• A "stange blooding in the ways of popular culture"? party at the palace as hegemonic project

      Duffett, Mark (Routledge, 2004)
      This article discusses "Party at the Palace" - a pop concert from Buckingham Palace in 2002 and the relationship between politics, the monarchy, and pop music.
    • A difficult task: Sarah Lund and the crime of individuated happiness

      Charles, Alec; University of Chester (Routledge, 2015-06)
      This book chapter discusses how the problematic moralization of contemporary crime fiction often seems to serve a similar psychological function to folklorish stories.
    • 'A pit we have dug ourselves': The EU referendum and the Welsh democratic deficit

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-06-26)
      The chapter examines the Welsh Brexit vote from a news media perspective, locating it within the long-standing 'democratic deficit' and absence of Welsh national press.
    • Alas, Poor Richard: Fandom, Personal Identity and Ben Myer's Novelization of Richey Edwards' Life Story

      Duffett, Mark; Hearsum, Paula; University of Chester; University of Brighton (Cairn Info, 2017-12-13)
      In 1995 the Manic Street Preachers played their last show as a four piece before their rhythm guitarist and “minister for propaganda” Richey Edwards disappeared on the advent of a US tour. Although his body was never found, his car was discovered at the Severn bridge. It was assumed Edwards had committed suicide. In order to explore the troubled guitarist’s mysterious last days, fifteen years later in a novel called Richard the music journalist Ben Myers wrote a fictionalized first-person account of Richey’s life story. This article assesses Richard as a perceived act of literary impersonation by focusing on the way its author positioned himself as a fan and also on how fans and reviewers responded to the book. Addressing ideas such as parasocial interaction and mythologization, the piece shows that the “cult of Richey” apprehended Richard’s author as an unwelcome textual poacher. Fans challenged both Myers’ motives and the accuracy of his portrayal. We argue that rather than dismissing them as irrational, blind loyalists who cling to the false belief that they know the actual person, fans should be studied as individuals who use their accumulated knowledge to serve shared ethical concerns.
    • “Any closer and you’d be Mom”: The limits of post-feminist paternity in the films of Robin Williams

      Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015-12-03)
      This chapter explores the representation of fatherhood in the films of Robin Williams, considering the actor's star persona alongside his persistent performance as 'father' in a range of films from the late 1980s into the 2000s. The chapter includes an in-depth analysis of Williams' role in Mrs Doubtfire and the implications for post-feminist performances of paternity, and concludes with a discussion of Williams' suicide in 2014 and the ways in which this news was filtered through the same paternal persona established in his films.
    • Are Newspapers’ Online Discussion Boards Democratic Tools or Conspiracy Theories’ Engines? A Case Study on an Eastern European “Media War”

      Slavtcheva-Petkova, Vera; University of Chester (SAGE, 2015-10-23)
      This article analyzes quantitatively and qualitatively 1,583 comments by national newspapers’ online readers in Bulgaria. It investigates readers’ reactions to articles discussing the media war between the biggest press groups—one owned by a Member of Parliament known as “the Murdoch of the East.” The study explores how these stories influence the relationship between newspapers and their readers, and whether they enhance the democratic potential of online discussion. The results show a higher level of reader engagement than in established democracies or nondemocracies. The online space provides an arena for democratic conversations and it is also used as an engine for conspiracy theories.
    • BBC SPOTY Tyson Fury Furore could have been avoided

      Randles, David; University of Chester (Vice Sports, 2015-12-19)
      Analysis of the decision to include controversial heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.
    • Beyond Beatlemania: The Shea stadium concert as discursive construct

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2015-11)
      On August 15, 1965, the Beatles played to a crowd of over 55,000 of their fans at the Shea Stadium in New York City. Five decades later, the history-making show is remembered less for the band’s thirty minute music set than for how it was drowned out by the crowd’s deafening din (Millard 2012, 25). In actuality, however, there are, however, two Shea Stadia events: one a long past reality, the other a shared memory. This chapter examines how the second of these – Shea Stadium as a discursive construct – both drew on stereotypes of pop fandom and perpetuated them in public discussions about the Beatles. Specifically, the Shea event came to symbolize the way that popular music fandom had entered the public sphere as a collective and emotional phenomenon. It was framed by notions of parasocial interaction to suggest that young fans did not care about music and instead ‘worshipped’ band members as hero figures. In deconstructing the discursive Shea Stadium, my aim is to rescue the event from its own history. The concert enabled the Beatles to secure their place in the emergent rock revolution and position themselves as a more serious, ‘adult’ and ‘music’ orientated band. Yet it has also become a cornerstone of stereotypical perceptions of music fandom in the public imagination.
    • Beyond Exploitation Cinema: Music Fandom, Disability, and Mission to Lars

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016-07-14)
      Mission to Lars (Moore and Spicer 2012) is a feature documentary in which Kate and William Spicer help their brother Tom make his dream come true. Tom wishes to meet drummer Lars Ulrich from the heavy metal band Metallica. He also has Fragile X syndrome, which Kate calls, “a sort of autism with bells on.” Mission to Lars is therefore a film about disability and popular music fandom. Its marketing and reviews suggest a warm and sympathetic portrait of family life in which two siblings help a third to achieve his ambition. No documentary innocently captures its subject. Mission to Lars explores issues of disability awareness. Raising the possibility that Kate and Will Spicer may not have been motivated by altruism, it deliberately contrasts able-bodied and disabled cast members by using fan stereotypes. The film is therefore an unusual 'fansploitation' picture, depicting fandom both as a training ground for employment and as a compensation for the disabled.
    • Beyond “Obsessive” Collectors and "Screaming" Girls

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Routledge, 2015-11-30)
      This chapter is the concluding piece in the Routledge edited volume, Fan Identities and Practices in Context: Dedicated to Music. It goes beyond stereotypes of music fandom to consider the diversity of the subject, both in terms of generational differences and online convergence.
    • Boris, Brexit or Bust

      Charles, Alec; University of Chester (Political Studies Association / CSJCC, 2016-07)
      An analysis of political blogging in the 2016 referendum campaign.
    • Can the Sound of PWL Records from between 1987 and 1990 be a Powerful Influence on a Successful Record Released Today?

      Mason, Jim; University of Chester (2014)
      From 1987 to 1990, Pete Waterman’s label PWL crafted some of the most identifiable music in the history of pop. This paper aims to examine the operation, history and legacy of one of Britain’s most successful independent labels. David Hesmondhalgh (1999) and others have discussed the complex institutional and aesthetic aspects of independent labels. PWL was never ‘indie’ and it was atypical on both counts. It had an unusual business model and fostered a highly specific working environment. It was also an ‘independent’ that made highly successful, commercial, mainstream product. After 1990, the label seemed to lose its characteristic identity of the previous four years, and this coincided with a reduction in its commercial success. Music critics such as Simon Reynolds (2011) suggest that popular music is now characterised by a culture of nostalgia. The PWL sound of 1987-1990 was hugely commercially successful, yet it has not been successfully revived in the same way that other successful “sounds” have been, as a result of nostalgia culture. Has a lack of a commercially successful revival of the sound been decided by a reputation for producing bland, commercial fare, or have there been other factors at play? Can the label’s “sound” be revived in such a way as to be commercially and culturally relevant in the mid 2010s? The researcher / practitioner attempts to answer the question through creation of a music product. It will be shown through the production and composition work, and industry responses to it, that a commercially-relevant sound can have compositional and production dance music-orientated elements relevant to the mid-2010s yet still unashamedly take influence from the PWL 1987-1990 sound, whilst still taking care to legitimately merely take influence from the style and not infringe copyright.
    • Casting Call: Profondo Rosso and Blow-Up

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Edizioni Il Foglio, 2016-02-20)
      This book chapter examines the way that Dario Argento's film Profondo Rosso contained links to Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow-Up - not least the use of David Hemmings as the lead character.
    • Celebrity: The return of the repressed in fan studies?

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2014-09-28)
      This chapter begins by examining the development of a fan studies mainstream as a process of marginalization of attention to celebrity. It then considers how deductive areas of fan research have also inadequately conceptualized celebrity attachment. Using Gary Boas and Richard Simpkin as examples, the chapter then shows that there are subtle differences between fandom and celebrity following per se. It reaches its climax with a discussion of effervescence: a useful explanatory mechanism from Emile Durkheim’s theory of religion that helps to account for the pleasures of following celebrities. Finally, the chapter contrasts a neo-Durkheimian approach to fandom with some classic and contemporary research on parasocial interaction. I suggest that focusing on fan motivation and affect – perhaps through a refashioning of Durkheim’s work – may help us escape the long shadow of the mass culture critique.
    • Clear red water? Devolved education policy and the Welsh news media audience

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (2012-03-19)
      The long-running debate about the information gap between the Welsh voting public and the processes of devolution tends to revolve around structural, cultural and economic deficiencies in the media. However, there is little empirical evidence for assertions about the effects of these alleged deficiencies on public opinion, which typically argue that an inadequate news media fails to properly inform Welsh residents about the evolution of, and rationale for, devolved policy. The earlier work of Thomas, Jewell and Cushion (2003) examined the public consumption of news about Welsh Assembly elections, finding that ‘very substantial’ proportions of the population consumed little or no news relating to devolved politics. But fewer attempts have been made to examine the ways in which audiences understand specific areas of devolved policy via the media. This article focuses on a key area of devolved decision-making, education, and attempts to quantify that alleged ‘disconnect’ through the use of focus groups in which the parents of children progressing through the foundation stage of a Welsh primary school (a key post-devolution policy difference) are questioned about their understanding of the main issues.
    • “Clubs aren’t like that”: Discos, Deviance and Diegetics in Club Culture Cinema

      Morrison, Simon A.; University of Chester; University of Leeds (Griffith University ePress, 2012)
      This article considers ways in which filmmakers have attempted to address the subject of electronic dance music culture on the big screen. In what ways have directors tried to visually represent EDMC in fictional narratives? And to what extent have they been capable of capturing the recognisable elements of this phenomenon, by expressing its tropes and spirit in a plausible and credible fashion? Is it possible to distil the energy of the dance floor and represent the actions, practices and attitudes of its participants for an arguably passive cinema audience? How, for instance, can a key component of this subcultural terrain—drug consumption—be effectively illustrated through the devices of the movie director? By providing textual analysis of two recent, and similarly titled, North American productions—Ecstasy (dir. Lux 2011) and Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (dir. Rob Heydon 2012)—this account aims to describe, and critique, both the creative approaches and technical devices adopted to solve this artistic problem. With attention to the work of Sarah Thornton, Stan Beeler and Simon Reynolds, this study will also raise questions about authenticity and verisimilitude in an intermediary field in which the dance floor becomes the subject of the non-documentary storyteller and the focus of the camera lens. The article concludes that when a primarily sonic and social medium is re-configured in a visual format, the results, while superficially engaging and entertaining, struggle to capture the charged excitement of the nightclub, the inspirational potency of its soundtrack and, ultimately, the genuine experience of the individual clubgoer.
    • Cornel West, Curtis Mayfield and Fan Activism

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (2015-06-28)
      This conference paper draws on the idea of the 'knowing field' to examine Cornel West's mobilization of black audiences to protest against the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. It argues that West tapped into the values of his hero Curtis Mayfield to pursuade others to make their views known about racial injustice in the public sphere.
    • Counting Down Elvis: His 100 Finest Songs

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018-02-01)
      Counting Down Elvis: His 100 Finest songs is a book length analysis of Elvis Presley's recorded music. It includes discussion of celebrity image, song history, prior versions, music genre, critical evaluation and occasional contextualizing cultural history (1950s to 1970s). The academic popular music historian B. Lee Cooper has reviewed the book for a peer-reviewed academic journal. This is a 'remixed' version of the manuscript in chronological rather than count down order.
    • Daily Mirror exclusive interview with ex-Liverpool and Arsenal footballer, Michael Thomas

      Hassall, Paul; University of Chester (Daily Mirror newspaper, 2014-02-07)
      An article recalling Michael Thomas's infamous goal for Arsenal at Liverpool on the 25th anniversary of his famous last-gasp title-winning strike.
    • Dancefloor-Driven Literature: Subcultural big bangs and a new center for the aesthetic universe

      Morrison, Simon A.; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2016-12-13)
      This paper sets coordinates squarely for Holleran’s ‘aesthetic center of the universe’ –venturing toward the black hole of the nightclub dancefloor. Further, it will reach out to those writers determined to capture the electronic essence of this at times alien electronic dance music culture within the rather more earth-bound parameters of the written word. How might such authors write about something so otherworldly as the nightclub scene? How might they write lucidly and fluidly about the rigid, metronomic beat of electronic music? What literary techniques might they deploy to accurately recount in fixed symbols the drifting, hallucinatory effects of a drug experience? In an attempt to address these questions this paper will offer an outerspace overview of this subculture and its fictional literary output.