• Names

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Departement of English, University of Chester, 2015-12)
      Flash fiction
    • Nana and grape

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (The Alternative Press, 2004-04-05)
      An illustrated poem for children. Reprinted 2013.
    • Narrating the Victorian vagina: Charlotte Bronte and the masturbating woman

      Rees, Emma L. E.; University of Chester (Liverpool University Press, 2012-07-31)
      The Female Body in Medicine and Literature features essays that explore literary texts in relation to the history of gynaecology and women's surgery. Gender studies and feminist approaches to literature have become busy and enlightening fields of enquiry in recent times, yet there remains no single work that fully analyses the impact of women's surgery on literary production or, conversely, ways in which literary trends have shaped the course of gynaecology and other branches of women's medicine. This book will demonstrate how fiction and medicine have a long-established tradition of looking towards each other for inspiration and elucidation in questions of gender. Medical textbooks and pamphlets have consistently cited fictional plots and characterisations as a way of communicating complex or 'sensitive' ideas. Essays explore historical accounts of clinical procedures, the relationship between gynaecology and psychology, and cultural conceptions of motherhood, fertility, and the female organisation through a broad range of texts including Henry More's Pre-Existency of the Soul (1659), Charlotte Bronte's Villette (1855), and Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues (1998). The Female Body in Medicine and Literature raises important theoretical questions on the relationship between popular culture, literature, and the growth of women's medicine and will be required reading for scholars in gender studies, literary studies and the history of medicine. This collection explores the complex intersections between literature and the medical treatment of women between 1600 and 2000. Employing a range of methodologies, it furthers our understanding of the development of women's medicine and comments on its wider cultural ramifications. Although there has been an increase in critical studies of women's medicine in recent years, this collection is a key contributor to that field because it draws together essays on a wide range of new topics from varying disciplines. It features, for instance, studies of motherhood, fertility, clinical procedure, and the relationship between gynaecology and psychology. Besides offering essays on subjects that have received a lack of critical attention, the essays presented here are truly interdisciplinary; they explore the complex links between gynaecology, art, language, and philosophy, and underscore how popular art forms have served an important function in the formation of 'women's science' prior to the twenty-first century. This book also demonstrates how a number of high-profile controversies were taken up and reworked by novelists, philosophers, and historians. Focusing on the vexed and convoluted story of women's medicine, this volume offers new ways of thinking about gender, science, and the Western imagination. This chapter is an essay on Villette read through a gynaecological lens.
    • Neocolonial Auspices: Rethinking the Ekumen in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (Idaho University), 2021-12-01)
      Although the Ekumen in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle have frequently been read as a utopian social body, their policy of contacting native cultures frequently provokes the erasure of that same cultural multiplicity which they purport to value. Hence, the uneven cultural synthesis enacted by the Ekumen across the galaxy cannot be intended as a positive epistemology of multicultural society. Rather, throughout the Hainish Cycle, the colonial practices of the Ekumen rhetorically contrast the series’ emphasis upon the multifaceted forms of life and culture found across the unassimilated worlds of the galaxy. Accordingly, Le Guin’s series problematizes the colonial practices of the Ekumen through what we might profitably term its mundane dialectic, which consequently engenders a cogent means of neocolonial discourse.
    • The New Woman, Portable Property and The Spoils of Poynton

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010)
      This article discusses Henry James's engagement with the New Woman in his novel, The Spoils of Poynton
    • New York Hotel

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Shearsman Books, 2018-01-19)
      Prose poems and small fictions.
    • Nine very short stories

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Fortnightly Review, 2015-05-31)
      Nine short-short pieces of fiction / nine prose poems.
    • The Nineteenth-Century prostitute: how the sexual ‘other’ reclaimed power through deliberate dressing

      Geary-Jones, Hollie; University of Chester
      The paper argues that nineteenth-century prostitutes reclaimed power through deliberate dressing. It explores how the dominant social body in England relied on clothing as a means of identification. As the public gaze formed identity, dress supposedly betrayed class status and moral standing. The paper argues that clothing served as a preventative social tool as it was used to identify sexual ‘Others’. Exploring the social obsession with sexual categorization, it reviews the clothing stereotypes used to identify prostitutes. To escape condemnation, prostitutes avoided typecasts and assumed the guise of ‘moral’ women. By misinforming the public gaze, they evaded the confines of their ‘deviant’ status. Constructing their own identity through deliberate dressing, they reclaimed power from the dominant social body. Able to move undetected through ‘moral’ hierarchies, they threatened the stability of the social order. To explore how stereotypes became embedded in cultural ideology; the paper draws upon streetwalker depictions from Oliver Twist (1838) by Charles Dickens and Mary Barton (1848) by Elizabeth Gaskell. It examines how fashion journals and ‘moral’ commentators also perpetuated typecasts. Although stereotypes pertaining to prostitutes have been identified by scholars, they have overlooked how streetwalkers exploited this practice. Ultimately, the paper demonstrates how clothing stereotypes have been used by sexual ‘Others’ to subvert identity. It reveals how individuals can disrupt the power of the dominant social body through deliberate dressing. Although this study focuses on nineteenth-century prostitutes, the argument can be applied to any era. As dress is used to construct identity, the process of stereotyping can be manipulated for personal gain.
    • The Nineteenth-Century Sex Worker: Avoiding Surveillance, Stereotypes, and Scandal

      Geary-Jones, Hollie; University of Chester
      The subject of female sex work was a source of scandal throughout the nineteenth century. This chapter explores the writing of two males who defied the conventional approach to the topic, publishing three controversial texts which presented the female sex worker in an unseen light. Initially, the chapter studies William’s Acton Prostitution Considered in its Social, Moral, and Sanitary Aspects (1857, 1870) as a concerted effort to suppress the subject of female sex work. Geary-Jones analyzes Acton’s deeply rooted beliefs surrounding the working-class sex worker, investigating his traditional narratives that advocated and then supported the regulation of female sex work during the first and second editions of his publication. In particular, Geary-Jones examines the physician’s attack against a series of sex worker stereotypes which had been firmly embedded in cultural ideology since the beginning of the century. These stereotypes come under scrutiny in George Gissing’s Workers in the Dawn (1880) and The Unclassed (1884), demonstrating the author’s defiance of any conventional approach to the topic of female sex work in both his novels and personal relationships, resulting in scandal. This analysis is positioned against the cultural impact of the Contagious Diseases Acts (1864, 1866, 1869) in England and Jeremy Bentham’s The Panopticon Writings (1791).
    • No Such Thing as Society: The Novel under Neoliberalism

      Pollard, Eileen J.; 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.
    • No Windup: Paolo Bacigalupi’s Novel Bodily Economies of the Anthropocene

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester
      Just as it looms large in contemporary consciousness, the figure of the Anthropocene dominates the speculative fiction of the Hugo and Nebula award winning author Paolo Bacigalupi. The post-apocalyptic and post-capitalist settings common to Bacigalupi’s oeuvre do not merely seek to depict unsettling Anthropocene landscapes. Rather, Bacigalupi’s speculative fiction vicariously demonstrates the crucial role that embodiment plays, and will continue to play, in determining the impact of the Anthropocene upon human life. Our bodies, his works propose, are both the fabric upon which the horrors of the Anthropocene will be written, and the means by which we can learn to adapt to the rigors of our rapidly shifting planetary environment. As such, Bacigalupi’s works propose a range of novel bodily economies, which are just as much potential alternatives to the damaging neoliberal ideologies of our contemporary world as they are statements of impending social upheaval and widespread human suffering. Through the textual analysis of a cross-section of Bacigalupi’s works, this article demonstrates his emphasis upon the urgency and importance of our own societies learning to construct and implement alternate economic paradigms.
    • Nonsense and Wonder: An Exploration of the Prose Poems of Jeremy Over

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-07-16)
      This essay reveals the delights of the prose poems of Jeremy Over. Setting his work within the tradition of nonsense literature in its ability to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable, this essay argues that Over goes beyond merely creating clever surprises in order to arouse authentic wonder. Connections are made between Over’s work and that of the Dadaists, Surrealists, Gertrude Stein and such New York poets as John Ashbery. Making the case that nonsense literature can be seen as a way to authenticity and freedom in its resistance to common sense and also to tragic heroism, the essay demonstrates how Over’s prose poems show reality in different possible lights and empower marginalized voices. Finally, Over’s work is set in the context of recent British prose poetry.
    • Nonsense and Wonder: An Exploration of the Prose Poems of Jeremy Over

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Tears in the Fence, 2016-04-31)
      Essay on the prose poems of Jeremy Over
    • Northern Sotho

      Flanagan, Paul; University of Chester (Babel Magazine, 2016-02-05)
      This is a magazine article for the regular feature 'Languages of the World', and includes an introduction and overview of the features and social situation of the Bantu language Northern Sotho.
    • Notes Towards the Definition of the Short-Short Story

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Cambridge Scholars, 2008-09-01)
      The first academic study of flash fiction.
    • Nothing to Worry About: Flash Fictions

      Gebbie, Vanessa; Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; N/A (Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press, 2018-06-14)
      Welcome to the strange, fertile world of Vanessa Gebbie’s imagination in this collection of irreal flash fictions, in which little makes sense and yet everything does. A sea lion learns to fly. A man wakes to find his head is triangular. Babies talk. Sextants grow inside a man’s chest. Bella’s iron tablets work rather too well. And Daphne grows bonsai in a plethora of odd places. After all, the world keeps turning, and people occasionally do strange things – but then, that’s life, and life is nothing to worry about … Or is it?
    • 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.
    • Novum Decay

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester
      This article springs from the claim that representations of mundane human life are just as prominent as nova in contemporary sf, and that through their generative interplay the genre figures a transient dreamscape for visitation by the (post)human mind, via which the reader gains an expanded perception of not only their own empirical environment, but also of posthuman possibility. The presence of the quotidian in sf confirms the capacity of the (post)human mind to transcend the presumptions of traditional humanism. By deconstructing the rhetorical role of nova in Duncan Jones’s Source Code (2011), I demonstrate that the novel content of sf fades intratextually, just as nova within the genre tend towards entropy intertextually; an accumulative process I term novum decay.
    • 'An observant American in England': Henry James on Victorian Chester

      Walsh, Chris; Chester College of Higher Education (Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 1996., 1996-10-01)
      This book chapter discusses the visit 29 years-old Henry James made to Chester in 1872 for a series of travel sketches he was writing for an American weekly called The Nation.
    • “Of every land the guest”: Aubrey de Vere’s travels

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2016-06-01)
      The experience of travel, the figure of the traveller, the relationship between landscape and nationality, and a complex attitude towards colonization are extremely important in the poetry and prose of Aubrey de Vere. Alongside ideas of emigration and exile in the Irish context, the wider intellectual and spiritual significance of travel is explored in poems such as ‘A Farewell to Naples’, ‘Lines Written Under Delphi’, or ‘A Wanderer’s Musings at Rome’, and in de Vere’s travel book Picturesque Sketches of Greece and Turkey (1850). De Vere’s ideal traveller must be hardy, embracing “an emancipation from the bondage of comforts”, and reining in his exuberant Romantic sensibility with careful “management of the mind” and “moral temperance”. This is very far removed from “that universal nuisance”, the Philistine Englishman abroad, of whom he is reminded all too frequently, particularly in Greece and in the Ionian islands, a British protectorate. But de Vere’s self-definition against the English traveller begins to unravel in Constantinople, where he embraces a new national identity as a Frank among an alien people. His experiences in the East also redefine his understanding of Ireland as “an Eastern nation in the West”.