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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  • Through the lens of Kaleidoscopic Pedagogy- collective imagining of democratic forms of being.

    Passila, Anne; Owens, Allan; LUT University (Lahti- Lappeenranta) (Xamk, 2018-11-08)
    This chapter focuses on Kaleidoscopic Pedagogy as a conceptual frame of arts based method applied to a discussion and collective imagining of democratic forms of being with young people, artists, art pedagogues and researchers. The background of KP is a problem identified by one of the founding theorist of critical pedagogy Henry A. Giroux (2014a), which is that democracy has been sullied as a concept – as a ´service` - and no longer offers the promise of emancipation (Giroux, 2014b). The discussion, therefore, is about understandings of democracy: what it might look like and how it would feel to be in it according to young people themselves.
  • Miliwn o Ddawnswyr Cymraeg: A Million Welsh Dancers

    Harrop, Angharad; University of Chester (People Dancing, 2019-05)
    Using the work of BLAS, the community strand of Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre, Bangor, this article discusses how dance is able to help achieve the aims of the Welsh Government to have a million Welsh Speakers by 2050.
  • Remember Scarborough Re-Active Propaganda as Natural Ethics

    Hart, Christopher; University of Chester (Midrash, 2018-10-14)
    In chapter 2 Christopher Hart’s ‘Remember Scarborough. Re-Active Propaganda as Natural Ethics’ takes a popular and often reproduced poster called ‘remember Scarborough’ to propose the use of moral philosophy to recover the deeper meaning this and similar posters would have had following the German naval bombardments of towns on the North East English coast in December 1916. Hart asks, How did the official propaganda published following the bombardment of towns on the North East Coast of England, in December 1914, express deeply held moral outrage, and as such represented a real morality and not mistreatment of truth? At the core of his argument is that the poster ‘Remember Scarborough’ is not naïve propaganda or an exaggeration. Surveying the reasons given by the German high command and reporting of the bombardments in German newspapers, Hart argues there was no strategic justification for the attacks. Turning to deviancy theory and moral philosophy Hart proposes that the bombardments were an action of a German Navy, humiliated in a previous sea battle. They had to gain face with their high command and the German public that despite their attempts to justify the attacks, they expressed disregard for the Hague Convention (1906) and turned to revenge as a tactic, and as such, abandoned any claim to morality. The words and the images on the poster ‘Remember Scarborough’ are, according to Hart, much more than a call to arms; they express deeply held outrage that the attacks were an assault on humanity.
  • Introduction

    Hart, Christopher; University of Chester (Midrash, 2018-10-14)
    This introduction proposes the argument that during the First World War entertainments , media and popular culture used the war to attract audiences and readers - five propositions are introduced. The first is this. Entertainment as a topic for study is not trivial, inconsequential or irrelevant. To understand any culture look at what its members do for their entertainment. This includes looking at such things as, in 1914, jokes and humour, songs and music, drama and plays, cartoons and caricatures, films and animation, fiction and gossip, photographs and illustrations, advertising and posters, and newspapers and magazines. This proposition will be discussed in more detail once the other four propositions have been stated. The second position is this. The core activities that are taken as entertainment, such as the cinema, books, music and newspapers, are surrounded by the institutions, industries and crafts which bring the entertainments to the marketplace. The third position is the recognition people read, sing, watch, listen and laugh not just for leisure but also when doing work and other activities. Entertainment does not always have to be separate from the workplace or from time doing work-based tasks; it can be incorporated into most aspects of life. The fourth position follows on from longstanding debates about hierarchical schemes of entertainment regarding differentiated cultural value. Notions of high culture and low culture, popular culture and elite culture are overworked dichotomies that distract attention from the entertainment under study, as a thing in itself, and lead to prejudice against one of the classes of entertainment on the scale. If classical music performances are elitist, exclusionist and class-based it does not entail they are ‘bad' and things should be otherwise. It is not the music or musicians that are excluding anyone. It is the instructional arrangements that bring such performances to the marketplace, a lack of education provided about the value of the experience and, possibly, snobbishness of some audiences. The fifth proposition is entertainment is about audience experience. This can take multiple forms for the same audience of an entertainment. Bosshart and Macconi (1998) include the following in a list of possible experiences an audience member can take from consuming a particular media - obtaining relaxation, being distracted, seeing something different to the norm, seeking excitement or a thrill, wanting to laugh, sharing the joy and enjoying a place.
  • “Any closer and you’d be Mom”: The limits of post-feminist paternity in the films of Robin Williams

    Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015-12-03)
    This chapter explores the representation of fatherhood in the films of Robin Williams, considering the actor's star persona alongside his persistent performance as 'father' in a range of films from the late 1980s into the 2000s. The chapter includes an in-depth analysis of Williams' role in Mrs Doubtfire and the implications for post-feminist performances of paternity, and concludes with a discussion of Williams' suicide in 2014 and the ways in which this news was filtered through the same paternal persona established in his films.
  • Emanuel Azenberg’s Life in Theatre: ‘Happiness Is Equilibrium. Shift Your Weight’

    Ellis, Sarah T.; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 03/05/2017)
    Working first for David Merrick and then Alexander Cohen, Emanuel Azenberg (b. 1934) has persevered into the twenty-first century as one of the last independent producers. He has also brought his practical experience into the classroom as a visiting professor at Duke University.
  • On the Cusp: Exploring Male Adolescence and the Underbelly of High School in Freaks and Geeks

    Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (Routledge, 2018-06-26)
    This chapter examines the representation of adolescent masculinity in Freaks and Geeks, focusing on the three 'geeks' of the series' title. It suggests that the anxiety experienced by the boys in the series is a reflection on a wider crisis of masculinity, occurring both within the timeline of the programme (1980) and the period of its release (1999). The chapter also explores the function of nostalgia in Freaks and Geeks and discusses the issues of authenticity and realism around the series' depiction of an American high school experience.
  • It’s Only Teenage Wasteland: The Home Media Revival of Freaks and Geeks

    Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017-10-27)
    This chapter explores the home media revival of the short-lived US TV series Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000), examining the ways in which successful fan campaigns led to the broadcast of missing episodes and the eventual DVD release of the series in 2004. The developing cult status of Freaks and Geeks is discussed, with particular reference to the series' use of music and the ways this both contributes to the authenticity of the programme and became a barrier to its home media release.
  • Change and the Meaning of Art

    Owens, Allan; Petäjäjärvi, Krista; University of Chester, UK; Centre for the Promotion of Artists /Taiteen edistämiskeskus, Finland (Taiteen edistämiskeskus (Centre for the Promotion of Artists), Helsinki, Finland, 2018-10-19)
    In Williams’ (1961) theory of the long revolutions – democratic, industrial and cultural – in which our societies have been embedded for generations, he argues that the very large scale of the changes and the many generations affected over time make it difficult to have any adequate perspective on the scale, depth and complexity of the changes that we nonetheless experience. (Adams and Owens, 2016). These long term social changes and conflicts are inevitably manifest in short term, contingent and local ways: ways of thinking and practising are continually changing and in so doing mirror or amplify the deeper currents of social change. Applied drama and theatre practice with all its specificities and cultural nuances, its implication of agency and collaboration, is a medium through which these deeper currents can be touched. The forms that such interactions and collaborations take can provide a lens on what change through art might mean.
  • Fans & Consumption

    Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2019)
    This chapter surveys different ideas from popular music studies, fan studies and associated areas to explain how ‘the rock audience’ has been perceived. It outlines four theoretical perspectives which can be associated in various ways. The first suggests that our understanding of the audience is a consequence of rock’s extended reaction against elitist criticism. The second says rock has created a kind of community, or at least communality. The third suggests that mainstream media representations have hidden significant fan productivity. A final perspective suggests that ‘the rock audience’ is actually a composite housing a variety of discreet experiences based on the social identities of its individual participants. In other words, for example, males and female fans may have distinct experiences; the same goes for fans of particular generations, national identities, musical tastes, subgenre interests, and so on. The chapter argues that a critically nuanced approach is required: in every instance, we need to ask by who and for what purpose and is ‘the rock audience’ being defined.
  • Why Pep’s Manchester City could push past Barcelona as the Harlem Globetrotters of football

    Hassall, Paul; University of Chester (Eurosport UK, 2016-11-02)
    How Manchester City's Champions League win over Barcelona was a significant milestone in Pep Guardiola's side's aim of breaking into Europe's elite.
  • Parabeln der Pflege: Kreative Reaktionen in der Demenzpflege, von Pflegenden erzählt

    Grennan, Simon; Priego, Ernesto; Wilkins, Peter; University of Chester; City University of London; Douglas College (City University of London, 2019-01-09)
    Parables of Care presents true stories of creative responses to dementia care, told by carers, taken from a group of over 100 case studies available at http://carenshare.city.ac.uk/. Creativity, emotional intelligence and common sense are amply shown in these 14 touching and informative stories. Drawn by Dr Simon Grennan with Christopher Sperandio. Edited and adapted by Dr Simon Grennan, Dr Ernesto Priego and Dr Peter Wilkins. Created with funding from City, University of London's MCSE School Impact Fund 2017, the University of Chester, UK and Douglas College, Vancouver, Canada. Diese 14 rührenden und informativen Geschichten zeigen viel Kreativität, Einfühlsamkeit und gesunden Menschenverstand. Parabeln der Pflege präsentiert wahre Geschichten über kreative Reaktionen in der Demenzpflege, die von Pflegenden erzählt wurden und aus einer Sammlung von über 100 Fallstudien in Großbritannien ausgewählt wurden. Diese englischsprachigen Fallstudien stehen auf http://carenshare.city.ac.uk zur Verfügung. Dies ist ein Projekt des Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design, City, der Universität London und der Universität Chester in Großbritannien, sowie des Douglas College in Vancouver, Kanada.
  • Let’s Do the Time Warp Again: Performing Time, Genre, and Spectatorship

    Ellis, Sarah Taylor; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-07-01)
    "Let's Do the Time Warp Again: Performing Time, Genre, and Spectatorship" identifies an affective link across nonrealist, time-warping genres of science fiction / fantasy and musical theater, as well as their dedicated and overlapping fan cultures; by considering reality to be historical and contingent, these anti-quotidian genres explore the limits of what is objectively present, and physicalize a temporally divergent world in the here and now.
  • Process drama as a tool for teaching modern languages: supporting the development of creativity and innovation in early professional practice

    Hulse, Bethan; Owens, Allan; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-02-10)
    This paper reflects on issues arising from a research-informed learning and teaching project intended to enable student teachers of Modern Languages (MLs) to experiment with the use of unscripted ‘process drama’ in their classroom practice. The idea that process drama could become part of the language teacher’s repertoire has been in circulation for some time (Kao and O’Neill, 1998; Bräuer, 2002; Fleming, 2006; Stinson and Freebody, 2006; Giebert, 2014) yet there is little evidence to suggest that its use has become widespread in schools in England. The aim of the project was to enable student teachers to acquire drama teaching techniques which they could incorporate into their own practice in order to enrich the learning experiences their students through creative and imaginative use of the foreign language in the classroom. The research was undertaken over a period of three years by two teacher educators on a secondary initial teacher education programme in a university in England. The paper concludes that it is both possible and desirable for student teachers to encounter alternative approaches which challenge the norm and that with support they may develop innovative practices which can survive the ‘the ‘crucible of classroom experience’ (Stronach et al. 2002, p.124).
  • Counting Down Elvis: His 100 Finest Songs

    Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018-02-01)
    Counting Down Elvis: His 100 Finest songs is a book length analysis of Elvis Presley's recorded music. It includes discussion of celebrity image, song history, prior versions, music genre, critical evaluation and occasional contextualizing cultural history (1950s to 1970s). The academic popular music historian B. Lee Cooper has reviewed the book for a peer-reviewed academic journal. This is a 'remixed' version of the manuscript in chronological rather than count down order.
  • Pragmatics of Attachment and Detachment: a Constellatory Re-inscription of Textile.

    Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Wiley Blackwell, 2019)
    Like no other field of cultural studies, the study of textiles renders the boundaries of academic discipline elastic, and defies geographic and chronological borders. Previously dominated by empirical methods and writing, it has come of age as a field of interdisciplinary research during the past decade. 'A Companion to Textile Culture' aims to be an innovative, lively and authoritative collection of new writing that will embrace the historical, contemporary and cultural dimensions of textiles. While anchored in the history of art and visual studies, it will bring together approaches from many different fields of scholarly research, including anthropology, archaeology, literary studies, world histories and art and design, to reflect this new, expanded field of writing about textiles and the multiple viewpoints of its specialist contributors. Essays by leading experts in this broad interdisciplinary field of study will address the current state of scholarship and point to emerging issues. (Jennifer Harris volume editor: A Companion to Textile Culture) ‘Pragmatics of Attachment and Detachment: a Constellatory Re-inscription of Textile’ sits within a section of 'A Companion to Textile Culture' entitled ‘Contemporary Textiles: Conceptual Boundaries’ which explores some of the reasons why textiles have traditionally been undervalued in histories of 20th century visual culture and the shift in cultural values that moved them from the margins to an increasingly central role. My contribution provides an artist’s perspective that draws on a body of work that emerged out of a period of practice based doctoral research entitled ‘Pragmatics of Attachment and Detachment: medium (Un)Specificity as Material Agency in Contemporary Art’. It takes as its point of departure the creative challenge of how to acknowledge situated experience and communicate the particular richness and complexity of textile’s material and semantic conventions, whilst embracing the heterogeneity and creative freedom afforded by the post-medium condition of contemporary art. In the chapter I outline a conceptual framework and series of practice strategies that revolve around a dynamic process of assimilation and differentiation. Through a new body of sculptural and installational practice, I propose a constellatory opening up of textile where medium specificity is re-inscribed in terms of material agency and the cultural ambivalence of textile is re-envisioned as a productive indeterminacy. Within this (inter)relational re-mapping of textile’s complex somatic and semantic codes and conventions, textile is seen to be a medium of convergence and divergence where hierarchical disciplinary distinctions become untenable, meaning is suggested but unable to settle and categorical divisions between subject and object are destabilised.
  • Tamaglitchi

    Collins, Karen; Dockwray, Ruth (ACM Press, 2018)
  • Exploring the material mediation of dialogic space—A qualitative analysis of professional learning in initial teacher education based on reflective sketchbooks

    Moate, Jo; Hulse, Bethan; Hanke, Holger; Owens, Allan; University of Jyvaskyla; University of Chester; Europa-Universität Flensbur (Elsevier, 2018-12-05)
    This study addresses the crucial relationship between theory and practice as a key feature of professional learning in initial teacher education. The context for the study is an EU-funded intensive programme drawing on different dimensions of insideness and outsideness and arts-based pedagogies in response to the diversity of education today. The data for the study comes from self-selected pages from preservice teacher participants’ reflective sketchbooks. As a methodological approach that unifies the sensuous and cognitive this study suggests that reflective sketchbooks document the dialogic encounters of students whilst also providing a material space that can itself become a form of dialogic space for critical reflection. The main findings of the study outline critical ways in which preservice teachers transform theoretical inputs into individual expressions as well as conceptualise theory in relation to lived experience
  • Drawing in Drag by Marie Duval

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Book Works, 2018-10-12)
    In the collection at Chetham’s Library, Manchester, is an illustrated novel, published in 1877.Titled The Story of a Honeymoon, the novel was written and illustrated by Charles H. Ross and Ambrose Clarke. It is a comic novel, cheaply produced, telling a titillating and amusing story of a marriage that goes fatally awry on the couple’s honeymoon. Thousands of novels like it were produced in the period, as part of the first boom in popular mass entertainments – fashion, organised sport, smoking, tourism, day tripping, romance, musical theatre, comics and magazines. This period saw the birth of modern urban cultures of working-class leisure exemplified by the industrial city of Manchester. The Story of a Honeymoon hides a compelling secret. Ambrose Clarke never existed. Rather, another illustrator was given cover by the invented name of Clarke. This was not unusual. Writers and journalists frequently used pseudonyms to create an idea of the author that was favourable for readers, as a way to increase the popularity of their work. But this isn’t the heart of the matter, nor is it the whole secret. The artist drawing as this fictional man was a woman, Marie Duval. She was an actress and cartoonist known for her reckless comedic drawing style. As one of only a handful of women cartoonists in a male publishing environment, her work was habitually disguised, emasculated, overwritten and stolen. After her death, her male collaborators took the opportunity to erase her from history. They almost succeeded. In 2017, Simon Grennan identified Duval’s work in The Story of a Honeymoon for the first time. Grennan has been instrumental in bringing Duval’s work back to public view. He is co-author of the Marie Duval Archive online and publishes widely on her work. He was energized and excited, as well as dismayed, to discover that Duval is still catalogued under her male pseudonym after all this time. On stage, Duval was popular for performing as a leading man, in crossed-dressed roles. This re-gendering was overt, a conscious performance ‘as a man’ by a woman, rather than hidden under a male identity as the cartoons were. The Victorian era, created and reinforced many societal expectations, including the performance of gender. These boundaries and the play that they encouraged, particularly in the sphere of entertainment, has a legacy and impact today in current re-evaluations of conservative gender roles with queer explorations and gender fluidity. Grennan explores this historical legacy through his contemporary Duvallian drawings. In Drawing in Drag by Marie Duval Grennan focuses on the manners and habits of twenty-first century mass leisure culture, plus its roots in the great cities of the nineteenth century. He adopts the pseudonym Marie Duval, producing drawings in drag, as a woman.
  • The value of uncertainty: The photographic error as embodied knowledge

    Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester (2018-03-26)
    These days we rarely encounter photographs that have gone wrong: images that are blurred, out of focus, over or under exposed or just plain failed. But our failure to think about failure is having a detrimental impact on our relationship with photography and how we interpret photographic truth and meaning. A consequence of removing errors from the prevailing image culture is that accuracy and resemblance become the predominant visual signifiers of the photographs we see on a daily basis. Accurate photographs seem to depict things ‘as they are’, and to provide a transparent gateway to real events. These neutral, authorless photographs become the basis for an image economy where the tyranny of post-truth claims can take hold. Without a concept of photography as an embodied activity involving human decision making and the limitations of technology, the resulting image becomes the sole locus of attention for the truth claims about what it depicts. Photographic errors are important because they present us with evidence of the contingency of the photograph, breaking the spell of neutrality and reasserting human/technical relationship in the creation of the image. The proposed paper draws on my practice-based research project In Pursuit of Error which is a ethnographic study of the error in photographic practice. Theoretical models drawn from feminist theory, performance theory and aesthetics are used to interrogate the images and narratives collected from photographers. The error is revealed as a discontinuous but valued phenomenon which disrupts the conventions of photographic representation, and proposes the deliberate or accidental photographic error as an emergent, processual and performative act. The paper will argue that the error presents an alternative photographic epistemology from that found in contemporary visual culture: a form of ‘messy’, embodied knowledge which challenges a neutral and machine-led concept of photography in which veracity is the central signifier, proposing instead a concept of photography which acknowledges the subjectivity of the photographic ‘act-in-context’.

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