Recent Submissions

  • The origins of transmedia storytelling in early twentieth century adaptation

    Weedon, Alexis; University of Bedfordshire (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021-06-19)
    This book explores the significance of professional writers and their role in developing British storytelling in the 1920s and 1930s, and their influence on the poetics of today’s transmedia storytelling. Modern techniques can be traced back to the early twentieth century when film, radio and television provided professional writers with new formats and revenue streams for their fiction. The book explores the contribution of four British authors, household names in their day, who adapted work for film, television and radio. Although celebrities between the wars, Clemence Dane, G.B. Stern, Hugh Walpole and A.E.W Mason have fallen from view. The popular playwright Dane, witty novelist Stern and raconteur Walpole have been marginalised for being German, Jewish, female or gay and Mason’s contribution to film has been overlooked also. It argues that these and other vocational authors should be reassessed for their contribution to new media forms of storytelling. The book makes a significant contribution in the fields of media studies, adaptation studies, and the literary middlebrow.
  • Islamism in Egypt

    Mellor, Noha (Taylor and Francis, 2021-03-31)
    Focusing on Islamism in Egypt, this chapter argues that although the state can exercise the power of coercion, it has had to negotiate some of its power with religious groups and institutions, including al-Azhar, Salafists, and the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood. The chapter discusses the power dynamics among the various Islamic institutions and groups in Egypt, as well as the relationship between those actors and other religious minorities. The chapter concludes that the successive Egyptian governments have sought to tighten their grip on the religious sphere to curb the power of religious institutions while allowing them to substitute for the state’s welfare programs.
  • Book review: Paul Crosthwaite, The market logics of contemporary fiction, Cambridge studies in twenty-first century literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. xi 306pp ISBN 978-1-108-49956-9 (Hbk)

    Weedon, Alexis (2021-03-15)
    New Economic Criticism has worked across the disciplinary boundaries of literary and cultural history and postmodern economics. Crosthwaite cites as a starting point of this book Pierre Bourdieu’s criticism of neoliberalism as a programme aimed at removing all structures which get in the way of market logics – that is the commercial forces which drive sales. He sets this against Modernist aesthetic isolationism and pitches Frederic Jameson’s argument that the independent cultural sphere preserved by Modernism was over thrown by the invasive commercialism which pervades Postmodernism. His argument is that the literary sphere has been invaded by financialisation and fiduciary exchangeability which leads us to trust imaginary things from paper money to hedge funds and suspend out disbelief. From this position he presents his reading of the economic storylines in fiction, and the book trades’ constructs of price-points, genres, formats, agreements, prizes, and the performative stances of authors who interrogate the market economics of their fiction.
  • Stereotyping

    Weedon, Alexis (Princeton University Press, 2021-03-31)
    Expert contribution on stereotyping as a printing and distribution technology in the Princeton University Press reference book.
  • Theatre practices and meta-narratives: a reading of the illustrated gestures in the Chludov Psalter

    Poesio, Giannandrea (Centro Italiano di Studi sull'Alto Medioevo, 2019-12-31)
  • Post-truth, post-press, post-Europe: Euroscepticism and the crisis of political communication

    Rowinski, Paul (Palgrave, 2020-09-20)
    This book explores whether a beleaguered press in recent years has been developing an emotive, Eurosceptic post-truth rhetoric of its own – competing for attention with populist politicians. These politicians now by-pass the media, talking directly to their publics in blogs, on Twitter and Facebook. In the post-truth age, objective facts are less influential in shaping opinion than appeals to emotion. Audiences congregate around views they share and want to believe. The author presents a critical discourse analysis of the language used by populist politicians online, on Facebook, and subsequently quoted in the press, which highlights how the political rhetoric of Italian and British politicians is often at its most inflammatory around the issue of immigration. The same goes for the press. The Italian case study focuses on media coverage of the 2014 and 2019 European elections and 2018 general election. The British case study examines press reporting of the 2016 UK referendum on EU membership, the 2017 general election, and the September 2019 parliamentary debate immediately following the UK Supreme Court ruling that proroguing of Parliament was illegal. From the picture that emerges, the author argues that journalists need to change how they report, to challenge the post-truthers, holding them to account and pressing them on the facts while also harnessing the emotions of disaffected publics.
  • What kind of Italy? the cultural battle waged by Europe’s new populist leader against Brussels

    Rowinski, Paul (Routledge, 2020-11-30)
    This chapter captures the moment communicated in the Italian press, as Europe’s new self-appointed populist leader, then interior minister, Matteo Salvini, waged war on Brussels and the Pope, over immigration. Salvini spoke in Milan, just ahead of the 2019 EU elections, flanked by Europe’s populists, including France’s Marie Le Pen and Holland’s Geert Wilders, all hoping for victory for their European Parliamentary bloc. What is explored is if the coarseness of Salvini’s emotive rhetoric over immigration – a key driver of Euroscepticism, has possibly intensified in the Post-Truth digitally-led media age This is an age in which Salvini and other populists can communicate to millions online, circumnavigating the need to get messages across to the mainstream media. In this world, Post-Truth emotive rhetoric can eclipse the previous sanctity of facts. They count less. This poses many problems for the mainstream press. Proposals for a response conclude the chapter. .
  • The EU migrant: Britain's sense of place in English newspaper journalism

    Rowinski, Paul (UCL Press, 2020-09-04)
    Abstract. EU migrant is the trope investigated, forming a part of the London-based mainstream national newspaper media’s (MSM) discursive construction of England and its Other: Europe, not just ahead of the EU referendum but also more recently, as Brexit starts to happen.The Leave and Remain campaigns were heavily criticised for confusing the public and impoverishing political debate (Sparrow, 2016). The MSM on both sides of the argument arguably did likewise, in a highly polarised referendum (Deacon, 2016). The pervasiveness of English Euroscepticism (Gifford, 2014, Taggart and Szerbiak, 2004, 2008); how English cultural presuppositions have become embedded in discourse (Heer and Wodak, 2008, Reisigl and Wodak, 2001); and how that is both reflected and magnified in the UK press (Weymouth and Anderson, 1999, Garton-Ash, 2005, Rowinski, 2017) is briefly outlined.These Eurosceptic English MSM discourses are decades old. But their intensity and amplification in our Post-Truth digital age (Curtis, 2016, Solon, 2018) are not. MSM are now competing with other voices in a crowded online marketplace (Kueng, 2017, Harrison, 2017), making a bad situation much worse. It is argued and evidenced that the mainstream media is not just giving a platform for Post-Truth politicians, but constructing plenty of Post-Truth rhetoric of its own. A framing (Entman, 1993, 2010), including the absence of EU migrant voices, before the referendum and critical discourse analysis (Wodak and Reisigl, 2001, Wodak, 2015) will explore a possibly coarser presentation of England and its Other: Europe, as articulated through the trope, EU migrant, in the Post-Truth digitally-instigated media age (Coughlan, 2017, Keyes, 2004, Lewis, 2016, Laybats and Tredinnick, 2016). Patterns in discourse will be sought. So what has EU migrant come to mean? Is it a defiant badge of honour for some mainstream media, and a pejorative term for their rivals or something else again?
  • WhatsApp in Sierra Leone : burning bridges or building them?

    Silverman, Jon; ; University of Bedfordshire (Indiana University Press, 2020-11-19)
    The text messaging application WhatsApp has been heavily criticized for acting as a vehicle for the spread of misinformation and unsubstantiated rumour, leading, in some parts of the world, to violence and even death. But the closed nature of WhatsApp groups has presented a structural problem as a subject for credible social science research. A collaborative project between the Universities of Bedfordshire (UK) and Sierra Leone has tracked messaging in an experimental student WhatsApp group using critical discourse analysis in order to generate a deeper understanding of discursive influences in a fragile society. It asks whether the affordance of a WhatsApp group necessarily amplifies offline polarizations and explores routes to consensuality in a divided post-conflict state. It concludes that more robust interventions by group administrators could foster free speech while avoiding the need for intrusive regulation from outside agencies. Key words – social media; discourse; rumours; WhatsApp;ethno-regional;divisive
  • On touching and speaking in (post) (de) colonial discourse - from lessing to Marechera and Veit-Wild

    Piotrowska, Agnieszka (Taylor and Francis Inc., 2016-09-19)
    Jean-Luc Nancy in his seminal book on the body and its significance in history of philosophy Corpus makes a point that the body and the discussions about it ought to be open. He says that in reflecting on it he did not want to: produce the effect of a closed or finite thing, because when we talk about the body we talk about something entirely opposed to the closed and the finite. With the body, we speak about something open and infinite, about the opening of closure itself, the infinite of the finite itself. (2008: 122) This particular reflection came upon him whilst walking through the streets of Paris to give a lecture on the body. Suddenly, he heard about the atrocities in Bosnia and felt compelled to abandon his well-prepared talk and instead find an open space to talk about the links between the body, the soul and our place in the world. He says in his book, “Body is certitude shattered and blown to bits” (ibid.: 3), a phrase that in the age of terrorist attacks sounds particularly ominous.
  • Veils and sensors: an artistic intervention with archival moving image material

    Egbe, Amanda (2020-09-15)
    This demonstration showcases experiments, and interventions with moving image archival materials by the author. The outcomes reflect a wider research into duplication practices in digital moving image archival practices. Artistic interventions are utilised to explore the technological and cultural gestures of these practices. The demonstrations are in the form of moving images artworks employing standard projection and mixed reality.
  • The "soft" power of Syrian broadcasting

    Halabi, Nour; Mellor, Noha (Routledge, 2020-11-30)
  • Routledge handbook on Arab media

    Mellor, Noha; Miladi, Noureddine (Routledge, 2020-11-30)
    This Handbook provides the first comprehensive reference book in English about the development of mass and social media in all Arab countries. Capturing the historical as well as current developments in the media scene, this collection maps the role of media in social and political movements. Contributors include specialists in the field from North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Each chapter provides an overview of the history, regulatory frameworks and laws governing the press, and socio-political functions of the media. While the geopolitical complexities of the region have been reflected in the expert analyses collectively, the focus is always the local context of each member state. All 37 chapters consider the specific historical, political and media trajectories in each country, to provide a contextual background and foundation for further study about single states or comparative analysis in two or more Arab states. Capturing significant technological developments and the widespread use of social media, this all-inclusive volume on Arab media is a key resource for students and scholars interested in journalism, media and Middle East studies.
  • The crisis in public communication and the pursuit of authenticity: an analysis of the Twitter feeds of Scottish MPs 2008-2010

    Margaretten, Mark; Gaber, Ivor (Oxford University Press, 2012-08-07)
    Twitter has made deep inroads into political communications over the past three years. It allows for endless real-time worldwide discussions, and is increasingly being used by politicians to engage citizens. However, this article considers how and whether Twitter opens up possibilities for gauging 'authentic' dialogue between politicians and citizens. 'Authentic talk' has been identified as 'spontaneous, unrehearsed discourse', and we suggest, in the context of crisis in public communication and its lament about the current state of political communication, that it may be an important component in the reconstruction of political trust between politicians and people. This article examines Twitter's use in presenting to citizens an 'authentic' view of Scottish Members of Parliament (MPs) and its conveyance of trust. In order to identify authentic talk, a content analysis has been undertaken on the entirety of Scottish MPs' tweets (n= 14,066) between 25 December 2008 (the earliest recorded tweet made by a Scottish MP) to 7 August 2010. Using bespoke content analysis software we mine this data set to identify occurrences of both authentic discourse and civic engagement. The findings conclude that authenticity is being conveyed and is quantifiable, opening a new avenue for the study of crisis theory. © The Author [2012].
  • Disrupting historical mis-representations and constructions: Talawa Theatre, Tiata Fahodzi and representations of polyphonic Africa on contemporary London stage

    Ukaegbu, Victor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-12-31)
    Historically, the representations of Africa on the London stage mirror the prevailing socio-political conditions of different periods of Africa-British encounters. Each period is characterised by a distinctive socio-culturally motivated system of thought that both defined and shaped the resulting encounters. In the words of art critic and novelist David Dabydeen, early representations of Africa on the London stage showed an Africa many would not recognise today; theatrically Africa was cast as under-developed, a curiosity and aesthetic foil in which the humanity of the characters and continent were effaced. After WW2, Africa and Black were rolled into one socio-cultural category globally and remained that way from the late 1950s to the early days of postcolonial writings when playwrights and critics such as Wole Soyinka, Athol Fugard, and Stuart Hall began to de-stabilize cultural classifications about monolithic Africa and Black cultures. The subsequent rise of issue-based theatre companies and small venues hosting and producing a more mixed offering of plays on Africa and African characters led to a significant shift in representations of Africa on the London stage, enabling outfits such as Talawa and Fahodzi Theatres and a newer generation of playwrights such as Maria Oshodi, Tunde Ikoli, Dipo Agboluaje to highlight a wide range of characters and different African and Black British cultural nationalities on London stages.
  • Book review: The Arab-Israeli Conflict in the Arab Press: The First Three Decades

    Mellor, Noha (Middle East Institute, 2019-12-01)
    Book review of: The Arab-Israeli Conflict in the Arab Press: The First Three Decades By William W. Haddad Intellect Books 9781783209101

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