• Beyond Beatlemania: The Shea stadium concert as discursive construct

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2015-11)
      On August 15, 1965, the Beatles played to a crowd of over 55,000 of their fans at the Shea Stadium in New York City. Five decades later, the history-making show is remembered less for the band’s thirty minute music set than for how it was drowned out by the crowd’s deafening din (Millard 2012, 25). In actuality, however, there are, however, two Shea Stadia events: one a long past reality, the other a shared memory. This chapter examines how the second of these – Shea Stadium as a discursive construct – both drew on stereotypes of pop fandom and perpetuated them in public discussions about the Beatles. Specifically, the Shea event came to symbolize the way that popular music fandom had entered the public sphere as a collective and emotional phenomenon. It was framed by notions of parasocial interaction to suggest that young fans did not care about music and instead ‘worshipped’ band members as hero figures. In deconstructing the discursive Shea Stadium, my aim is to rescue the event from its own history. The concert enabled the Beatles to secure their place in the emergent rock revolution and position themselves as a more serious, ‘adult’ and ‘music’ orientated band. Yet it has also become a cornerstone of stereotypical perceptions of music fandom in the public imagination.
    • Beyond Exploitation Cinema: Music Fandom, Disability, and Mission to Lars

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016-07-14)
      Mission to Lars (Moore and Spicer 2012) is a feature documentary in which Kate and William Spicer help their brother Tom make his dream come true. Tom wishes to meet drummer Lars Ulrich from the heavy metal band Metallica. He also has Fragile X syndrome, which Kate calls, “a sort of autism with bells on.” Mission to Lars is therefore a film about disability and popular music fandom. Its marketing and reviews suggest a warm and sympathetic portrait of family life in which two siblings help a third to achieve his ambition. No documentary innocently captures its subject. Mission to Lars explores issues of disability awareness. Raising the possibility that Kate and Will Spicer may not have been motivated by altruism, it deliberately contrasts able-bodied and disabled cast members by using fan stereotypes. The film is therefore an unusual 'fansploitation' picture, depicting fandom both as a training ground for employment and as a compensation for the disabled.
    • Beyond “Obsessive” Collectors and "Screaming" Girls

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Routledge, 2015-11-30)
      This chapter is the concluding piece in the Routledge edited volume, Fan Identities and Practices in Context: Dedicated to Music. It goes beyond stereotypes of music fandom to consider the diversity of the subject, both in terms of generational differences and online convergence.
    • 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.
    • Borders of knowledge: A reflection on a collaborative international drama project

      Layton, James R.; Loudon, Jane; University of Chester (2014-10-24)
      Iris Marion Young (1990) believes that the ideal of community “seeks to resist the individualism and alienation that is pervasive in late capitalist societies by bringing people together”. Illustrated by an ongoing collaborative drama project between the UK and Romania, this paper seeks to explore the way in which access to knowledge associated with a late capitalist UK and those of the emerging capitalism of Romania informs creative partnerships. Using a case study of 2014 field research in Romania involving UK Drama & Theatre Studies undergraduates, this paper offers a multi-voiced reflection on how we learn from other communities and build sustainable and balanced relationships in an ever-expanding European community.
    • Boris, Brexit or Bust

      Charles, Alec; University of Chester (Political Studies Association / CSJCC, 2016-07)
      An analysis of political blogging in the 2016 referendum campaign.
    • Can the Sound of PWL Records from between 1987 and 1990 be a Powerful Influence on a Successful Record Released Today?

      Mason, Jim; University of Chester (2014)
      From 1987 to 1990, Pete Waterman’s label PWL crafted some of the most identifiable music in the history of pop. This paper aims to examine the operation, history and legacy of one of Britain’s most successful independent labels. David Hesmondhalgh (1999) and others have discussed the complex institutional and aesthetic aspects of independent labels. PWL was never ‘indie’ and it was atypical on both counts. It had an unusual business model and fostered a highly specific working environment. It was also an ‘independent’ that made highly successful, commercial, mainstream product. After 1990, the label seemed to lose its characteristic identity of the previous four years, and this coincided with a reduction in its commercial success. Music critics such as Simon Reynolds (2011) suggest that popular music is now characterised by a culture of nostalgia. The PWL sound of 1987-1990 was hugely commercially successful, yet it has not been successfully revived in the same way that other successful “sounds” have been, as a result of nostalgia culture. Has a lack of a commercially successful revival of the sound been decided by a reputation for producing bland, commercial fare, or have there been other factors at play? Can the label’s “sound” be revived in such a way as to be commercially and culturally relevant in the mid 2010s? The researcher / practitioner attempts to answer the question through creation of a music product. It will be shown through the production and composition work, and industry responses to it, that a commercially-relevant sound can have compositional and production dance music-orientated elements relevant to the mid-2010s yet still unashamedly take influence from the PWL 1987-1990 sound, whilst still taking care to legitimately merely take influence from the style and not infringe copyright.
    • Cargo Space

      Grennan, Simon; Sperandio, Christopher; University of Chester; Rice University Houston (Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis, 2015-09-01)
      A public exhibition at the Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis
    • Casting Call: Profondo Rosso and Blow-Up

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Edizioni Il Foglio, 2016-02-20)
      This book chapter examines the way that Dario Argento's film Profondo Rosso contained links to Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow-Up - not least the use of David Hemmings as the lead character.
    • Celebrity: The return of the repressed in fan studies?

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2014-09-28)
      This chapter begins by examining the development of a fan studies mainstream as a process of marginalization of attention to celebrity. It then considers how deductive areas of fan research have also inadequately conceptualized celebrity attachment. Using Gary Boas and Richard Simpkin as examples, the chapter then shows that there are subtle differences between fandom and celebrity following per se. It reaches its climax with a discussion of effervescence: a useful explanatory mechanism from Emile Durkheim’s theory of religion that helps to account for the pleasures of following celebrities. Finally, the chapter contrasts a neo-Durkheimian approach to fandom with some classic and contemporary research on parasocial interaction. I suggest that focusing on fan motivation and affect – perhaps through a refashioning of Durkheim’s work – may help us escape the long shadow of the mass culture critique.
    • 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.
    • Chorale Prelude: Lord for the Years for Solo Organ

      Sproston, Darren; University of Chester (Darren Sproston, 2015-03-01)
      Commissioned by the University of Chester for its 175th Founders’ Day Service. First performed at Chester Cathedral, March 2015 by Graham Eccles.
    • Circus Starr: App for Autistic Audiences Research and Development Report

      Bright, Rebecca; Logan, Cath; Piper-Wright, Tracy; Therapy Box, Circus Starr, University of Chester (Nesta, 2015-09)
      The final report for the Digital R&D Project 'Show and Tell', funded by the AHRC, Arts Council England and Nesta. During an 18 month period the project investigated the potential of digital technology to enhance engagement with live arts events for children with autism through the development and testing of a proprietary mobile app.
    • Clear red water? Devolved education policy and the Welsh news media audience

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (2012-03-19)
      The long-running debate about the information gap between the Welsh voting public and the processes of devolution tends to revolve around structural, cultural and economic deficiencies in the media. However, there is little empirical evidence for assertions about the effects of these alleged deficiencies on public opinion, which typically argue that an inadequate news media fails to properly inform Welsh residents about the evolution of, and rationale for, devolved policy. The earlier work of Thomas, Jewell and Cushion (2003) examined the public consumption of news about Welsh Assembly elections, finding that ‘very substantial’ proportions of the population consumed little or no news relating to devolved politics. But fewer attempts have been made to examine the ways in which audiences understand specific areas of devolved policy via the media. This article focuses on a key area of devolved decision-making, education, and attempts to quantify that alleged ‘disconnect’ through the use of focus groups in which the parents of children progressing through the foundation stage of a Welsh primary school (a key post-devolution policy difference) are questioned about their understanding of the main issues.
    • “Clubs aren’t like that”: Discos, Deviance and Diegetics in Club Culture Cinema

      Morrison, Simon A.; University of Chester; University of Leeds (Griffith University ePress, 2012-11-06)
      This article considers ways in which filmmakers have attempted to address the subject of electronic dance music culture on the big screen. In what ways have directors tried to visually represent EDMC in fictional narratives? And to what extent have they been capable of capturing the recognisable elements of this phenomenon, by expressing its tropes and spirit in a plausible and credible fashion? Is it possible to distil the energy of the dance floor and represent the actions, practices and attitudes of its participants for an arguably passive cinema audience? How, for instance, can a key component of this subcultural terrain—drug consumption—be effectively illustrated through the devices of the movie director? By providing textual analysis of two recent, and similarly titled, North American productions—Ecstasy (dir. Lux 2011) and Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (dir. Rob Heydon 2012)—this account aims to describe, and critique, both the creative approaches and technical devices adopted to solve this artistic problem. With attention to the work of Sarah Thornton, Stan Beeler and Simon Reynolds, this study will also raise questions about authenticity and verisimilitude in an intermediary field in which the dance floor becomes the subject of the non-documentary storyteller and the focus of the camera lens. The article concludes that when a primarily sonic and social medium is re-configured in a visual format, the results, while superficially engaging and entertaining, struggle to capture the charged excitement of the nightclub, the inspirational potency of its soundtrack and, ultimately, the genuine experience of the individual clubgoer.
    • Co-creating, co-producing and connecting: Museum practice today.

      Barnes, Pamela; McPherson, Gayle; University of Chester; University of the West of Scotland (Wiley, 2019-04-25)
      We argue in this paper that museums have become hybrid spaces, where consumers look and challenge what they see; they form part of what they see; with some aspects of exhibitions now co‐created and co‐produced by the consumer (Kershaw et al. 2018; Solis 2012). This paper draws on an example from a group that we worked with using performance as a tool to engage a ‘hard to reach’ or ‘socially excluded’ groups. We conclude that by allowing audiences to co‐create and co‐produce exhibitions and performance; this can turn the museum rhetoric of community engagement into practice and create a space that is truly inclusive for the communities it serves. We demonstrate how the possibility of seeing museums as hybrid spaces, which can adapt, can be used for education and entertainment, and how that has in turn led to the transformation of people's lives in a previously socially excluded community.
    • Collaborative Practice: some thoughts

      Jamieson, Evelyn (The Higher Education Academcy: Palatine, Dance, Drama and Music, 2011)
      A snapshot paper concerning values, approaches and modes of practice in higher education performing arts. This paper is contained in the 2011 report, Collaborative Arts Practices in HE: Mapping and Developing Pedgagogical Models by Christophe Alix, Elizabeth Dobson, Robert Wilsmore.
    • Competence in Your Own Enactment: Subjectivity and the Theorisation of Participatory Art.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2014-02-01)
      A chapter in the edited collection "Real Lives, Celebrity Stories: narrative of ordinary and extraordinary people across media."
    • Concrete Knowledge

      McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (Darc Space, 26 North Great George’s Street, Dublin, 2016-05-17)
      Catalogue essay in exhibition catalogue.
    • Cornel West, Curtis Mayfield and Fan Activism

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (2015-06-28)
      This conference paper draws on the idea of the 'knowing field' to examine Cornel West's mobilization of black audiences to protest against the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. It argues that West tapped into the values of his hero Curtis Mayfield to pursuade others to make their views known about racial injustice in the public sphere.