• Understanding Which Fandom? Insights from Two Decades as a Music Fan Researcher

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-04-18)
      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.
    • Unravelling photography

      Boetker-Smith, Daniel; Grainger, Karen; Heron, Fergus; Pontin, Matthew; University of Chester ; Independent Artist / University of Brighton / University of Plymouth ; University College Falmouth (Quay Arts, 2006)
      The Unravelling photography exhibition was held at the Matthew West Gallery in the Quay Arts Centre from 6 May to 10 June 2006. Four artists - Daniel Boetker-Smith, Matthew Pontin, Karen Grainger, and Fergus Heron - produced work which focuses on the ability of photography to question its own systems and visuality. The exhibition was presented as four distinct, yet related, projects ion the themes of unravelling looking, unravelling, memory, unravelling place, and unravelling perception. An accompanying exhibition catalogue was produced.
    • Using Mobile Technology to Facilitate Engagement with the Arts for Children with Autism and their Families

      Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester (Springer International Publishing, 2017-07-19)
      This case study discusses the research project Show and Tell and provides an example of how collaboration across different creative disciplines, and within a field nominally unrelated to art and design, can yield successful results by applying creative perspectives to an existing problem.
    • Virility, Venality and Victory: Three Faces of Masculinity in Jurassic Park

      Barnett, Katie; University of Chester
      Like many of the blockbuster films of the 1990s, Jurassic Park (1993) is a story of survival, pitting humans against a force of nature: in this case, the imposing, genetically-engineered dinosaurs that cannot be contained by the science that created them. Beyond this, another survival story is woven into the narrative. This concerns the fate of the film’s men. When Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) reflects on the role of humans in nature – “God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs” – Dr Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) retorts presciently, “Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.” “Clever girls” – Ellie, the velociraptor who outwits Robert Muldoon, computer whiz Lex – abound in the narrative, while around them the men struggle with their place in this new landscape. Masculinity is bound up, variously, with cowardice (Gennaro), venality (Nedry), misplaced hubris (Hammond) and incautious virility (Malcolm). Even Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill), though ultimately victorious, must be reformed, trading individualism for family and reneging on his earlier opposition to children. The contours of American masculinity were increasingly under scrutiny in the 1990s, and Jurassic Park reflects various related anxieties, constructing images of flawed men in need of punishment or redemption. This chapter will explore the film’s representation of masculinity through a number of its male characters, exploring how their survival is tempered by negotiation, compromise and critique.
    • Visual communication in the 21st Century: A study of the visual and digital communication experiences of post-Millennial university students

      Maheshwari, Vish; Moss, Danny; Lyon, Andy; Sillitoe, Kathleen L (University of Chester, 2018-08)
      Higher education (HE) visual communication students, who are considering careers in the creative industries of advertising and marketing, need a high level of skills in visual and digital literacy. However, students born after 1995 (post-Millennials), now entering HE, appear to present with fewer visual communication and digital skills than previous cohorts. This research provides a case study of post-Millennial students and examines the extent to which they are learning visual communication skills through their use of widely available digital media technologies. Four groups of post-Millennial students were investigated: one group of Level 4 Computer Science students; two groups of Level 4 Advertising students, from different years; and one group of Level 6 Advertising students. The students were surveyed using interview, questionnaire, observation and focus group. The resulting data was coded and analysed to extract themes. A further layered analysis, using a Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) framework, was then carried out. Using this CHAT framework, deviances were found within the activity system of this HE advertising programme delivery. The most fundamental change was in the dissonance found between the student participants’ and HE’s learning objectives. This was in the context of a complete reversal of the relative importance of the communities within the students’ activity systems. They had become ‘flipped learners’. These CHAT related findings are arguably relevant to wider HE settings. The research also found that the students in the focus groups had a high dependency on the Internet. They used it to search for, and download, images and text. They also preferred to use the Internet to source knowledge or information, rather than to approach staff. Their visual literacy skills appeared to be weaker than those of previous cohorts. Despite their weaknesses, many students had a high level of confidence in their own ability that was not reflected in their work. A strong theme of ‘need for speed’ was highlighted, with many students believing that speed of production was more important than the quality of an artefact in professional work. The systemic changes highlighted by the CHAT framework, together with the research’s other findings, suggest potential implications for the teaching of HE students of visual communication and for the future of the creative industries. Further research is indicated in the areas of the effects of young people’s: use of the mobile phone on visual literacy skills; perception of industry needs; increasing dependency on the Internet for the acquisition of knowledge; and their need for speed.
    • 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, 2018-06-18)
      Review of Visuality and identity in post-millennial Indian graphic narratives, by E. Dawson Varughese.
    • Walking with Shadows: Index, Inscription and Event in Malcolm Lowry's In Ballast to the White Sea

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Liverpool University Press, 2020-07-01)
      A series of 15 black and white photographs and writing authored in response to the publication of a scholarly edition of Malcolm Lowry’s lost novel In Ballast to the White Sea. The photographs are integrated in an essay entitled ‘Walking with Shadows’ – a photo-text – indebted to W.G. Sebald’s use of photographs in The Rings of Saturn (1995). A method adopted which fuses ‘fiction, travelogue, history and biography’ where the images offset or displace the narrative, rather than illustrate it, as the psychic and physical journey unfolds from page to page. The text also references Denis Hollier’s essay ‘Surrealist Precipitates: Shadows Don’t Cast Shadows’, in which the position of the artist /author and the role of the reader highlights the significance of André Breton’s novel and use of photographs in Nadja (1928). The correlation of these sources includes Michel de Certeau’s ‘Walking in the City’ in The Practice of Everyday Life (1984) and Paul Auster’s novella ‘City of Glass’ in New York Trilogy (1987) where the notion of the author / protagonist are posited as interchangeable positions, as they reveal the significance of a method, in which autobiography, fact and fiction coalesce. The photographs which are imbricated within the text function as a series of staging points and motifs, which index the journey undertaken by the novel’s key protagonist. In Lowry’s novel these are uncovered in a series of surreal, psychogeographic encounters across the urban terrain and landscape, and the sonic hum, which imbues his writing. The events and locations which define the novel were rediscovered, or otherwise substituted, as they are re-inscribed in text and image. The project also integrated archive and vernacular images, which include Edward Chambré Hardman’s photographs of Liverpool and the North West as the setting which provides the point of departure for Lowry’s novel and the terrain, which was revisited for this project.
    • “We Are Not Fools”: Online News Commentators’ Perceptions of Real and Ideal Journalism

      Slavtcheva-Petkova, Vera; University of Chester (SAGE, 2015-12-14)
      Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Eastern European countries face an increasing threat to their media pluralism and democracies after a lot of media corporations fell in the hands of local owners. The region is plagued by “mini-Murdochs,” and Bulgaria is a case in point. This study investigates a subset of Bulgarian online newspaper readers’ perceptions of the state of journalism. The article presents the results from a qualitative analysis of 1,583 comments about the media war between the country’s biggest press groups. It focuses on 178 comments that discuss the role of journalists. Readers differentiate between “ideal journalism” and “real journalism.” The former is based on an idealized view of journalists as detached watchdogs, whereas the latter depicts a dire picture of journalists as manipulative servants of their owners. The virtual space is a vibrant arena for democratic discussions and can also potentially serve as an accountability tool for journalists. A reconceptualization of Habermas’s public sphere is needed if we are to more clearly understand how vibrant online spaces contribute to democracy even if they fall short of his normative ideal.
    • What's in a name?

      Harrop, Peter; University of Chester (Intellect, 2005)
      This article takes an impressionistic and loosely comparative overview of British and American Performance Studies provision based on a small sample of university prospectus and website entries as well as conversations with teachers. This material is then examined in the light of recent publication in the field, raising issues of the relationship between Theatre Studies and Performance Studies, writing and embodied knowledge, practice and theory, in an attempt to see what the Performance Studies project might be becoming. It suggests a distinct British conception of Performance Studies, occasionally drawing on the ‘broad spectrum’ North American model while retaining active curricular engagement with the processes of performance making.
    • Why I Didn't Go Down to the Delta

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Routledge, 2014-09-17)
      Analysing the television documentary Rick Stein Tastes the Blues for common perceptions of the Delta, this book chapter explores ethical dilemmas associated with a particular music tourism. White visitors celebrate the black music heritage of what is still one of the poorest regions of the USA, but to what extent are they fetishizing poverty? The chapter argues that we can position blues pilgrimages as a form of cross-racial dark tourism. As a way to share concern for racialized creativity in the face of social neglect, blues pilgrimage has become a matter of empathetically hearing of black woe expressed and white guilt displaced by music from a different time, place and culture.
    • Why it may not be game, set and match for Maria Sharapova

      Randles, David; University of Chester (The Conversation, 2016-03-11)
      Analysis of Maria Sharapova's failed drug test and the potential commercial implications for the Russian tennis star.
    • 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.
    • Why take pleasure in the grilling of Natalie Bennett?

      Charles, Alec; University of Chester (The Conversation, 2015-02-24)
      This article discusses the interview given by Green Party leader Natalie Bennett to Nick Ferrari on LBC radio.
    • Why you can bet your shirt on Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining Manchester United

      Randles, David; University of Chester (The Conversation, 2016-06-13)
      Analysis of the commercial logic for Manchester United to sign the 34-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer (2016).