• Dark marks, curse scars and corporal punishment: Criminality and the function of bodily marks in the Harry Potter series

      Andrew, Lucy; University of Chester; University Centre Shrewsbury (Manchester University Press, 2019-06-21)
      This essay explores the function of tattoos and scars in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and considers the contribution of these marks to the series’ overarching crime narrative. Focusing primarily on the final four books, the essay addresses three major instances of tattooing and scarring: the Dark Mark – the brand of Voldemort’s Death Eaters; Harry’s lightning-bolt scar – the product of Voldemort’s failed killing curse; and the message imprinted on Harry’s arm through his use of Professor Umbridge’s ‘special’ quill to write lines during detention. This essay considers the various conscious functions of these bodily marks – as a signifier of gang membership, a means of intimidation, a statement of possession and a punitive measure to control and modify behaviour through pain. It also examines the subconscious role of bodily marks in constructing the identities of and relationships between criminal, victim and seeker of justice. This essay explores how the analysis of scars and tattoos illuminates the series’ treatment of crucial issues within crime literature, such as morality, criminal origins, the process of detection and the possibility of redemption.
    • A Day in the Life of Steve

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Outpost19, 2018-06)
      Flash fiction.
    • Decoding Desire: From Kirk and Spock to K/S

      Woledge, Elizabeth; University of Chester (Routledge, 2005-08)
      This paper uses the example of 'slash fiction' (fan fiction which appropriates media heroes to form homoerotic pairings) to offer an investigation which broadens the concept of decoding. Slash fiction provides a particularly suitable starting point for considering the decoding process, as it is one of the few cases in which we have the evidence of decoding readily available for analysis in the form of fanzines. Many academics have considered Kirk and Spock's relationship as it was represented in Star Trek and the homoerotic 'K/S' fiction which it inspired, however no one has effectively considered the interpretive processes which connect them. The author questions the implicit belief that K/S fiction is an 'oppositional' decoding of Star Trek and demonstrate its more negotiated nature through a detailed consideration of the decoding process. To this end the author borrows an idea of David Morley's who has suggested that 'Hall's original model [of decoding] tends to blur together questions of recognition, comprehension, interpretation and response' (Morley 1994, 21). This paper will take up Morley's four process model of decoding and answer Jenkins' call for a closer analysis of the links between audience reception and texts (Jenkins 1996, 275).
    • The ‘despised trade’ in textiles: H. G. Wells, William Paine, Charles Cavers and the male draper’s life, 1870–1914

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Maney, 2015-04-28)
      This essay examines the situation of the male draper in terms of his relationships to textiles and female customers between the 1870s and the outbreak of the First World War. Drawing on accounts of shop work produced by men employed as drapers and drapers’ assistants, the essay highlights the ridicule levelled against men who sold textiles, their work with fabrics and clothing, as well as the service they provided for an almost exclusively female clientele, being widely derided as unsuitable labour for a man. One draper recorded that his was ‘a despised trade’. Through an analysis of three first-hand accounts of the draper’s lot the essay raises questions about social constructions of masculinity in relation to representations of shop work and the handling of fabrics. The essay focuses on H. G. Wells’s descriptions of his teenage years as a draper’s apprentice recorded in his Experiment in Autobiography (1934); William Paine’s political treatise, Shop Slavery and Emancipation (1912), based on the injustices he experienced as a draper’s assistant; and the diary of a Bond Street draper, Charles Cavers, posthumously published as Hades! The Ladies! Being Extracts from the Diary of a Draper (1933).
    • Development of a tablet application for the screening of receptive vocabulary skills in multilingual children: A pilot study

      Schaefer, Blanca; Bowyer-Crane, Claudine; Herrmann, Frank; Fricke, Silke; University of Sheffield, University of York, University of Chester (Sage, 2015-06-25)
      For professionals working with multilingual children, detecting language deficits in a child’s home language can present a challenge. This is largely due to the scarcity of standardized assessments in many children’s home languages and missing normative data on multilingual language acquisition. A common approach is to translate existing English language vocabulary measures into other languages. However, this approach does not take into account the cultural and linguistic differences between languages. This pilot study explored whether English and home-language receptive vocabulary skills can be objectively and reliably screened using a tablet application. Preliminary data on monolingual and multilingual vocabulary skills was collected from 139 children aged 6–7 years. A tablet application was designed to assess children’s receptive vocabulary in both English and an additional eight languages using a four-choice picture paradigm. Linguistically controlled and pre-recorded target items are presented orally via the tablet in each language and responses are made via the touch screen and are automatically scored. The English version of the test was administered to 67 monolingual and 72 multilingual children, while 38 multilingual children also completed the test in their home language. Test criteria measures, including reliability and concurrent validity showed satisfactory results. These findings suggest that the tablet application could be a useful tool for professionals to screen receptive vocabulary skills in monolingual and multilingual children. Limitations of the first version of the receptive vocabulary screener and future steps are discussed.
    • Diminishing

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Long Exposure Magazine, 2016-10)
      Flash fiction.
    • Disruption and Disability Futures in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

      Tankard, Alex; University of Chester
      Marvel superhero movies celebrate the transformation of disabled people into weapons. First Avenger depicts a disabled man rebuilt by military technology into a patriotic superhero. In Winter Soldier, the Soviet cyborg’s brutal, non-consensual modification serves to emphasise Captain America’s wholesomely perfected body. At first glance, both films seem incapable of critiquing the historical ableism that made Captain America’s modification a desirable image of disability-free future in 1941 – let alone its modern manifestations. However, re-watching First Avenger after Winter Soldier reveals a far less stable endorsement of eliminating disability: now alerted to the series’ precise anxieties about bodily autonomy, one can perceive an undercurrent of disability critique running through First Avenger too – often literally in the background. The film exposes the historical ableism that shaped Steve’s consent to modification, and begins to establish his sidekick Bucky Barnes as a persistent critical voice capable of envisioning a different disability future. This essay is therefore not only about ableism in a pair of superhero movies, but also about how these ableist films contain seeds of an unexpected critique of their own disability representation.
    • Distances

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Red Ceilings Press, 2018-06-15)
      A chapbook of flash fiction.
    • The Dynamics of Time and Space in Recent French Fiction: Selected Works by Annie Ernaux, Patrick Modiano, Jean Echenoz and Marie Darrieussecq

      Obergöker, Timo; Alsop, Derek; Griffiths, Claire H.; Garvey, Brenda (University of Chester, 2018-11-22)
      This thesis investigates the ways in which literary texts negotiate spatio-temporal movements and how, through the nature of narrative, they may offer models for expressing the lived experience of time and place. The theoretical framework traces developments in philosophies of time and space beginning with Henri Bergson’s concepts of duration and simultaneity. The desire to portray both of these informs Gilles Deleuze’s study of cinema to produce his writings on the image-temps and image-mouvement which highlight the constant change undergone in moving through space and time which he defines as différence. The transformative nature of our relationship with the space around us and the agency of the body in that transformation is seen by Deleuze as a positive creative force and one which demands a continual deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation evidenced in the literature studied. Henri Lefebvre further interrogates the importance of the body in the production of space and contributes to the debate around the creation of place and non-place taken up by Michel de Certeau, Edward Casey and Marc Augé, whose work on supermodernity articulates concerns about the absence of place at the end of the twentieth century. These theories provide a backdrop for a close reading of the literary texts published between 1989 and 2017. Each of the four authors selected interrogates spatio-temporal connections in their work and, in order to model our lived experience at the turn of the millennium they experiment with form, genre and language and raise questions about the formation, location and stability of the self. Patterns of repetition and rewriting in the works of Annie Ernaux and Patrick Modiano engage with non-linear approaches to narrative and problematize duration, stasis and the construction and accessibility of memory. The novels of Jean Echenoz explore non-places and liminal spaces in ways that suggest possibilities for the future of fiction and Marie Darrieussecq questions the centrality of the body in defining the self and its agency in creating place. My findings suggest that the desire to comprehend and mirror the lived experience of time and space motivates the literary project of the selected authors and that the nature of narrative, in its openness and fluidity, can replicate and respond to some of the anxieties around time, place and non-place at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries.
    • Editorial and Contents

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, 2017-10-01)
      Editorial and Contents.
    • Editorial and Contents of Flash Fiction Magazine (11.2)

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2021-10-01)
      Editorial and Contents.
    • English regional dialect lexis in the names and occupations of the Gloucestershire Cotswolds: a reassessment of the relationship between names and dialects

      Parkin, Harry; University of the West of England (De Gruyter, 2015-11-03)
      A number of surname-based studies have presented a relationship between medieval regional dialect lexis and the distribution of associated modern-day surnames. However, by carrying out localised research, it appears that the two might not be so closely linked as previously thought, with discrepancies in the distribution of regionally specific names and equivalent occupational descriptions. As a result, there seems to be a need to reconsider the connection between regional lexicons and corresponding name stocks, which may have been less closely related, at a period of non-hereditary by-naming, than current knowledge suggests.
    • ‘Equivocal Objects: The Problems of Property in Daniel Deronda’

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Open Library of Humanities, 2008-04-01)
      Written between the passing of the first Married Women's Property Act in 1870 and the second Act of 1882, Eliot's final novel, Daniel Deronda (1876), offers a powerful depiction of the social and legal disabilities faced by women. Her representations of objects and objectification centre on the concept of property, not only portable property such as jewellery and clothing, but also the idea of women themselves as property to be exchanged within the Victorian social system. This essay suggests that Eliot's awareness of the anomalies of the law and the equivocal positions held by women in terms of property ownership informs her depictions of the things women possess, and the sorts of meanings generated by objects. The essay argues that in Daniel Deronda Eliot offers a powerful critique of women's exclusion from the patriarchal processes of primogeniture, and that her ironic use of terms such as 'own' and 'self-possession' in relation to her female characters helps to emphasise her need to move beyond the heroine who renounces the things of this world.
    • ‘Ever so many partings welded together': Serial Settlement and Great Expectations

      Piesse, Jude; University of Chester (Pickering and Chatto, 2014-07-01)
      As the most antipodal of great British novels, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations has often been read in the light of its peripheral but insistent engagement with colonial history. Following Edward Said’s discussion of the novel in Culture and Imperialism, its fundamentally uneasy mood has been variously attributed not only to central concerns with class and guilt, but also to those issues of colonial return and racial violence which haunt its feverish margins. Despite widespread critical appreciation of the pressure which empire exerts on the novel, however, Great Expectations has seldom been considered in relation to the history of settler emigration from Britain, which arguably constitutes its most relevant and immediate context, or in company with the large range of emigration literature which flourished alongside it in the British periodical press. Foregrounding the novel’s own often overlooked identity as a periodical serial text published in All the Year Round (1 December 1860 – 3 August 1861), this chapter situates it alongside a number of serialised novels about Australian and Canadian settler emigration which were published in equivalent journals from mid-century. I argue that reading Great Expectations in the light of these predominantly domestic and significantly serialised novels affords a means of both refining our understanding of its engagement with colonial history and reconceptualising its troubled preoccupations with home, departure, and nostalgic return.
    • 'Every Irishman is an Arab': James Clarence Mangan's Eastern 'Translations'

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Edinburgh University Press, 2013-07)
      This article discusses James Clarence Mangan's ‘Literæ Orientales’, six articles he published in the Dublin University Magazine between 1837 and 1846.
    • The Evolution of Artificial Illumination in Nineteenth Century Literature: Light, Dark, and the Spaces in Between

      Richard Leahy; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2016-03-04)
      This thesis concentrates on the role of artificial light in the society, culture, and literature of the nineteenth century. Technologies of illumination in this period had a great effect on how society operated and how people experienced space and reality. These effects will be studied through reference to contemporary sources, historical analysis, and literary analysis. Each chapter uses a distinct theoretical viewpoint, and maintains a focus on a particular author (where possible). In the first chapter, the role of firelight in the works of Elizabeth Gaskell is examined, using Gaston Bachelard’s ideas on fire and psychology. The second chapter focuses on the role of candlelight in the works of Wilkie Collins, using Jacques Lacan’s theories on the Gaze. Due to the density of metaphoric references to gaslight in his fiction, Émile Zola’s work is the focus of the third chapter, while Jean Baudrillard’s theories on the nature of modern reality inform the theoretical analysis. The fourth and final chapter examines electric light’s rise to prominence and the rapidly changing attitudes towards it. It was impossible to limit this chapter’s study to only one author, so instead attention is paid to how electric light transitions from a fantastical technology to something real; this is done through a close examination of the early Science Fiction of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, before the study moves to examine the realism of E.M. Forster and Edith Wharton. The theoretical background of this chapter is informed by a combination of previously covered theory, with attention also paid to posthumanism. The thesis identifies a number of trends and developments in the relationship between light and literature. It notes how artificial light created a space symbolically independent of light and dark, as well as elaborating on each light source’s individual symbolism. It also documents the relationship between artificial light and the transition of society and culture into modernity; it outlines the development, and cultural acceptance, of the notion of a technologically connected society and consumerism. Perhaps most importantly, this study identifies a psychological connection between literature, light, and the individual, and examines the representation of such a concept in the symbolism and metaphor of artificial light.
    • Experience’s Potential and Potential Experiences: Subjectivity, Alterity, and Futurity in the Late-Apartheid Novels of Nadine Gordimer

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Société d'Étude des Pays du Commonwealth / Society for the Study of Commonwealth Countries, 2019-06-30)
      This article begins by scrutinizing divergent critical views of Gordimer’s subject position and authorial agency, which locate her variously on a spectrum ranging from liberal-humanist autonomy to historical-materialist determinism. It then considers how Gordimer’s nonfiction articulates a parallel ambivalence about the reach of the writer’s imagination (and its dependence on “the potential of his own experience”), particularly regarding the ethics and feasibility of creating racially “other” characters. Its main part reads July’s People (1981), in relation to other Gordimer novels, as a similarly self-reflexive engagement with subjectivity and alterity: the otherness of the imagined future (a “potential experience”) facilitates fresh socio-political perspectives, even as the novel expresses philosophical scepticism about such imaginative extrapolation and its textual representation. The article concludes with a new reading of the novel’s “open” ending as a projection of this epistemological conflict.
    • Experts by Experience: ‘Madness’ Narratives, Language, and Politics

      Hutchinson, Alexandra (University of Chester, 2016-07)
      This thesis demonstrates that the historic silencing of those labelled ‘mad’ is – paradoxically – inextricable from language. Stigma is a semantic issue. The focus of my first chapter is to establish how and when the language available to discuss ‘madness’ became so problematic. Chapter one establishes a dual language problem: first, the language which surrounds ‘madness’ is limited and limiting; second, this language imposes social ‘otherness’, often permanently. I approach the politics of the language of ‘madness’ using Saussure’s hypothesis of signification, Lacan’s theory of the nom du père, and narrative theory, in order to investigate who is to blame when language and narratives fail. In chapter two, I examine the reality of these semantic and narrative politics. This chapter covers a variety of ‘madness’ narratives salvaged from psychiatric textbooks, for example those of influential psychiatrists Emil Kraepelin, Eugen Bleuler and Sigmund Freud. Such texts have been essential to the development of psychiatry, but how have these discourses about ‘madness’ functioned to establish stigma? I retrieve personal accounts from these hegemonic publications, establishing how the presence of paratexts and psychiatric ‘authority’ manipulate the receipt of such narratives. This will demonstrate how the historic silencing of ‘madness’ began. Chapter three focuses on how a cross section of nineteenth-century fiction portrays ‘madness’, in order to explore the potential for fiction to offer ‘madness’ an accessible narrative platform. Initially, I examine literature as a continuation of psychiatric discourse, including Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’; Alfred Lord Tennyson’s ‘Maud’; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; and Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret. As a point of comparison, I examine literary representations which go beyond psychiatric discourse to articulate ‘madness’, exploring Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper; Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether’; and texts which explore other selves and other worlds (Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘William Wilson’; and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass). Chapter four examines the merits of visual art as a platform for ‘madness’ narratives, as it is divorced from many of the issues which are latent in language use. I explore the oeuvres of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century artists Richard Dadd, Vincent Van Gogh, Louis Wain, Adolf Wölfli, August Klett, and Hyacinth Freiherr von Wieser. Despite the theoretical assumption that visual art is universal and accessible, the social reception of art, necessary for this communication to be heard and validated, proves that the practice is far removed from this hypothesis. The stereotype of the ‘mad’ artist is, in itself, an oxymoron: in the realm of social engagement, either the artistic identity of the individual is compromised and eventually disparaged, or ‘madness’ is obscured and censored. Chapter five shows how the nineteenth-century model for (mis)understanding ‘madness’ is the foundation for our twenty-first-century discourse. This chapter examines narratives of ‘madness’ in popular culture, to understand how these discourses echo or challenge psychiatric representations of ‘madness’, and how a mainstream social audience is encouraged to feel about such depictions, including episodes The Simpsons, House and Peep Show, to explore how psychiatric discourse has shaped these narratives. This chapter also scrutinises the language employed by the media and other mainstream agencies in order to establish what these popular discourses reveal about entrenched societal prejudices and fear. This thesis addresses the question: can we truly ever speak of ‘madness’ without simultaneously silencing it?
    • '‘Exspecta Inexspectata’: The Rise of the Supernatural in Hybrid Detective Series for Young Readers'

      Andrew, Lucy; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015-08-18)
      This chapter focuses on the rise of the supernatural detective fiction hybrid for young readers, focusing on Justin Richards' Invisible Detective series (2003-2005) and Andrew Hammond's CRYPT series (2011-2014).
    • Extremities of perception

      Wall, Alan; Jones, Gron T.; University of Chester ; University of Birmingham (The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, 2006-07-29)
      This article discusses the authors' collaborative exploration of the use of metaphor in science.