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James Kelman is Scotland's most influential contemporary prose artist. This is a book-length study of his groundbreaking novels, analysing and contextualising each in detail. It argues that while Kelman offers a coherent and consistent vision of the world, each novel should be read as a distinct literary response to particular aspects of contemporary working-class language and culture. Historicised through diverse contexts such as Scottish socialism, public transport, emigration, ‘Booker Prize’ culture and Glasgow's controversial ‘City of Culture’ status in 1990, the book offers readings of Kelman's style, characterisation and linguistic innovations. This study resists the prevalent condemnations of Kelman as a miserable realist, and produces evidence that he is acutely aware of an unorthodox, politicised literary tradition which transgresses definitions of what literature can or should do. Kelman is cautious about the power relationship between the working-class worlds he represents in his fiction, and the latent preconceptions embedded in the language of academic and critical commentary. In response, the study is self-critical, questioning the validity and values of its own methods. Kelman is shown to be deftly humorous, assiduously ethical, philosophically alert and politically necessary.

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Declan Long

only maintain itself with some ghost, can only talk with or about some ghosts.2 Two places at once, was it, or one place twice?3 In 2013, a decade and a half after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, ‘Derry-​Londonderry’ made headlines as the first UK City of Culture. Strategically branding itself as a town-​with-​two-​names –​ granting parity-​of-​esteem to historically polarised perspectives on one place –​ Northern Ireland’s second city used this civic accolade to demonstrate (and build on) many positive developments of the ‘peace’ era. The official logo

in Ghost-haunted land
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City of culture
Mike Savage
Janet Wolff

Manchester: city of culture Mike Savage and Janet Wolff C u lt u r e i n M a n c h e s t e r m a n c h e s t e r : ci t y o f c u lt u r e This collection of essays is premised on the belief that Manchester, through a period of two hundred years and of enormous changes, has been – and remains – an impressive city of culture. The popular version of this view is likely to focus on the more visible moments of innovation – from the proliferation of pioneering cultural institutions associated with the rise of the industrial bourgeoisie in the mid-nineteenth century

in Culture in Manchester
Nico Randeraad

began on new residential neighbourhoods. The statisticians who made their way to Florence witnessed a massive wave of demolition, as they had in Paris twelve years earlier. An old world was vanishing before their eyes, and the new one was no more than a blueprint. But that was how statisticians saw the world: all at once volatile, threatening and challenging. Statistics was their blueprint. Florence was eager to position itself as a city of culture and organised several national festivals. In 1861 – soon after unification – it hosted the first national exhibition. The

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century
The British Labour Party and Derry, 1942–62
Máirtín Ó Catháin

civil strife overshadowed in some respects the celebrations surrounding Derry’s nomination as the UK’s first City of Culture. The British Labour Party and Derry, 1942–62 145  4 Festival of Britain Northern Ireland brochure, uploads/Festival_of_Britain_Feature.pdf (accessed 23 February 2013); Derry City Archives (DCA), Londonderry Corporation Minute Book, Parks, Libraries and Museums Committee, 1917–51, 8 January 1951. I am grateful to Bernadette Walsh, archivist at DCA, for her help and assistance. Derry was the first city to be

in The British Labour Party and twentieth-century Ireland
Murray Stewart Leith
Duncan Sim

begun to regenerate itself as a ‘post-industrial city’, with the arts as a key component, and had adopted the slogan ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better’. It had already won the right to host the National Garden Festival in 1988 and had opened the Burrell Gallery in 1983 (Garcia 2004 ). Although there were criticisms of the Glasgow event as being elitist and ignoring the city’s working-class communities (Mooney 2004 ), the year of the City of Culture had a transformative effect. A key legacy was a major change in the city’s image from a tired negative stereotype to being a

in Scotland
The origins of dissident republicans and their mandate
Sophie A. Whiting

elections as a platform to highlight a number of issues like British policing and the prison issues. As well as that the social issues that would affect the everyday lives of people in our community … There was a lot of people saying they wanted something different, they wanted to vote but none of the parties that were there represented that republican grass roots opinions and ideals.43 An additional motivating factor to run for local election was the disdain felt towards ‘Derry-Londonderry’ being awarded the UK City of Culture. DerryLondonderry was named the first UK

in Spoiling the peace?
Orian Brook
Dave O’Brien
, and
Mark Taylor

school system. This is a key point that we’ll discuss in more detail in Chapter 5 . In terms of regenerating communities, Changing Lives draws on a long-standing policy tradition that art and culture can have place-based benefits. 24 The primary example in the report is the city of Hull’s designation as UK City of Culture in 2017. The programme leveraged funding, provided events designed to increase both local and tourist interest in the city, increased local pride in place, and changed external perceptions. The report also notes how the bidding process for UK

in Culture is bad for you
Sophie A. Whiting

Northern Ireland. Other targets have included PSNI stations and individual members of the police service. The RIRA have also targeted locations involved in Derry’s hosting of the UK City of Culture in 2013 an event viewed as reinforcing Derry’s role within the UK.43 Since the RIRA’s inception, there has been collaboration between the different militant groupings.44 This was formalised at the end of July 2012 when several republican factions announced they had come together within a unified structure under a single leadership via a statement released to the Guardian

in Spoiling the peace?
Voices from Brighton and Bologna
Caterina Mazzilli

Bologna, 2016 ) living in the city proper, and around 1 million in its greater area. Of those living within the city, in February 2016 3 foreign-born residents accounted for 15.24 per cent (Comune di Bologna, 2016 ). The town is home to the oldest university in Europe, established in 1088, around which the city has built a considerable part of its prestige, and which attracts both national and international students. This is not the only reason why it is considered a city of culture: unions and associations have been

in How the other half lives