• The vagina: A literary and cultural history

      Rees, Emma L. E.; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2013-08-01)
      From South Park to Kathy Acker, and from Lars Von Trier to Sex and the City, women’s sexual organs are demonized. Rees traces the fascinating evolution of this demonization, considering how calling the ‘c-word’ obscene both legitimates and perpetuates the fractured identities of women globally. Rees demonstrates how writers, artists, and filmmakers contend with the dilemma of the vagina’s puzzlingly ‘covert visibility’. In our postmodern, porn-obsessed culture, vaginas appear to be everywhere, literally or symbolically but, crucially, they are as silenced as they are objectified. The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History examines the paradox of female genitalia through five fields of artistic expression: literature, film, TV, visual, and performance art. There is a peculiar paradox – unlike any other – regarding female genitalia. Rees focuses on this paradox of what is termed the ‘covert visibility’ of the vagina and on its monstrous manifestations. That is, what happens when the female body refuses to be pathologized, eroticized, or rendered subordinate to the will or intention of another? Common, and often offensive, slang terms for the vagina can be seen as an attempt to divert attention away from the reality of women’s lived sexual experiences such that we don’t ‘look’ at the vagina itself – slang offers a convenient distraction to something so taboo. The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History is an important contribution to the ongoing debate in understanding the feminine identity.
    • The value of recent records, historical context, and genealogy in surname research

      Parkin, Harry (Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland, 2018)
      This paper looks at the importance of genealogical study and the consideration of recent records in the analysis of surname etymology.
    • Varieties of Embodiment and “Corporeal Style

      Rees, Emma L. E.; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017-12-07)
      A chapter on embodiment and identity, considering and analysing different philosophies relating to the idea of 'Talking Bodies'. Overall book abstract: In this collection leading thinkers, writers, and activists offer their responses to the simple question “do I have a body, or am I my body?”. The essays engage with the array of meanings that our bodies have today, ranging from considerations of nineteenth-century discourses of bodily shame and otherness, through to arguing for a brand new corporeal vocabulary for the twenty-first century. Increasing numbers of people are choosing to modify their bodies, but as the essays in this volume show, this is far from being a new practice: over hundreds of years, it has evolved and accrued new meanings. This richly interdisciplinary volume maps a range of cultural anxieties about the body, resulting in a timely and compelling book that makes a vital contribution to today’s key debates about embodiment.
    • Veronica Mars: Neptune, Nostalgia and New Media

      Andrew, Lucy; University of Chester (Intellect, 2016-03-01)
      This essay focuses on the development of the Veronica Mars series from television series to fan-funded film and explores the relationship between noir and nostalgia in the fan-funded revival.
    • The Victorian period

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Continuum, 2010-02-28)
      This book chapter discusses Victorian literature, focusing on Great expectations by Charles Dickens and The importance of being earnest by Oscar Wilde.
    • A Visitor from the Provinces

      Stephenson, William; University of Chester (Nine Arches Press, 2015-07-31)
    • Waking the bones: The return of the famine dead in contemporary Irish literature

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Peter Lang, 2014-12-22)
    • Walter Benjamin: An Arcade of Reflections

      Wall, Alan (Fortnightly Review, 2018-06-02)
      Book of essays about Walter Benjamin
    • War and the mind: Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End, modernism, and psychology

      Chantler, Ashley; Hawkes, Rob; University of Chester ; University of Teesside (Edinburgh University Press, 2015-06-30)
      Features new critical essays illuminate Ford Madox Ford's First World War modernist masterpiece Parade's End. This is the first full length critical study of Parade's End to focus on the psychological effects of the war. Originally published in 4 volumes between 1924 and 1928, Parade's End has been described as "the finest novel about the First World War." (Anthony Burgess). "the greatest war novel ever written by an Englishman." (Samuel Hynes). "a central Modernist novel of the 1920s, in which it is exemplary." (Malcolm Bradbury). "possibly the greatest 20th century novel in English." (John N. Gray). These 10 newly commissioned essays focus on the psychological effects of the war, both upon Ford himself and upon his novel: its characters, its themes and its form. The chapters explore: Ford's pioneering analysis of war trauma, trauma theory, shell shock, memory and repression, insomnia, empathy, therapy, literary Impressionism and literary style. Writers discussed alongside Ford include Joseph Conrad, Siegfried Sassoon, May Sinclair, and Rebecca West, as well as theorists Deleuze and Guattari, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, William James, and W H R Rivers. A long overdue examination of Ford's First World War modernist masterpiece Parade's End. It focuses on psychology and the effects of war on the minds of those who fought and those at home; adds to writing about First World War writers, war trauma and trauma theory as well as modernism, and literary Impressionism and contributes to the burgeoning fields of medical humanities and disability studies by reconsidering Parade's End in terms of the various mental and psychological disorders represented within its pages.
    • A well-spun yarn: Margaret Cavendish and Homer's Penelope

      Rees, Emma L. E.; Chester College of Higher Education (Ashgate, 2003)
    • ‘What cannot be fixed, measured, confined’: The mobile texts of Hilary Mantel

      Pollard, Eileen J.; Carpenter, Ginette; University of Chester; Manchester Metropolitan University (Bloomsbury, 2018-09-06)
      ‘I don’t know, you wait twenty years for a Booker prize, two come along at once!’ was Hilary Mantel’s laconic response to winning for the second time. A respected, if critically neglected, British author, she had in fact been writing and publishing for over twenty years when she won the Booker prize in 2009 for her tenth novel, Wolf Hall. She then made literary history by winning for a second time in 2012 with the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, an unprecedented achievement that catapulted her into the realms of global stardom. The Tudor novels have since been adapted for the stage by Mike Poulton and have been performed to much critical acclaim in Stratford, London and Broadway. Similarly, the 2015 BBC dramatization has aired in both the UK and the US to glowing reviews. Yet, despite Mantel’s renown and popularity at home and abroad, there remains surprisingly little critical material interpreting the rich and varied content of her work. As a result, this collection of essays aims to introduce students, scholars and general readers of Mantel’s writing to the diversity of her texts in order to showcase the extraordinary range and reach of this contemporary British author, currently at the peak of her writing life. The essays will explore the recurring themes of ambiguity, ghosts, trauma, childhood and memory that both trace and, in many ways, define Mantel’s oeuvre. The collection will also examine the challenge to conventional evocations of the past that underpins Mantel’s historical novels, from A Place of Greater Safety (1992) through to Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, as well as the complex experimentation with perspective and tense that really sets apart her later work on Thomas Cromwell. The main objective of this book is to provide a wide-range of readers with a guide to Mantel’s historical fiction, autobiographical writing and short stories, as well as some of her more experimental early novels, that will help explain those most ambiguous elements of her corpus while demonstrating her fearlessness and breadth as a writer.
    • What’s a Little Monotony?

      Hay, Jonathan
      As this article demonstrates, the characteristic focus within Asimov scholarship exclusively upon the technological aspects of his robot stories and novels has meant that the importance of their mundane components have been systematically overlooked. By shifting critical focus to the mundane aspects of these works, it becomes newly apparent that Asimov uses a mundane foundation to problematise humanistic constructs of the human. These mundane components comprise an essential cognitive foundation of known phenomena, via which the comprehension of Asimov’s profoundly novel robots becomes plausible contextually. By readily anticipating and demonstrating the phenomenological impact of the everyday positionality of technology in the contemporary world, Asimov’s robot stories and novels recode the outdated signifier of the ‘human’ in a posthumanistic paradigm.
    • ‘When the reservoir comes’: Drowned Villages, Community and Nostalgia in Contemporary British Fiction

      Pollard, Eileen J.; University of Chester (Open Library of Humanities, 2017-12-08)
      A ‘drowned’ or flooded village describes the destruction of a settlement or community to make way for a reservoir; as a practice, it most commonly occurred in Britain during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the need for fresh water in growing industrial cities was at its height. This essay will explore three different representations of the ‘drowned village’ in contemporary British fiction. Reginald Hill’s On Beulah Height (1992), Hilary Mantel’s short story ‘The Clean Slate’ (2001) and Sarah Hall’s Haweswater (2002) will all be considered in terms of how the drowned village is presented and described, and what this representation suggests about the ways nostalgia, ritual and ruin impact upon notions of community and place.
    • Who? What?

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (National Flash-Fiction Day and Gumbo Press, 2016-06-15)
      Flash fiction.
    • Why Flash Fiction? Because of a Parrot and a Porn Star, Of Course

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (2016-08-19)
      Article on flash fiction.
    • William Carleton, Folklore, the Famine, and the Irish Supernatural

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Supernatural Studies Association, 2015-09-31)
      This article examines the significance of the supernatural in the works of the nineteenth-century Irish author William Carleton, and in particular the ways in which his grounding in folklore and his reflection of the Great Famine are important in his work.
    • ‘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, 2018-06-30)
      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.
    • Woman and personal property in the Victorian novel

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2010-11-28)
      This book discusses female possession of property in the works of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Henry James.
    • Women and Personal Property in the Victorian Novel

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2010-11-28)
      How key changes to the married women’s property laws contributed to new ways of viewing women in society are revealed in Deborah Wynne’s study of literary representations of women and portable property during the period 1850 to 1900. While critical explorations of Victorian women’s connections to the material world have tended to focus on their relationships to commodity culture, Wynne argues that modern paradigms of consumerism cannot be applied across the board to the Victorian period. Until the passing of the 1882 Married Women’s Property Act, many women lacked full property rights; evidence suggests that, for women, objects often functioned not as disposable consumer products but as cherished personal property. Focusing particularly on representations of women and material culture in Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Henry James, Wynne shows how novelists engaged with the vexed question of women’s relationships to property. Suggesting that many of the apparently insignificant items that ‘clutter’ the Victorian realist novel take on new meaning when viewed through the lens of women’s access to material culture and the vagaries of property law, her study opens up new possibilities for interpreting female characters in Victorian fiction and reveals the complex work of ‘thing culture’ in literary texts.