• 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).
    • Ford as Poet

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Routledge, 2018-12-03)
      A 7,000-work study of Ford's poetry, existing scholarship, and suggested new directions.
    • ‘Killer Consumptive in the Wild West: the Posthumous Decline of Doc Holliday’

      Tankard, Alex; University of Chester (Routledge, 2014-07-08)
      This chapter discusses how representations of consumptive Wild West gunfighter 'Doc' Holliday in life-writing and film have changed since the 1880s, and suggests that this reflects changing attitudes towards tuberculosis and disability over time.
    • 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.
    • ‘Mind what gap?’: an interview with Hilary Mantel

      Pollard, Eileen J.; Manchester Metropolitan University (Routledge, 2015-04-02)
      Hilary Mantel is a contemporary British writer who has published eleven novels, one memoir and two collections of short stories. A relatively unknown and under-researched author, she shot to fame in 2009 by winning the Booker Prize for her historical novel Wolf Hall – an intelligently sensitive account of Thomas Cromwell’s spectacular rise from black- smith’s son to right-hand man of Henry VIII. I interviewed Mantel at her Devon home in September 2012, just one month prior to her making literary history by winning the Booker Prize for a second time for her follow-up to Wolf Hall. This staggering achievement made her the first woman to win the prize twice, the first British author to gain a double, with Bring Up the Bodies becoming the first sequel to ever receive the award. She remarked on accepting the prize: ‘Well I don’t know, you wait twenty years for a Booker Prize . . . Two come along at once!’ A characteristically humorous and self-deprecating response that she qualified by saying she had no expectations of standing at the podium for a third time when the final instalment of her Tudor trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, is published. We pursued an engaging, vivid and wide-ranging conversation in the sitting room of her top floor flat, which overlooks the bay. Mantel and I discussed her roots in the Derbyshire village of Hadfield where I also grew up and where there is now a blue plaque marking her childhood home. In particular, we considered the figure of the ellipsis, since the ambiguities inherent to elliptical thinking seem so to suit the uncertain bases of her writing, as I hope this interview helps to illustrate.
    • The Moral Economy of the Irish Hotel From the Union to the Famine

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Routledge, 2017-08-29)
      This chapter examines the peculiar characteristics of the Irish hotel in the period between the Act of Union and the Great Famine, when tourism was newly established in Ireland. The ‘moral economy’ of the inn or hotel was perceived as an extrapolation of that of the estate, or of Ireland itself. Viewed by many guests as primitive, lacking the neatness, cleanliness, and order they expected in British hotels, the Irish hotel functioned with double responsibilities: to the comfort of their guests, but also to the weal of the local community, providing work, relief, and begging opportunities for the poorest.
    • Origin and Ellipsis in the Writing of Hilary Mantel: An Elliptical Dialogue with the Thinking of Jacques Derrida

      Pollard, Eileen J.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-04-30)
      This monograph provokes a re-engagement with Derrida’s thinking in contemporary literature, with particular emphasis on the philosopher’s preoccupation with the process of writing. This is the first book-length study of Mantel’s writing, not just in terms of Derrida’s thought, but through any critical perspective or lens to date.
    • Stark choices and brutal simplicity: the blunt instrument of constructed oppositions in news editorials

      Davies, Matt; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-05-10)
      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.
    • Stylistics, Point of View and Modality

      Neary, Clara; University of Chester (Routledge, 2014-02-13)
      This chapter comprises an introduction to one of the most intensively researched areas of stylistic enquiry, that of narratorial point of view, and its interaction with the linguistic system of modality.
    • 'The Tottering, Fluttering, Palpitating Mass': Power and Hunger in Nineteenth-Century Literary Responses to the Great Famine

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Routledge, 2015-11-29)
      This chapter examines representations of power and powerlessness in nineteenth-century literary responses to the Great Famine, arguing that many of these - largely middle-class authors - transcend the values and prejudices of their class in the attempt to engage honestly and imaginatively with the sufferings of Famine victims.