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Queer theory, literature and the politics of sameness
Author: Ben Nichols

In its contributions to the study of material social differences, queer theoretical writing has mostly assumed that any ideas which embody 'difference' are valuable. More than this, where it is invoked in contemporary theory, queerness is often imagined as synonymous with difference itself. This book uncovers an alternative history in queer cultural representation. Through engagement with works from a range of queer literary genres from across the long twentieth century – fin-de-siècle aestheticism, feminist speculative fiction, lesbian middle-brow writing, and the tradition of the stud file – the book elucidates a number of formal and thematic attachments to ideas that have been denigrated in queer theory for their embodiment of sameness: uselessness, normativity, reproduction and reductionism. Exploring attachments to these ideas in queer culture is also the occasion for a broader theoretical intervention: Same Old suggests, counterintuitively, that the aversion they inspire may be of a piece with how homosexuality has been denigrated in the modern West as a misguided orientation towards sameness. Combining queer cultural and literary history, sensitive close readings and detailed genealogies of theoretical concepts, Same Old encourages a fundamental rethinking of some of the defining positions in queer thought.

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Author: Steve Blandford

This is the first book-length study of one of the most significant of all British television writers, Jimmy McGovern. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all his work for television including early writing on Brookside, major documentary dramas such as Hillsborough and Sunday and more recent series such as The Street and Accused.

Whilst the book is firmly focused on McGovern’s own work, the range of his output over the period in which he has been working also provides something of an overview of the radical changes in television drama commissioning that have taken place during this time. Without compromising his deeply-held convictions McGovern has managed to adapt to an ever changing environment, often using his position as a sought-after writer to defy industry trends.

The book also challenges the notion of McGovern as an uncomplicated social realist in stylistic terms. Looking particularly at his later work, a case is made for McGovern employing a greater range of narrative approaches, albeit subtly and within boundaries that allow him to continue to write for large popular audiences.

Finally it is worth pointing to the book’s examination of McGovern’s role in recent years as a mentor to new voices, frequently acting as a creative producer on series that he part-writes and part brings through different less-experienced names.

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Author: John Potvin

Richly illustrated with over 110 colour and black and white images, the book productively contests the supposedly exclusive feminine aspect of the style moderne (art deco). It explores how alternative, parallel and overlapping experiences and expressions of decorative modernism, nationalism, gender and sexuality in the heady years surrounding World War I converge in the protean figure of the deco dandy. As such, the book significantly departs from and corrects the assumptions and biases that have dominated scholarship on and popular perceptions of art deco. The book outlines how designed products and representations of and for the dandy both existed within and outwith normative expectations of gender and sexuality complicating men’s relationship to consumer culture more broadly and the moderne more specifically. Through a sustained focus on the figure of the dandy, the book offers a broader view of art deco by claiming a greater place for the male body and masculinity in this history than has been given to date. The mass appeal of the dandy in the 1920s was a way to redeploy an iconic, popular and well-known typology as a means to stimulate national industries, to engender a desire for all things made in France. Important, essential and productive moments in the history of the cultural life of Paris presented in the book are instructive of the changing role performed by consumerism, masculinity, design history and national identity.

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A history of northern soul

This book is a social history of northern soul. It examines the origins and development of this music scene, its clubs, publications and practices, by locating it in the shifting economic and social contexts of the English midlands and north in the 1970s. The popularity of northern soul emerged in a period when industrial working-class communities were beginning to be transformed by deindustrialisation and the rise of new political movements around the politics of race, gender and locality. The book makes a significant contribution to the historiography of youth culture, popular music and everyday life in post-war Britain. The authors draw on an expansive range of sources including magazines/fanzines, diaries, letters, and a comprehensive oral history project to produce a detailed, analytical and empathetic reading of an aspect of working-class culture that was created and consumed by thousands of young men and women in the 1970s. A range of voices appear throughout the book to highlight the complexity of the role of class, race and gender, locality and how such identities acted as forces for both unity and fragmentation on the dance floors of iconic clubs such as the Twisted Wheel (Manchester), the Torch (Stoke-on-Trent), the Catacombs (Wolverhampton) and the Casino (Wigan).

Jane Martin

a centre for social investigation and a training place for public service. In October 1897 the RACS Education Committee launched a local newspaper, Comradeship, under the editorship of Charles Grinling (b. 1860). He trained as a social worker at Toynbee Hall before working as a curate in Nottingham, where he attracted the wrath of the church 78 Making socialists hierarchy because he criticised the low wages and poor working conditions of Nottingham’s women lace workers. In the aftermath, socialists sought him out, and he met Harry Snell (b. 1865), the son of

in Making socialists
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Friendship and treason in Robin Chapman’s One of Us and Blunt: The Fourth Man
Jonathan Bolton

impersonal bonds that are formed between men of a shared political convictions, such as Communists ideals of comradeship. 34 Although Marx did not use the term, “comrade,” and the concept of “friendship” did not figure widely in his philosophical or economical writings, he did write extensively about the alienation of labour and, of course, the class divisions forged by feudalism and economic disparities created by capitalism. One of Marx's most notable statements about class unity, however, which approximates notions of

in The Blunt Affair
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The extraordinary couple
Kathrina Glitre

, political comradeship, or, surprisingly enough, parents and children’ (1979: 51). In this way, the textual and extratextual discourses around the star couple naturalise certain patterns of behaviour as important and appropriate, while negotiating, masking or excluding values that may contradict or threaten current social norms. The material realities of institutionalised social inequality are displaced on to the personal realm, where the ephemeral power of ‘love’ magically enables individual equality without the need for systemic change. Most importantly, as Robin Wood

in Hollywood romantic comedy States of the union, 1934–65
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Beatriz Pichel

individual experiences of grief. 1 Yet, as Jay Winter has demonstrated, a fundamental aspect of grief is that it created communities. 2 Grief was both subjective and collective. This book has not tried to characterise the experience of a particular individual grieving, concluding that this experience represents war grief. Rather, this book has examined under which conditions photography enabled making sense of grief as part of a war experience shared with others. Similarly, other topics in this book, such as friendship and comradeship, hatred for the German, the duty to

in Picturing the Western Front
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Thomas Linehan

impart a sense of comradeship. ‘A well-organised camp can forge a close-knit unity among the dwellers under canvass’ a Daily Worker writer explained. Furthermore, ‘the essence of good camping’, continued the writer, ‘especially with large numbers, is the spirit of Linehan 08 13/6/07 11:34 Page 155 Communists at play equality’ which comes from ‘a just distribution of the toil and of the play, and for these reasons alone, campers are brought together in a fine spirit of comradeship’.53 A communist ramble performed a similar function. In the favoured form of the

in Communism in Britain 1920–39
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Atkin

compelled to kill for many personal reasons, such as duty, fear or comradeship. A small number, of course, refused to be compelled, even after the introduction of conscription in 1916. The history of these conscientious objectors, some of them ‘absolutists’, has been chronicled in detail elsewhere (both individual accounts and collectively). In the case of such active forms of protest in appearing before a public, decision-making tribunal and becoming a conscientious objector, Introduction 7 research has indicated that the majority of documented objectors backed up

in A war of individuals