Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ian Ground and Ralf Russow at the UALL conference

Two staff members of the North East Centre for Lifelong Learning (NECLL) have given papers at the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) Annual Conference, held at the University of Durham on the 20th-22nd March 2013. The theme of the conference was 'Who and what are universities for? Local communities, global competitiveness and the part-time student'.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bodin's Colloquium of the Seven

'Colloquium of the Seven', Staastsbibliothek
zu Berlin
Dr Delphine Doucet (History and Politics) has published an article in the journal History of European Ideas called 'Questioning authorities: scepticism and anti-Christian arguments in the Colloquium Heptaplomeres'. Jean Bodin's Colloquium Heptaplomeres is one of the most important clandestine manuscripts of the early modern period. Presented as a fascinating dialogue between seven different religions it tackles some of the main debates of the early modern era. It has long been recognised as a key text promoting toleration. However, a close reading of the text and a focus on the way in which it used and debated written authorities (from ancient literature to the Scriptures) directs us toward another crucial issue of the period. Indeed, it challenges and questions received authorities by making use of the dialogue form to question each in turn. Each character relies on the likes of Aristotle, Augustine or the Bible to support their views only to see them challenged by the others through the use of counter interpretations or other authorities. This leads to seeing the text as fundamentally embedded in the sceptical arguments developing at the time, as noted by early modern readers who voiced their concerns about the way in which this text led to doubt, rather than about the potential toleration it promoted.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Naked Exhibitionism

A collection of essays by a diverse range of scholars about what it means to be naked in public has been edited by Drs Angela Smith (English) and Claire Nally (Northumbria University). The essays in Naked Exhibitionism: Gendered Performance and Public Exposure (I.B. Tauris, 2013) examine various cultural phenomena from a variety of perspectives to explore the evolution of female exhibitionism from criminal taboo to prime-time entertainment. The volume includes a chapter by Angela entitled 'From girl power to lady power?: postfeminism and Ladette to Lady'. To coincide with the publication of the book, Angela and Claire have written this post on the I.B Tauris blog about the Ukrainian feminist protest group FEMEN.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Marjan Shokouhi reviews Foster on Yeats

W.B. Yeats by George Beresford (1911)
© National Portrait Gallery, London
PhD student Marjan Shokouhi has published a review of R.F. Foster's Words Alone: Yeats and his Inheritances in the journal Irish Studies Review. Marjan, whose research on Irish poetry and ecocriticism is supervised by Drs Alison Younger and Alex Pheby (English), is also on the organizing committee of 'New Crops, Old Fields: (Re)Imagining Irish Folklore', an interdisciplinary conference to be held at Queen's University Belfast in September 2013.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

William Gibson, cyberpunk and the X-Files

Dr Bronwen Calvert (NECLL) has published 'William Gibson's 'cyberpunk' X-Files' in the journal Science Fiction Film & Television. Bronwen argues that central to the two episodes of the X-Files written by William Gibson is the dramatisation of embodied connections with technology and virtuality. These episodes may be seen as a simple transfer of elements of cyberpunk fiction to a television format. However, the emphasis on virtual realities and on explorations of gender destabilisation allows Gibson’s use of cyberpunk tropes to resonate with the X-Files’ narrative space and invigorate some of its overarching themes.

English Research Seminar

'We are Making a New World'
Paul Nash, 1918
Dr Ann-Marie Einhaus from Northumbria University will be speaking about 'Reading and teaching the First World War' at the English Research Seminar on Wednesday 20th March. The talk takes place in Priestman 215 at 5pm and all are welcome.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Kevin Yuill on assisted suicide

Dr Kevin Yuill (History and Politics) has published a monograph entitled Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). The book presents an up-to-date analysis of the direction discussion is taking, showing that atheists, libertarians, those favouring abortion rights and stem-cell research should stand beside their religious compatriots in opposing legalization of assisted suicide. Kevin shows that the real issue behind the debate is not euthanasia but suicide. Rather than focusing on tragic cases, he indicates the real damage that will be done if we affirm the suicidal wishes of even a small segment of the population. Analyzing the movement for the right to die in historical terms, Kevin shows that, though many proponents of a change in the law believe they are rationalist heirs of such thinkers as John Stuart Mill, legalizing assisted suicide will reduce privacy and freedom. Finally, Kevin suggests a radical alternative to legalization of assisted suicide that would embrace both the cause of freedom and the anxieties of many about securing good deaths.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Angela Smith and 'Victory Babies'

Dr Angela Smith has been invited to give a paper at 'Approaching War: Europe', a conference to be held on the 16th-17th March at Newcastle University. Her talk is entitled 'Victory Babies: the state and the child in the First World War'.

David Fallon on literary sociability

Dr David Fallon has been invited by the North East Forum in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies to give a talk at the Culture Lab at Newcastle University, which will take place at 3pm on Friday 8th March. His paper is entitled 'Shelley, Peacock, and the Hookhams: the bookshop as a space of literary sociability'.

Helen Graham in the History Lab

On Thursday 7th March Professor Helen Graham (Royal Holloway, University of London) will be speaking on 'The past that will not pass away? Francoism and present-day Spain’s ‘memory wars’ in national and international context'. The talk starts at 5pm in Priestman 102. All staff and students are welcome.

EFL in Libya

Source: EarthSnapshot
Fathi Agill, a PhD student in TESOL, will be leading a research seminar on Thursday 7th March entitled 'Leapfrogging to the future via technology in Libyan higher education: changing EFL teachers' practices'. The talk, which takes place in David Goldman 310 from 4-5.30pm is open to all.


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SURE: Research from the University of Sunderland