Recent Submissions

  • 'Make sure you don’t murder your coffee!’ Comedy and violence in the poetry of Luke Kennard

    McDonald, Paul (Sorbonne University Press, 2017-03-30)
    This paper discusses the relationship between comedy, violence, and postmodernism in the work of the British poet, Luke Kennard. It has been argued that British poets of the twentieth century have an ambivalent relationship with postmodernism because, while they accept that certainty is elusive, they refuse to ignore meaning and value, and their writing frequently exhibits “an ethical demand.” I claim that this can also be said of Kennard’s twenty first century postmodernist writing. In an analysis of his popular poem, ‘The Murderer,’ I show that what initially seems to be a typically postmodern, morally disengaged treatment of violence, also employs characteristics associated with traditional comedy, and the combination of the two modes of humour creates a space in which values can be reclaimed.
  • Health in the digital era: searching health information online

    Mitu, B; Marinescu, Valentina; Mitu, Bianca (Routledge, 2016-01-01)
    This chapter examines a demanding and rather sensitive topic, specifically the search of health information online. Based on the work of Lustria, Smith and Hinnant who analyse the search of health information online in the United States (US). It reports on a survey conducted from May to July 2015 in the United Kingdom (UK). The chapter investigates the use of web-based technologies for seeking health information and personal health information management in the UK. It helps to understand health literacy' as the ability of people to read and understand health information at large, and to recognize reliable information online, evaluate it and use it to make informed healthcare choices or decisions. It uses Neter and Brainin's theory in measuring people's level of eHealth literacy. The chapter measures eHealth literacy; online health information search strategies, as well as health information sources and evaluation criteria used by consumers.
  • Making the headlines: EU Immigration to the UK and the wave of new racism after Brexit

    Fox, Bianca; Balica, Ecaterina; Marinescu, Valentina (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-10-24)
    This chapter explores the immigration-related topics in the news media during the EU referendum campaign in the UK (April–June 2016) and after (July–September 2016). The chapter argues that attitudes anti-EU immigration are a wave of “new(s)” racism (van Dijk 2000) in the UK and EU immigration is frequently used as an umbrella term for Eastern European immigration being often mixed with non-EU immigration and the refugee crisis. The data shows that the prevalence of negative news stories has led to a distinctive immigration-narrative, confirming the claim of Hoffner and Cohen (2013) that members of minority groups are almost always associated with violent and threatening media content.
  • Loneliness and social media: A qualitative investigation of young people's motivations for use and perceptions of social networking sites

    Fox, Bianca; Fox, Bianca (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020-01-01)
    The democratisation of Internet access has incrementally changed every domain of activity and has created new business and economic models. From answering work emails to learning a new language, shopping, booking medical appointments or managing one’s finances, almost everything is attainable at the click of a button. The added implications of the rapid rise of social networking websites (SNSs), such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, have further contributed to changing the way we communicate and build new friendships. Indeed most of our social relationships are now being ‘increasingly developed and maintained online’ (Nowland, Necka & Cacioppo, 2017: 1). Ostensibly, despite improved Internet access and enhanced social connectedness, modern societies are struggling to combat loneliness. It is reported to affect people of all ages, especially young adults (16-24 and 25-34 years old) who are avid Internet and social media users (see Office for National Statistics, 2018).
  • Tales of migration from the global south. The civilized and uncivilized migrant in the narratives of La Tercera and El Mercurio

    Urbina, Maria L; Balica, E.; Marinescu, V. (Springer International Publishing, 2018-10-24)
    Migration is not a new phenomenon in Chile as the country has long seen migrants coming from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Colonial views about race and ethnicity adopted by Latin Americans as part of their class structure (Quijano 2000) established an early differentiation between the “civilized migrant” and the “uncivilized migrant” among groups that arrived on Latin America shores. Chilean news media has echoes of this binary vision between the “civilized = good” migrant and the “uncivilized = bad” migrant. The chapter aims to uncover the narratives of the civilized and uncivilized migrant within the printed news media, particularly in the two major newspapers El Mercurio and La Tercera, by focusing on how these ideas frame the way in which they cover migration.
  • Talking textiles, making value: Catalysing fashion, dress, and textiles heritage in the Midlands

    Hackney, Fiona; Bloodworth, Jo; Baines, Emily; Howard, Catherine; Anderson, Claire (Taylor & Francis, 2019-12-31)
    There are hundreds of small museums, archives, and collections in the English Midlands, United Kingdom (UK), many of which are the legacy of the region’s rich industrial heritage. A surprising number of these include dress and textiles in various forms, from the costume collection of Charles Paget-Wade at Berrington Hall (Leominster) to intricately stitched smocks made by local needlewomen in Herefordshire, and the wealth of manufacturers’ samples that comprise the silk ribbon trade archive at the Herbert Museum, Coventry. These are challenging times for many such organisations as they face cutbacks in staff and local authority funding. Yet they offer a unique and largely unexploited resource for staff, students, and researchers in art and design higher education (HE), not only for primary research but also as a catalyst for design innovation. The discussion here, which takes the format of group research practitioner interview, builds on a Knowledge Exchange event that was held December 2017 at the Fashion Lab, University of Wolverhampton (UoW). The event brought together a diverse group of fashion and textiles professionals to talk, exchange ideas, take part in object handling sessions, mind-map, and brain-storm how to catalyse connections between heritage collections and higher education and build value. With seed funding from the Museum-University Partnership Initiative (MUPI) (see National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement - NCCPE 2019), the day built on a series of scoping visits to collections in the region undertaken by Professor Fiona Hackney and Dr Emily Baines. The group involved staff, students and museum professionals including those from UoW, De Montfort University (DMU), Hereford College of Arts (HCA), Nottingham Trent University (NTU), artist Ruth Singer who leads the Arts Council-funded Criminal Quilts project in association with Staffordshire Record Office (Singer 2019), and representatives from Herefordshire Museum Service, the Herbert Gallery (Coventry), Walsall Museums Service, the Lace Guild Stourbridge, and Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. The following conversation reflects themes that emerged in the project including: the need to embed archival work and primary research in fashion and textiles curricula at all levels, the development of hubs to connect university research with museum practice, the added value of artist-led projects, and the significance of place-based textiles heritage as a catalyst for new business and sustainable design practice.
  • Caste in Britain: Experts' Seminar and Stakeholders' Workshop

    Dhanda, Meena; Mosse, David; Waughray, Annapurna; Keane, David; Green, Roger; Iafrati, Stephen; Mundy, Jessica Kate (Equality and Human Rights Commission, U.K., 2014-04-01)
    Background and methodology In April 2013, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act was enacted. Section 97 of the Act requires government to introduce a statutory prohibition of caste discrimination into British equality law by making caste an aspect of the protected characteristic of race in the Equality Act 2010. In the context of this direction, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) contracted a team of academics drawn from different research institutions to carry out an independent study on caste in Britain. Alongside a detailed review of socio-legal research on this issue (Dhanda et al, 2014a), the project involved two events: an experts' seminar and a stakeholders' workshop reported on here (Dhanda et al, 2014b). The experts' seminar was aimed at experts on caste and discrimination from law and the social sciences, while the workshop brought together stakeholder groups including representatives from community and faith organisations, employers and service providers. The aims of both events were: • to bring together interdisciplinary expertise and a range of stakeholder views on caste, and discrimination on the basis of caste, in the UK; • to explore views on UK and international law in relation to caste; and • to identify concerns and find common ground in relation to the implementation of the amended equalities law when it includes caste as an aspect of race. Both events addressed three specific questions: how caste should be defined in the Equality Act 2010; what Exceptions and Exclusions for caste should be placed in the Equality Act 2010; and how caste should be related to the Public Sector Equality Duty.
  • 'Made to think and forced to feel': The power of counter-ritual

    Dhanda, Meena; Rathore, Aakash Singh (Oxford University Press, 2020-04-14)
    Dr Ambedkar argued that habitual conduct with the backing of religion is not easy to change and that salvation will come only if the caste Hindu is ‘made to think and is forced to feel that he must alter his ways’. He meant that the casteist conduct of the ‘caste Hindu’ is hard to change because it springs from an ingrained habit of mind. The impetus to change ways can come from unexpected contingencies: impersonal political junctures, very personal histories, inter-personal challenges, intra-group skirmishes, a whole network of factors that brings the habitual conduct of caste up for scrutiny. This mix of factors is quite complicated in the U.K. where I am located as a researcher and academic, regularly engaging with the public. We need to think through the means of defiance against systematic oppression and stigmatisation of people on the basis of caste. In this paper I will reflect upon whether caste might be disrupted in its everyday reproduction through the use of counter-rituals.
  • “I’m Gonna Shake and Shimmy” or may be not: choreographing Hairspray–a practice as research project

    Lidbury, C (Informa UK Limited, 2019-06-03)
    © 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Using practice as research as my methodology I examine whether it is possible to choreograph Hairspray - the Musical while staying true to the movement principles developed by Kurt Jooss and Sigurd Leeder in the Jooss-Leeder Method. In discussing the process and the product I explore also the difficulties in choreographing for, and teaching the dances to, a cast of 15–18-year-olds in a school where there is no dance in the curriculum at this level. I conclude that selected Jooss-Leeder movement principles provide a useful framework for choreographing the musical numbers, that Leeder’s organic teaching process is effective for these novice dancers and that a lack of dance experience does not preclude a successful production.
  • #Vaccineswork: Recontextualizing the content of epidemiological reports on Twitter

    Orpin, Deborah; Luzon, Maria Jose; Perez Llantada, Carmen (John Benjamins, 2019-12-15)
    This study examines the ways in which information originating in epidemiological reports is recontextualized in the @ECDC_VPD account, the Twitter account of a European health agency. Using a corpus-assisted discourse analytical approach complemented with multimodal analysis, this study compares the strategies used to achieve proximity (Hyland 2010) in the space-constrained genre of Twitter with those used in the source texts. The study finds that the macro-structural properties of the @ECDC_VPD tweets have become more complex over time and the use of images to enhance meaning-making has increased. The drive to present claims as newsworthy, coupled with the 140/280-character constraint, results in the tweets containing greater relative use of stance markers and lower use of epistemic modals than is observed in the source texts. The @ECDC_VPD tweets display a greater range of engagement strategies than is seen in the source texts.
  • Certain allegiances, uncertain identities: the fraught struggles of Dalits in Britain

    Dhanda, Meena; Dwivedi, Om Prakash (Rodopi/Brill, 2014-01-01)
    Research brought me to Britain twenty-five years ago and I stayed to make a living as an academic in a University. The complex example of the identity of a ‘dalit’ was at the centre of my philosophical investigations to explicate the concept of personal identity. After a gap of few years devoted mainly to teaching, I returned to researching the situation of Punjabi dalits. In the many conversations I’ve had with dalits in the Midlands, in the stories I have heard from them, in the ordinary and celebratory events I have participated in during the last five years, I have tried to understand the experience of caste prejudice and identify the specific forms of dalit standpoints against casteism. Am I well-placed to capture these forms?
  • “Let me be part of the narrative” – The Schuyler Sisters ‘almost’ feminist?

    Chandler, Clare (Taylor & Francis, 2018-10-11)
    Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical (Hamilton) (2015) has tapped into the current cultural moment, lauded as the ‘saviour of Broadway’.1 The show’s unique tour de force is the use of hip-hop to convey the story, reigniting the genre and attracting a new musical theatre audience. This musical idiom combined with Hamilton’s colour conscious casting has allowed Miranda to create ‘the story of America then told by America now’2 exposing to critical view the whitewashing of history and the more questionable legacies of the Founding Fathers of America. The show is inescapable, dominating social media through its innovative #Ham4Ham and #Hamildrop initiatives.3 Television shows are even cashing in on Hamilton’s cultural currency with references to the show appearing in Brooklyn Nine Nine, Grey’s Anatomy, and Gilmore Girls (amongst others) as well as talk shows such as The Late Show. With so much exposure it is hard not to get swept up in the hype surrounding the musical.
  • Integration and disintegration in Next to Normal

    Chandler, Clare (Musical Theatre Educators Alliance, 2019-01-31)
    Romance and romantic entanglements are the fuel of traditional musical theatre, fusing words and music (Engel and Kissel 113) to create entertaining and successful shows with happy endings. Frequently, these happy romantic resolutions reinforce gender hierarchies and heteronormative stereotypes: "Women wait for love, men bring it" (Barnes 51). Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s 2009 musical Next to Normal, in subverting the audience's expectations both for a "normal" heroine and a happy ending, deviates from the conventions of musical theatre and provides an interesting case study of accepted notions of the traditional, integrated musical.
  • World’s end: punk films from London and New York, 1977-1984

    Halligan, Benjamin; McKay, George; Arnold, Gina (Oxford University Press, 2019-11-01)
    Saturday Night Fever (John Badham, 1977) concludes with the protagonist, seemingly weary of the company of his delinquent friends (given over to gang violence and gang rape, and in the wake of the needless death of the youngest and most disorientated), finding a moment of peace in the apartment of his previously unenthused girlfriend. They have reconciled, a future together has begun, and “How Deep is Your Love” by the Bee Gees – a major international chart hit of 1977 – plays over the closing credits. The couple’s connection was initially based on shared disco dancing abilities, and their get-togethers on the dance floor and in the dance studio have offered the opportunity of an escape for each. For Tony Manero (John Travolta), the escape is from his underpaid blue-collar job and suffocating family tensions – where his life at home, as a second-generation Italian immigrant, seems like stepping back into the old country for family meals, in sharp contrast to the grooming he devotes to his appearance, upstairs in his bedroom. Once outside, the very streets of New York seem to have been recast as a dance floor – via mobile shots of Travolta’s feet, pacing with a cocksure swagger to the beat of the Bee Gees soundtrack. For Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney), the escape is from more obscure forms of patriarchal exploitation, enacted via her aspirations to a glamourous and independent life, which can be read as calibrated to an imagining of the nightclub Studio 54 (which opened in 1977), not least in her celebrity name-dropping and initial distaste for her uncultured suitor. The final shot of Saturday Night Fever frames the couple in her apartment: polished wooden floors, exposed brick walls, a healthy rubber plant, an acoustic guitar resting against a sofa, and a window ledge looking out across Manhattan – a much more desirable locale than the film’s initial setting of Tony’s Brooklyn (see Figure 1). In short, to return to “How Deep is Your Love”, the couple have realised that they were “living in a world of fools / breaking us down when they all should let us be / [since] we belong to you and me”, and enshrine this shared sentiment in domestication. The New York of 1977 has tested them and their success in meeting this test has allowed them to take a synchronised step forward, and establish themselves on an upwardly mobile trajectory.
  • Supernatural surveillance and blood-borne disease in Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Reflections on mesmerism and HIV

    Pheasant-Kelly, Frances (Intellect Publishers, 2019-12-31)
    While the relationship between surveillance and/or voyeuristic viewing, control and horror is central to certain horror productions, including Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960), My Little Eye (Evans, 2002) and District 9 (Blomkamp, 2009), it is less obvious in the vampire film. However, the vampiric gaze exerts a more immediate and absolute form of power, causing its victims to fall prey to inevitable death and an extended afterlife. Although all vampire films tend to exploit these mesmeric aspects of Victorian culture, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), directed by Frances Ford Coppola, progresses the notion of ‘supernatural surveillance’. Coppola uses numerous creative visual techniques to accentuate the attention to eyes, notably in scenes that are linked to sexual desire and promiscuity. If the original novel implicitly reflected contemporaneous fears of venereal infection, namely syphilis, then Coppola’s film is preoccupied with AIDS. This article argues that the film’s attention to eyes and the gaze not only reflects the mesmerism associated with Victorian culture but also resonates with new forms of sociocultural watchfulness emerging in the AIDS era of the twentieth century.
  • A sympathy with sounds: Ray Bradbury and BBC Radio, 1951-1970

    Nichols, Phil (Intellect, 2007-10-17)
    The American writer Ray Bradbury has a long association with BBC radio. His works have been dramatised many times, often by others, but occasionally by himself. Drawing on research in the BBC Written Archives, this paper gives an account of Bradbury's treatment by the BBC, focusing on the period 1951–1970, and shows how a key work (the little known Leviathan 99) unites much of Bradbury's canon.
  • Echoes across a half century: Ray Bradbury's Leviathan '99

    Nichols, Philip; Morrissey, Thomas J; De Los Santos, Oscar (Fine Tooth Press, 2007-08-21)
    What happens when an SF writer branches out of the genre and collides with a nineteenth-century precursor? When Ray Bradbury was commissioned, fifty years ago, to write a screenplay based on Moby Dick, the power of that collision created reverberations through the remainder of Bradbury's career. His experience in crafting a streamlined narrative from Melville's discursive novel was to affect his approach to dramatization of his own stories. His experience in Ireland working on the screenplay would provide material for countless Irish stories, plays and a novel (Green Shadows, White Whale). Bradbury's fascination with Melville saw his continued development, from the early 1960s, of Leviathan '99. Glibly describable as “Moby-Dick in space”, Leviathan ‘99 has appeared as a radio play, stage play, opera, and finally a novel, a late-career return to the genre which brought Bradbury early success. This paper gives an account of Bradbury's original radio version of Leviathan 99 (BBC, 1968). It relates the play's development to Bradbury's experiences working with John Huston on Moby Dick in the 1950s, traces some of the ripples from that experience through other of Bradbury's work, and characterizes the intertextuality of Leviathan ‘99 as typical of Bradbury’s approach.
  • Thermogenic capacity of human white-fat: the actual picture

    Dinas, Petros C; Krase, Argyro; Nintou, Eleni; Georgakopoulos, Alexandros; Granzotto, Marnie; Metaxas, Marinos; Karachaliou, Eleni; Rossato, Marco; Vettor, Roberto; Georgoulias, Panagiotis; et al. (MDPI AG, 2019-08-29)
    Cold exposure and exercise may increase thermogenic capacity of white adipose tissue (WAT), which could subsequently enhance energy expenditure and body weight loss. We aimed to identify possible alterations in uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)—the main biomarker of thermogenic activation—in human WAT due to both cold exposure and exercise, as well as the link between environmental temperature and thermogenic capacity of human WAT. MATERIAL & METHOD: We conducted four human experimental studies and two systematic reviews and meta-analyses—PROSPERO registration CRD42019120116, CRD42019120213. RESULTS: UCP1 mRNA was higher in winter than in summer [t(30) = 2.232, p = 0.03] in human WAT and our meta-analysis showed a main effect of cold exposure on human UCP1 mRNA [standard mean difference (Std-md) = 1.81, confidence interval (CI) = 0.50–3.13, p = 0.007]. However, UCP1 mRNA/protein expressions displayed no associations with %fat mass or BMI (p > 0.05, Cohen’s f2 < 0.20). Both a 2-hour cooling and a non-cooling protocol preceding the positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) measurements revealed no association between environmental temperature and standardised uptake value (SUVmax) of human WAT, as well as no mean differences in SUVmax-WAT-activity between winter and summer. An 8-week exercise program had no effect on UCP1 of human WAT or on body composition. Our meta-analysis also revealed: (a) no effect of chronic exercise on human UCP1 mRNA, (b) a main effect of chronic exercise on UCP1 protein concentrations (Std-md = 0.59, CI = 0.03–1.16, p = 0.04) and UCP1 mRNA (Std-md = 1.76, CI = 0.48–3.04, p = 0.007) in WAT of normal diet animals, c) a main effect of chronic exercise on UCP1 mRNA (Std-md = 2.94, CI = 0.24–5.65, p = 0.03) and UCP1 protein concentrations (Std-md = 2.06, CI = 0.07–4.05, p = 0.04) of high-fat diet animals. CONCLUSIONS: Cold exposure represents a main stimulus for increased thermogenic capacity in human white adipocytes; however, this may have no impact on body weight loss. Chronic exercise may represent no major stimulus for UCP1 induced in human white adipocytes, while in animals it increases UCP1 gene independently of their diet. Therefore, evidence from animal studies regarding UCP1 gene activation in white adipocytes may not be applicable in humans. Finally, the identification of human WAT thermogenic capacity via PET/CT examination may be optimal with both a cooling and a non-cooling protocol.
  • Physical activity awareness and preferences in rheumatic diseases: a qualitative study

    Vitalis, P; Kouvelas, D; Kousouri, N; Lahart, I; Koutedakis, Y; Kitas, G; Metsios, G (BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and European League Against Rheumatism, 2018-06-12)
    Background: Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death (1) and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Patients with rheumatic diseases (RDs), especially rheumatoid arthritis (RA), report low cardiorespiratory fitness levels (2), placing them at an increased risk of premature mortality and CVD.
  • Enhanced erythrocyte antioxidant status following an 8-week aerobic exercise training program in heavy drinkers

    Georgakouli, K; Manthou, E; Fatouros, IG; Georgoulias, P; Deli, CK; Koutedakis, Y; Theodorakis, Y; Jamurtas, AZ; Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Karies, Trikala 42100, Greece; Institute of Human Performance and Rehabilitation, Centre for Research and Technology - Thessaly (CERETETH), Karies, Trikala 42100, Greece. Electronic address: kgeorgakouli@gmail.com. (Elsevier BV, 2017-12-02)
    © 2017 Elsevier Inc. Alcohol-induced oxidative stress is involved in the development and progression of various pathological conditions and diseases. On the other hand, exercise training has been shown to improve redox status, thus attenuating oxidative stress-associated disease processes. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of an exercise training program that has been previously reported to decrease alcohol consumption on blood redox status in heavy drinkers. In a non-randomized within-subject design, 11 sedentary, heavily drinking men (age: 30.3 ± 3.5 years; BMI: 28.4 ± 0.86 kg/m2) participated first in a control condition for 4 weeks, and then in an intervention where they completed an 8-week supervised aerobic training program of moderate intensity (50–60% of the heart rate reserve). Blood samples were collected in the control condition (pre-, post-control) as well as before, during (week 4 of the training program), and after intervention (week 8 of the training program). Samples were analyzed for total antioxidant capacity (TAC), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), protein carbonyls (PC), uric acid (UA), bilirubin, reduced glutathione (GSH), and catalase activity. No significant change in indices of redox status in the pre- and post-control was observed. Catalase activity increased (p < 0.05) after 8 weeks of intervention compared to week 4. GSH increased (p < 0.05) after 8 weeks of intervention compared to the control condition and to week 4 of intervention. TAC, UA, bilirubin, TBARS, and PC did not significantly change at any time point. Moreover, concentrations of GSH, TBARS, and catalase activity negatively correlated with alcohol consumption. In conclusion, an 8-week aerobic training program enhanced erythrocyte antioxidant status in heavy drinkers, indicating that aerobic training may attenuate pathological processes caused by alcohol-induced oxidative stress.

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