• The Posthuman Lifeworld: A Study of Russell T. Davies’s Doctor Who

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester
      Via the analysis of a cross-section of episodes from Russell T. Davies’s era of the revived BBC Science Fiction television series Doctor Who (2005–2010), this paper demonstrates that the programme utilises representations of the viewer’s everyday lifeworld to figure a posthuman rhetoric. Through the viewer’s in-phenomenal interaction with its representation of the mundane, the show emphasises the already significantly posthuman nature of the technologically saturated lifeworld of the contemporary individual. It challenges Darko Suvin’s notion of cognitive estrangement, which fails to describe the show’s Science Fictional discourse, and instead proposes the alternate mechanism of cognitive engagement. This inquiry, therefore, reappraises the thematic concerns of the show during the years when Russell T. Davies served as the programme’s showrunner, revealing Doctor Who’s emphasis upon the everyday (post)human lifeworld. It concludes that the show refutes technocentric ideologies, and thus rigorously demonstrates the consonance between the (post)human present and posthuman future.
    • The Posthuman Trajectory of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Universe

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (Burrowing Wombat Press, 2021-06-30)
      When Isaac Asimov began to expand the fictional universe of his acclaimed Foundation Trilogy in 1982—almost thirty years after the publication of its prior entry, Second Foundation (1953)—he did so with the express intention of assimilating its continuity into a unified “history of the future” with his Robot and Galactic Empire series. Although the Foundation Universe has received little critical attention to date as a unified series, the analysis of it cumulatively reveals its significantly mundane and repetitive aspects. Demonstrably, the rhetorical function of such banal components renders the series conspicuously posthuman.
    • The practice of reading: Interpreting the novel

      Alsop, Derek; Walsh, Chris; St Mary's University College ; University College Chester (Macmillan, 1999-04-19)
      The book discusses the art of interpreting the novel with reference to literary theory and criticism.
    • The principled pleasure: Lisbeth’s Aristotelian revenge

      Rees, Emma L. E.; University of Chester (John Wiley & Sons, 2012-11-11)
      The essential companion to Stieg Larsson′s bestselling trilogy and director David Fincher′s 2011 film adaptation Stieg Larsson′s bestselling Millennium Trilogy— The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet′s Nest —is an international phenomenon. These books express Larsson′s lifelong war against injustice, his ethical beliefs, and his deep concern for women′s rights. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy probes the compelling philosophical issues behind the entire trilogy. What philosophies do Lisbeth Salander and Kant have in common? To catch a criminal, can Lisbeth and Mikael be criminals themselves? Can revenge be ethical? Drawing on some of history′s greatest philosophical minds, this book gives fresh insights into Larsson′s ingeniously plotted tale of crime and corruption. Looks at compelling philosophical issues such as a feminist reading of Lisbeth Salander, Aristotelian arguments for why we love revenge, how Kant can explain why so many women sleep with Mikael Blomkvist, and many more Includes a chapter from a colleague of Larsson′s—who worked with him in anti–Nazi activities—that explores Larsson′s philosophical views on skepticism and quotes from never–before–seen correspondence with Larsson Offers new insights into the novels′ key characters, including Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, and investigates the author, Stieg Larsson As engrossing as the quest to free Lisbeth Salander from her past, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy is ideal reading for anyone interested in unraveling the subtext and exploring the greater issues at work in the story.
    • Prize-Giving

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Salt, 2014-10-15)
      Poetry sequence selected for anthology.
    • Profiling the flight of 'The Windhover'

      Neary, Clara; University of Chester (John Benjamins, 2014-04-23)
      The application of Langacker's Cognitive Grammar to Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem 'The Windhover'.
    • Queer Victorian Identities in Goblin Market (1862) and In Memoriam (1850): Uncovering the Subversive Undercurrents of the Literary Canon

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (University of Exeter, 2018)
      This article argues for the importance of recognizing the queerness of many established works within the literary canon as a means of contextualising modern queer identities and practices historically. It undertakes the queer reappropriation of two canonical Victorian poems; Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market (1862), and Alfred, Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam (1850). As the article demonstrates, the queer affective features of these poems express the viability of alternative modes of relation, and so convey a poignant sense of the insurrectionary elation that can be realised through affective relationships that subvert normative sexual conventions.
    • Quotidian Science Fiction: Posthuman Dreams of Emancipation

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (University of Iowa, 2019-06-13)
      This article argues that Science Fiction is a posthuman art form, whose texts posit a utopian dream which emphasises that the process of becoming posthuman is both incremental, and conditional upon the equitable cultural, social, and environmental evolution of our societies. The genre provides a transient dreamscape for visitation by the (post)human mind, by which the reader gains an expanded perception of not only their own empirical environment, but also of posthuman possibility. This posthuman dream however, is not a simply literalised by SF’s estranging narrative strategy, but rather is located in the intersection between the SF narrative and its generic form. Through the decay of their initially defamiliarizing nova into data which are cognitively explicable by their (post)human audience, SF texts dramatize our species’ continuous journey of becoming posthuman. This fundamentally posthuman model of the SF genre therefore challenges the model of cognitive estrangement proposed by Darko Suvin, and so proposes that SF exerts a pragmatic utopian dream that avoids being deterministic or teleological.
    • The Radical Voice of Margaret Oliphant: Extending Domesticity in Hester and Kirsteen

      Baker, Katie; University of Chester
      This paper demonstrates how the nineteenth-century writer Margaret Oliphant drew upon her domestic identity to write in radical ways which could educate and inform her young female readership. Through the exploration of two female characters, Catherine Vernon in Hester (1883) and Kirsteen Douglas in Kirsteen (1890), the paper demonstrates how Oliphant represented the importance of opportunities available for young women within 'extended domesticity', a version of the domestic space which extended beyond conventional boundaries to include all women. Through representations of female characters like Catherine and Kirsteen, who had careers and even businesses, of their own, Oliphant showed the possibilities available for women whose lives did not fit into the conventional mould of marriage and maternity. Hester and Kirsteen allow Oliphant to represent two very different versions of domesticity, and to reinforce the necessity for an extended version of it, which allows women the space to find personal growth and fulfilment. The paper engages with the scholarship of critics such as George Levine and Katherine Mullin to explore Oliphant's radical voice and to reinforce her place as an important writer.
    • Rain Dancers in the Data Cloud

      Stephenson, William; University of Chester (Templar Poetry, 2012-11-01)
      Poetry collection. Iota Shots Award Winner, 2012.
    • 'The rain it rainth in every frame': A defence of Trevor Nunn's Twelfth night (1996)

      Atkin, Graham; University of Chester (Chester Academic Press, 2009-08-22)
      This book chapter discusses the 1996 film version of Shakespeare's Twelfth night.
    • Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451

      Baker, Brian; University of Chester (Blackwell, 2005-08-01)
      This book chapter discusses Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451. It focuses on the langauge used in the book, gender and subjectivity, religious symbolism, and places this within the context of Bradbury's life and 1950s America.
    • Re-dressing Revenants: Anxieties of the Body, the Self, and Desire when the Undead make a Stylish Return

      Heaton, Sarah; University of Chester (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2016-04-01)
      This chapter explores the recent vogue for stylish dressing of revenants focusing on the French television series The Returned and the novels Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory and The Returned and its prequels by Jason Mott. Against a back drop of classic zombie figurations of disintegrating flesh and torn clothes these recent texts make a fascinating move in redressing revenants. The redressing refashions the relationship between the flesh and dress, the living, the dead and the undead. In these texts there is a particular focus on childhood and adolescent body anxiety and identity crisis. They explore the relationship of the self and socialisation, the inner private and outer public worlds of the self just at the moment when these are being formed. The chapter will suggest that the clothing here offers up an exploration into the fabric of society and the self. It will be argued that by dressing well the undead are a mirror which reveals the dark other within that has more to do with the socialised self than the figure of disintegrating nightmares. In part because of the stylish codes of dress the returned become not the horrific other but the object of desire. Through the sartorial doubling the texts reveal that identity and desire are Nietzschean by nature: ‘ In the end one loves one’s desire and not what is desired’. Finally it will be argued that it is the ‘clothing’ of the self, which becomes, in Kristevian terms, abject.
    • Readers and Reading Practices

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2011-11-03)
      This chapter discusses ways of reading and publishing in the early to mid nineteenth century.
    • Reading Victorian rags: Recycling, redemption, and Dickens's ragged children

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2014-12-24)
      In Victorian Britain rags were not only associated with the inadequate clothing of the poor, they were also viewed as a valuable commodity, widely collected for recycling into paper. This essay examines rags as simultaneously despised and precious objects, tracing the connections between Victorian accounts of poverty, the industrial recycling of rags into paper, and the redemption narratives created by Charles Dickens about rescued children. A supporter of Ragged Schools and champion of rags recycling, Dickens drew on the idea of the transformation of dirty rags into clean paper in his representations of ragged children. To him, the recycling of rags indicated the civilizing forces of modernity, and reading Dickens's representations of ragged children in this context reveals how cloth recycling became a paradigm for society's duties towards destitute children. This essay explains Dickens's juxtaposition of ragged children with references to rag-dealing in his novels; by this means he suggested that street children, like their ragged clothing, were capable of being purified and transformed into social usefulness.
    • 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.
    • 'Refracted light': Peter Jackson's The lord of the rings

      Walsh, Chris; University of Chester (Chester Academic Press, 2009-08-22)
      This book chapter discusses the the role of death in the Lord of the rings trilogy.
    • Responses to the 1851 Great Exhibition in Household Words

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (The Dickens Fellowship, 2002)
      This article examines the ways in which the Great Exhibition of 1851 was discussed in Dickens's newly-formed magazine, Household Words.
    • Review of Charteris-Black, J. (2017). Fire Metaphors: Discourses of Awe and Authority. London: Bloomsbury.

      Neary, Clara; University of Chester (John Benjamins, 2018-10-23)
      Book review of Charteris-Black, J. (2017). Fire Metaphors: Discourses of Awe and Authority. London: Bloomsbury.
    • Review of Ecofeminist Science Fiction: International Perspectives on Gender, Ecology, and Literature

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (The Science Fiction Foundation, 2021-08-06)
      Book review of Ecofeminist Science Fiction: International Perspectives on Gender, Ecology, and Literature, ed. Douglas A. Vakoch (Routledge, 2021, 232pp, £120).