• The aura of facticity: the stylistic illusion of objectivity in news reports

      Davies, Matt; University of Chester (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019)
      This chapter explores the most significant stylistic features of and relationships between the two most ubiquitous genres in print news reporting – the editorial column (the anonymous official line of the newspaper on the issues of the day) and the so-called ‘straight’ or ‘hard’ news reports which typically constitute the front pages (and many of the first few inside pages) of the daily national (UK) newspapers. It provides a framework for identifying some of the most significant characteristic stylistic features of these genres, focussing specifically on how a defining distinction is the absence and presence of authorial voice in the news report and editorial column respectively. However, the claim, for instance by that “journalism derives a great deal of its legitimacy from the postulate that it is able to present true pictures of reality to objectivity in the news report” (Wien, 2005:3) is challenged. The chapter argues that the aura of facticity projected by the absence of often highly rhetorical features manifest in editorial columns, camouflages attitudes and values embedded within the equivalent news reports, and in doing so performs significant ideological work in hiding those values. Using news reports and editorials published in five UK national newspapers published on 13 July 2018, based around the visit of US President Donald Trump to the UK, the chapter demonstrates how the attitudes and values expressed in editorial columns are still in evidence in their equivalent front page news reports and that despite the best intentions of professional journalists to report events using standard techniques, objectivity is and can only be a myth.
    • Makers of Empty Dreams

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Shearsman, 2014-05-09)
      Collection of prose poems
    • ‘With, all down darkness wide, his wading light?’: Light and Dark in Gerard Manley Hopkins’s ‘The Candle Indoors’ and ‘The Lantern out of Doors’

      Leahy, Richard; University of Chester (Göteborg University, 2018-06)
      Gerard Manley Hopkins was a poet inspired by, and very much interested in, processes of light and vision. Within his works he presents a flexible structure of metaphor that is based on the relationship between light and dark. These interchangeable elements come to symbolise Hopkins’s spirituality and religion, as well as the challenges his beliefs were subjected to, while also outlining a very nuanced interest in perception and the principles of sight. Dennis Sobolev identifies what he terms ‘the split world’ of Hopkins as he explores the ‘semiotic phenomenology’ of his writing: ‘To put it briefly “semiotic phenomenology” as it is understood here–proceeds from the grounds that are transcendent to the distinction between the subject and the object, the physical and the imaginary, nature and culture, or any other metaphysical distinctions of the “kind”’ (Sobolev 2011: 4). What Sobolev suggests is the dichotomous liminality of Hopkins’s ideas and poetry. The most prominent example of this may well be Hopkins’s own notion of the ‘inscape’: the term, itself a portmanteau of words connoting the inner being (in, inside, interior) and the outer experience (scape, landscape, escape), attempts to address what Hopkins saw as reconcilable differences between the inner character or ‘essence’ of something and the object itself (Philips 2009: xx). Also, his use of the term ‘instress’ crosses similar binaries, as it is most commonly associated with the impression, or feeling, something may relate to the careful observer.
    • Superintelligence and Mental Anxiety from Mary Shelley to Ted Chiang

      Leahy, Richard; University of Chester (Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, 2018-08)
      Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of the earliest depictions of augmented intelligence; within the creature, we witness a very human intelligence that bases its understanding of the world on the convergence of human senses and human thought, yet one that presents these concepts in the uncanny shade of the doppelganger. In this portrayal, there is an anxiety that creeps in to the creature’s understanding of the world and its own subjectivity. It is based on language acquisition and knowledge. Once the creature becomes not only sentient, but intelligent, he begins to feel the existential weight of reality in a way that prefigures characters in subsequent Science Fiction, as well as presciently acknowledging recent pathological and scientific studies into the connection between mental health and intellect.
    • Building Compassion Capacity: Chester Retold and Storyhouse, a Case Study

      Pollard, Eileen; University of Chester (Edinburgh Napier University in collaboration with Aston University, the Universities of Dundee and Auckland, 2018-09-25)
      This article is a case study of a level five experiential learning module that I designed and taught at the University of Chester in the summer term of 2018 in collaboration with the city’s innovative new arts hub, Storyhouse. As a case study, it will demonstrate how ‘compassion’ can be placed at the heart of module design within Higher Education Arts and Humanities teaching, as well as how compassionate practice can emerge organically from innovation.
    • Literary Illumination

      Leahy, Richard; University of Chester (University of Wales Press, 2018-07)
      Literary Illumination examines the relationship between literature and artificial illumination, demonstrating that developments of lighting technology during the nineteenth century definitively altered the treatment of light as symbol, metaphor and textual motif. Correspondingly, the book also engages with the changing nature of darkness, and how the influence of artificial light altered both public perceptions of, and behaviour within, darkness, as well as examining literary chiaroscuros. Within each of four main chapters dedicated to the analysis of a single dominant light source in the long nineteenth-century – firelight, candlelight, gaslight, and electric light – the author considers the phenomenological properties of the light sources, and where their presence would be felt most strongly in the nineteenth century, before collating a corpus of texts for each light source and environment.
    • Editorial and Contents

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, 2017-10-01)
      Editorial and Contents.
    • 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?
    • Short on Sugar, High on Honey: Micro Love Stories

      Hazuka, Tom; Budman, Mark; Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; N/A (Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press, 2018-01-18)
      300 little love stories; seven to thirteen words.
    • Happier Than

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Woodhall Press, 2018-06)
      Flash fiction.
    • A Day in the Life of Steve

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Outpost19, 2018-06)
      Flash fiction.
    • Media, power and representation

      Neary, Clara; Ringrow, Helen; University of Chester; University of Portsmouth (Routledge, 2018-06-20)
      As the ubiquity and potential influence of the media increase, the language and imagery used to create meaning in this domain are of continued and enhanced interest to English Language researchers. While ‘the media’ or even ‘the English-speaking media’ is not one homogenous entity, the term is used throughout this chapter to refer broadly to a collection of media types such as newspapers, television, radio and so on. Media English can be understood as referring to the ways in which reality is linguistically constructed through these platforms. Additionally, media institutions play a significant role not only in terms of communication but also by way of ‘mediating society to itself’ (Matheson 2005: 1) in that the media helps to construct societal norms and values. Media language is distinctive because media discourses can be ‘fixed’ (i.e. recorded for posterity) as well as being interactive (people can react to subject matter, often using media forms to publically share their response(s), themselves becoming producers of media content). In investigating Media English, scholars analyse overall styles or genres in order to explore and challenge particular choices of language and/or imagery within a given media text.
    • Stark choices and brutal simplicity: the blunt instrument of constructed oppositions in news editorials

      Davies, Matt; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019)
      This chapter uses a typology of oppositional syntactic triggers (e.g. ‘either X or Y’, ‘X but Y’) to show how the conflicting positions of opposing political parties are reproduced and perpetuated by the UK press as simplistic mutually exclusive binaries in General Election campaigns. The premise is that political discourse is predisposed to representing complex moral positions, policies and practices as simple polarised ‘stark’ contrasts, often reducing them to a rudimentary choice between GOOD and EVIL, POSITIVE and NEGATIVE, US and THEM. Using a corpus of data from the daily editorial (or ‘leader’) columns of UK national newspapers in the 2010, 2015 and 2017 UK general election campaigns, the chapter shows how the conflict can be constructed through discourse by the artificial prising apart of more ambiguous and intricate political positions and is strongly facilitated by the very nature of the syntax available for representing alternative views, disguising any shades of grey which are likely to exist. A search for syntactic frames and triggers based on a typology developed by Davies (2012, 2013) and Jeffries (2010), show how oppositions are used to promote Conservative policies at the expense of the Labour Party by constructing ‘stark contrasts’ between them.
    • Travelling Solo: Flash Fictions

      Blair, Peter; Steward, David; Chantler, Ashley; N/A (Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press, 2018-03-01)
      In these thirty flash fictions, paths cross, people meet and part, and always there are consequences, often misremembered or misunderstood. Funny, caustic and poignant by turns, the stories remind us that we each find our own way through the muddle of life.
    • Tuberculosis Disabled Identity in Nineteenth-Century Literature: Invalid Lives

      Tankard, Alex; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-03-15)
      Chapter 5 as sample from monograph. Wuthering Heights ridiculed consumptive stereotypes, and Jude the Obscure exposed socioeconomic and cultural factors that disabled people with chronic illness, but neither could hope for a better future – much less suggest real strategies for improving the lives of people with tuberculosis in the nineteenth century. Beatrice Harraden’s 1893 bestseller Ships That Pass in the Night also offers a complex, bitter critique of the way in which sentimentality obscures the abuse and neglect of disabled people by nondisabled carers; it undermines the Romanticisation of consumptives, and shows consumptives driven to suicide by social marginalisation that leaves them feeling useless and hopeless. Yet its depiction of a romantic friendship between an emancipated woman and a disabled man also engages with the exciting possibilities of 1890s’ gender politics, and imagines new comradeship between disabled and nondisabled people based on mutual care and respect.
    • Hyper-compressions: The rise of flash fiction in “post-transitional” South Africa

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2018-07-16)
      This article begins with a survey of flash fiction in “post-transitional” South Africa, which it relates to the nation’s post-apartheid canon of short stories and short-short stories, to the international rise of flash fiction and “sudden fiction”, and to the historical particularities of South Africa’s “post-transition”. It then undertakes close readings of three flash fictions republished in the article, each less than 450 words: Tony Eprile’s “The interpreter for the tribunal” (2007), which evokes the psychological and ethical complexities, and long-term ramifications, of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Michael Cawood Green’s “Music for a new society” (2008), a carjacking story that invokes discourses about violent crime and the “‘new’ South Africa”; and Stacy Hardy’s “Kisula” (2015), which maps the psychogeography of cross-racial sex and transnational identity-formation in an evolving urban environment. The article argues that these exemplary flashes are “hyper-compressions”, in that they compress and develop complex themes with a long literary history and a wide contemporary currency. It therefore contends that flash fiction of South Africa’s post-transition should be recognized as having literary-historical significance, not just as an inherently metonymic form that reflects, and alludes to, a broader literary culture, but as a genre in its own right.
    • Review of Charteris-Black, J. (2017). Fire Metaphors: Discourses of Awe and Authority. London: Bloomsbury.

      Neary, Clara; University of Chester (John Benjamins, 2018-11)
      Book review of Charteris-Black, J. (2017). Fire Metaphors: Discourses of Awe and Authority. London: Bloomsbury.
    • The Realisation of Electric Light in the Early Twentieth Century

      Richard Leahy; University of Chester (De Gruyter, 2015-10-01)
      Perceptions of electric light in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century witnessed a rapid turnaround of popular opinion on the light source; following its widespread adoption from the 1880s, it was at first met with derision, before perceptions shifted around the fin-de-siècle period, and it eventually grew into the light source that would come to define twentieth century. It evolved from something that was perceived as a symbol of the modern - it was a fantastical presence in the literature of Jules Verne many years before its realisation for example - to something that solidified a sense of modern life. Electricity, Alex Goody writes, 'transformed Victorian Culture', suggesting that "it was electric light that epitomised this transforming power […] the coming of electric light is a transformation of culture at a fundamental level; it marks the coming of what Marshall McLuhan, in Understanding Media, calls 'the electric age' (Goody 2011: 7) Electric light was both symbol and catalyst of the late nineteenth-century emergence of the truly modern world of capitalism and mass-society. McLuhan claims that this early emergence of the electric age had a distinct cultural and psychological impact on the way people thought of modernity: "electric light is pure information […] a medium without a message," further suggesting that its light "has no content, and in this purity it ushers in a modern world where instant communication connects us in a web of interaction"(McLuhan 2001: 8). McLuhan's analysis of the early electric age suggests a continuation of the burgeoning qualities and perceptions of the processes of gaslight - the invention of a networked system of light took the power of lighting away from an individual; people no longer felt as intimate a connection with the light they inhabited as they did in fire or candlelight.
    • 'Losing face among the natives': Something about tattooing and tabooing in Herman Melville's Typee

      Atkin, Graham; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017-12-07)
      Herman Melville’s first novel Typee, published in 1846, is an intriguing South Sea adventure based on the author’s own experiences and narrated by ‘Tommo’, who, with his companion Toby, jumps ship and wanders into the valley of Typee, home to a tribe of suspected cannibals. This essay concentrates on a chapter in which Tommo describes his encounter with a Typeean tattooist before discussing ‘the mysterious “Taboo”’. Tommo becomes fearful that he will be ‘disfigured in such a manner as never more to have the face to return’ to civilisation. The threat of non-consensual body modification confronts narrator and reader with unsettling issues of personal and cultural identity in crisis. The analysis draws on a range of material from the fields of anthropology, psychology, literary criticism, sociology and linguistics.
    • Distances

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Red Ceilings Press, 2018-06-15)
      A chapbook of flash fiction.