Now showing items 1-20 of 289

    • Book review of 'Science Fiction, Disruption and Tourism'

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2022-02-25)
      Book review of 'Science Fiction, Disruption and Tourism'
    • Afrofuturism in clipping.’s Splendor & Misery

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (Strange Attractor Press, 2022-09-13)
      This article examines the manner by which clipping.’s 2016 album Splendor & Misery—a conceptual hip-hop space opera—freely enlists and reclaims texts from the African cultural tradition in order to manifest its Afrofuturist agenda. A countercultural movement characterised by a dynamic understanding of the narrative authority held by texts, Afrofuturism rewrites African culture in a speculative vein, granting African and Afrodiasporic peoples a culturally empowered means of writing their own future. The process by which Afrofuturism reclaims and rewrites culture is paralleled within Splendor & Misery through the literary device of mise en abyme; just as the album itself does, its central protagonist rewrites narratives of African cultures and traditions in an act of counterculture.
    • 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).
    • Victorian Material Culture

      Wynne, Deborah; Yates, Louisa; University of Chester; Gladstone's Library
      This book is one of a five-volume series, Victorian Material Culture (general editors Tatiana Kontou and Vicky Mills), designed to present primary source materials on aspects of Victorian culture. This volume (volume IV) focuses on manufactured things, including textiles (fabrics, clothing, paper, carpets etc.), metal goods (cutlery, pins, locks etc.), and household items (including ceramics, glassware, soap, candles etc.). The volume's editors, Wynne and Yates, offer detailed introductions to each section as well as an extensive introduction to the whole volume, which demonstrates the significance of manufacturing to the political, social and cultural environment of the Victorian period.
    • 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.
    • A lot of snow out of one cloud: : A Concordance Analysis of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (Hélice, 2021-12-09)
      Whereas prior academic studies of the Hainish Cycle have been primarily produced by means of textual analysis, I demonstrate that a concordance analysis of its six novels reveals significant, yet heretofore overlooked, ecological aspects of Le Guin’s series. As becomes apparent, snow imagery literalises the Hainish Cycle’s New Wave moves from technological, to biological and sociological concerns, emphasising the series’ significant challenge to the technophilic assumptions and eschatological foundations of the preceding Golden Age. Accordingly, this article demonstrates the primacy of the datum of snow within the narratives of the Hainish Cycle novels, and delineates its important contribution to the series’ SFnal dialectic on aggregate.
    • ‘I’m Gonna Be the Best Friend You Could Ever Hope For—And the Worst Enemy You Could Ever Imagine’: Frank Miller’s All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder and the Problem of the Boy Sidekick in the Twenty-First-Century Superhero Narrative

      Andrew, Lucy; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021-07-25)
      Andrew examines the representation of the boy sidekick/adult detective relationship in Frank Miller’s All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder (2005–2008). The chapter explores the ways in which Miller’s graphic novel revises, rewrites and problematises the classic Batman/Robin relationship, with particular emphasis on power, violence and abuse. It explores the disturbing parallels that the text draws between the boy sidekick and the love interest, the troubling power imbalance between the adult superhero and his boy sidekick, and the dangers inherent in introducing an innocent and traumatised boy into the violent world of an adult crime fighter. The chapter concludes by identifying how tonal and structural shifts in the comic-book medium have contributed to the growing prevalence of problematised Robin figures in twenty-first-century Batman narratives.
    • Introduction: Step Forward, Sidekicks

      Andrew, Lucy; Saunders, Samuel; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021-07-25)
      Saunders and Andrew offer a definition of the sidekick in crime fiction and provide a brief account of the origins and development of this figure from the nineteenth century to the present day. They outline significant moments in the history of the sidekick, establish key trends in the construction of the sidekick, and identify and interrogate widely held views about the sidekick’s function and representation in crime fiction. They make a case for the wider significance of the sidekick beyond the role of help-mate or foil to the infallible detective and point towards the key contributions that the sidekick has made and continues to make to the canon of crime fiction. They also offer a brief introduction to each of the essays and key themes/ideas explored by contributors throughout the collection.
    • Patterns of borrowing, obsolescence and polysemy in the technical vocabulary of Middle English

      Sylvester, Louise; Parkin, Harry; Ingham, Richard; University of Westminster; University of Chester; Birmingham City University
      This paper reports on a new project, Technical Language and Semantic Shift in Middle English which aims to address questions about why semantic shift, lexical and/or semantic obsolescence and replacement happen and to try to uncover patterns of narrowing, broadening, obsolescence and synonym co-existence at different levels of the lexical hierarchy. The data is based on the Middle English vocabulary for seven occupational domains collected for the Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England, with the addition of two further domains representing the interests of the elite and professional classes. This paper offers three case studies illustrating how we used the type of information in the BTh, the MED and the OED to construct the semantic hierarchy on which our analyses are based; an example of how data are interpreted in relation to change within a particular semantic field; and an exploration of how obsolescence by distinguishing between obsolete lexemes and obsolete senses. We then present some results of our analyses of obsolescence, polysemy and borrowing in our data.
    • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain

      Parkin, Harry; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2021-08-03)
      A dictionary of family names found in Britain in the present day. A concise version of the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland (2016).
    • Editorial and Contents of Flash Fiction Magazine (11.2)

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2021-10-01)
      Editorial and Contents.
    • Disruption and Disability Futures in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

      Tankard, Alex; University of Chester (Liverpool University Press, 2022-02-01)
      Marvel superhero movies celebrate the transformation of disabled people into weapons. First Avenger depicts a disabled man rebuilt by military technology into a patriotic superhero. In Winter Soldier, the Soviet cyborg’s brutal, non-consensual modification serves to emphasise Captain America’s wholesomely perfected body. At first glance, both films seem incapable of critiquing the historical ableism that made Captain America’s modification a desirable image of disability-free future in 1941 – let alone its modern manifestations. However, re-watching First Avenger after Winter Soldier reveals a far less stable endorsement of eliminating disability: now alerted to the series’ precise anxieties about bodily autonomy, one can perceive an undercurrent of disability critique running through First Avenger too – often literally in the background. The film exposes the historical ableism that shaped Steve’s consent to modification, and begins to establish his sidekick Bucky Barnes as a persistent critical voice capable of envisioning a different disability future. This essay is therefore not only about ableism in a pair of superhero movies, but also about how these ableist films contain seeds of an unexpected critique of their own disability representation.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • How Much? An Interesting Typo in Kim Stanley Robinson's The Gold Coast

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester
      One typo in Kim Stanley Robinson’s 1988 novel The Gold Coast is so prominent as to merit consideration. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that it has ever come to the attention of readers before now.
    • Liberalism

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-01-25)
      A political philosophy that emerged from the Enlightenment, liberalism has a complex relationship with democracy, colonialism, postcolonialism, globalization, and literature. Democracy has been shaped by a tension between “classical liberalism”, which prioritizes liberty, and “modern liberalism”, which emphasizes equality. Liberalism also moulded the informal empire of free trade, and the “liberal imperialism” that devised a “civilizing mission” to justify formal empire. The development of liberalism has been vital in the anglophone settler colonies, particularly the USA; often, especially in South Africa, it has been focused on racial justice. The neo-liberalism that emerged in the late twentieth century advocates the globalization of unfettered capitalism and personal liberty. Many postcolonialists consider neo-liberalism a reprise of liberal imperialism, with “human rights” replacing the “civilizing mission” as a cultural-imperialist pretext for economic exploitation.
    • Gordimer, Nadine

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-01-25)
      A prolific South African novelist, short-story writer, and essayist, Nadine Gordimer (1923–2014) is known for her opposition to apartheid and censorship. Her many honours include the Booker Prize (1974) and the Nobel Prize for Literature (1991). This article outlines Gordimer’s writing career in relation to the form of “internal colonialism” known as apartheid, and to the postcolonial condition of South Africa after apartheid. It describes how Gordimer’s fiction, which combines critical realism with late-modernist experimentation, articulates three phases: “liberal”, “radical”, and “post-apartheid”.
    • The liberal tradition in fiction

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2012-01-12)
      This chapter in the landmark Cambridge History of South African Literature offers a comprehensive discussion of the 'liberal-concerned' tradition in South African fiction, from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. It comprises five main parts: 'Liberalism in politics and civil society'; 'Classic liberal fiction, 1883-1948'; 'Liberal fiction during apartheid, 1948-70'; 'Post-liberal fiction during apartheid, 1970-90'; '(Post-)liberal fiction after apartheid'.
    • Flash Fiction

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2014)
      This article, which appears in the bestselling guide to publishing and the media, introduces the short-short story, most commonly known as 'flash fiction'. It outlines the historical rise of the flash, considers the defining characteristics of the form, and offers advice on writing flash fiction and getting it published. It includes an example of flash fiction and a structured list of suggestions for further primary and secondary reading.