• Althusser and contingency

      Pippa, Stefano (Mimesis International, 2019-01-31)
      The concept of contingency plays a central role in Althusser's attempt to recast Marxist philosophy and to free the Marxist conception of history from notions such as teleology, necessity and origin. Drawing on a wealth of published and unpublished material, Stefano Pippa discusses how Althusser's unfaltering commitment to contingency should encourage us to revisit our understanding of his conceptions of structural change, ideology, politics and materialism. As grounded on contingency, Althusser's so-called 'Structural Marxism' originates in fact a 'logic of interruption' and a notion of structurally under-determined becoming; just like his theory of ideology is radically reinterpreted on the basis of his notion of 'overinterpellation'. Though constant, Althusser's relationship with contingency has not been monolithic throughout his career. As observed by Pippa, it is possible to distinguish a 'political' and a 'philosophical' moment in Althusser's late materialism of contingency. Perhaps, as this volume suggests, the problematic coexistence of these two aspects might account for the unstable character of Althusser's late philosophical project.
    • The Last Ship from Broadway to Newcastle: A feminist political musical for the Brexit era

      Browne, Sarah (Intellect, 2018-12-31)
      Sting’s musical, The Last Ship premiered on Broadway in 2014. Four years later, following a series of workshops at Northern Stage, the musical embarked on its UK tour featuring a number of revisions to its narrative and structure. What emerges from the revised production is a narrative, which places women at the centre through affording them agency and allowing them to occupy powerful, liminal spaces. Whilst The Last Ship remains a tale for the working classes, its UK revisions do well to reposition the central role of the women in this community. Through removing principal characters, which previously served to reinforce a patriarchal hierarchy, the fictional women of Wallsend now drive the plot, allowing for The Last Ship to communicate a morality tale, which echoes the ideologies of a feminist, post-Brexit era.
    • Diary of a Well-Maker: a note on crafts as research practice

      Hackney, Fiona; Rana, Mah (Plymouth College of Art, 2018-11-30)
      This paper signals the value of making for well-being as a reflexive research activity. It focuses on a series of short reflective diary entries created by artist and researcher Mah Rana during her daily encounters with people, spaces, places, and things. The entries are personal and incidental, involve memories and snippets of conversation but, crucially, they are all positioned from her perspective as a self-identified ‘well-maker’. Someone, that is, who is alert to the particular values, benefits, qualities, and characteristics of creative making for mental and physical health: who takes note of how these manifest in our everyday lives, often in the quietest of ways.
    • Embracing openness: music technology pedagogy and curricula after the decline of the studio

      Dalgleish, Mat; Bellingham, Matt (Coventry University, 2018-10-25)
    • Demonstrating the SIDSYNTH: an 8-bit synthesizer combining obsolete and open hardware

      Hassell, Rob; Dalgleish, Mat (Coventry University, 2018-10-25)
      After the introduction of programmable sound generator integrated circuits (ICs) in the 8-bit video game hardware of the 1980s, the industry quickly moved on to more sophisticated sound generation methods such as frequency modulation (FM) synthesis and CD-quality audio file playback. Nevertheless, if once largely forgotten, the last decade has seen a significant and sustained revival of interest in the early video game sound technologies, and the rise of a vibrant ‘chiptunes’ community intent on exploring their distinctive musical possibilities. Developed by Rob Hassell between May 2017 and May 2018 as part of the BA (Hons) Music Technology programme at the University of Wolverhampton, SIDsynth is a multi-voice chiptunes synthesizer based around the use of obsolete MOS Technology 6581/8580 Sound Interface Device (SID) chips; a specialised IC originally found in the Commodore 64 computer. Despite the age of the SID chip, the SIDsynth draws heavily on contemporary developments and could arguably not have existed until relatively recently. Online marketplaces enable increasingly scarce and revered second-hand ICs to be sourced from individual sellers worldwide. Dedicated enthusiasts have made crucial but previously rarely accessible technical documentation freely available in online repositories such as SIDmusic and archive6502. Additionally, by using open source and low-cost Arduino microcontrollers to interface otherwise disparate elements (three SID ICs, contemporary computer hardware and a physical user interface), the project has been able to benefit from the Arduino platform’s extensive documentation and community expertise.
    • Dress and textiles network: Heritage and design in the West Midlands

      Hackney, Fiona (MUPI: Museum-University Partnership Initiative, 2018-10-10)
    • Designing a sensibility for sustainable clothing

      Hackney, Fiona; Saunders, Clare; Willett, Joanie; West, Jodie; Hill, Katie (Environmental Audit Committee, 2018-10-10)
    • ‘Seeing’ my beloved: Darsan and the Sikhi perspective

      Takhar, Opinderjit Kaur (Equinox, 2018-09-01)
      Book: Sensual Religion demonstrates the value of paying attention to the senses and materials in lived religion and also leads the way for improved studies of religion as sensuality. Each of the five senses - vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell - will be covered by two chapters, the first historical and the second contemporary. The historical discussions focus on the sensuality of religion in ancient Greece, Samaria, Rome and Byzantium - including reflections on their value for understanding other historical and contemporary contexts. Chapters with a contemporary focus engage with Chinese, African-Brazilian, Sikh, First Nations and Metis, and Spanish Catholic religious lives and activities. Beyond the rich case studies, each chapter offers perspectives and arguments about better ways of approaching lived, material and performative religion - or sensual religion. Historical and ethnographic critical and methodological expertise is presented in ways that will inspire and enable readers to apply, refine and improve on their practice of the study of religions. In particular, our intention is to foreground the senses and sensuality as a critical issue in understanding religion and to radically improve multi- and inter-disciplinary research and teaching about the lived realities of religious people in this sensual world.
    • Marginalising co-operation? A discursive analysis of media reporting on the Co-operative Bank

      Mangan, Anita; Byrne, Aidan (Sage, 2018-07)
      Recently there has been renewed academic interest in co-operatives. In contrast, media accounts of co-operatives are relatively scarce, particularly in the UK, where business reporting usually focuses on capitalist narratives, with alternatives routinely marginalised until a scandal pushes them into the public eye. This paper analyses media coverage of the UK’s Co-operative Bank (2011-15), tracing its transformation from an unremarkable presence on the UK high street to preferred bidder for Lloyds Bank branches, and its subsequent near collapse. The paper charts changes in reporting and media interest in the bank through five discursive frames: member and customer service; standard financial reporting; human interest, personality-driven journalism; the PR machine; and political coverage. Our analysis discusses three points: the politicisation of the story through covert and overt political values; simplification and sensationalism; and media hegemony. We argue that although moments of crisis provide an opening for re-evaluating the dominant reporting model, established frames tend to reassert themselves as a story develops. This produces good copy that reflects the interests of the publishers, but does not extend understanding of co-operative organisations. Thus the paper identifies the role of the media in delegitimising organisations with alternative governance structures, thereby promoting ideological and economic conformity. http://mc.
    • Design Probes for People with Dementia

      Garde, Julia Anne; Van Der Voort, Mascha Cécile; Niedderer, Kristina (Design Research Society, 2018-06-25)
      In order to include persons with dementia in the MinD project actively, design probes were developed to provide insight into their perspectives. We applied probes due to their exploratory character and participation through self-documentation. The aim of this paper is to reflect on the design of the probes in relation to the outcomes as a source of inspiration for designers. More specifically, we investigate the openness and tangibility of the probes, and their content relating to the past, the current or the future. The five participants completed the probes to a large extent. The openness of assignments influenced their completion and the resulting value for empathizing and inspiration for designers: More defined assignments led to more sharing of personal and sensitive information than very open ones. While crafty, tangible assignments were filled in more extensively than less tangible ones, the classical writing assignments resulted more often in more introspective and reflective information from participants. Furthermore, participants filled in assignments about past memories more extensively than those relating to future goals.
    • “This is Father Berrigan Speaking from the Underground”: Daniel Berrigan SJ and the Conception of a Radical Theatre

      Halligan, Benjamin (MIT Press, 2018-05-25)
      The letter “Father Berrigan Speaks to the Actors from Underground” suggests the conception of a radical theatre, intended as a contribution to a cultural front against the US government during a time of the escalation of the war in Vietnam. The letter was prepared further to Berrigan’s dramatization of the trial in which he and fellow anti-war activists were arraigned for their public burning of draft cards in 1968. The play was The Trial of the Catonsville Nine and its production coincided with a period in which Berrigan, declining to submit to imprisonment, continued his ministry while a fugitive.
    • All Work, No Play…: Representations of Child Labour in Films of the First World War

      HOCKENHULL, STELLA (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-21)
      This article analyses the representation of children in short documentary films of the First World War. It suggests that, rather than adopting sentiment which might evoke emotion and mobilise public protest, the films were more pragmatic, aimed at conscripting children for the war effort. Indeed, they deployed a non sentimental approach, instead favouring military order which chimed with the predominating ‘structure of feeling’ of that period. Examining the campaign to encourage children to form part of the workforce and support the patriotic cause, this essay analyses a number of newsreel documentaries within the context of contemporaneous visual culture.
    • Whoever pays the piper calls the tune: Kurt Jooss, Public Subsidy and Private Patronage

      Lidbury, Clare (Edinburgh University Press, 2018-05)
      This article discusses how subsidy and patronage from German municipalities, private individuals, and British organisations supported Kurt Jooss’s artistic output enabling him to create new work, to have high production values, and to present and disseminate his work in Britain, across Europe, the USA and South America. Working chronologically consideration is given to how each sponsor and benefactor impacted on Jooss’s work, particularly his activities as a theatre/opera director and as a choreographer for Baroque operas and oratorios. It is concluded that without such deliberate sponsorship Jooss’s work would have been severely restricted.
    • The Sacred, Heterology and Transparency: Between Bataille and Baudrillard

      Pawlett, William; Wolverhampton University (Sage, 2018-04-19)
      This article re-examines Bataille’s increasingly influential notion of the sacred, with particular emphasis on the left or impure aspects of the sacred and their relationship to social structure or topology. Bataille’s understanding of the ‘sacred nucleus’ of society is examined in detail, particularly his suggestion that society endures only as the hardening of the conduits of sacred and profane around a radically heterogeneous, impure or ‘filthy’ central nucleus. For Bataille the sacred as heterogeneous is necessarily excluded from profane, homogeneous working life, and is internally divided between left and right, or pure and impure aspects. The article then examines the theme of profanation in Bataille’s writing, and the emergence of what he calls ‘post-sacred’ society. Finally, the article turns to Baudrillard’s relationship to Bataille’s work, and, beyond their common indebtedness to Mauss, the author examines the thematic relationship between Bataille’s heterological sacred and Baudrillard’s notions of symbolic exchange, evil and transparency. Baudrillard’s work presents a version of heterology more adapted to the contemporary era of rampant consumerism and virtual technologies, but, as the author argues, it actually departs rather little from Bataille’s position. However, for Baudrillard, profanation generates conditions of hyper-positivity and transparency which reintroduce evil, repulsion and disorder into the social system.
    • Risk-Aversion or Ethical Responsibility? Towards a New Research Ethics Paradigm

      Jacobs, Stephen; Apperley, Alan; University of Wolverhampton; University of Wolverhampton (Equinox, 2018-03-13)
      Ethics seems to be of increasing concern for researchers in Higher Education Institutes and funding bodies demand ever more transparent and robust ethics procedures. While we agree that an ethical approach to fieldwork in religion is critical, we take issue with the approach that ethics committees and reviews adopt in assessing the ethicality of proposed research projects. We identify that the approach to research ethics is informed by consequentialism – the consequences of actions, and Kantianism – the idea of duty. These two ethical paradigms are amenable to the prevailing audit culture of HE. We argue that these ethical paradigms, while might be apposite for bio-medical research, are not appropriate for fieldwork in religion. However, because ethics should be a crucial consideration for all research, it is necessary to identify a different approach to ethical issues arising in ethnographic research. We suggest that a virtue ethics approach – concerned with character – is much more consistent with the situated, relational and ongoing nature of ethnographic research.
    • Animated Images and Animated Objects in the Toy Story Franchise: Reflexively and Intertextually Transgressive Mimesis

      Geal, Robert; University of Wolverhampton, UK (Sage, 2018-03-12)
      This article explores how animation can manipulate a reflexive intertextual framework which relates to religious prohibitions on artistic mimesis that might replicate and threaten God’s creative act. Animated films are most intertextually reflexive, in these terms, when they narrativize the movement of diegetic objects from another medium which also transgresses God’s prohibition: sculpture. In the media of both sculpture and animation, the act of mimesis is transgressive in fundamentally ontological terms, staging the illusion of creation by either replicating the form of living creatures in three-dimensional sculpture, or by giving the impression of animating the inanimate in two-dimensional film. Both media can generate artworks that directly comment on these processes by using narratives about the creative act which not only produce the illusion of life, but which produce diegetically real life itself. Such artworks are intensely reflexive, and engage with one another in an intertextual manner. The article traces this process from the pre-historic and early historic religious, mythic and philosophical meditations which structure ideas about mimetic representations of life, via Classical and Early Modern sculpture, through a radical proto-feminist revision crystallizing around the monstrous consequences of the transgression in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and finally into film and more specifically animation. The article culminates with a relatively detailed account of these processes in the Toy Story franchise, which is a heightened example of how animation can stage a narrative in which ostensibly inanimate sculpted toys move of their own volition, and of how this double form of animation does this reflexively, by ontologically performing the toys’ animating act. The animated films analysed also engage with the transgressive and monstrous consequences of this double form of animation, which derive from the intertextual life of those narratives that challenge God’s prohibition on mimesis.
    • Electric Cherry Blossom

      Harris, Simon J. (Sarah Wiseman Gallery, 2018-03-03)
      'Electric Cherry Blossom' was inspired by a recent visit Simon made to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He is in essence concerned with painting as an act in and of itself, exploring the interplay between the recognisable and abstracted expression. His influences are varied; he cites Van Gogh and Japanese printmaking; Vermeer and Rembrandt; Cinematography. These influences all reference developments in our understanding and preoccupation with pictorial space, and how abstract, apparently empty spaces can carry so much more weight in a painting or an image than we might first realise.