A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THE PRESENTATION BY PLAYWRIGHT AND MIDDLESEX LECTURER IN MEDIA NARRATIVE JAMES KENWORTH ON HIS PLAY ‘A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham’.

When? Friday 15 March 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

In this presentation/talk, I will focus on the ongoing importance of the concept of site-specific environments to my writing practice and thinking about theatre making; the fusing together of my principal interests in creating theatre-orientated work, namely use of public, unconventional performance spaces and non-naturalistic /creative language in a A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham, the third installment in my Newham Trilogy; and a brief consideration of the public, inclusive and social nature of community-orientated, history-based theatre.

BIOGRAPHY

imageJames Kenworth is a Playwright and a Lecturer in Media Narrative at Middlesex University. His writing include ‘verse-prose’ plays Johnny Song, Gob; black comedy Polar Bears; issue-led plays Everybody’s World(Elder Abuse)Dementia’s Journey (Dementia); plays for young people/schools The Last Story in the World; and a Newham-based trilogy of site-specific plays, When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham.

His play, Dementia’s Journey, won the 2015 University of Stirling International Dementia Award in the category: Dementia & the Arts. When Chaplin Met Gandhi and Revolution Farm is published by TSL Publications. A Splotch of Red has recently been published in a collection of political plays by Workable Press, a new publishing imprint dedicated to trade unions and organised workers.

He is currently working on his new play Alice in Canning Town, a contemporary, urban adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, reconfigured for the East End and performed site-specific in Arc in the Park, an inclusive adventure playground in Canning Town.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Language and Communication Research Seminars 2018-19

We are very excited to confirm the fantastic line-up of presenters for our 2018-19 Language and Communication Research Seminars at our Hendon Campus. Hope to see you all there!

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  • Emerging research in English: PhD student presentations. Friday, 23rd November 2018, 14.30 – 16.00, Room V105 (Vine building).

 

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Through two lenses: Re-enregistering Cypriot Greek as ‘slang’ in London’s Greek Cypriot diaspora

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to welcome Dr Petros Karatsareas (University of Westminster) for a presentation on Through two lenses: Re-enregistering Cypriot Greek as ‘slang’ in London’s Greek Cypriot diaspora

When? Friday 8th March 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

In the context of Cyprus, Standard Modern Greek and Cypriot Greek have traditionally been viewed as two discrete and mutually exclusive linguistic entities that form a binary diglossic opposition à la Ferguson (1959) with Standard Modern Greek being the High code and Cypriot Greek being the Low code (Moschonas, 1996, 2002; Arvaniti 2006/2010). More recent proposals, however, describe a register continuum (Tsiplakou, Papapavlou, Pavlou & Katsoyannou, 2006; Papapavlou & Sophocleous, 2009). At the one end of the continuum, we find an acrolectal register that incorporates a high number of lexical, phonological and grammatical features (thought to be) found in the standard variety of the language as it is spoken in Greece. At the other end, we find a basilectal register that incorporates a high number of features originating in the regional varieties of Greek spoken in Cyprus. One of the two main labels that speakers of Cypriot Greek use to describe this register is xorkátika (cipriaká) ‘villagey (Cypriot)’, associating it with notions of rurality and a general lack of sophistication and manners captured collectively under the related label xorkaθ‘peasantry’.

In this contribution, I draw on data collected as part of a larger ethnographic investigation of language practices among London’s Greek Cypriot diaspora (see Karatsareas, 2018) to argue that, in London and as a result of being transplanted from a rural to an urban context where the majority language is English, Cypriot Greek was re-enregistered (in the sense of Agha, 2003, 2007) on the basis of ideological conceptualisations of English non-standard varieties vis-à-vis Standard English. Evidence in support of this thesis is found in the fact that, in addition to the known label xorkátika (cipriaká), British-born speakers of Cypriot Greek, who are dominant in English, describe their heritage language as a type of Greek ‘slang’ and also as spazména (elliniká) ‘broken (Greek)’, two labels unknown to the Cyprus context. In the use of the former term, we see the recognition of the informality and orality of Cypriot Greek as well as of the ways in which it challenges social and linguistic conventions. The latter term is not applied, as would be expected, to contact-induced phenomena in the speech of English-dominant speakers that would be ungrammatical in the speech of Cypriot Greek monolinguals. Rather, it is applied to basilectal features of Cypriot Greek such as the postalveolar fricative [tʃ] and words that contain it such as tʃe ‘and’ by virtue of their lack from acrolectal registers and Standard Modern Greek. This suggests that, in the diasporic context, the similarities between basilectal registers of Cypriot Greek and non-standard English varieties in terms of informality, orality and difference from the respective standards enhanced the pre-existing perception that Cypriot Greek is an inferior form of language.

 

Bio

petrosDr Petros Karatsareas is a Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Westminster. He holds a Ptychion in Greek Philology from the University of Athens, and an M.Phil. in Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge. He specialises in multilingualism focusing on the languages of the UK’s minority ethnic communities. He explores the factors that play a role in intergenerational transmission and maintenance, looking specifically at ideologies of monolingualism, attitudes towards multilingualism, and attitudes towards non-prestigious linguistic varieties. He is also interested in community language teaching and learning looking at how community languages are taught in complementary schools and the role these schools play in language maintenance and ideology.

He addresses these issues based on his research on London’s Greek Cypriot diaspora. He is also actively involved in a range of public engagement activities raising awareness about the value of non-standard linguistic varieties and about the contribution of the Greek Cypriot community to London’s multicultural and multilingual character. His research has received the financial support of the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (through the Open World Research Initiative).

 

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Reading on Screen: challenging myths and misperceptions of reading in the digital age

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to welcome Professor Bronwen Thomas (Bournemouth University) for a presentation on Reading on Screen: challenging myths and misperceptions of reading in the digital age.

When? Friday 8th February 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

Debates about digital reading are beset by stereotypes such as those of the ‘digital native’, and crude binaries about print vs screen cultures.  Two projects supported by the AHRC – Researching Readers Online (2012) and The Digital Reading Network (2013-14) – set out to provide more nuanced insights into the practices of digital readers and to explore new approaches to the study of readers based on the rich data about reading available to us thanks to the digital revolution.  A third project, Reading on Screen (2017-18), employed innovative participatory methods to create over 30 digital stories reflecting the complex and often contradictory experiences of contemporary readers from a variety of social backgrounds and ages.

In this paper, I will reflect on the efficacy of the digital storytelling method for eliciting reader responses of a radically different kind to those we are accustomed to from academic studies reliant on interviews, questionnaires or textual analysis.  I will also outline the main outcomes and impact of the project, both planned and unplanned, particularly focusing on group dynamics, benefits reported by participants, and follow on activities and creative projects initiated by them.

Bronwen Thomas

BIO

Bronwen Thomas is Professor of English and New Media at Bournemouth University and Director of the Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community. She has led three AHRC funded projects on digital reading, and has published widely on new media narratives, fanfiction and online communities. Bronwen is currently writing a book on Literature and Social Media.

 

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

 

 

Wakeful: listening to the past through archives and experimentation

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to announce a presentation by our colleague Dr Anne Robinson on Wakeful: listening to the past through archives and experimentation.

When? Friday 25th January 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

‘If I Sleep, I May be Caught’ was the motto of HMS Wakeful a WW1 destroyer on which the artist’s father was ship’s cook: built on ‘Red’ Clydeside in 1917 and sent off to intervene in the Baltic straight after the Armistice. Wakeful is a new, experimental film work with percussive sound, with research drawing both on fragmented childhood memory and archive sources from an ‘undeclared war’. Robinson works experimentally with film technologies to record the passing of time: performers re-inhabit the past, the landscapes of war give up their dead and soundscapes of the past seep into the present.

www.wakefulproject.org

wakeful

BIO:

Anne Robinson is an artist who lives and works in east London. As well as working in film, she collaborates on curating and multidisciplinary work. She holds a PhD in Painting, Film and Temporality and currently teaches at Middlesex University.

 

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Crime Fiction in the Archives: Hunting for Hammett

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to welcome crime novelist and senior lecturer Dr Andrew Pepper (Queen’s University Belfast)  for a presentation on Crime Fiction in the Archives: Hunting for Hammett.

When? Friday 2nd November 2018, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

Crime fiction is typically regarded as cheap and disposable and certainly not conducive to serious archival scholarship. In this talk, I consider what the “official” archive held by the University of South Carolina reveals about Dashiell Hammett, a figure about which much is already known. The real “discovery” is not Hammett himself, for there is little that the archive can now tell us beyond what is already known, but the lives and dramas of those who first tried to excavate Hammett’s story in the late 1960s and 1970s. This talk examines how biographical scholarship was conducted in the pre-digital era and what was at stake for those who sought, against the wishes of Hammett’s estate, to dig up the buried details of his life and works. Its focus is not Hammett himself but the freewheeling band of “unauthorized” Hammett hunters who toiled away in the early 1970s and whose efforts typically, and in typically Hammettian fashion, ended in failure.

 

BIO:

pepperAndrew Pepper is Senior Lecturer in English at Queen’s University Belfast. He is author of Unwilling Executioner: Crime Fiction and the State (OUP 2016) and The Contemporary American Crime Novel: Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality (EUP 2000). His “Pyke” series of detective novels, set in nineteenth-century Britain and Ireland, including The Last Days of Newgate (2006) and Bloody Winter (2011), were all published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to welcome our new colleague Dr Carina Hart, for a presentation on Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw.

When? Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 16.00 – 17.00

Where? Room PAG02, Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT

The emergence of the Gothic in late eighteenth-century Europe coincided with a revival of interest in traditional fairy tales, and the two forms have remained in dialogue ever since, sharing settings, narrative structures and motifs. Contemporary writers have Gothicised the fairy tale for a new generation, questioning the value of old narratives in a changed world.

This talk will examine one of Carter’s less-researched Gothic fairy tales, “Ashputtle, or The Mother’s Ghost” (1987), and the matrophobic Gothic elements it draws out of the Cinderella tale’s obscure older versions. Here the Gothic becomes a critical tool with which the text can interrogate the sociopolitical forces that have influenced the endurance or disappearance of different elements in the Cinderella tale tradition.

Carter’s re-Gothicisation of the Cinderella tale creates a feminist text interconnected with its political contexts; millennial Gothic fairy tales, however, show a clear move away from political agency into individualism, as seen in Ali Shaw’s Gothic retelling of Cinderella, The Girl with Glass Feet (2009). The monstrous feminine here is re-sublimated into silence, stillness and sexualised beauty, turning the female Gothic against the heroine in an example of a wider retreat from late-twentieth-century feminism.

Bio:

carina.jpgDr Carina Hart is a Lecturer in English Literature at Middlesex University, having previously taught at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Nottingham Trent University and the University of East Anglia, where she completed her PhD. She has published on A. S. Byatt’s fairy tale fiction, alchemy in contemporary fiction, and Romantic poetry, and is working on a monograph titled Beastly Beauties: The Contemporary Gothic Fairy Tale. Her collection of poetry, Your Brain Cells Sing When They Die, will be published by Eyewear in 2019.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.