• No Such Thing as Society: The Novel under Neoliberalism

      Pollard, Eileen; Schoene, Berthold; University of Chester; Manchester Metropolitan University (Cambridge University Press, 2018-12-20)
      Because literature always depends on evoking a sense of community between writers and their readers, there can be no flourishing of literature without society. Indicative of this axiomatic is the novel’s contribution to how any specific ‘social imaginary’ or ‘structure of feeling’ comes to crystallize in the first place. Complementing Raymond Williams’ influential encapsulation of ‘structure of feeling’ as each new generation’s response to ‘the unique world it is inheriting, taking up many continuities [...] yet feeling its whole life in certain ways differently’, Manfred Steger defines social imaginaries as the ways in which ‘“we” – the members of a particular community – fit together, how things go on between us, the expectations we have of each other, and the deeper normative notions and images that underlie those expectations’. The final two decades of the twentieth century are no exception in this regard, as they too constitute a singular slice of history with its own particular set of common understandings, expressions and practices of culture and community. Importantly, the perceived distinctiveness and newness of the period was the result not so much of a gentle generational shift as a wholescale political revolution, the enormity of which would jolt society into a hitherto inconceivable direction of socio-economic change and cultural transmutation. As Colin Hutchinson puts it, the inception of Thatcherite neoliberalism in Britain is best understood as a violent ‘assault […] on the public realm [leading to] the erosion of civic sensibilities and collective allegiances’. Another point of interest for us is the formative implication of ‘The Individual’ in the symbiosis of society and the novel. Nancy Armstrong describes individualism as ‘the ideological core’ of the novel; in her view, ‘novels think like individuals about the difficulties of fulfilling oneself […] under specific cultural historical conditions’. Armstrong’s proposition assumes special significance in the light of Margaret Thatcher’s announcement in 1987 that ‘there is no such thing [as society]! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first.’ Thatcher’s eradication of society and her hyperbolic championing of the individual instigated a fundamental ideological recasting of late twentieth-century Britain’s social imaginary, which in turn significantly influenced the development of the British novel.
    • Introduction

      Pollard, Eileen; Schoene, Berthold; University of Chester; Manchester Metropolitan University (Cambridge University Press, 2018-12-20)
      The central premise underpinning our volume is simple: the final two decades of the twentieth century no longer constitute an integral part of what we call the contemporary. We now view the late twentieth century through a complex historicising lens darkened by the events of 9/11, the ensuing ‘clash of civilisations’ and ‘war on terror’, the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, ongoing austerity and – most recently – the rise of populist politics. An additional impediment to immediate access and perfect recall is the impact effected by technological advances on everyday life in the twenty-first century: how reliably can we ‘supermoderns’ (to adopt Marc Augé’s term ) be expected to recollect and relate to a now bygone world that did not have the internet, email, social networking, wifi or the mobile phone? Even those of us who lived through the 1980s and 1990s will be finding this increasingly difficult. Superseded and defamiliarised by previously unimaginable technologically-modified ways of everyday living, the late twentieth century is beginning to look more and more like history. One prominent theme informing the tone of this introduction is how the final two decades of the twentieth century were marked by the speed of accelerated change in society’s attitudes to class, subnational devolution, religion, sexuality and the Black and Asian Minority Ethnic experience, as well as how these complex and mutually imbricated discourses helped produce a notable sense of motion sickness in the literature of the period.
    • Displaying the deviant: Sutton Hoo’s sand bodies

      Williams, Howard; Walsh, Madeline; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      The interpretation of early medieval deviant burials has come to the fore in recent mortuary archaeology debates. Yet, critical discussion of how early medieval execution cemeteries are portrayed in museums and other media has received no critical attention. Using the prominent case study of Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, this chapter reveals the interpretative and ethical challenges inherent in narrating and visualizing later Anglo- Saxon judicial killing in the absence of well-preserved human remains, but instead through the recording and interpretation of carefully excavated “sand bodies.”
    • Death’s diversity: the case of Llangollen Museum

      Williams, Howard; Evans, Suzanne; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Much of the debate regarding mortuary archaeology’s public interactions has centred on the ethics and politics of displaying articulated skeletal material and fleshed bodies. In contrast, multiple, fragmented, dislocated and cenotaphic mortuary traces which populate museums across the UK have escaped sustained attention. Local and town museums, and also the distinctive narratives required in Welsh museums, have also eluded consideration. This chapter explores how smaller museums create environments in which networks are created both with other memorial places and landscapes in the vicinity, and between discrete museum displays. This chapter focuses on one case study—Llangollen Museum—to present and inter- rogate how a diversity of mortuary material culture combine to create a mortuary network associated with local history, heritage and landscape in this distinctive North Welsh context.
    • Dead Relevant: Introducing The Public Archaeology of Death

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Introducing the ten chapters of the book which each explore different dimensions of the public archaeology of death, this introduction asks: why and how are the archaeologically derived traces of human remains and mortuary monuments “dead relevant”? In other words, how has mortuary archaeology, from catacombs to cremated remains, come to enthral and gain significance in con- temporary society, and how does it continue to do so? Considering the diversity of archaeological field investigation, curation and display in museums, contestation and dialogues between archae- ologists, stakeholders and descendent communities, and the publications and popular receptions of the archaeological dead in the arts, literature and media, as well as via ancient monuments and historic landscapes, the public archaeology of death is a vibrant field of future research.
    • Death’s drama: mortuary practice in Vikings Season 1–4

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Inspired by later medieval sagas and Viking Age historical sources, but underpinned and enriched by archaeological evidence and themes, the History channel’s Vikings (2013–) is a unique drama series explor- ing the late eighth/early ninth century conflicts and culture of the Northmen, aimed at a global television audience. This chapter introduces the series and its varied portrayals of mortuary practice. From the por- trayal of the deaths of chieftains and those slain in battle to family members and children, I identify key archaeological themes behind the depiction of death. This prompts discussion of mortuary archaeology’s influence on popular perceptions of the Early Middle Ages, the programme operating as education, enter- tainment but also reflecting on present-day anxieties over the nature of human mortality.
    • Envisioning Cremation: Art and Archaeology

      Williams, Howard; Watson, Aaron; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Focusing on artist’s impressions of early Anglo-Saxon cremations, we reflect on the potentials and chal- lenges of collaborations between artists and archaeologists to both convey the fiery transformation of the dead in the human past, and provide reflection on our society’s own engagement with mortality in which cremation has become a commonplace dimension. We show the potential of art to challenge pre-conceived notions and understandings of cremation past and present, positioning art as a key dimension of public mortuary archaeology.
    • Said Nursi’s Notion of ‘Sacred Science’: Its Function and Application in Hizmet High School Education

      Tee, Caroline; Shankland, David; University of Chester (Brill, 2014-04-30)
      This paper explores the teaching of natural science subjects in high schools associated with the Gülen-Hizmet movement in Turkey. It focuses on the apparent reconciliation of scientific learning in a pervasive, albeit unofficial, Sunni Islamic religious culture. The framework for such an accommodation is found in the teachings of Fethullah Gülen and his predecessor, Said Nursi. Following Nursi, Gülen encourages scientific pursuit, and intellectual knowledge in general, as a pious and spiritually meritorious act. Drawing on fieldwork conducted at two Hizmet-affiliated high schools in Turkey, this article explores the “sanctification” of science and learning in the Gülen Movement by highlighting the principle of fedakarlık (self-sacrifice), as the primary motivation of the teaching staff. Focusing also on the schools’ highly disciplined and competitive learning environments (as exemplified in preparations for the prestigious International Science Olympiads), the article suggests that although teacher commitment and prestigious competitive awards bolster the Hizmet schools’ market competitiveness, they fail in actually producing students who pursue careers in natural science fields. By contrast, this article concludes that the movement’s engagement with science, at least at present, is less interested in furthering scientific inquiry than it is in equipping what Gülen has called a ‘Golden Generation’ with the tools it needs to compete with secularist rivals in Turkey.
    • The value of recent records, historical context, and genealogy in surname research

      Parkin, Harry (Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland, 2019)
      This paper looks at the importance of genealogical study and the consideration of recent records in the analysis of surname etymology.
    • The influence of Isaiah in Matthew 1-4

      Kinde, Todd M. (University of Chester, 2019-01-29)
      This study traces the four Isaianic references in Matthew 1-4 to identify their influence in the structure and theology of Matthew’s Gospel. Isaiah distinctively contributes to the parallel nature of the narratives in the structure of Matthew 1-12 and particularly to the structural unity of Matthew 1-4. Further, the Abrahamic background in Isaiah contributes to Matthew’s “Son of Abraham” motif. The second chapter identifies the placement of the Isaianic references in Matthew and offers an alternative view of Matthew’s macrostructure. Similarly, the integral unity of Matthew 1-4 is supported by parallel themes and plotlines. The strategic placement of Isaianic references supports this proposed structure. The study proceeds with a chapter devoted to each of the four Isaianic references in Matthew 1-4. The study’s intertextual methodology observes the reference’s text form, Isaianic context, reference in Jewish sources, placement in the Matthean chapter, Matthean context, and a summary of Isaiah’s structural and Christological influence. Two appendixes accompany the research: one identifies the Abrahamic background in Isaiah 1-12, and another reevaluates the premise of a new Moses typology in Matthew. Isaianic references influence the narrative parallelism in Matthew 1-4, highlighting the calling motif, and confirming the preaching ministry of John and Jesus. Theologically, the Isaianic references and allusions echo in Matthew 1-4 to inform Matthew’s Son of Abraham Christology. As the Son of Abraham, Jesus recapitulates Israel’s history, following the paradigm of the patriarch Abraham.
    • ‘Building Space: Developing Reflection for Wellbeing’ Can a chaplain help healthcare professionals develop reflective practice for wellbeing for themselves and their team?

      Mowat, Harriet; Satterley, Andrew; Graham, Elaine; Pearce, Sacha J. T. (University of Chester, 2019-01-22)
      In this thesis I develop a new, wider and richer understanding of wellbeing, through developing a process of reflective practice, with healthcare professionals within their challenging work culture. As a healthcare chaplain, having witnessed poor staff morale, I conducted a critical examination of NHS wellbeing reports and strategies, which revealed an understanding of staff wellbeing that ironically follows simply a health model. Challenging this, I argue for a broader interpretation of wellbeing that, in addition to focusing on health, is more holistic, relational and contextual. I develop reflective practice to nurture this, the use of which extends in healthcare beyond education and professional development. In my action research, knowledge was generated through ethnographic participation and observation, over a year, reflecting as chaplain with eight teams of healthcare professionals. This used my simple and memorable HELP Wellbeing Reflection Cycle (building on Kolb’s (1984) model of experiential learning) that combines reflection on work and personal development. My project also responds to Rolfe’s call (2014) for greater use in healthcare of Schön’s (1980) “reflection-in-action”. Building on these works, I develop reflection for healthcare professionals to nurture their wellbeing. My encouragement of the participants to self-facilitate their own reflective groups, when familiar with this method of reflection, is also a contribution to reflective practice, healthcare and the chaplain’s role. Thematic data analysis emerged from the reflexive field notes of our shared experience as co-reflective practitioners. The themes include healthcare professionals making the human connection between themselves and with their patients. They also value the space to reflect together, realising their desire for team support and a shared goal, as well as job satisfaction in this demanding culture. These themes, I argue, are consistent with the broader definitions of wellbeing, giving them the opportunity to be both a healthcare professional and human. Further data analysis also reveals consistency with wider wellbeing interpretations (including personal wellbeing measurements and data from the Office for National Statistics (2014, 2015)). I develop the role of chaplain as the healthcare professionals’ co-reflector, sharing their reflective space as a pastoral encounter and a source for learning. This combines the images of “empty handed” (Swift, 2009) “welcoming guest” and “mutual hospitality” (Walton, M., 2012). I offer to national healthcare the wider understanding of wellbeing, and the value of creating provision for reflective space to nurture it, in the care of healthcare professionals. This research offers the potential for exciting further developments in a wider constituency both in and beyond healthcare.
    • How the Other Three-Quarters Lived: The Cabin in Famine Literature

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Peter Lang, 2019-01-23)
      In the 1841 census three-quarters of houses in Ireland were placed in the lowest two classes, one-roomed mud cabins and slightly larger mud cottages. What Harriet Martineau describes as ‘Irish cabin life’ was a matter of fascination for visitors to Ireland before and after the Famine, and the cabin became a key site of ethnographic exploration. Curious or philanthropic observers were either shocked by the poverty and wretchedness they saw, or puzzled or even offended by the seeming happiness and healthiness of cabin-dwellers. During the Famine, the cabin was a scene for tragedy and horror: the place from which the people were evicted, from which they emigrated, in which they were quarantined, where they were found dying or dead, where they were buried. The roofless cabin later eloquently attested to their suffering and absence, and has become one of the most significant visual icons in the commemoration of the Famine. This chapter examines the representation of the cabin in literature from the time of the Famine to the present day, in the works of authors such as William Carleton, Anthony Trollope, Margaret Brew, Carol Birch, Anne Enright, and Tana French, considering the ways in which social hierarchy and communal relations are mediated through its space in texts set during the Famine, and its spectral significance in modern and contemporary literature as a concrete or symbolic inheritance, a time-machine, a haunted house, a place to desecrate or take refuge in, and a crime scene.
    • Our Man Down in Havana: The Story Behind Graham Greene's Cold War Spy Novel

      Hull, Christopher; University of Chester (Pegasus Books, 2019-04-02)
      Analyses the backstory to Graham Greene's 1958 spy-fiction satire Our Man in Havana, including the British writer’s seven pre-revolutionary and five post-revolutionary visits to Cuba. This book reveals the gestation of his iconic 1958 novel, and its 1959 film version, directed by Carol Reed. Background includes his wartime experience in MI6, first in Sierra Leone, and later under Kim Philby's supervision in London. The book also details Greene's ongoing manic depression and turbulent private life, context for him beginning to write his novel in the midst of the Fidel Castro-led armed insurrection against the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in November 1957. Following the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on 1st January 1959, Greene witnessed the development of Fidel Castro’s socialist and then communist revolution during its key early years, on journalistic assignments from the Daily Telegraph in 1963 and 1966. We thus gain Greene’s overview of Cuba during its capitalist apogee under dictatorial Batista and its radical social transformation under Castro’s charismatic leadership.
    • On the Trail of a Biblical Serial Killer: Sherlock Holmes and the Book of Tobit

      Collins, Matthew A.; University of Chester (T&T Clark, 2019-01-24)
      In the book of Tobit, Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, is tormented by the demon Asmodeus. She has been married seven times, but each time the demon kills her husband on her wedding night. In despair, she contemplates suicide and prays for deliverance. In the course of the narrative, Tobias, the son of Tobit, travels from Nineveh to Ecbatana and, with the help of the archangel Raphael, defeats the demon and marries Sarah. Between 1939 and 1946, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce starred together in The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a series of radio plays broadcast in the United States. One episode, aired on 26 March 1945, was titled ‘The Book of Tobit’ and featured Holmes and Watson investigating the deaths of a woman’s previous three husbands, each of whom, prior to his death, had received a threatening letter signed ‘Asmodeus’. Though substantially different in both content and context, throughout the case numerous comparisons are made with its scriptural forebear. This essay first explores the use of and engagement with Tobit in this wartime murder mystery before turning to re-examine the biblical text in the light of Holmes’ namesake investigation. By effectively transposing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s celebrated detective to ancient Ecbatana, the inherently murderous nature of the biblical tale comes into sharper focus and the peculiarities of the narrative and its folkloric origins are both reassessed and illuminated from a perspective informed by crime fiction. In doing so, this essay further illustrates the extent to which the ‘genre lens’ through which we approach a text may govern our reading of it. Putting Sherlock Holmes on the case, a rather different interpretation of the text emerges – one in which there is a serial killer on the loose in the book of Tobit, and Sarah may not in fact be as innocent as she seems.
    • Your City's Place Names: Leeds

      Parkin, Harry (English Place-Name Society, 2017-08-07)
      This book covers the principal districts (officially or unofficially recognized), some well-known buildings, features, and street-names, and the largest open spaces in the City of Leeds. For the purposes of this dictionary, the “City of Leeds” is defined by the Leeds metropolitan district area, though a few names outside but very close to this zone are also included. The metropolitan area of Leeds is one of the largest government districts in England, and so this dictionary covers a relatively large area, including places such as Wetherby, which is approximately 10 miles north-east of Leeds city centre.
    • Were the Early Christians Really Persecuted

      Middleton, Paul; University of Chester (Amsterdam University Press, 2019)
      In their writings, the Early Christians presented themselves as a suffering community, facing intolerance and misunderstanding from Jew and Gentile alike, to the extent that in Acts, the Jewish community in Rome are made to declare of early Christianity, ‘we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect’ (Acts 28.22). However, historians generally recognise that while members of the early Church undoubtedly did face some harassment, there was no empire-wide policy against Christianity until well into the third century, and even then, these were short lived. Where Christians experienced persecution, it tended to be localised, sporadic, and random, and resulted from pockets of prejudice rather than any official imperial interest in the Church. If we see those who take at face value the deutero-Pauline claim that ‘all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’ (2 Tim 3.12) as representing a ‘maximalist’ view of persecution, then, in direct contrast, what might be termed a ‘minimalist’ account is gaining popularity among scholars. Minimalists go beyond the view that Christians faced ‘periodic persecution’, and conclude that in all significant respects, the Christian narrative of persecution is a constructed myth. Moreover, they tend to turn Christian charges against their pagan neighbour of intolerance back onto the early Church, arguing that in a Roman environment of general imperial tolerance towards varieties of beliefs and practices, it was Christian intolerance and intransigence that led to their appearances before magistrates. However, this was not persecution in any meaningful sense, but prosecution. Both maximalist and minimalist accounts of early Christian experiences of suffering construct a context in which a generally tolerant group encounter an intolerant ‘other’. Depending on which approach is adopted, either Christians or Romans were the ‘victims’ of intolerance. In light of this apparent scholarly paradigm shift, I return to the basic question: were the early Christians persecuted? First I outline the formerly dominant ‘persecution paradigm’, arguing that this way of presenting Christian experience is already promoted in New Testament texts. Next, I evaluate recent revisionist ‘minimalist’ accounts, noting that the idea Christians invented—or at least exaggerated—the extent of the persecution can be found as far back as the eighteenth century. These re-evaluations offer an important and valuable corrective to the maximalist approach. However, minimalists, I argue, tend to simply replace a one-sided Christian reading of history with an equally skewed Roman perspective. Instead, I offer a reading which might be categorised as ‘modified minimalism’, in which I sidestep the persecution/prosecution dichotomy, and conclude that while it is certainly the case that Romans would have understood their (albeit limited) actions against Christians as prosecutions designed to protect the integrity of the State, Christians experienced those actions, not without reason, as persecution. I argue that Christians and Romans were indeed ‘tolerant’ of the other—just not where it mattered!
    • ‘Filling up the Full Measure of their Sins’: Matthew Henry on the Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple

      Middleton, Paul; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2019-05-16)
      This essay examines the treatment of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the 17th century Bible expositor Matthew Henry.
    • Paula Gooder, Body: Biblical Spirituality for the Whole Person

      Alexander, Loveday (SAGE Publications, 2017-02-23)