Contemporary Feminine Aesthetics After Postfeminism
My research investigates the relationship between 1990s-early 2000s postfeminist discourses of empowerment and constructions of female subjectivity in contemporary fictional genres aimed at women and girls. First, I explore the loss, disillusionment and failure that permeates narratives such as Girls (Dunham 2012–2017), which focuses on women in their late twenties whose embodiment of freedom through their spending power, unlimited choice of consumer products and performance of an “up for it” sexuality has not produced the anticipated happiness or self-fulfilment. Second, I focus on girlhood coming-of-age narratives like The Hunger Games (Collins 2008–2010), which are increasingly producing young femininity using the language and aesthetics of resilience, constructing girls as capable of overcoming and adapting to bleak and unforgiving social conditions. An acute disconnect exists between the media-reported failures of an older millennial generation to adapt to social circumstances radically altered by the 2008 global and financial crisis, and the fictional successes of girls constructed as capable of overcoming much harsher obstacles. Therefore, the primary aim of the thesis is to better understand the impact of postfeminist empowerment discourse on women whose coming of age coincided with the height of its cultural ubiquity, and to explore the continuing postfeminist legacy in girlhood coming-of-age genres. To do this, I focus on the shifting affective registers of postfeminist culture and the role feelings and emotions play in constituting female subjectivity.
Angel Meadow: Origin and persistence of Victorian Manchester's hell on earth slum
Victorian Manchester was the world’s first industrial city – the shock city of its age. It was the first to experience the wealth and horrors that rapid urbanisation could bring. More than 200 years later, cities around the world continue to face unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges. An estimated one billion people around the world live in slums – a figure the UN says will double by 2030. This study will investigate the origin and persistence of Angel Meadow - one of Victorian Manchester's most notorious slums. It will seek to bring context to recent archaeological excavations of workers' housing in Angel Meadow and add to the wider debate about the formation of modern slums.
Taking the Reader into the Woods: An investigation into the relationship between the act of walking in woodland and the creative process, through the medium of novel writing
This PhD will explore the connections between walking, creative process and fiction with a focus on creative practice as research method. I will be undertaking a series of walks in a number of woodlands, and using the experience to inform my creative practice. I will write a novel inspired by the walks and also non-fiction reading about place. As well as the novel I will write a thesis about the process I have undergone, and how my work fits into the world of place-writing. I will interview some other published novelists who have a strong element of place writing in their work, to ask them about their creative process.
Global Artisanship and the Future of Luxury Fashion
The intent of this research is to clarify the connections between the type and level of intervention and the market placement, as well as the relationship to success. The general aim of the research is to identify the collective best practices from across a broad range of governmental aid agencies, NGO’s and mission driven for profits whose aim is to support artisan enterprise in the textile and apparel sectors. The goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of a variety of different models, their commonalities and their differentiations, with the intent to develop a theoretical framework that could be used to support existing and future sustainable development programs in the craft sector.
This study will examine the emergence of a fragile, schizoid male subjectivity in American Gothic literature whose presence in domestic, or quasi-domestic, settings results in that setting becoming sentient, mutating, moving, expanding and contracting to torment the character until death or expulsion is forced upon him. At the core of my research will be Stephen King's The Shining, Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves and Steve Rasnic Tem's Deadfall Hotel. I will be referencing the works of Derrida, R.D. Laing, Foucault, Badiou and Bachelard to identify the reasons for the development of this narrative trope from the 1970s and its proliferation post-2000 and explore the contemporary anxieties of the American male it represents.
Can ‘Augmented Reality Games’ be a positive influence? The project will take the form of a series of walking interviews with players of the ARG Ingress to attempt to ascertain whether the game encourages healthy physical and social activity and, if so, whether this has wider implications for the use of ARGs in public spaces.
In the world of hypercomplexity and hyper rapid changes the answer to the escalating economic and social problems can only be a complex, comprehensive solution. And such a solution is more likely to emerge from design focused interdisciplinary collaborative networks which I believe will have the advantage in innovation. The question is how to "manage" such complex networks.
My thesis investigates the role of the photobook in representing the British working-classes since 1975 and demonstrates the value of photobooks as a tool for the exploration of lived experience.
Meanwhile/Becoming: A Postphenomenological Position Exploring Vision and Visuality in Landscape Photography
Meanwhile/Becoming is a practice-led research project that investigates methods of creating photographs that do not conform to the Cartesian perspective prevalent in photographs taken with a standard format camera. The research explores the opportunity of examining a visual space other than that offered by the standard single lens reflex camera through manipulation of the pinhole camera. It uses processes that produce what the research describes as a reinterpretation of phenomenology, postphenomenology and posthumanism through photographic practice; where the photographs are expressive of the what and how humans see and the lived experience of the situated perspectives of a specific space.
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