Thursday, March 23, 2017

Transgender talk

PhD student Katie Ward was invited to Longbenton High School to give a talk on gender identity to top set year elevens. The talk explored gender identity and part of Katie's research on Membership Categorisation in Transgender Communities. The students took part in activities which got them to think about their own gender identity as well as the difficulties faced by trans people. Students and staff actively participated throughout and asked some interesting and challenging questions.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The sexualisation of fatherhood

In an article published in Social Semiotics, Professor Angela Smith explores recent developments in masculinity, focusing on the sexualisation of fatherhood in Anglophone media. As it becomes socially acceptable for men to engage with “hands-on” fatherhood roles that had previously been primarily associated with motherhood, the appeal lies not just in this shift in gendered performance, but the representation of this as an opportunity for men to reveal a desirable body image. Where previously the hands-on fatherhood role had been glossed as “nappy changing duties,” this more recent development focuses on men’s bodies and in particular the act of carrying a young child which affords the chance for biceps to be flexed in juxtaposition with the gentle act of holding a child. Colloquially, this has led to the emergence of the “DILF,” particularly on social media where sites are devoted to photos of such men.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Timing of menarche in girls adopted from China

Politics senior lecturer Dr Peter Hayes has co-written an article for the journal Child: Care, Health and Development. The authors show how girls adopted internationally from some states have been found to have high rates of early puberty, including early menarche. Explanations for the link between international adoption and early puberty include post-adoption catch-up growth triggering puberty, and under-recorded age.

Hayes, P. and Tan, T.X. (2016) Timing of menarche in girls adopted from China: a cohort study. Child: care, health and development. 42(6): 859-862.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Languages research seminar

Please come along to the next Languages Research Seminar for a talk by Dr. María Alonso Alonso, award winning fiction author, and postdoctoral fellow at the University of St Andrews. Her topic is 'Narco-culture and violence in Latin American literature'. Tuesday 7th March at 5pm in DG313.

Monday, February 27, 2017

New fiction by Sarah Dobbs

Creative writing lecturer Dr Sarah Dobbs has recently published three short stories. 'Burning the Ants' was commissioned for Unthank's collection The End, along with contributors Professor Ailsa Cox and AJ Ashworth, who also attended the Sunderland launch of the collection in the recent Sunderland Literature and Creative Writing Festival. All stories are phrased around images provided by London artist Nicholas Rushton, exploring narrative and emotional responses to the notion of 'the end'. Her other recent short fictions, 'The Imaginary Wife' and 'As Linda was Buying the Flowers' are featured in Unthank's unthology 8 and 9 respectively.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pragmatic stylistics and dramatic dialogue

Dr Susan Mandala (Reader in Pragmatic Stylistics, TESOL) has published a chapter in Dialogue across Media, an edited collection published by John Benjamins (Mildorf and Thomas (eds.) 2017). In her chapter 'Pragmatic stylistics and dramatic dialogue', Susan views dramatic dialogue as a form of exchange that can be read on the page just as legitimately as it can be experienced on stage. Employing a pragmatic stylistic analysis linking the text on the page to her interpretation, she offers a re-reading of Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter. While for Burton (1980) Ben was 'the dominating and superior interactant,' and Gus 'the dominated and inferior one' (70), Susan argues that it is Gus who can be considered the dominating character and shows in the concluding discussion why this recalibration of power is significant for a wider understanding of the play.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Culture research seminar

New approaches to storytelling in the digital age is the subject of the next School of Culture research seminar. From poetry on Instagram to Twitter short stories, moving graphic novels on Vine and seeing who reads your guerrilla stories, social media offers new opportunities to get your prose, poetry and other work in front of new readers. This workshop from Iain Rowe (author of One of Us and the director of the creative writing strand of the Sunderland Literature and Creative Writing Festival) will explore the possibilities and get you creating.

10th February 12 noon, Priestman 115!

This is a free event open to all, but please email to register interest.

Angela Smith's professorial lecture

Angela Smith has recently been promoted to Professor of Language and Culture within the Faculty of Education and Society. Her research interests are in gender, discriminatory practices, media discourses and language in popular culture.  The various contexts of her research range from the home front in the First World War to the pioneering broadcast career of Kate Adie. Angela is interested in the various forms of confrontational language that is found in broadcast media, from Radio 4's Today programme to Top Gear. In her professorial lecture, entitled 'War, Conflict and Sid the Seagull', Professor Smith will also mention Paddington Bear and how he actually links these seemingly distinct themes.  Recently, her research has expanded into a project with other members of the English team at Sunderland to explore the city's literary and cultural history, and this feeds into the City of Culture 2021 bid.  This talk will explore these issues in more detail and will identify the key themes that connect these diverse interests.

Thursday 23 February 2017 6.00pm
Prospect Building, Room 009

This event is free but must be booked. For further details and to register go here.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

School of Culture research seminars

Culture Research Seminar Series 
Faculty of Education and Society

The School of Culture is pleased to announce the new season of research seminars.

All sessions except otherwise stated will be in Reg Vardy 111

10th February 12 noon, Priestman 115: Iain Rowan (Sunderland University) New approaches to storytelling in the digital age

24th February 4pm: Dr. Kevin Yuill (Sunderland University) Rebels against the infinite: Attitudes to suicide in the fin-de-siecle USA

24th March 5-7pm, City Library @ Museum & Winter Gardens: Dr. Mary Talbot (author of The Red Virgin) and Dr. Laura O’Brien (Northumbria University) Revolutionary women: Imagining Louise Michel

7th April 4pm: Dr. Delphine Doucet (Sunderland University) Priestcraft, civil religion and toleration in the early modern period

12th May 4pm:
Dr. James Koranyi (Durham University) Fascist Divisions: a Romanian German "historians' dispute" at the end of the Cold War

9th June 4pm: Dr. David Fallon (Sunderland University) “Can you say I am an old man?”: Sentiment and the Mask of Ageing in Thomas Holcroft’s Duplicity (1781)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mike Pearce joins editorial board of English Today

Dr Mike Pearce has joined the Editorial Board of the prestigious Cambridge University Press journal English Today. The journal provides accessible cutting-edge reports on all aspects of the language, including style, usage, dictionaries, literary language, Plain English, the Internet and language teaching, in terms of British, American and the world’s many other Englishes. Now in its third decade, English Today remains unique in its scope and style.

Friday, January 20, 2017

New book about William Blake

Dr David Fallon's new book on William Blake has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Blake, Myth, and Enlightenment: The Politics of Apotheosis provides compelling new readings of Blake’s poetry and art, including the first sustained account of his visionary paintings of Pitt and Nelson. It focuses on the recurrent motif of apotheosis, both as a figure of political authority to be demystified but also as an image of utopian possibility. It reevaluates Blake’s relationship to Enlightenment thought, myth, religion, and politics, from The French Revolution to Jerusalem and The Laocoön. The book combines careful attention to cultural and historical contexts with close readings of the texts and designs, providing an innovative account of Blake’s creative transformations of Enlightenment, classical, and Christian thought.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Gender in the Newgate Novels

A West View of Newgate by George Shepherd (1784-1862)

PhD student Philippa Abbott has had an article published in the journal Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. In it, she explores the representation of female criminals in 'the Newgate Novels' - a genre of sensationalist fiction popular between the 1820s and 1840s. You can read the article here.


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SURE: Research from the University of Sunderland