• Belgian Refugees in Cheshire: 'Place' and the Invisibility of the Displaced

      Ewence, Hannah (Taylor and Francis, 2018-10-24)
      The First World War centenary has invigorated research into the Belgian refugee presence, especially at the local level. However, as this article argues, the responses which Belgians elicited locally, as well as the ‘quality’ and longevity of the memory culture surrounding them, was intimately tethered to ideas about and experiences of ‘place’ during the war and after. Exiled Belgians were almost uniquely positioned to communicate the totality of war as well as stand as silent representatives of the trauma of displacement. Yet this case study of the North West county of Cheshire demonstrates how wartime tragedy with regional consequences, as well as a preoccupation with combatant internees and casualties, eclipsed the everyday reality and the post-war memory of the Belgians.
    • Black French women and the struggle for equality, 1848–2016. F. Germain & S. Larcher (Eds.). Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2018, ISBN 978-1-4962-0127-0

      Griffiths, Claire H.; University of Chester (emerita)
      This articles reviews fourteen essays focusing on the often unacknowledged contributions Black women have made, and are continuing to make in the fight for equality in metropolitan and 'overseas' France.
    • Citations in Stone: The Material World of Hogbacks

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2017-01-20)
      This article explores a meshwork of citations to other material cultures and architectures created by the form and ornament of house-shaped early medieval recumbent stone monuments popularly known in Britain as ‘hogbacks’. In addition to citing the form and ornament of contemporary buildings, shrines, and tombs, this article suggests recumbent mortuary monuments referenced a far broader range of contemporary portable artefacts and architectures. The approach takes attention away from identifying any single source of origin for hogbacks. Instead, considering multi-scalar and multi-media references within the form and ornament of different carved stones provides the basis for revisiting their inherent variability and their commemorative efficacy by creating the sense of an inhabited mortuary space in which the dead are in dialogue with the living. By alluding to an entangled material world spanning Norse and Insular, ecclesiastical and secular spheres, hogbacks were versatile technologies of mortuary remembrance in the Viking Age.
    • Fat, syn and disordered eating: The dangers and powers of excess

      Bacon, Hannah; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2015-04-08)
      This article draws on qualitative research inside one UK secular commercial weight loss group to show how ancient Christian suspicions of appetite and pleasure resurface in this group’s language of “Syn.” Following ancient Christian representations of sin, members assume that Syn depicts disorder and that fat is a visible sign of a body which has fallen out of place. Syn, though, is ambiguous, utilizing ancient theological meanings to discipline fat while containing within it the power to resist the very borders which hold women’s bodies and fat in place. Syn thus signals both the dangers and powers of disordered eating.
    • The Inalienable Alien: Giorgio Agamben and the Political Ontology of Hong Kong

      Leung, King-Ho (Taylor and Francis, 2017-04-03)
      Drawing on the work of Giorgio Agamben, this article offers a philosophical interpretation of Hong Kong’s recent Umbrella Movement and the city’s political identity since its 1997 handover to China. With the constitutional principle of ‘one country, two systems’ it has held since 1997, Hong Kong has existed as an ‘inalienable alien’ part of China not dissimilar to that of Agamben’s political ontology of the homo sacer’s ‘inclusive exclusion’ in the polis. In addition to highlighting how Agamben’s politico-ontological notions such as ‘exception’ and ‘inclusive exclusion’ can illuminate the events of the Umbrella Movement, this article focuses particularly on the figure of the student, which many have seen as the symbolic face of the protest campaign. Considering how the student may also be regarded as a figure of ‘exception’, this article argues that the ‘exceptional’ role of the student highlights the unique sociopolitical as well as pedagogical aspects of the Umbrella Movement. Finally, comparing Hong Kong’s 2014 protests to Agamben’s philosophical account of the 1989 Tiananmen protests, this article concludes by suggesting that the Umbrella Movement is not simply a one-off event but fundamentally a manifestation of Hong Kong’s continuing political existence since 1997.
    • 'The Jew' in late-Victorian and Edwardian culture: between the East End and East Africa

      Ewence, Hannah; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2014-09-02)
      A book review of the edited collection, ‘The Jew’ in late-Victorian and Edwardian culture: between the East End and East Africa, edited by Nadia Valman and Eitan Bar-Yosef.
    • Philosophy as an art of living/writing

      Leung, King-Ho (Taylor and Francis, 2015-06-23)
      Review essay of 'Philosophy, literature, and the dissolution of the subject: Nietzsche, Musil, Atay' by Zeynep Talay-Turner.
    • Plants as persons: perceptions of the natural world in the North European Mesolithic

      Taylor, Barry; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2020-09-08)
      Amongst many hunter-gatherer communities, plants, animals and other aspects of the ‘natural’ environment, are bound up in, and gain significance and meaning from, specific cultural traditions. These traditions intricately bind the natural world into broader ontological understandings, which include concepts of animacy, the origins of the world, its structure and composition, and the behaviour of supernatural beings. Through these traditions, elements of the environment are imbued with an ontological significance that informs the way people perceive them, and how they interact with them through economic or ritual practice. There is a growing body of evidence that comparable traditions also structured the ways that hunter-gatherers interacted with their environment during the European Mesolithic. Much of the research has focused on the significance of animals, but this paper argues that plants were perceived in a similar way. Through a series of case studies from the North European Mesolithic, it shows how trees in particular were understood as powerful forces, playing active roles in people’s lives, and how interactions with them were mediated through prescribed forms of social practice
    • Pluralising practical theology: international and multi-traditional challenges and opportunities

      Stuerzenhofecker, Katja; University of Chester; University of Manchester
      The entrance of international practical theologians of all faiths and none into the traditionally Western-centric, Christian-dominated field in the UK prompts the review of its scope and methodology. This paper argues for a shared conversation on how to achieve constructive and authentic participation for all. A recent survey of alumni from four UK-based Professional Doctorates in Practical Theology highlights omissions and opportunities, and points towards an agenda for intentional and effective pluralization. Evangelical principles and Christian liberation theology suggest internal strategies to counter possible resistance to undoing the Christian hegemony.
    • The Radical Voice of Margaret Oliphant: Extending Domesticity in Hester and Kirsteen

      Baker, Katie; University of Chester
      This paper demonstrates how the nineteenth-century writer Margaret Oliphant drew upon her domestic identity to write in radical ways which could educate and inform her young female readership. Through the exploration of two female characters, Catherine Vernon in Hester (1883) and Kirsteen Douglas in Kirsteen (1890), the paper demonstrates how Oliphant represented the importance of opportunities available for young women within 'extended domesticity', a version of the domestic space which extended beyond conventional boundaries to include all women. Through representations of female characters like Catherine and Kirsteen, who had careers and even businesses, of their own, Oliphant showed the possibilities available for women whose lives did not fit into the conventional mould of marriage and maternity. Hester and Kirsteen allow Oliphant to represent two very different versions of domesticity, and to reinforce the necessity for an extended version of it, which allows women the space to find personal growth and fulfilment. The paper engages with the scholarship of critics such as George Levine and Katherine Mullin to explore Oliphant's radical voice and to reinforce her place as an important writer.
    • Rapture or risk: Signs of the end or symptoms of world risk society?

      Knowles, Steve; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2014-12-11)
      In this article I argue that elements of contemporary fundamentalist Christian apocalyptic discourse are not only influenced by, but are a product of the rhetoric and fascination with the notion of risk. The world risk society thesis developed by the German sociologist Ulrich Beck will be utilised as a conceptual framework to measure one example of an online discourse centred on a Christian dispensationalist understanding of the rapture: Rapture Index. This popular website utilises a statistical probability index system based on 45 different categories that relate to global socio-political events; the higher the aggregate total the nearer the rapture. The Rapture Index is indebted to the impact of risk in contemporary society and it is a tool that exemplifies non-knowing: a product of the world risk society.
    • Reading Victorian rags: Recycling, redemption, and Dickens's ragged children

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2014-12-24)
      In Victorian Britain rags were not only associated with the inadequate clothing of the poor, they were also viewed as a valuable commodity, widely collected for recycling into paper. This essay examines rags as simultaneously despised and precious objects, tracing the connections between Victorian accounts of poverty, the industrial recycling of rags into paper, and the redemption narratives created by Charles Dickens about rescued children. A supporter of Ragged Schools and champion of rags recycling, Dickens drew on the idea of the transformation of dirty rags into clean paper in his representations of ragged children. To him, the recycling of rags indicated the civilizing forces of modernity, and reading Dickens's representations of ragged children in this context reveals how cloth recycling became a paradigm for society's duties towards destitute children. This essay explains Dickens's juxtaposition of ragged children with references to rag-dealing in his novels; by this means he suggested that street children, like their ragged clothing, were capable of being purified and transformed into social usefulness.
    • “There was something very peculiar about Doc…”: Deciphering Queer Intimacy in Representations of Doc Holliday

      Tankard, Alex; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2014-12-08)
      This essay discusses representations of male intimacy in life-writing about consumptive gunfighter John Henry “Doc” Holliday (1851-1887). I argue that twentieth-century commentators rarely appreciated the historical specificity of Holliday’s friendships in a frontier culture that not only normalized but actively celebrated same-sex intimacy. Indeed, Holliday lived on the frayed edges of known nineteenth-century socio-sexual norms, and his interactions with other men were further complicated by his vicious reputation and his disability. His short life and eventful afterlife exposes the gaps in available evidence – and the flaws in our ability to interpret it. Yet something may still be gleaned from the early newspaper accounts of Holliday. Having argued that there is insufficient evidence to justify positioning him within modern categories of hetero/homosexuality, I analyze the language used in pre-1900 descriptions of first-hand encounters with Holliday to illuminate the consumptive gunfighter’s experience of intimacy, if not its meaning.