaakorpi, 2012). According to Schiuma (2011, pp. 2–3), an ABI is the planned managerial use of art forms to address management challenges and business problems with the aim of developing employees and infrastructure that affect the organizational value-creation capacity. ABIs integrate the traditional rational-based perspective of the organization with the emotive-based perspective of organizational life and its components. The organizational knowledge creation process depends on the integration of “technical knowledge“ with emotive knowledge. The arts provide approaches and innovation action tools to handle emotional and evocative dynamics within and around organizations.
  • Travelling the Imaginary Landscape

    Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2016-07-01)
    Catalogue essay to accompany the exhibition "Death Returned Her to Rags" by Alexe Dilworth at FZKKE gallery, Euskirchen Germany 2016.
  • Appendix 2: Questions of terminology and historicisation. 'Marie Duval: maverick Victorian cartoonist'.

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester; Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London
    This appendix considers questions of terminology and historicisation arising in the twenty-first-century study of the published work of Marie Duval.
  • Appendix 1: Questions of attribution. 'Marie Duval: maverick Victorian cartoonist'.

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian
    This appendix considers questions of attribution arising in the published work of Marie Duval.
  • Introduction

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester; Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London
    Introduction to the book 'Marie Duval: maverick Victorian cartoonist'.
  • The Significance of Marie Duval’s Drawing Style

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
    Duval’s drawings were made to provoke laughter, by articulating and rearticulating social stereotypes and contradictions. Duval achieved this in her choice of topics and, more unusually, in her use of ideas of her own position as a humorous visual journalist: her visible lack of training, stage career, gender and social class, relative to the experiences of readers. This chapter will examine this articulation, considering late nineteenth-century gender and class relationships between humour, displays of technical skill and concepts of vulgar behaviour. The chapter will finally exemplify these relationships in two Duval drawings on the topic of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions of 1880 and 1876.
  • Marie Duval and the Technologies of Periodical Publishing

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
    The chapter will focus on three areas of activity constituting commercial illustration: training, degrees of labour organisation and types of employment and remuneration. It will construct a description of Duval’s career in commercial illustration according to relationships made between the known corpus of her published work, over a fifteen year period, and the technical processes, personnel and locations of the print technologies utilised by her publisher (Wright 1995). Duval appears to have lacked training in two key areas of her profession: studio – that is, academic – training as a draughtswoman and training as an engraver. The chapter will examine how training, and the lack of it, constituted types of access and prohibition of access to key personnel and locations, as well as to conventions of topic and approach, and levels of remuneration (Huneault 2002). It will argue that these types of facility and prohibition were explicitly gendered whilst also being established trade orthodoxies, in which proof of agreed types of technical competency was key to accessing employment. (Flood 2013). The chapter will consider contemporaneous concepts of women’s work in the media in the last half of the century (in Craik 1857, Starr 1899 and in the Alexandra Magazine 1864, for example), proposing that distinctions can be made on the basis of social class as well as gender, between women who joined or enjoined established trades, such as wood engraving, and women generating new types of work, alongside men, in media professions with emerging or changing identities, such as photography and journalism (Colligan and Linley (2011).
  • Duval and the Woman Employee

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
    This Chapter will examine aspects of the life and work of Duval as both exemplary of and, in some aspects in contradiction to, conceptions of the emerging roles of professional women in the journals and literature of the later nineteenth century. Utilising both Duval’s drawings and her historic place in the remediation culture of new serialised papers, the novel and popular theatre productions in the 1870s and 80s, the chapter will extrapolate and examine shared characteristics in the fictional women newspaper journalists Henrietta Stackpole (in James’ The Portrait of a Lady, 1881) and Elsie Bengough (in Onions’ The Beckoning Fair One, 1911). Considering the impact of class on nineteenth century gendering of professional work, first in Patmore’s iteration of the “separate spheres” of agency of men and women in The Angel in the House (1854, derived from de Toqueville’s 1840 Democracy in America), and then in Sarah Grand’s antithetical The New Aspect of the Woman Question (1894), in which the term “new woman” first appeared, the chapter will chart the transformation of women’s domestic work into new types of professional occupations––particularly the new, equivocally gendered, professions that arose with the advent of serial journals, including Judy, or The London Serio-Comic Journal. The Chapter will argue for more diverse conceptions of the lives of urban professional women in the later nineteenth century, touching on recent critiques of masculine constructions of ‘journalistic’ observation and public commentary.
  • The Enduring Power of Comic Strips

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
    This chapter argues that the power of comics resides in the historic appearance and modulation of the affective possibilities of the comic strip register. On this basis, it explores how this power is realized in popular visual literature, which derives from, develops and transforms the historic contingencies of reading. Analysing examples in the work of Leo Baxendale, Michiko Hasegawa, Kaz, Christophe Blaine, R. J. Ivankovic, Catherine Anyango, Seth Tobocman, Keiji Nakazawa, Debbie Drechsler and Nicola Streeten, it describes a number of ways in which comics engage with and manipulate these historic contingencies, discussing the use of comedy, satire and parody and the development of political protest and life writing as sub-genres that are fundamentally engaged with readers’ habits and expectations. Finally, the chapter focuses on the opportunities that visual story showing and depictive drawing continue to provide to comics artists to achieve this engagement.
  • I Know How This Ends: Stories of Dementia Care

    Wilkins, Peter; Martins, Melissa; Grennan, Simon; Priego, Ernesto; University of Chester; Douglas College; City, University of London
    I Know How This Ends is the second volume in a series that started with Parables of Care: Creative Responses to Dementia Care (2017). The project explores the potential of comics to enhance the impact of dementia care research. This comic book presents, in synthesised form, stories crafted from narrative data collected via interviews with professional caregivers, educators, and staff at Douglas College in Vancouver, Canada, who have cared for relatives and people with dementia in hospital.The intention of the book is to show the importance of feeling in care-giving, the professional aspects of which are sometimes at odds with the family systems aspect of dementia.
  • The Furling of the Sails

    Piasecka, Shelley; University of Chester
    Conference report on the Mystic Seaport Museum, Connecticut. A post-conference day trip for presenters and participants of "Melville’s Origins: The Twelfth International Melville Conference.”
  • A Trace of Actions Unseen: The Photographic Error as Photography ‘in performance’

    Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester (2018-11-16)
    In contemporary digital photography the error is an increasingly rare and unusual phenomenon, but it presents valuable insights into the practice of photography. This article proposes time as a specific indicator of difference between the ‘conventional’ photograph and the error, based on a distinction between performativity and performance. The performance of the error takes place in three ‘acts’: the photographic event, image recording and interpretation by the viewer. In each stage the error’s relationship to time is shown to be ambiguous and multifaceted, counterpointing a simplified concept of time which prevails in the conventional photograph. The error exposes the entanglement of actors and relationships within the act of photographing and in so doing destabilises common assumptions about photographs as simple, immediate documents.
  • News Media Representations of Women in Conflicts: The Boko Haram Conflict in Borno State, North East Nigeria (2012-2015) - A Study of Guardian, Daily Trust, Daily Sun, Leadership, Nation, and Thisday Newspapers

    Mbaya, Nancy, B. (University of Chester, 2019-10-23)
    This is a study of news media representations of women in the Boko Haram conflict in Borno state, North East Nigeria (2012-2015) with a focus on six Nigerian national newspapers - Guardian, Daily Trust, Daily Sun, Leadership, Nation, and Thisday. It draws on post-colonial theories like Orientalism and the Subaltern; feminism; and the news media to examine how the news media have represented women in this conflict. The study adopted a mixed method approach combining quantitative content analysis and qualitative thematic analysis. The quantitative analysis examined the manifest contents of the newspaper articles in the sample to find out the pattern of frames used by Nigerian journalists to represent women in the Boko Haram conflict while the qualitative analysis examined information generated from semistructured interviews; documentary data; and the translation of YouTube videos released by the Boko Haram sect. A total of 404 newspaper articles were selected, categorized, and examined using SPSS software. Findings suggest that patriarchal phrases and gender stereotypes permeate news media narratives about women affected by the conflict. This thesis therefore provides a better understanding of how Nigerian news media represent women affected by conflicts and factors that inform these representations. This work also provides a better insight into how the intersectionality of gender with other social structures like class, age, ethnicity, religion, patriarchal discrimination and other forms of oppression have permeated media representations of women in the conflict. Results similarly suggest that the Nigerian media over rely on foreign news media organizations as their major story sources about the conflict. Because of this overreliance, this thesis argues that foreign news media set the agenda for Nigerian news media in their representations of women. This study has contributed to a better understanding of how elite news media in the more developed global North set the news agenda for developing nations of the global South like Nigeria through inter-media agenda setting. 12 Findings also suggest that the Nigerian news media system reflects the social, political, religious, ethnic, and regional factors of the area within which it operates in line with the framework of regional parallelism. This study has contributed to a better understanding of how Nigeria’s North/South dichotomies based on these factors have affected the news media. This thesis concludes that as a product of regional parallelism, the Nigerian news media reflect the intersectionality of gender, social structures such as race, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation and patriarchal discrimination with other forms of oppression to disadvantage women in the Boko Haram conflict.

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