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Literary criticism and the colonial public
Christopher Hilliard

view to understanding their inadequacy. When the famously stringent Cambridge literary critic F. R. Leavis recommended a thesis topic to a New Zealand post-graduate student, it was, a third party reported, ‘The Reason Why There is No Literature in New Zealand’. 2 Leavis, the driving force behind the journal Scrutiny (1932–53), had former students running English departments at the universities of

in The cultural construction of the British world
Abstract only
Marc Geddes

). Michael Rush ( 2001 , pp. 167–211) argues that the role can be split into three interlinked themes: representing constituents (constituency role), supporting the political party (partisan role) and holding the government to account (scrutiny role). All of these fulfil fundamental functions of parliaments across the world – what will you choose? In this chapter, I look at what it means to be an MP

in Dramas at Westminster
Marc Geddes

networks and relationships here because of their influence in shaping scrutiny practices along the committee corridor and beyond. This forms the basis of this chapter. It shifts focus from the evidence-gathering process, and how MPs and officials interact with evidence, to how MPs interact with each other over the course of a select committee inquiry (and beyond). This is important because, after the evidence

in Dramas at Westminster
Abstract only
Marc Geddes

a useful analogy to supplement analysis of scrutiny, more generally. Indeed, some have taken this even further, with one theatre company producing a play about a select committee’s inquiry into the 2015 bankruptcy of Kids Company (Donmar Warehouse, 2017 ). While previous chapters have focused predominantly on the complexity and diversity of how actors interpret their committee roles, the remainder

in Dramas at Westminster
Select committees and the quest for accountability
Author: Marc Geddes

Based on unprecedented access to the UK Parliament, this book challenges how we understand and think about accountability between government and Parliament. Using data from a three-month research placement, over 45 interviews and more, this book focuses on the everyday practices of MPs and officials to reveal how parliamentarians perform their scrutiny roles. Some MPs adopt the role of a specialist, while others the role of a lone wolf; some are there to try to defend their party while others want to learn about policy. Among these different styles, chairs of committees have to try to reconcile these interpretations and either act as committee-orientated catalysts or attempt to impose order as leadership-orientated chieftains. All of this pushes and pulls scrutiny in lots of competing directions, and tells us that accountability depends on individual beliefs, everyday practices, and the negotiation of dilemmas. In this way, MPs and officials create a drama or spectacle of accountability and use their performance on the parliamentary stage to hold government to account. This book offers the most up-to-date and detailed research on committee practices in the House of Commons, following a range of reforms since 2010. The findings add new dimensions to how we study and understand accountability through the book’s path-breaking empirical focus, theoretical lens, and methodological tools. It is an ideal book for anyone interested in how Parliament works.

Frank Sinatra, Postwar Liberalism and Press Paranoia
Karen McNally

Anti-Communist hysteria had a wide-ranging impact on Hollywood across the postwar period. As writers, directors and stars came under the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) due to the content of their films and their political activities, careers were interrupted indefinitely and Hollywood‘s ability to promote cultural change in the new era following World War II was severely hampered. Frank Sinatra‘s heavy involvement in liberal politics during this period illustrates the problems confronting the American film industry as it attempted to address the country‘s imperfections.

Film Studies
Mattias Frey and Sara Janssen

This introduction to the Film Studies special issue on Sex and the Cinema considers the special place of sex as an object of inquiry in film studies. Providing an overview of three major topic approaches and methodologies – (1) representation, spectatorship and identity politics; (2) the increasing scrutiny of pornography; and (3) new cinema history/media industries studies – this piece argues that the parameters of and changes to the research of sex, broadly defined, in film studies reflect the development of the field and discipline since the 1970s, including the increased focus on putatively ‘low’ cultural forms, on areas of film culture beyond representation and on methods beyond textual/formal analysis.

Film Studies
Monstrosity, Ecocriticism and Socio-Political Anxieties in Two Sea Narratives
Mariaconcetta Costantini

This article analyses two recent American rewritings of the Leviathan myth: Dan Simmons‘s The Terror (2007) and Tim Curran‘s Leviathan (2013). Belonging to a tradition that has fruitfully elaborated the sea monster paradigm, both novels respond to current concerns about the spiritual and ethical decline of Western culture, the perils of anarchy, the monetarization of relations, and the impending ecological disasters. Besides exploring the biblical and Hobbesian intertextuality of the two novels, the article investigates various meanings coalescing into the scary creatures represented by Simmons and Curran. Two other objects of scrutiny are the increasing spectacularization of horror in todays literature and the potentiality of nautical Gothic, a form of writing that connotes the sea as a perturbing generator of psychoontological distress.

Gothic Studies
The Time Problem in Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein
Essaka Joshua

Victor Frankenstein relates his narrative ‘marking the dates with accuracy’, determined that his improbable story will be believed. Through examining the time references, this essay reveals the extent to which the novel is preoccupied with realism and temporal accuracy and demonstrates why the time scheme of Frankenstein is a problem for critics. The narrative can be charted via a consistent and extensive system of time references provided by the three narrators. At a point near the end, Shelley is momentarily vague. Previous decisions on how to deal with this difficulty are opened up to scrutiny, and a detailed chronology of the 1831 version is proposed. Readings which have based their arguments for political or biographical significance on embedded numerology are reexamined using the new chronology.

Gothic Studies
Gareth Atkins

Ever since his violent death in 1556, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer had been used by rival groups to justify their views about the Church of England. Thanks chiefly to John Foxe his burning, in particular, became central to Protestant narratives. In the nineteenth century, however, confessional stories became hotly contested, and amid the ‘rage of history’ erstwhile heroes and martyrs were placed under intense scrutiny. This article uses Cranmers fluctuating reputation as a lens through which to explore changing understandings of the English past. As will become clear, uncertainties over how to place Cranmer bespoke a crisis of Anglican identity, one driven both by divisions within the Church of England and challenges to its political, cultural and intellectual authority from without. Despite and perhaps because of shifts in how he was seen, Cranmers liturgical writings - the Book of Common Prayer - came to be seen as his chief legacy.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library