• I’m (Not) A Girl: Animating Experiences of Girlhood in Bob’s Burgers

      Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (Intellect, 2019)
      Discourses of girlhood increasingly acknowledge its mutability, with the ‘girl’ as a complex image that cannot adequately be conceptualized by age or biology alone. Likewise, theories of animation often foreground its disruptive potential. Taking an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses girlhood studies, animation studies, and screen studies, this article analyses the representation of the two main girl characters, Tina and Louise Belcher, in the animated sitcom Bob’s Burgers (2011–present). Taking this concept of mutability as its central focus, it argues that animation is an ideal medium for representing girlhood, given its disruptive potential and non-linear capacities, whereby characters are often frozen in time. With no commitment to aging its young female characters, Bob’s Burgers is instead able to construct a landscape of girlhood that allows for endless reversal, contradiction and overlap in the experiences of Tina and Louise, whose existence as animations reveals girlhood as a liminal space in which girls can be one thing and the other – gullible and intelligent, vulnerable and strong, sexual and innocent – without negating their multifarious experiences.
    • The ‘Epistemic Object’ in the Creative Process of Doctoral Inquiry

      Gray, Carole; Malins, Julian; Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Intellect Ltd., 2018-12)
      Within the framework of practice-led doctoral research in the art and design sector, there has long been debate about the role of the artefact/creative works in the process of inquiry and in the final submission for Ph.D. examination. Their status can be ambiguous and the concept of ‘exhibition’ is – we would argue – problematic in this context. In this chapter we want to suggest an alternative way of considering the role of artefacts/creative works in a doctoral submission, by discussing the liberating concept of ‘epistemic objects’ – their possible forms and agencies, and the alternative display/sharing of the understandings generated from these through ‘exposition’ not exhibition. Whilst our experience and expertise lies within the sector of art and design, we suggest that some ideas in this chapter may resonate and be relevant to other creative disciplines in the revealing and sharing of doctoral research outcomes. This process can be difficult and provoke many anxieties for the practitioner-researcher and their supervisors, so some clarity on this might help everyone involved in the examination of doctoral work to approach it with integrity and confidence, and see it as a valuable learning experience for all involved.
    • Leaving the Building: Elvis, Celebrity and the Limits of Psychological Autopsy

      Duffett, Mark; Hearsum, Paula; University of Chester; University of Brighton (l’Association Française d’Études Américaines, 2018-10)
      This article probes the limits of one particular mode of biographic investigation—psychological autopsy—and considers its relationship to the way in which fans have sought to understand their hero. Using Elvis as a case study, we aim to prompt wider discussion about the efficacy of psychological autopsy as a means of understanding popular individuals. If psychological autopsy is so compromised, why does it remain popular? Our discussion develops in two parts. The first examines how psychological autopsy departs from objectivity and is problematic as theory. The second asks why fans are still interested in discussing why Elvis died, even though psychological autopsy necessarily lacks methodological rigour.
    • The Marie Duval Archive: Memory and the Development of the Comic Strip Canon

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-09-23)
      This chapter describes the creation and publishing of The Marie Duval Archive, a free online image archive which brings together the known extant work of pioneering London cartoonist and theatre actress Marie Duval (1847–1890). It discusses how analysis of the current canon of nineteenth-century comic strips influenced both the purpose of The Archive and it’s form. Considering the impact of digitisation and remote archiving on the canon, this commentary finally describes the specific relationships between archive, canon and memory that The Archive articulates, relative to the disappearance from scholarly and public view of Duval’s work, with one notable exception, since the appearance of her last drawings in the 1880s.
    • Visuality and identity in post-millennial Indian graphic narratives, by E. Dawson Varughese. 2018. Palgrave Pivot, Palgrave, New York

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2018-07-25)
      Review of Visuality and identity in post-millennial Indian graphic narratives, by E. Dawson Varughese.
    • The Hill of Dreams: Re-evaluating literary influences in the northern landscape photography of Raymond Moore.

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Northern Light: Critical approaches to proximity and distance in northern landscape photography conference 2018, 2018-07-02)
      The landscape photography of Raymond Moore (1920-1987) has been contextualised as a minor footnote in the British documentary tradition of the 1970s, yet his work deserves further scrutiny. Using the author’s previously unpublished interview with the photographer recorded in the last year of his life, this paper explores Moore’s interest in literature and charts the influences that helped to shape his unique view of the north. For Moore, reading Arthur Machen’s fantasy novel The Hill of Dreams was an epiphany – yet it is hard to think of a more unlikely source of inspiration for the photographer best known for his banal, distanced and reductive view of the north. Moore was a complex artist, not given to writing about his work and one who rarely spoke about his motives. Working outside the long-term documentary project format common amongst his peers, Moore operated without a brief or a narrative intent and was sceptical about the perceived proselytising tone of his contemporaries. Instead and like Machen, Moore saw the northern landscape as a fantasy playground – a territory rich in visual banality and a space to exercise formalism and an aesthetic sensibility imprinted from an earlier career as an abstract painter. Drawn to liminal spaces and deserted edgelands and with a fascination for the nondescript, Moore was a mute chronicler of the mundane and an unacknowledged proponent of the detached observational genre so familiar today.
    • Practical Projects for Photographers: Developing rich practice through context

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2018-07-01)
      The book will make explicit the benefit of linking practice skills with contextual research and knowledge. Each project will point students to well-known textual and visual contextual sources which will further develop their awareness. Unlike many titles in this subject area, this book joins together contextual underpinning and practice. In essence, both skills and contextual knowledge are embedded within each project rather than delivered as separate elements, so students effectively contextualise through practice. The projects work like a briefing document containing all the necessary information required to spark off practice ideas.
    • 'A pit we have dug ourselves': The EU referendum and the Welsh democratic deficit

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-06-26)
      The chapter examines the Welsh Brexit vote from a news media perspective, locating it within the long-standing 'democratic deficit' and absence of Welsh national press.
    • Restoring the Faith: Vernacular repainting of Catholic devotional statuary in Ireland.

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Royal Anthropological Institute/ British Museum, 2018-06-03)
      The act of repainting and retouching allows devotees to re-tell miracle stories by proxy. Layering their own vernacular narratives onto figure groups and tableaux, this act of restoration and reconstitution provides essential maintenance to the community shrine and spiritual redemption for the decorator. Catholic devotional statuary, shrines and grottoes are a widespread and familiar sight in the Irish landscape. Rather than carved from marble, many are cast from concrete, fibreglass or plaster and require ongoing maintenance from the pervasive damp climate. Using non-traditional materials such as house paint and pebbledash local church dignitary and devotees extend their personal faith by adding the sign of their own hand to familiar tableaux. Without the sculptors grasp of form and without a painters eye for symbolism, this vicarious act of creation however, show official stories retold in a local visual dialect. Whilst not the primary narrators of miracles and visions, these statues and groups are treated as blank templates ready for customisation and local interpretation.
    • Michael Sandle: Grit in the Oyster and Ideas Never Completed

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, 2018-05-18)
      'Grit in the Oyster and Ideas Never Completed' appears in the book publication which accompanies the exhibition 'Michael Sandle - Monumental Rage' at the Grosvenor Museum, May 19 - October 7. The exhibition was curated by Peter Boughton, Keeper of Art at the Grosvenor Museum. The artworks in the exhibition were loaned by the artist and Flowers Gallery, London following their exhibition entitled 'Time, Transition, and Dissent', 22 January - 20 February, 2016. Michael Sandle is one of the leading sculptors of his generation with public artworks on display worldwide. The essay takes the form of an interview based on meetings and correspondence with Sandle, which focus on a collection of the artist's sketchbooks from 1965 onwards. Sandle's work is rooted in drawing as a medium as he continually works through ideas for sculpture, which are not completed in the sense that the themes and concerns, which the work addresses thematically, are unresolved in relation to their subject and content. The sketchbooks reveal the development of thoughts and ideas for artworks and their relationship with time, place, dream and memory. These ideas are continually reformulated in drawings and etchings, which are then made manifest in site-specific works of sculpture. The essay references significant events and influential works by other artists, writers and composers which have shaped Sandle's life and work. Sandle's empathy for humanity, and the injustice and catastrophic tragedy of war are also referenced in relation to Walter Benjamin's 'Theses on the Philosophy of History' (1940) via Paul Klee's drawing 'Angelus Novus'.
    • Inspired by Nature

      Turner, Jeremy; University of Chester (Forestry Commission, 2018-05)
      Sculptural work included in juried exhibition, 'Inspired by Nature'. Selected members of the Royal Society of Sculptors invited to exhibit at Grizedale Forest Gallery as part of a collaboration between the RSS, Forestry Commission and Forest Artworks.
    • Book handling as a research method

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Impact Press Publications, 2018-04-11)
      How do we conceptualise touch? Unlike most visual art, touch is a fundamental aspect of interacting with artists’ books and without such a physical interaction with the artefact it is impossible to fully make sense of it. Despite this, there is no obvious syntax for us to report our experiences of handling an artists’ publication. Without handling a book, entire swathes of intertextual nuances could be missed - the deliberate material choices of the artist and the reader’s own rich experiential past never get the chance to make meaning. It can be argued that handling books provides a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone. Developing a framework for reporting this haptic experience applying notions from material culture (for touch) and from literary theory (for intertextuality) together into a discourse to enrich and enhance our understanding of artists’ book works.
    • Marie Duval: Victorian Cartoonist

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Myriad Editions, 2018-03-29)
      Book chapter.
    • Medium (un)specificity as material agency – the productive indeterminacy of matter/material

      Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-03-22)
      In this article, I consider some of the debates brought to the fore by the proliferation of recent textile focused exhibitions; namely the tension between a continued allegiance to medium specific conventions and the richness, hybridity and heterogeneity afforded by the post-medium condition of contemporary art. Through a new body of sculptural and installational practice I propose a constellatory opening up of textile in which the medium specific can be (re)mapped in a fluid and fragmentary way. Drawing particular reference from Adorno’s conception of the constellation and mimetic comportment, this model of practice involves a mode of behaviour that actively opens up to alterity and returns authority to the affective indeterminacy of the sensuously bound experiential encounter. This is manifest through a range of practice strategies - “thingness”, “staged (dis)contiguity”, and the play between “sensuous immediacy and corporeal containment” - which mobilise a precarious relationship between processes of attachment and detachment. Acknowledging the critical currency afforded to textile through feminist and poststructuralist critique, the work moves away from “a rhetoric of negative opposition” and predetermined discursive frameworks, returning authority to the aesthetic impulse, privileging the ambiguous resonances of an abstract sculptural language over more overt strategies of representation.
    • Marie Duval

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin; Waite, Julian; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Myriad Editions, 2018-03-22)
      General audience book presenting and analysing the work of Victorian cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
    • No Sign of Canals on Mars: An artist's response to the illustrated travel diaries of Eileen Burke

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Canal & River Trust/ National Waterways Museum, 2018-03-15)
      From 1960 to 1979, Eileen Burke created 23 illustrated travel diaries with her friend Flo Boyde while touring in their car and cruising the River Lee and the River Stort with their boat, the 'Lillian Maud'. The diaries are a unique example of leisure as documented by a keen amateur photographer and artist. Inspired by these diaries, Tim Daly, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, has produced a book: "No Sign of Canals on Mars", which includes reproductions of Eileen Burke's watercolours, drawings and excerpts from her diary pages. The exhibition celebrates the 'thingness' of the diaries especially their handmade contents and Eileen's formidable making skills.
    • No Sign of Canals on Mars: The Illustrated Travel Diaries of Eileen Burke

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Fugitive Press, 2018-03-15)
      No Sign of Canals on Mars is a multi-part publication containing reproductions of Eileen Burke’s watercolours, drawings and excerpts from her diary pages presented as a spiral bound diary with ephemera inserts and tipped in souvenirs. Alongside this is a small wallet of real photographic prints printed from Eileen’s collection of colour slides. Housed in a museum style clamshell box, the publication aims to be a kind of distributed archive allowing readers to handle and scrutinise works that would otherwise be inaccessible due to their fragile condition.
    • Understanding Which Fandom? Insights from Two Decades as a Music Fan Researcher

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-03-14)
      As researchers, when we study media fandom, are we all studying the same thing? If we have a shared object now, does that mean our traditional disciplines no longer matter? Twenty years ago, Clifford Geertz published an academic memoir called After the Fact. Its subtitle said, “Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist.” Geertz’s (1995) book discussed his insights from forty years as a professional scholar. At the time his memoir appeared, I embarked on a PhD exploring the cultures and meanings made by Elvis Presley fans. In the two decades since, my career has taken me to a place where I wrote a book introducing the field of fan research, called Understanding Fandom (Duffett 2013a). Following Geertz, this chapter aims to map my academic journey and offer some pointers about how fan scholarship could develop. As part of that mapping, I will be citing my own work and reactions to it.
    • Tramps Like Them: Jack and Bruce and the Myth of the American Road

      Morrison, Simon A.; University of Chester (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018-03-03)
      Abstract: ‘I try to explain to him the teddy is throwing a kink into our Kerouac On The Road cool, but Matt’s committed to his bear, so we drive on.’ Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run autobiography When Bruce Springsteen appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs at the end of 2015 he did not mention author Jack Kerouac in the list of writers he would consider for his book choice. However, his reference to Kerouac and the teddy bear in his autobiography (above) perhaps reveals stronger, if stranger connections than he imagined, with Kerouac ending the key work On The Road looking over ‘the long, long skies over New Jersey’, Springsteen’s home state, where ‘tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear?’ Unlike, then, the physical proximity of Allen Ginsberg to Bob Dylan, or the overt creative influence of Jack Kerouac on music characters such as Patti Smith and Tom Waits there is, at first glance, no obvious link between Jack Kerouac and Bruce Springsteen. This chapter, however, will explore and then uncover the links that do, in fact, exist between the two. These can broadly be defined in three ways. Firstly, there are sartorial connections in the way the two men dress and present themselves, with Springsteen adopting the jeans, T, and work-shirt look that very much defined The Beats. Secondly, there are obvious thematic links between the musical and literary work of these two icons of American popular culture: a mythologising interest in blue collar, small town America and the way it harbours past love affairs; male friendship; the open road and the freedom it suggests. Finally, there are defined stylistic links in the free-flowing lyricism that defines the words and worlds of both men. Although these three areas provide the main focus for this account other synergies may also be seen between the two: their European heritage; troubled relationship with patriotism and the American flag; family dynamics; Catholicism. More than anything, however, this chapter will explore the ways Jack Kerouac was able to make literature powerful in a new and alluring way, and similarly how Springsteen was able to engage globally, musically, in a way that could never have happened without Kerouac’s influence. Key words: Bruce Springsteen, Jack Kerouac, Beat Generation, Rock Music
    • Medium, knowledge, structure: capacities for choice and the contradiction of medium-specificity in games and comics.

      Grennan, Simon; Hague, Ian; University of Chester, London College of Communication (Image [&] Narrative Journal, 2018-03-01)
      Chris Ware’s Building Stories (2012) is a box containing fourteen items that can be read in any order, and for this reason it appears to offer its readers a great deal of choice over the narrative structure of the work. This paper contrasts Building Stories with the video games Fallout: New Vegas and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to demonstrate that that although Building Stories does offer choices, these choices are not ultimately meaningful because while the reader can decide the order of presentation, they cannot decide the order of events as they can in the games, and in other examples such as Marc Saporta’s novel Composition No.1. The article draws upon the work of Seymour Chatman, Gonzalo Fresca and Espen Aarseth in analysing narratives in games and texts, and concludes by considering the implications of choice in narrative.