Dr Siân Adiseshiah – Coordinator
I am Reader in English Literature and Drama in the School of English and Drama and am Programme Leader for the MAs in 21st Century Literature and English Studies. My research interests are in contemporary drama, utopian studies, 21st century fiction, class studies, women’s writing, and ageing and gerontology studies. I am current writing a monograph for Methuen Drama, which is titled Utopian Drama: In Search of a Genre. My first monograph, Churchill’s Socialism: Political Resistance in the Plays of Caryl Churchill was published by CSP in 2009, and I am co-editor (with Rupert Hildyard) of Twenty-First Century Fiction: What Happens Now, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, and co-editor (with Louise LePage) of Twenty-First Century Drama: What Happens Now, 2016 (forthcoming). I co-edited (with Rupert Hildyard) a special issue of C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century Writings (2014) and am an Editorial Board member of C21 Literature, as well as of the Journal of Gender Studies. I also coordinate (with Amy Culley) the ‘Engaging Older Readers in 21st Century Literature’ project: https://twentyfirstcenturybookclub.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/2014/04/01/hello-21st-century-readers/
My PhD research explores the power and politics of 21st century visuality, focusing on new modes of perception within the context of a collaborative, digitally interactive culture. I’m particularly interested in the aesthetics of fabulation and the perceptual ‘powers of the false’, a newly reflexive form of mediation that, I argue, requires a return to the original affective idea of aesthetics. My approach involves a transversal examination of visual culture (mapped across contemporary art, cinema, video games, branding and advertising), primarily in reference to what is described as Non-Representational Theory. In this, I draw on important new theoretical paradigms which explore media ecology, social assemblages and new approaches to materialism and vitalism, combined with recent political writing in the field of Autonomist Marxism, a network of sources which are contributing to a radical reassessment of media theory more generally. And while the figures associated with such paradigms remain distinctly 20th century (Deleuze, Guattari, Bergson, Tarde) or even 19th (Nietzsche), I am concerned with how such theory can help provide a cultural reading of areas like contemporary neuroscience, software processes and complex military strategy. Finally, although a layer of dust has gathered on my camera since embarking on a PhD, I still consider myself a photographer, to some extent at least, having worked professionally in this role for some years. As a result, I’m tentatively exploring some of the above concerns in my own practice, particularly in regard to the position of photography in our contemporary media ecology and new ways in which photography can be utilized as a collaborative tool for social engagement.
Dr Dean Lockwood
Noise is the sea of all that virtually exists, from which all that actually exists must emerge. Noise is also vector of disease, madness and horror. The twentieth-century was the Age of Noise, a century of record-breaking noise. On the one hand, noise assaulted the intellect, murdering contemplation and communication. Noise convulsed the modern, threatened to obliterate its Great Refrains. It posed a malignant universe, a coming vastation. On the other hand, the art of noise promised ecstatic transport. Schmerzen horen – the scream as catalysis for potentials, the production of the new. Noise – vibrational medium, baseline, background, the real and the substance of all sense, all articulation – is the miracle of monstrous life. In music, from Luigi Russolo’s intonarumori – the mechanical spiritualization of noise – through to Throbbing Gristle’s metabolic music of communicational decomposition, the twentieth-century noise aesthetic – often a critical horror – promised escape, freedom, decontrol. And here, in the twenty-first century, we are told, noise on the ‘outside of purpose’ can still save us from our digital tethers, save us from predictability, the ‘terror of efficiency that haunts network societies’. But now is not quite that age anymore. Now, capitalism is itself become a power of noise. Power today holds us in a pathological state of ‘constructive instability’. Capitalism (where ‘normal just begs to be messed with’) totalizes and controls precisely through performative error, through the invitation to collapse, through the inception of the abnormal and the banality of its revolution. A reflexivized, viral capitalism embraces the racket of its own undoing precisely in order to secure the future as its own. What age is this? Whither the criticality of noise? Whither the criticality of horror?
Professor Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe
My interest in 21st century developments is informed by a curiosity relating to the extent to which phenomena discussed in consciousness studies, and terminology emerging from that discussion, inform practice and academic debate across the disciplines of theatre studies, literary studies and fine and media arts.
I am a PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Lincoln, and am researching the terms and form of the human-animal divide in 21st century fiction. The main interests and approaches of this research are ecocriticism, animal studies/zoocriticism and posthumanism, and these offer theoretical frameworks with which to evaluate the relative conditions of human animal and non-human animal beings as they emerge in contemporary novels. Other projects with which I am currently involved include contributing a chapter in a forthcoming interdisciplinary book on rurality, and co-editing and contributing to a book on new approaches in ecologically inflected research in the Humanities.