Monthly Archives: May 2015


Me gusta el blog de este tipo – que es un tipo fresco!


Aníbal Zazo Rodiles se levanta un poco más tarde de lo habitual este sábado 23 de mayo de 2015. Sabe que la noche anterior quizá se hubiese tomado un par de Seagram’s con cola más de la cuenta, pero le da igual, hoy tiene lugar el primero de los tres acontecimientos importantes que se van a producir en su vida este fin de semana, el Festival de Eurovisión, y es feliz. Ha quedado con sus dos amigos del alma (bueno, para ser exactos, sus dos únicos amigos, Rubén y Milio) para verlo esta noche en su casa. Ya tiene todo preparado, bebida, comida, la App de Eurovisión descargada en su iPhone 6. Se siente esperanzado, siente que Edurne va a hacer algo muy grande 00 eDURNEpor España, que, ¡que hostias!, es la novia de David De Gea, ese porterazo que pertenece al Manchester United, pero que en breve estará defendiendo el…

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Women Who Buy Sex

An interesting project…

The @JoBakerWriter Public Event

A good day…

English Postgraduates

What a great event. Some wonderful questions, and dialogue between Dr Simon Marsden and Dr Jo Baker (@JoBakerWriter), and engaging readings of Jo’s texts. What a pleasure to be a part of it. Thanks to all PGs at Liverpool, and to all the supervisors and anyone else who turned up – especially @BlackwellLiv for bringing a selection of Jo’s books for sale.


L to R: Matthew, Jo, and Grace

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New Post: Coleridge and Godwin: A Literary Friendship

Another interesting piece from the folks at READ…

Pamela Clemit

Pamela Clemit has published a piece on Coleridge and Godwin on the Wordsworth Trust Blog. It concentrates on their friendship from the winter of 1799 onwards, and draws on their correspondence, marginalia, and manuscript notes.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, by George Dance, 1804 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, by George Dance, 1804

Godwin declared: ‘I feel myself a purer, a simpler, a more unreserved & natural being in your company than in that of almost any human creature.’ Coleridge attributed this to his ‘own ebullient Unreservedness’ and ‘the circumstance, that my affections are interested deeply in my opinions’…. Though they drifted apart in later years, each left a permanent imprint on the mind and the writings of the other.

Read the full piece at the Wordsworth Trust Blog.

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Thank goodness for Google Translate, as I do not know Spanish, just as bercianlangran does not know French, according to this post…


Esta noche no puedo dormir. Doy media vuelta sobre mí mismo y te observo pasivo desde la oscuridad; acaricio tu pelo rizado antes de incorporarme y salir a tientas de la habitación. Llego hasta el salón y me siento en el sofá. Enciendo la tele y luego un cigarrillo. Una actriz francesa parece querer hablar conmigo. No le daré ese gusto, por dos razones; una, que no sé francés; la segunda, y definitiva, que no me apetece hablar con nadie en esta noche aciaga de sueño. Me acurruco contra el cojín teñido de rojo, el que nos impregna de esa extraña sabiduría que nos obliga a malvivir sin odio, y trasciendo sin yo quererlo al mundo de los pensamientos más profundos, aquellos que no nos dejan dormir; aquellos que nos convierten en seres racionalmente impulsivos y libertarios. Empieza la lucha entre el sueño, que avanza irremisiblemente hacia la frontera de…

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Race to the Bottom

Reblogged primarily because it raises awareness about homelessness in the U.S. In recent years, homelessness is becoming ever more visible as a problem for many people, and not only in the U.S., but in the U.K. also. Those in politics, ‘power,’ and those living on anything above $150,000 (£100,000) should be ashamed.

QBG_Tilted Tiara

OpEdWe are truly a nation to be reckoned with, if you are worried about your position at the bottom of the pile, the bottom of the world ranking in nearly all relevant areas; the United States is working hard to grab the title. We are international bullies, we stand up and are counted policing the world to do what we say not what we do. Our leaders condone torture; in fact, they are proud of their participation or at least their tactic approval of the torture of other human beings. Our nation enters wars, costing tens of thousands of lives, killing heads of state and civilians alike for no good reason but we want the natural resources of that nation, we want to destabilize that region, we want to break the world.

We spend billions, sometimes trillions of dollars in nations other than our own. Nations that do not need…

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Girlhood Memories from Mary McCarthy

Looks like a good read…

The Bookshelf of Emily J.

I loved this book! I absolutely loved it. Yes, it was a collection of essays about author Mary McCarthy’s childhood that at times were written intellectually, but it had the charm and flourish of her creative voice. After each chapter, she included a commentary chapter, explaining how much of the essay was true and how much of it she had fabricated or compiled with other memories. She tested the boundaries of creative non-fiction through these analyses of her own writing, and helped us to see more about the facts of her young life and who her family members were, rather than leaving us with the stark and vivid descriptions through the stories. To me, this dual account of each memory, can be described by my favorite line from the book: “the trap of adult life, in which you are held, wriggling, powerless to act because you can see both sides”…

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‘Harder if possible than the Emperor’s heart’: Narrating the Amherst Embassy (1816) (Seminar, 27th May)

This looks interesting…

READ: Research in English At Durham

Inventions of the Text 27.05.2015The next Inventions of the Text seminar will take place on 27th May at 17.30. Professor Peter Kitson (University of East Anglia) will talk on “Narrating the Amherst Embassy (1816).” Attendees from outside Durham are welcome, but please email to reserve a place.

This paper concerns the second British embassy to China, that of William Pitt, Lord Amherst of 1816 and its relationship to the outbreak of hostilities between Britain and China in 1841 as recorded in John Francis Davis’ important but neglected Opium War publication: Sketches of China (1841). There has been a great deal of historical and cultural criticism relating to the first embassy to China led by Viscount Macartney of 1792-94, including two substantial historical accounts, but comparatively little has been written about its successor, which tends to be viewed largely as a farcical repetition of, or postscript to, its more famous predecessor. While contemporary responses to…

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Academic Soundbites #3

Some advice on giving a paper from J. Jack Halberstam…

English Postgraduates

…and from sunny California, J. Jack Halberstam, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender Studies, Comparative Literature, and English, University of Southern California.

Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at USC. Halberstam works in the areas of popular, visual and queer culture with an emphasis on subcultures. Halberstam’s first book, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (1995), was a study of popular gothic cultures of the 19th and 20th centuries and it stretched from Frankenstein to contemporary horror film. Her 1998 book, Female Masculinity (1998), made a ground breaking argument about non-male masculinity and tracked the impact of female masculinity upon hegemonic genders. Halberstam’s last book, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005), described and theorized queer reconfigurations of time and space in relation to subcultural scenes and the emergence of transgender visibility. This book…

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Some Fun @JoBakerWriter Facts

Having fun with facts…

English Postgraduates

jo-baker-2 (no clicky, no linky)

Fun Fact 2: Jo Baker completed a PhD at Queen’s University, Belfast, with a thesis based on the work of the Anglo-Irish writer, Elizabeth Bowen. Bowen died in 1973, the year Jo was born. So really, that’s two fun facts for the price of one.

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Some Fun @JoBakerWriter Based Facts

Facts can be fun…

English Postgraduates

Doing another round of Academic Soundbites seemed a bit too obvious and to be honest, I just couldn’t be bothered. So, what to do, I thought, to make the blog a bit lighter and a tad more fun. How about a Jo Baker ‘fun facts’ section, came the reply. Why not, came another reply. So, here it is.


(clicking the pic takes you to the place where the ‘fact’ exists on the world wide web, for verification purposes, and perhaps also useful if you’re thinking of mounting a libel case against yours truly, where your claim might be something along the lines of: ‘ill thought out blog posting w/r/t the abstract notion of facts’)

Disclaimer: the facts you are about to read here and in future posts can be considered facts only in the sense that they exist as a group of words in the realms of the world wide…

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@JoBakerWriter Public Event

Another great (free) event next week for anyone at the other end of the East Lancs and/or M62 from the SSS2015 events held in Manchester (basically, Liverpool). This is a must for any fan of Jane Austen’s works. Currently reading Longbourn, the story of those working below the surface at the Bennet’s residence, and it’s a wonderful, original extension of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (click on this link, if you wish, for info on The Jane Austen Festival – will that be anything like Austenland, I wonder?).

English Postgraduates

Jo Baker will be giving a book reading following the annual English Postgraduate Conference at University of Liverpool, Wednesday 20th May at 4pm. The event is free and open to the public – all are welcome. Blackwell’s will be in attendance with a selection of Jo’s books available to purchase on the day.


Please see the Jo Baker Poster PDF for further details (click on the link): Jo Baker Poster

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SSS 2015, Tuesday 19 May: Performance Lecture by Photographer and Artist Del LaGrace Volcano

A must for any fans of Del LaGrace Volcano’s work.

Sexuality Summer School

On the second day of Sexuality Summer School 2015: Queer Arts as Activism, the photographer and artist Del LaGrace Volcano will be holding a performance lecture.


‘INTER*ME: Give me an L! G! B! T! I! Q! or How I Lived (Through) my Acronymous Identities’

5-7pm, Tuesday 19 May

John Casken Lecture Theatre, Martin Harris Centre, Oxford Road, M13 9PL

All Welcome – Please Arrive Early to Avoid Disappointment

Del LaGrace Volcano is a gender variant visual artist and cultural producer working with the body and identity notions for social, political and personal purposes. Volcano has produced five monographs, Love Bites (1991), The Drag King Book (1999, with Jack Halberstam), Sublime Mutations (2000), Sex Works (2005, with Beatriz Preciado) and Femmes of Power: Exploding Queer Femininities (2008, with Ulrika Dahl). Volcano is a regular contributor to academic publications, television programmes and films on visual art and queer and feminist theory, in addition…

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Public Events, Manchester Sexuality Summer School 18-22 May 2015: all welcome

Some great (free) public events for anyone likely to be in Manchester next week.

Sexuality Summer School

Sexuality Summer School: Queer Arts as Activism
18 – 22 May 2015

All updates will go live via our blog at

The Sexuality Summer School 2015 will bring to Manchester a combination of scholars, artists, performers, filmmakers and writers.

SSS 2015 Final Poster

Public Events

12-2pm Monday 18 May
Public Lecture with art historian and filmmaker Gavin Butt (Goldsmiths):
“Anti-Gravitas: Queer Importance in Art and Performance”
Venue: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, M1 5BY

5-6.30pm Monday 18 May
“Why Sing?” Roundtable with clips. Filmmaker John Greyson (York, CA) in conversation with Richard Dyer (Kings) and Lisa Henderson (UMass Amherst)
Venue: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, M1 5BY

6.45-8.30pm Monday 18 May
Screening of John Greyson’s Fig Trees (2009, 109 mins)
Venue: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, M1 5BY

5-7pm Tuesday 19 May
Performance lecture with photographer and artist Del LaGrace Volcano: “INTER*ME: Give me an L! G! B! T!…

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“On TV it looks so real” @SeeNIGHTCRAWLER #2

After having slept since yesterday’s post and not really paying it any more heed, I happen to be reading a selection of abstracts for a conference taking place next week, and what would you know, there happens to be a fellow presenter giving a paper in the same panel as me, and her paper is using Jean Baudrillard’s hyperrealism as a lens to discuss a particular text.


Now, it seems that Baudrillard’s theory of hyperrealism fits perfectly with what Lou experiences on the set of the TV station. And this gets me to thinking more about it, what with Lou having access to the set, and therefore being able to see that ‘on TV it [the backdrop of L.A.’s skyline] looks so real,’ and so I wonder, does this allow Lou to occupy a space between reality and the hyperreal, in that he now realises that the picture of L.A. is indeed less ‘real’ than he previously thought (whilst seeing it as the news room backdrop via his television), and so he actually occupies a privileged position, and from this vantage point is then able to manipulate any future footage to best reflect the demands of the news station, which in turn feed the cravings of a public somehow attuned to want and need ever more shocking images to go along with the storylines the news station creates?

Or is it just way simpler than that?

“On TV it looks so real” @SeeNIGHTCRAWLER

The quote above comes from Lou Bloom as he crosses a TV news station set and sees the backdrop used in TV news shows – a panoramic view of the city of Los Angeles.


The viewer, should s/he so choose, gets to ponder this observation as Lou inserts himself into the scene, and as the camera pans back, we not only see Lou via the screen we are watching, we also see him through the camera used to film the newsreaders. So, is it the distancing that makes it ‘look so real,’ and if so, how are we to qualify our own feelings on reality, and by extension, artifice? Is L.A. made more ‘real’ by the sheer volume of filmic representations, and is our interaction with screened images more real than our unmediated experiences? And how does that leave us all feeling about our lives in the ‘real’ world? Are we more inclined to live vicariously, if that offers us something more real than the kind of humdrum life that is not subjected to production, direction, wardrobe, and make-up, etc? Nightcrawler offers some difficult questions, to which it does not attempt to force-feed us the answers.

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