• Jazz on the border: Jazz and dance bands in Chester and North Wales in mid-twentieth century

      Southall, Helen; University of Chester (Equinox, 2013)
      There was a high degree of overlap between western popular music and jazz in the mid- twentieth century. However, histories of jazz and histories of popular music are often puzzlingly separate, as if divided by strict borders. This article looks at some of the rea- sons for this (including those proposed by Frith (2007) and Bennett (2013). The impor- tance of musical pathways and hidden histories (Becker 2002, 2004; Finnegan 2007; Nott 2002; Rogers 2013) in the context of local music scenes is considered. The importance of taking live music scenes and provincial areas into account when discussing genre his- tories is discussed, in the context of examples from an oral history study of dance-band musicians and promoters in the Chester (UK) area. These examples help to demonstrate that boundaries between jazz and popular music are frequently less abrupt in practice than they are in theory.
    • Jerwood applied arts prize 2002: Textiles

      Bristow, Maxine; Dring, Rowena; Goldsmith, Shelley; Kimura, Shizuko; Moriarty, Lauren; Padovani, Clio; Robins, Freddie; Taylor, Sarah; University of Chester (Bristow) (Crafts Council, 2002)
      This exhibition was a touring exhibition of work by eight artists who were nominated for the Jerwood Applied Arts in 2002.
    • John Bull’s Other Ireland: Manchester-Irish Identities and a Generation of Performance

      Harrop, Peter; O'Sullivan, Brendan M. (University of Chester, 2017-05)
      This thesis provides an auto-ethnographically informed ‘making strange’ of the mise-en-scène of Irish working class domesticity in the North West of England as it was lived during the 1960s, 1970s and into the 1980s. The liminality of being a child of migrant parents is considered and the interstices of experience and identity in and of England and Ireland, Englishness and Irishness are explored. The first chapter of the thesis draws the reader into the initial frame of reference, the personal childhood ethnography that inspired this wider study, and considers Bhabha’s ‘shadow of the nation’ falling ‘on the condition of exile’ as one context for the development of individual identities. The second chapter examines the ways in which a performance studies approach provides a useful method for interrogating matters of place, personhood and citizenship whilst the third chapter introduces performance theory as a mechanism for exploring the ways in which quotidian and cultural performance have been harnessed as tools of negotiation. These are sometimes resistant, sometimes affirmative and sometimes celebratory acts in the construction of new identities. Ongoing performances reveal the embodied histories of individual performers, shaped in part by culture and memory, masking and unmasking to both construct and reveal layered identities. The fourth chapter, provides the most obvious example of traditional fieldwork, and draws on interview extracts to provide key insights into aspects of the diasporic context, identifying and analyzing the many rehearsal and performance opportunities provided by growing up in Irish households in England, where identities were initially formed, informed, and performed. Bridging the distinction between autoethnography, performance ethnography and the ethnography of performance, this chapter engages in discussion with a range of contributors defamiliarising the domestic mise-en-scène whilst simultaneously recognizing a commonality of experience. These interviews are themselves a celebration of Irish identity performance and form an important bridge between the theoretical framework explored in the opening chapters and the subsequent case studies. The final section of the thesis searches out a mirroring of these processes in the construction of theatrical and mediatised performance – providing opportunities to both utilize and observe performance ethnography and the ethnography of performance. It is suggested that Terry Christian provides an affirmative yet angry celebration in a complex performed response to a complex mise-en-scène. A new reading of Steve Coogan’s work then suggests three modes of performance: first, Coogan the outsider satirises British mores; second, Coogan plays sophisticated games of revealing and masking multiple versions of self; third, a searching and ultimately serious engagement with his engagement with Ireland. The application of a performance theory perspective, in the context of this fraction of the Irish diaspora, reveals a playful and generous spirited approach to complex and serious matters of identity and place in the world – to the ways in which lives are led and meanings made through and for the generation of performance.
    • Journeys of the self: Marion’s partial ‘mediagenius’ and the motive reader in comparitive theories of intersubjectivity.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (6th Graphic Novel and Comics Conference and 9th Bande Desinee Society Conference, Paris., 2015-06-01)
      Phillipe Marion uses the neologism ‘mediagenius’ to describe the way in which stories specify themselves though the systematic, discursive relationships that constitute communications registers, by means of what Jan Baetens calls ‘style’, ‘storytelling’ and ‘medium’ (2001). In Marion’s sense, comic strips have a specific mediagenius that is quite distinct from the mediagenius (the ‘style’, ‘storytelling’ and ‘medium’) of other narrative registers, such as movie or writing. The most discussed element of comics’ mediagenius is the notion of ‘graphiation’, a term that Marion uses as a drawn equivalent for the concept ‘utterance’ in linguistic narratology: graphiation is the comics register’s specific bundle of actions, traces and constraints that conjures its relationships between producers, situations and readers. However, graphiation fulfills only one function in the mediagenius of comics proposed by Marion, outside which, with increasing adoption in scholarship, the term is closing itself down, becoming a sign for the recognition of authorial subjectivity, understood as drawing style. Adopting this use of graphiation as a shorthand for recognising subjectivity, this paper will examine in some detail Marion’s conception of comics’ mediagenius as an encompassing theorisation of intersubjective communication, at the level of register, with particular focus on the narrative function of reading as a journey of the self. The paper will then compare comics’ mediagenius systematically to three other theories of intersubjective communication devised by Valentin Volosinov (1929), Martin Barker (1989) and Nick Crossley (1996), using the comparisons to index broader topics facing the study of narrative drawing, in particular the possibilities suggested by recognising relationships between genre and embodiment; relationships between embodiment, motion and representations of time; and relationships between trace and the acts of recognition and misrecognition
    • Kurt Schwitters - Responses to Place, Sayle Gallery (Exhibition Review)

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Kurt Schwitters Society Newsletter, 2014-02-14)
      Essay/review of the exhibition Responses to Place at the Sayle Gallery, Isle of Man, 27 September - 27 October 2013. The exhibition was curated by Fran Lloyd (Kingston University) and featured a selection of artworks and other artefacts by Kurt Schwitters and other artists who were interned in the Isle of man during World War II.
    • Learning Jam: an evaluation of the use of Arts Based Initiatives to generate polyphonic understanding in Work Based Learning

      Passila, A.; Owens, Allan; Pulkki, Maiju; Lapeenranta University of Technology; University of Chester; Aalto University (Emerald, 2016-05-09)
      The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise ‘Learning Jam’ as a way of organising space, time and people through arts based pedagogies in work based learning. This form of encounter originated in Finland to challenge functional silo mentality by prioritising polyphony. Through the use of a 'kaleidoscopic pedagogy', Arts-Based Initiatives (ABIs) are used to collectively and subjectively reconsider practice. The research design is grounded in one of a series of Learning Jams co-created by practitioners from the field of arts and arts-based consultancy and academics from the field of arts, arts education, innovation and management, learning and development. The focus was on exploring the value of each participants work based learning practice through the lens of an Arts Value Matrix. Rancière´s critical theory was used to frame the exploration. The research questions asked; what are the ingredients of this creative, transformative learning space and in what ways can the polyphonic understandings that emerge in it impact on Work-Based Learning? Findings of this study centre around alternative ways of being in a learning setting where we do not defer to the conventional figures of authority, but collectively explore ways of organising, where the main idea is to lean on something-which-is-not-yet. A key research implication is that teaching in this context demands reflexive and dialogical capabilities for those who hold the role of organizing and facilitating spaces for learning and transformation. The main limitation is in stopping short of fully articulating detailed aspects of these capabilities. The originality and value of the practice of Learning Jam is that managers and artists explore the potential of operating as partners to develop new ways of working to realise organisational change and innovation.
    • 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, 2018-10-01)
      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.
    • Leicester City lift the title: A triumph to touch the hearts of all sports fans

      Hassall, Paul; University of Chester (Eurosport UK, 2016-05-07)
      A focus on the afternoon Leicester City FC made a fairytale dream a reality and sealed one of the most famous sporting surprises of all-time.
    • Let’s Do the Time Warp Again: Performing Time, Genre, and Spectatorship

      Ellis, Sarah T.; 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.
    • Literary and Historic Flâneuses: Observation, Commentary, Enterprise and Courage in Late-Nineteenth-Century Women’s Professional Lives

      Grennan, Simon; Hall, Leo (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-02-09)
      Abstract Discussions of the conception of that exemplar of late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth century urban modernity, the flâneur, have focused on both critique of the figure’s masculinity and more radical and nuanced conceptions of women’s flânerie. This article considers both the re-gendering and ungendering of flânerie in the character of three flâneuses in fiction published in the 1870s, 1880s and 1910s: Madame Sidonie, Henrietta Stackpole, and Elsie Bengough, and related dissonances and synergies in the career and work of London actress and cartoonist Marie Duval, active 1869–1885. It will argue that changes in types of reading supervened upon the boom in the production and distribution of serial publications during this period, resulting in the embodiment of new female professional identities, relative to both changing experiences of urban life and changing experiences of reading. The article makes a distinction between new ideas of these types of urban professional woman and the development of the identity of the New Woman after 1894. It examines the historic comprehensibility of the fictional flâneuses to readers of Zola, James, and Onions, according to the new opportunities and prohibitions that constituted the lived experiences of the developing urban entertainments industry of the period, in Duval’s comic strips and vignettes in the weekly London magazine Judy, or The London Serio-Comic Journal.
    • Long Grove Asylum Medical Journal

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester
      The piece documents the disposal of a large scale Edwardian asylum complex that closed in 1992. I documented the aftermath of the site from 1993-98, before private development into an executive housing estate. Unbeknownst to me and at the same time, county archivist Julian Pooley was rescuing abandoned documents, medical journals, ephemera and artefacts from the same location. These would later be housed in the Surrey History Centre in Working. The work is a coming together of these two collections with new documentary photographs of the estate as it is today. The work takes the form of a dossier, styled as a large medical journal and contains multiple elements which can be viewed in any order. Alongside photographs taken in situ are photographs of the artefacts held in the archives, creating an unusual mixture of primary and secondary documentation. Within the dossier are details from large hand-written registers left abandoned at the site, chronicling the patient journey from admission onwards. In addition to these formal records, the dossier also includes ephemera relating to the hospital's social programme, a portfolio of curiously redacted press photographs, team photographs of the medical staff, maps and patients personal effects all of which were left abandoned.
    • Malcolm Lowry - Detours and Dislocations - Douglas and Dollarton: Proposals for Artworks

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Liverpool John Moores University & the Bluecoat, Liverpool, 2017-07-28)
      As a set of 'Proposals for Artworks' and associated writing this project builds on previous research, which retraces the footsteps of Wirral-born author of Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry. The work emerges from photography and moving image made on location in Vancouver in June 2017. A paper entitled ‘Malcolm Lowry – Detours and Dislocations – Douglas and Dollarton’ was presented at the LJMU conference: Under the Volcano – 70 Years On: An International Malcolm Lowry Conference. A 1/50 scale model of Malcolm Lowry’s 1944 shack at Dollarton, and a carousel, slide-projected, artwork of 80, 35 mm slides (Cates Park and Maplewood Mudflats) was exhibited at the Bluecoat, Liverpool as part of the conference proceedings, July 28 - 29, 2017.
    • 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.
    • Marie Duval: Laughter in the First Age of Leisure.

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester; Central Saint Martins (Illustrative Festival Berlin, 2016-10-15)
      A public exhibition of the work of 19th-century cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
    • Marie Duval: Laughter in the First Age of Leisure.

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Guildhall Library London, 2017-11-17)
      A public exhibition of the work of 19th-century cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
    • Marie Duval: Victorian Cartoonist

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Myriad Editions, 2018-03-29)
      Book chapter.
    • ‘Mass May Be the Single Most Important Sensation’: Perceptual Philosophies in Dance Improvisation

      Sarco-Thomas, Malaika; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2019-04-02)
      This essay investigates how sensory perception can be cultivated as a key practice in dance improvisation performance. It looks at how artists such as Steve Paxton, Deborah Hay, and Simone Forti propose frameworks for exercising attention to perception when improvising, and how these scores can be routes towards experiencing different ways of relating to one’s environment. The essay draws on Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s contribution to theorizing sensory perception in bodily movement and in strands of ecological philosophy, developing the idea of ‘intelligent flesh’ as fundamental to both. It then uses the author’s experiences of working with these artists’ scores to investigate how perceptual attention can be creatively proposed, physicalized, performed, or, in Alva Noë’s term, ‘enacted’ in improvisation.
    • The Materiality of Conflict in Contact: Improvisational Explorations in 'Pitch'

      Sarco-Thomas, Malaika; University of Chester (Dance Studies Association, 2018-12)
      This presentation investigates the 2017 site-based dance film project Pitch, featuring choreography by Charlie Morrissey, as an investigation into the materiality of conflict within contact improvisation practices. New materialist philosophies invite reconsideration of matter as animate in ways which dance improvisers might be said to already perceive the body. Deborah Hay’s knowledgeable cells, and Steve Paxton’s animal body can arguably be read in light of Karen Barad’s notion of posthumanist ‘iterative intra-activity’ in which the consideration of the differentiated mass of thebody as nonhuman becomes another kind of choreographic agent within the performance.Working processes within the project, which included focusing on the tactility of conflict as friction and the consideration of resistance itself as a material, placed emphasis on the dancers’ material experience of the body as a key performative strategy. In this sense, matter became figured, in the words of Barad, not ‘as a mere effect or product of discursive practices, but rather as an agentive factor in its iterative materialization’ (2012: 32) in which the identity of the dancers became ‘radically reworked’. From an analysis of the choreographic process and film product, this presentation will investigate how contact improvisation practices which focus on the tactile experience of matter can be said to be examples of iterative intra-activity on multiple perceptual levels. Tactile confrontation of ‘the other’ and his/her struggle toward aliveness in movement, and confrontation of the porous materiality of the human bodybecome hallmarks of the film.
    • 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.
    • 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 Printing (ACME Group, University of Liege, 2016-06-01)
      A conference paper presented at ACME Research Group Conference, University of Liege.