Friday, 31 May 2013

Refugee Week 2013

Nottingham - along with Leicester and Derby - is participating in Refugee Week from 14-29 June. There are a wide range of events in the city at venues such as the New Art Exchange, Nottingham Contemporary and the Broadway Cinema. Further details of events in Nottingham and the East Midlands can be found here.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Neoliberal Discourses in British University Mission Statements

Liz Morrish's latest work with Helen Sauntson (University of Birmingham) analyzes neoliberal discourses in British university mission statements. The paper produces a critical analysis of a corpus of British university mission statements as a means of examining how text producers within higher education (HE) institutions use appraisal features to engage in public-sector marketing.

The paper focuses upon one specific marketing practice which has emerged in British universities over the past decade – the production of ‘mission statements’ or ‘university visions’. This is a standard practice used in businesses, particularly multinational corporations, which has been more recently adopted by the HE sector, arguably as part of the wider emergence of a neoliberal governmentality in university management. It has been argued that the values upheld by universities now centre around the marketisation, financialisation and commodification of enterprises which used to offer a public service but which are now much more driven by a neoliberal market economy (Canaan & Shumar 2008, Duggan 2003, Harvey 2005, Lynch, 2006). Mission statements serve the primary function of marketing the university in an environment of increasing competitiveness and commodification within British HE. Mission statements tend to be characterised by a discourse which realises and reinforces the competitive, market-driven values of the university. Appraisal (Martin 2000, 2003) is particularly helpful for uncovering these discourses which, as we argue in this paper, permeate and typify university mission statements.

 Preliminary findings suggest that the university mission statements make extensive use of Judgement and Appreciation markers, particularly around activities such as research and learning. Judgement markers tend to fall mainly into the sub-category of Social Esteem (especially tenacity and capacity). Appreciation markers are, predictably, positive and seem to cluster around particular 'products' which the universities are seen to be marketing. The authors have previously examined the ‘products’ marketed by universities via their mission statements (2010). This study complements the corpus linguistic approach of this study with the application of APPRAISAL analysis. 

Liz Morrish & Helen Sauntson (2013): ‘Business-facing motors for economic development’: an appraisal analysis of visions and values in the marketised UK university, Critical Discourse Studies, 10 1, 1-20. DOI:10.1080/17405904.2012.736698

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Visiting Researcher talk

Tuesday 14 May 2013
4pm - 5pm
GEE 215
George Eliot, Clifton campus

The Gay City, globalization and localization:
First formations of a ‘Glocal’ gay identity in Mexico City in Luis Zapata’s El vampiro de la Colonia Roma
Andrés Aluma-Cazorla
University of Illinois at Chicago
The aftermath of the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969 has contributed to the production, over the last 40 years, of a sexual revolution that has significantly impacted modern western societies. Countries with very conservative backgrounds have witnessed the production of a wide range of aesthetical works inspired by the LGBT movement, which has accelerated the transformation of the social, political and cultural scenes of these societies at the end of the twentieth century and beginning of the new millennium. This “homosexual revolution” has been taking place primarily in the large urban centers of this hemisphere, and hence the narratives that deal with homosexuality have a very strong tie with the cities in which these stories are taking place. In regards to the Spanish-speaking world, Mexico City is considered to be the largest urban center in Latin America, and therefore, as a massive source of countless stories based of an extensive variety of personal and collective experiences. Despite being a capital city with a majority catholic and conservative population, it is perhaps its megalopolis status that has allowed it to be one of the largest centers of gay literary production in the region.
In this paper, I aim to identify the ways in which the “global” and the “local” coalesce in the formation of a gay identity in 1970s Mexico City in Luis Zapata’s El vampiro de la Colonia Roma (1979) where the author links gender construction and sexual identities in some of the city’s most representative neighborhoods.  As we will see, this is due in part to the resonance caused by the Stonewall riots, which helped foster the development of a gay culture in one of the most traditional colonias of Mexico City. Drawing on the work of Roland Robertson (“Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity”, 1995) and Carlos Monsiváis (Apocalipstick, 2009), I argue that Zapata’s work contributed to the generation of a local gay identity in Mexico City, thanks to the social, economical, and historical context of the time, and the global changes that the homosexual movement spurred during the 1970s.  In sum, this confluence of forces in Mexico helped to produce one of the first manifestations of a gay visibility and identity in Latin America, represented through literature.  
For any queries – please email: Denis Provencher

Friday, 3 May 2013

Global Queer Cinema

Global Queer Cinema is an AHRC funded research network in the Translating Cultures scheme, and is located in the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex. The organisers are Rosalind Galt (Sussex) and Karl Schoonover (Warwick).

The first symposium Queer Cinema and Aesthetics of the Global that Galt and Schoonover organised took place in 12-13 May 2012. This event brought together international scholars to consider the aesthetics and politics of queer cinema in a global context. Speakers included David Eng (University of Pennsylvania), Patricia White (Swarthmore College), Gayatri Gopinath (New York University), Song Hwee Lim (University of Exeter), Catherine Grant (University of Sussex), Michael Lawrence (University of Sussex), Shamira Meghani (University of Leeds) and Cüneyt Çakirlar (NTU). This two-day symposium’s format was participatory and aimed to generate debate and analysis. Speakers screened short clips from queer film or other moving image media and present informal analyses. Moreover, the participants circulated samples from their current research on the subject before the event and a series of intensive workshops and roundtable discussions took place. Questions Galt and Schoonover aimed to address included:

          (i) What is rendered visible by placing these three terms together: ‘global’, ‘queer’ and ‘cinema? What tensions are revealed, what rhetorics engaged?

          (ii) How do presiding visions of the global depend upon the inclusion or exclusion of queer lives?

          (iii) How do the politics of neoliberalism and human rights discourse intersect with queer lives? How does contemporary queer film and media practice engage and refuse these tensions? How can we think about queer visual aesthetics, and how do questions of form, style and genre coalesce in contemporary queer politics?

         (iv) What kinds of global communities are produced (or precluded) by the histories of the queer film festival, or of other modes of queer media consumption?
         (v) How can we theorise the role of popular cinema, art film, the avant-garde, community and activist media in these political landscapes? Are these distinctions necessary critical tools?

The second and final workshop, which took place on 5-7 April 2013, reiterated the same format. The aim of the network was again to bring together scholars working on international topics in queer film and visual cultures, and to engage both senior and emerging scholars. The event comprised Cüneyt Çakirlar (NTU), Rohit Dasgupta (University of the Arts), Samar Habib (SOAS), Hoang Nguyen (Bryn Mawr), John David Rhodes (Sussex), B. Ruby Rich (UC Santa Cruz), Deborah Shaw (Portsmouth), and Juan Suarez (Murcia).

For further details of the project, please visit
For a sample of Cüneyt Çakirlar's contribution in these two events he was invited to, please visit page of the journal Screen (52:3).