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Cultural Studies & Humanities Good News - November 2019

The latest good news from the School of Cultural Studies & Humanities.

Students wathcing a poetry recital at Leeds Library

Queer Identity and Gaming

Media Lecturer, Gaspard Pelurson has secured a contract with Routledge for his monograph Manifestations of Queerness in Video Games.

This book advocates for a broader understanding of queerness in video games, reasserting the significance of, and the necessity to move beyond, queer representation in games. Through its chapters the book traces a journey of queer discovery and broaches the relationships between gamers, games and gaming cultures, and promotes video games as a rich political and literary medium which provides us with tools to navigate the decades to come.

Making the claim that video games might be the queerest medium today, Gaspard Pelurson combines discussion of game content with game reception drawn from online forums to provide an organic, self-reflexive and thought-provoking journey in which both games and gamers are queered. He engages with political debates and queer theory to respond to the growing interest in queer politics within game studies, the growing instances of queer representations and structures within contemporary games, and the popular interest towards this presence. This book will be of interest to scholars researching game studies, sex, gender and sexuality in new media, but also readers interested in literature, digital media, society, participatory culture and queer studies.

The Food Plot

Dr Michael Lee, Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing, has had his book The Food Plot in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel (Palgrave 2016) reviewed in the latest issue of Victorian Studies.

Read the review here:

Racism and Football

Media Course Director, Dr Daniel Kilvington had an article published in the Conversation UK, entitled "Racist abuse at football games is increasing, Home Office says – but the sport’s race problem goes much deeper".

The article explored the recent Home Office statistics regarding football and hate crimes, provided a critique of the research, and argued that we should be examining institutional and structural issues as well as overt forms of racism in the 'beautiful game'.

Dan was also an invited guest on the BBC Asian Network's 'Big Debate' show 26 September 2019. He featured alongside activists, FA representatives, current and former professionals and football coaches to discuss 'why is racism still a problem in football' and 'why are there so few British Asian footballers'?

(Dr Kilvington, third from right)

The two and a half hour debate show, broadcast live from Stoke City's stadium, can be accessed here:

Poetry in Motion

Was invited to be the guest poet at the launch of Northern Rail’s newest train ‘The Calder Champion’, reading a poem commissioned for the event.

Black History Month

Doctors Emily Zobel Marshall, Rachel Rich and Henry Irving organised a series of Black History Month talks at the School, which included the British Carnival in the UK, The Transatlantic Trickster in Black Histories, An Imperial Education: African Students in Victorian Britain, and Dispatches from 1842: George Thompson, Moses Grandy and the Sociology of Knowledge.

Dr Emily Zobel Marshall

Senior Lecturer Dr Emily Zobel Marshall has had a very busy month;

Emily launched the soroptimist institute biannual literary prize for first novels/collections by Black and Asian women writers in the UK at the Ilkley Literature Festival. As part of the event she interviewed author Yvonne Battle-Felton about her new novel Remembered, which examines African American life under slavery and segregation in America.

Emily also programmed two cult Jamaican films for the Hyde Park Picture house Black History Month programme. She introduced the film ‘Rockers’ which was very well attended and received. More information available here:

In addition to this Dr Zobel Marshall shared her research at the culmination of an Arts Council funded project for which she was an academic advisor led by Ghanaian performer and writer Nii Kwartey Owoo. Nii has developed a performance based around the spider trickster Anansi which debuted at Leeds West Indian carnival this year:

Finally Emily also read her poetry gave a lecture on her trickster research as part of a Caribbean Festival at the library and was also invited to take part in the annual EUROCITIES culture forum for delegates across Europe for an on-stage Q & A about how the city of Leeds can support its diverse cultural communities:

The Handmaid's Tale

Professor Susan Watkins delivered the first in this year’s Leeds Cultural Conversations series on the topic of ‘Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments: Women’s Writing and Dystopia’. The talk took place in the Victoria Hall and was attended by a number of sixth-form students currently studying The Handmaid’s Tale for A-Level.

Afterwards, they also had a Q and A about studying EnglishLiterature and Creative Writing at Leeds Beckett with Nasser Hussain and two of our current students, organised by the Schools and Colleges Engagement team. For more from the series visit the Leeds Cultural Conversations page.

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