Now showing items 1-20 of 1153

    • Novelty Fades: Science Fiction and Posthumanism

      Hay, Jonathan (University of Chester, 2022-09-01)
      This thesis contends that Critical Posthumanism and Science Fiction studies are symbiotic academic disciplines, which both stand to benefit significantly from critical approaches that accurately recognise their dialogic resonances. It contends that the posthuman qualities of SF texts are manifest rhetorically, rather than simply within their narrative schema. The Introduction argues that Posthumanist disciplines often undervalue SF texts, as a result of a common misconception that the genre is insufficiently posthuman. Likewise, SF critics have long disregarded texts’ mundane elements in lieu of an eschatological focus upon their novel technologies. As I proceed to outline, a new posthumanistic conception of the internal mechanics of SF is not only overdue, but also key to conceptualising our Anthropocene epoch. The thesis therefore proceeds to provide demonstrative posthumanistic readings of works by a number of canonical SF authors. Chapter 1 inaugurates this project in practice by undertaking a textual analysis of a series frequently regarded as the keystone of Golden Age SF. The diegetic metaverse established within Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Robot stories, I argue, comprises a future history which overtly gestures towards the profoundly everyday character of our posthuman futures. By taking notice of the banal elements of Asimov’s narratives, we newly discern their futuristic extrapolation of everyday life. Meanwhile, Chapter 2 examines the repetitive qualities of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle. Taking the series as an exemplar of New Wave SF, it explores the pluralistic ways in which Le Guin’s seminal series gestures towards the primacy of daily life to the posthuman. In addition to textual analysis, this chapter undertakes a concordance analysis of the series, further demonstrating the manner in which its data prove just as vital as its nova. Moving towards a consideration of contemporary written SF, Chapter 3 analyses the posthuman qualities of Kim Stanley Robinson’s oeuvre. The palimpsestuous qualities of Robinson’s future histories, in particular, gesture towards his mundanely-embedded figuration of the posthuman future. In the process of delineating the Anthropocenic interventions of Robinson’s novels, the chapter concludes with a comparative analysis of variant forms of his omnibus Green Earth, evidencing the penetration of environmental nova into our everyday lives. Finally, Chapter 4 explores the repetitive schema of two prominent televisual SF texts, claiming that their participatory qualities significantly alter the textual positionality of their audiences. This chapter begins by analysing the Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat eras of the BBC television series Doctor Who, before undertaking an autoethnography of the videogame Outer Wilds. In a science-fictional fashion, the Conclusion of the thesis underlines its ecocritical value for a world whose near future will be increasingly devastated by starkly novel climactic phenomena.
    • Book review of 'Science Fiction, Disruption and Tourism'

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2022-02-25)
      Book review of 'Science Fiction, Disruption and Tourism'
    • Afrofuturism in clipping.’s Splendor & Misery

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (Strange Attractor Press, 2022-09-13)
      This article examines the manner by which clipping.’s 2016 album Splendor & Misery—a conceptual hip-hop space opera—freely enlists and reclaims texts from the African cultural tradition in order to manifest its Afrofuturist agenda. A countercultural movement characterised by a dynamic understanding of the narrative authority held by texts, Afrofuturism rewrites African culture in a speculative vein, granting African and Afrodiasporic peoples a culturally empowered means of writing their own future. The process by which Afrofuturism reclaims and rewrites culture is paralleled within Splendor & Misery through the literary device of mise en abyme; just as the album itself does, its central protagonist rewrites narratives of African cultures and traditions in an act of counterculture.
    • Hans Frei, 1922-1988

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester
      An overview of the life and theology of Hans W. Frei.
    • What's Wat's Dyke? Wrexham Comic Heritage Trail (English & Welsh Language Booklets)

      Williams, Howard; Swogger, John; University of Chester
      We hope this comic heritage trail for Wrexham helps introduce you to Britain's third-longest ancient monument
    • What’s Wat’s Dyke? Wrexham Comic Heritage Trail

      Williams, Howard; Swogger, John; University of Chester (JAS Arqueologia, 2021-10-26)
      The publication of the English version of the What's Wat's Dyke? comic in the Offa's Dyke Journal.
    • La mémoire des conflits dans la fiction française contemporaine

      Obergöker, Timo (Informa UK Limited, 2022-01-04)
    • Rethinking Wat’s Dyke: a monument’s flow in a hydraulic frontier zone.

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (JAS Arqueologia, 2021-12-23)
      Britain’s second-longest early medieval monument – Wat’s Dyke – was a component of an early medieval hydraulic frontier zone rather than primarily serving as a symbol of power, a fixed territorial border or a military stop-line. Wat’s Dyke was not only created to monitor and control mobility over land, but specifically did so through its careful and strategic placement by linking, blocking and overlooking a range of watercourses and wetlands. By creating simplified comparative topographical maps of the key fluvial intersections and interactions of Wat’s Dyke for the first time, this article shows how the monument should not be understood as a discrete human-made entity, but as part of a landscape of flow over land and water, manipulating and managing anthropogenic and natural elements. Understanding Wat’s Dyke as part of a hydraulic frontier zone not only enhances appreciation of its integrated military, territorial, socio-economic and ideological functionality and significance, most likely the construction of the middle Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, it also theorises Wat’s Dyke as built to constitute and maintain control both across and along its line, and operating on multiple scales. Wat’s Dyke was built to manage localised, middle-range as well as long-distance mobilities via land and water through western Britain and beyond.
    • Collaboratory through crises: researching linear monuments in 2021

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (JAS Arqueologia, 2021-12-29)
      This article introduces the third volume of the Offa’s Dyke Journal (ODJ). As well as reviewing ODJ 3’s contents, I present reviews of the journal received to date, notable new publications on linear monuments, and the Collaboratory’s key activities during 2021. The context and significance of the research network’s ongoing endeavours are presented set against intersecting academic and public crises affecting the study and public’s engagement with past frontiers and borderlands.
    • Dai Morgan Evans: a life in archaeology

      Williams, Howard; Chris, Musson; Christopher, Young; Cramp, Rosemary; James, Adrian; Evans, Sheena; University of Chester (Archaeopress, 2022-08-25)
      Born David Morgan Evans on 1 March (St David’s Day) 1944 at West Kirby on the Wirral, Dai grew up in Chester, where the history master at the King’s School encouraged his interest in local history (Figure 1). Summer holidays at St David’s in West Wales, and participation in local digs in Chester, ignited his lifelong passion for archaeology. He studied the subject at Cardiff University (1963–1966) before pursuing postgraduate research on the archaeology of early Welsh poetry (Figure 2a), as well as acting as an assistant director of the South Cadbury excavations led by Professor Leslie Alcock (Figure 2b). Dai’s working life began when he joined the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings in Wales in early 1969. During his time there, he conceived and initiated the creation of the four Welsh archaeological trusts, as their ‘true begetter.’1 In 1977, he transferred to the English Inspectorate. Charged, from 1986, with developing countryside policies, he also became the English Heritage (as it now was) specialist in Public Inquiries. From 1992 to his retirement in 2004, Dai was a popular and active General Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He co-devised the APPAG (All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group) from 2001 and for a number of years served as its secretary after his retirement (2004–2008). From 2003, Dai was Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology at UCL. Having opened University College Chester’s new offices and teaching spaces in the Blue Coat School in 2003 to accommodate the Department of History and Archaeology, Dai served first as an honorary lecturer and then from 2006 as Visiting Professor of Archaeology, teaching and inspiring students and sustaining his research interests. His active retirement also included a host of other activities including television appearances, serving on the National Trust Archaeology Panel, participating in the historic-period dimension of the SPACES project with Geoff Wainwright and Timothy Darvill, and initiating the first modern study of the unique early medieval Welsh monument, the Pillar of Eliseg, at Llantysilio yn Iâl, Denbighshire. After a lifetime contributing to the archaeology of England and Wales, Dai sadly passed away on his birthday aged 73, 1 March 2017. Stemming from the memorial event held at the Society of Antiquaries of London, 11 September 2017: ‘Memorial for Professor Dai Morgan Evans FSA’,3 this multi-authored introduction charts Dai’s life in the service of archaeology. The authors cannot claim to cover all aspects of Dai’s archaeological endeavours, and inevitably the discussion affords depth to some aspects while mentioning others more briefly. However, the perspectives sequentially address different phases of his archaeological career and combine to capture a sense of his overall achievements and legacy. The chapter concludes with a brief introduction to this collection, which constitutes a celebration and memorial to Dai’s archaeological career and research.
    • Drawing the line: What’s Wat’s Dyke? Practice and process.

      Swogger, John; Williams, Howard; University of Chester (JAS Arqueologia, 2021-11-18)
      Often neglected and misunderstood, there are considerable challenges to digital and real-world public engagement with Britain’s third-longest linear monument, Wat’s Dyke (Williams 2020a). To foster public education and understanding regarding of Wat’s Dyke’s relationship to the broader story of Anglo-Welsh borderlands, but also to encourage the monument’s management and conservation, we proposed the creation of a comic heritage trail (Swogger and Williams 2020). Funded by the University of Chester and the Offa’s Dyke Association, we selected one prominent stretch where Wat’s Dyke is mainly damaged and fragmentary and yet also there remain well-preserved and monumental sections. Around Wrexham, Wat’s Dyke navigates varied topographies including following and crossing river valleys, and it is accessible to the public in the vicinity of North Wales’s largest town. In this article we outline the dialogue and decision-making process behind the map and 10-panel comic: What’s Wat’s Dyke? Wrexham Comic Heritage Trail (Swogger and Williams 2021; Williams and Swogger 2021a–b). In particular, we consider the stages taken to adapt from the initial plan of producing a bilingual map guide in response to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. This digital resource, published online in Welsh and English, guides visitors and locals alike along a central stretch of Wat’s Dyke around Wrexham town from Bryn Alyn hillfort to the north to Middle Sontley to the south. The comic heritage trail thus responds to the highly fragmented nature of the monument and utilises the linearity of Wat’s Dyke as a gateway to explore the complex Anglo-Welsh borderlands from prehistory to the present day. Building on earlier discussions (Swogger 2019), What’s Wat’s Dyke? illustrates the potential of future projects which use comics to explore linear monuments and linear heritage features (from ancient trackways and roads to railways and canals) constructed across the world from prehistory to recent times.
    • Book Review: The Material Fall of Roman Britain, 300–525 CE, by Robin Fleming (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021; pp. 303. $45).

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2022-08-16)
      A review of Robin Fleming, The Material Fall of Roman Britain, 300–525 CE (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021).
    • Temple, Sex, Gender and Society

      Graham, Elaine; University of Chester (Sage Publications, 2022-07-04)
      This article gives an overview of the main economic, legal and cultural changes around the role of women, debates about gender identity and patterns of marriage and the family that have taken place over the past 80 years since Christianity and Social Order was first published.
    • Destroy the 'Sutton Hoo Treasure'!

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Archaeopress, 2022-09-01)
      This chapter presents a survey and critique of the use of ‘treasure(s)’ to describe the burial assemblage from the Mound 1 ship-burial at Sutton Hoo since its discovery in 1939. I argue that referring to the contents of Mound 1 as ‘treasure(s)’ is not merely misrepresenting, commodifying and sensationalising its funerary context and wider significance. Furthermore, the persistent use of the terms directly relates also to specific, multiple valences which assert and perpetuate a specific interpretation of the grave as a ‘King’s Mound’. Moreover, referring to more than the rare and high-status character of the finds, ‘treasure(s)’ also casts the assemblage’s identity as a ‘national treasure’, legitimising its curation by the British Museum and valorising the benefaction of the landowner who commissioned the 1938 and 1939 excavations: Mrs Edith Pretty. Another key dimension to the use of the term is the assemblage’s perceived relationship with the epic Old English poem Beowulf and the ‘treasures’ it describes. As a label, ‘treasure(s)’ inaccurately and tenaciously sublimates the rich and complex story of the grave, the contexts of the cemetery, locality and region into a simplified simulacrum of early East Anglian/Anglo-Saxon kingship linked to religious conversion and tied to patriotic modern concepts of Englishness. I demonstrate how the use of ‘treasure’ reveals a nexus of Anglo-Saxonist and Germanist ideological readings of the assemblage in academic discourse and popular culture.
    • Introduction: the Public Archaeology of Treasure

      Williams, Howard; Clague, Samuel; Carr, Natasha; Raine, James; University of Chester (Archaeopress, 2022-09-01)
      Setting the stage for The Public Archaeology of Treasure, this chapter presents the complex intersections of ‘treasure’ in archaeological teaching and research and archaeology’s interactions with a range of different publics on local, regional, national and international scales. The chapter also identifies the global issues in heritage conservation, management and interpretation as well as the looting of archaeological sites and the illicit trade in antiquities relating to ‘treasure(s)’ as legally defined, popularly perceived and metaphorically articulated. Having introduced the breadth and complexity of ‘treasure(s)’, we survey the 2020 student conference from whence this project derived before reviewing the span and foci of the book itself.
    • Giants, Gods and Goods: Toward a 'new Beveridge'

      Graham, Elaine; University of Chester (Hymns Ancient and Modern, 2022-06-29)
      Eighty years ago, on December 1 1942, the Beveridge Report, widely seen as the founding document of the post-1945 welfare state in the UK, was published. In grandiloquent terms, the report called for an attack on ‘Five Giant Evils’ – Disease, Idleness, Ignorance, Squalor and Want -- that needed to be combatted as Britain prepared for peace and post-war reconstruction. Beveridge’s recommendations captured the public mood perfectly. Having made so many sacrifices for a common cause of defeating Nazism, armed forces and civilians alike shared a determination that the peace which followed should be built for the benefit of all. That mood found expression in the post-war Labour government’s pledges to achieve full employment, universal education and a welfare state, free of the privations and anxieties of poverty, low pay or old age. Like the 1939-45 war, the global COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fundamental inadequacies in the economy, the National Health Service and social care provision. As society moves out of the worst of the pandemic, it may be time to contemplate, as did Beveridge and his contemporaries (including William Temple), what kind of future provision may be required for the future: both in redressing the longer-term stresses and shortcomings of the existing system and in ‘building back better’. Certainly, the political historian Peter Hennessey believes the ‘never again’ impulse that sprung from the 1939-45 conflict has resurfaced today, and may be harnessed to build consensus around new priorities (Hennessey). Even so, this will entail more than simple reform of the existing welfare system, for two key reasons. First, the political, economic, cultural and demographic landscape of the twenty-first century has changed. Second, any revision of welfare requires a rethinking not only of its fiscal and operational dimensions, but of the very values that underpin a ‘welfare society’ that is fit for purpose. What principles might inform any kind of reform? And in the midst of that, what is the role of faith-based social action? In this article I will approach this question by beginning with the ‘Five Giants’ of Beveridge’s report, before asking what might form the basis of a ‘new Beveridge’ for the twenty-first century. Sam Wells’ recent survey of church-related provision argues that reforms of welfare should proceed not from a ‘deficit’ model but from one of ‘assets’ and social goods. It is in their ability to articulate and embody social capital, motivated by religious and moral values, that faith-based organisations demonstrate a distinctive and decisive contribution to civil society. This calls for a renewed focus on the significance of the voluntary sector in a revitalised ‘welfare society’, alongside the State and the market, and a consideration of five new social ‘goods’ to inform policy and inspire change.
    • The Significance of Gefühl for the development of Karl Barth’s Theological Anthropology 1909–1938

      Fulford, Ben; Clough, David; Templeton, Julian B. (University of Chester, 2021-10-01)
      This dissertation employs the work of late twentieth century and early twenty-first century affect theorists as a heuristic approach to Karl Barth’s theological anthropology. In Barth’s theology, Gefühl, usually translated as ‘feeling’, is the concept most like affect. From 1909 Barth’s earliest published theological writing and his early sermons show evidence of considerable alignment with Friedrich Schleiermacher’s approach in allocating a central place to experience and affection in the reception of divine revelation. However, Barth becomes aware of the conceptual weaknesses of the modernist appeal to experience. Then, the outbreak of war and the misguided fervor with which some of his theological teachers support Germany’s military aggression contributes to Barth’s gradual loss of confidence in the entire modernist theological approach. The critical view that Barth takes of Schleiermacher’s concept of Gefühl and its relationship to revelation is pivotal to the theological anthropology that Barth begins to develop in deliberate contradistinction to that of Schleiermacher. Barth constructs a theology of faith as the dialectical witness to the objective revelation of the Word of God. Barth proposes that the missions of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can reorientate alienated subjectivity. However, at a deeper level Barth’s description of the missions of the Trinitarian persons do not penetrate the affective centre of the human being. What Barth needs is a pneumatological description of the way in which divine activity works with the human being’s receptivity and spontaneity. In Church Dogmatics I/1 and I/2 he rehabilitates Gefühl by de-coupling it from Schleiermacher’s ‘feeling of absolute dependence’. He formally reconceptualises Gefühl as an affective self-determination in response to God’s sovereign determination. The addition of the concept of ‘analogy’ enables Barth to affirm that human self-determination participates in Christ’s self-determination through the Spirit’s outpouring. As a result, Barth can affirm that thinking, willing, and Gefühl are in no sense diminished in the person who in faith corresponds analogically to grace. In addition, reconceiving human spontaneity as a response to and participation in God’s sovereign activity makes it possible to affirm that divine activity and human spontaneity belong together and are consistent with one another. However, Barth’s recognition of Gefühl remains at the formal level with little material development. Nonetheless, at the formal level the concept of analogical participation has enabled Gefühl to be rehabilitated. Therefore, I conclude that Gefühl is significant in the development of Barth’s theological anthropology.
    • The Independent Schools Religious Studies Association Report Religion and Worldviews (Weltanschauung) June 2022 - A Personal Response

      Dossett, Wendy; University of Chester (Reforming RE, 2022-07-02)
      A personal reponse to the 2022 ISRSA statement on the 2018 proposals of the Commission for Religious Education.