Friday, June 28, 2013

Access to Higher Education award

Research carried out by Maria Dawson which was funded by the Cultural and Regional Studies Beacon has helped the university win the Quality Assurance Agency's 2013 Access to Higher Education Provider of the Year award. Maria's research on students' understanding of the notion of 'employability' informed the development of a ten-credit module called 'Step Up to HE', aimed to ease the transition from Further to Higher education. She will be giving a conference paper entitled ‘Graduate Voice: My Personal Employability Skills Portfolio’ at EDULEARN13 in Barcelona in July 2013.


Katharine Reed (Student Recruitment), Maria Dawson (CAS),
Lesley Griffin (Student Recruitment)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Celtic Gothic conference announcement

The North East Irish Culture Network (NEICN) in association with the Department of Culture at the University of Sunderland presents Celtic Gothic: Degeneration and Regeneration.

James Hogg (1770-1835).  Author of  The 
Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner 

‘There is’ according to Alan Bissett, ‘something/someone/somebody that haunts the fringes of the Scottish imagination…perhaps the whisper of history, pain, feudalism, legend, all or none of these things, but undoubtedly Scotland’s is a fiction haunted by itself, one in a perpetual state of Gothicism.' As numerous scholars have argued, the same applies to Ireland,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why live? The persistence of live tv in a digital age

Dr Angela Smith will be speaking at The Ross Priory Broadcast Talk Research Seminar, which takes place 8th-10th July. Her paper will suggest a reason why there is still ‘live’ tv outside of news and sporting events.  With so much television output pre-recorded, and even more watched online as downloads on iPlayer and other systems, the question arises as to why entertainment programmes continue to be broadcast ‘live’.  This is particularly the case in shows which contain largely unscripted interaction, and thus carry an underlying sense of unpredictability.   Using a case study of the The One Show (BBC1), John Durham Peters’ observation that live broadcasts are akin to gambling (2001: 19) will be drawn on to explore how this is manifest in such shows.   In particular, there is a frequently-made observation that news and sport are broadcast live in part because of their dramatic potential, the notion that viewers can be ‘witnesses’ to an event.  Angela will suggest that in entertainment programmes, this dramatic potential can be linked less to the authenticity and truthfulness of the event, but of the personalities of the presenters.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Spectral Visions II: The Revenge

Following the success of Spectral Visions in 2012, the MA English team present Spectral Visions II: The Revenge, which takes place at the St. Peter's Campus of the University of Sunderland on Friday June 21st 2013.

The keynote speakers are Willy Hughes and John Strachan, from Bath Spa University, and Franklin Bishop (Newstead Abbey). Professor Hughes will be speaking on vampires in Gothic fiction and Professor Strachan will consider Surrealism and Gothic. Franklin Bishop's topic is John Polidori's The Vampyre.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dr Jairus Omuteche

The Department of Culture is pleased to announce that Jairus Omuteche has been awarded a PhD. His thesis, Representations of Home in Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Toni Morrison: (Re) Vision of Identity and Belonging, was supervised by Drs Kath Kerr-Koch (Director of Studies) and Geoff Nash. Jairus began his doctoral studies - which were funded by a studentship from the Cultural and Regional Studies Beacon - in June 2010. His future research will focus on comparative and postcolonial literatures within the nexus of representations of globalization and diasporic identities and belonging. Dr Omuteche will be resuming his lectureship in the Department of Languages and Literature Studies at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kenya.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Kevin Yuill and race in the Americas


Dr Kevin Yuill has given a paper entitled 'Japan, International Relations and the Formation of American Race Relations' at the inaugural meeting of the Race in the Americas (RITA) group in Birmingham. The paper is now being readied for publishing in a refereed journal. Kevin has also secured funding from the Regional Seminar Series Grant Scheme of the Institute for the Study of the Americas (University of London School of Advanced Study) as lead applicant, with Professor Guy Thompson and James Heath of the University of Warwick, for a seminar series in the Midlands and the North of England. The money will be used to bring speakers connected to a study of the Americas to Sunderland and other areas in the north and midlands of England.

Translating cultures

Dr Delphine Doucet (History and Politics) has begun a collaborative project with historians from Newcastle and Northumbria Universities which will provide a window on how key ideas within early modern political and religious thought were received and adapted in the very different political cultures of a range of European regions. Calls for freedom of the press (as in Milton’s Areopagitica) or proposals for a republican form of government (Harrington’s Oceana) had very different resonances in eighteenth-century France or early nineteenth-century Germany from those that they had in their country and century of origin. This affected the translations themselves (which were often cut, embellished and adapted to suit the audience or context), but also the way in which they were received and read. By tracing how individual texts were presented and received in a range of different contexts across both time and space it will be possible to gain a much more accurate sense than is

Friday, June 07, 2013

Leaders' wives

Samantha Cameron in Hello magazine
Dr Angela Smith has co-written an article with Dr Michael Higgins (University of Strathclyde) for a special edition of the Journal of Political Marketing on the theme of the 2010 General Election.  In spite of a record number of female parliamentary candidates, the 2010 general election campaign became notable for the intensity of coverage given to the female spouses of the three main party leaders. This study finds that this resulted from a combination of party communication strategy, established media discourses, and the agency and visibility of the wives themselves. First, Labour and the Conservatives were the most prominent in integrating their leaders' wives into their campaigns, often to counter the less

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Ian Ground reviews new work on Wittgenstein

Portrait of Ludwig Wittgenstein by Ben Richards

A review by Dr Ian Ground (NECLL) of two recent books about Ludwig Wittgenstein (Paul Horwich's Wittgenstein’s Metaphilosophy, and Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Mind edited by Jonathan Ellis and Daniel Guevara) has appeared in this week's Times Literary Supplement.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Language of Journalism

The Language of Journalism: A Multi-Genre Perspective by Dr Angela Smith (English) and Dr Michael Higgins (University of Strathclyde) has just been published by Bloomsbury. It is an accessible, wide-ranging introductory textbook which explores the significance of a range of linguistic practices occurring in journalism, and demonstrates and facilitates the use of analysis in aiding professional journalistic and media practice. The book introduces the differences in language conventions that develop across media platforms and covers the key journalistic mediums available today, including sport, online and citizen journalism alongside the more standard chapters on magazine, newspaper and broadcast journalism.

'A disgrace to the name of woman'

Dr Angela Smith will be speaking to Houghton-le-Spring Women's Institute on Thursday 6th June at 2.30pm in the Kepier Hall. The talk, entitled 'A disgrace to the name of woman: the surveillance of British widows of the First World War' focuses on the ways in which social welfare relating to widows developed in Britain in the early 20th century.  Looking in particular at the war widows’ pension scheme, the paper shows how its implementation involved the development of State-sanctioned surveillance and parsimony that continues to this day. Angela is the author of the recently published Discourses Surrounding British Widows of the First World War (Bloomsbury, 2012).

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

New Suffragettes


To coincide with the one hundredth anniversary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison, who died from injuries sustained when she was trampled by a horse in a political protest at the 1913 Epsom Derby, Drs Angela Smith and Claire Nally (Northumbria University) have written this post on the I.B Tauris blog. They argue that  the legacy of the Suffragettes lives on as modern day feminists continue to use the female body to confront depoliticization.

Angela and Claire are series editors of the I.B. Tauris International Library of Gender in Popular Culture.

Angela is also helping Beamish Museum with their activities to mark the centenary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison. She is taking part in the restaging of Suffragette demonstrations throughout June, including the 1911 Common Cause poster march in Newcastle (8th June) and a weekend of women's suffrage-related events at Beamish 28-30th June.

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