Is this lit? Parody and Remediation

Project Management and Advanced Research

I have just now descended from the roller-coaster of folly that was creating a fake magazine. Even I am now wondering how this figures in my project management work. Why did I just commit this crime against humanity? Is it one? Am I undermining my whole academic career? Probably.

Perhaps I ought to explain: I have made a parody creative writing magazine using Adobe InDesign, the programme with which Romantic Textualities is currently designed and formatted. My reasons for creating such a magazine are numerous and flimsy, but seeing as I have made such a thing, and have invested a questionable number of hours into it, I feel I must use it to my advantage, if that is even possible.

The magazine is called ‘Is this Lit?’ and it critiques what it is that makes writing valuable and important. It critiques audience expectation in the bid for views. But how…

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Review of Francesca Saggini’s CRECS talk, ‘From The Vaults: Frances Burney and the Tragic Muse’, 13/03/1



Many thanks to Jannat Ahmed (@PemberleyParade) for writing this review of our CRECS event, which took place on Monday 13 March 2017.

The Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Seminar recently had the pleasure of welcoming Professor Francesca Saggini (Università della Tuscia, Visiting Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge), author of Backstage in the Novel: Frances Burney and the Theater Arts, to present her new (never-before-presented) research on Frances Burney and the Tragic Muse. Discussing the neglect of Burney and her fellow female tragedians in most anthologies of eighteenth-century plays/drama, Saggini drew our attention to the contexts of Burney’s tragedies, and issued a call to take them more seriously.

Opening her talk by likening Burney’s mastectomy to the critical ‘mutilation’ of her literary corpus, Saggini suggested that Burney’s tragedies be seen as a similar excision to her mutilated breast. The rare works that do address the tragedies, such as Peter…

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Open Access (again), Buzzfeed and 15 minutes of Fame

Project Management and Advanced Research

So, I’ve been thinking more about open access and the green, gold and diamond models of which I know very little. However, I do have an analogy that might help me to understand some of the things that are going on.

In the year 2015 at the end of June I made a Buzzfeed quiz for my friend. Buzzfeed allows anyone to make whatever content they wish, from articles to quizzes. Once uploaded, this content is accessible to all.

I was making, in this instance, a not niche, but an apparently not-yet-made quiz: Which Jane Austen Hero are You? A quick search in 2015 yielded no results, and the only quiz there was on such a topic included Austen’s antagonists too, namely Wickham, Willoughby and Mr Collins. Not exactly the heroes I was after.

So, off I went to make the quiz.

However, the day after making that quiz, whose…

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8 reasons why we don’t need printed books

Project Management and Advanced Research

The title of this post is misleading  and is a bold-faced lie because it doesn’t reflect the content, but that is my point. What the title does show is how we make instantaneous assumptions from things like titles which structure our thoughts and our reading in a certain way. The listicle model evoked by this polarising title will most likely either have you thinking ‘But we do need printed books!’ or ‘Let’s see then’ or ‘No, thank you, I don’t want to know about your crazy world, goodbye.’ I myself still see a value in printed books, but I must go on a very long tangent to explain why.

Structure, framework and presentation are all important concepts when we consider the politics of digital reading versus reading from the printed page. Although the territory is still very similar (for readers of English, at least, the eye scans from left to…

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Too many books!

Project Management and Advanced Research

I’m afraid by the time I post this blog all meaning will be wrung out of it by the unfortunate incident of my own proximity. It is much like reading the same word too often:









It’s all nonsense by the end.

While in this scenario the answer might be a measured dose of distance, a different kind of distance is also being prescribed (at least as reading material) to literature students, material that might either endanger or contribute greatly to meaning-making. Touted as the counterpart to close reading, distant reading has emerged.

Distant reading continues to intrigue me while also making me incredibly hostile. I first learnt about it at Cardiff University’s Digital Cultures Network’s Digital Cultures Reading group (CUDCNDCRG or Mikey’s Reading Group for short) where the discussion focused on the extreme nature of Franco Moretti’s Distant Reading that saw…

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Open Access Fake News

Project Management and Advanced Research

20170205_085426563_ios This photo is implying the very opposite of open access.

I’m back, and thinking about the problems of the online world, especially in terms of possible projects. While my aforementioned goal of heroism is perhaps a little out of reach, and even acknowledging such a goal might be shooting myself in the bank account in regards to any of my future journal submissions with these publishers (Is that how it works?), small gains in the reception of smaller, self-maintained, open-access journals might be paving the way for new types of efficient knowledge sharing and impact. Efficient, but I don’t know about economically viable.

My initial foray into project-picking has highlighted this new kind of journal-ism as a possible project area. The way we approach free information online is changing. Wikipedia is no longer wholly dubious. Even the most unassuming blog post can be scrutinised with critical eyes. But how can…

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‘[T]his beautiful city’: ‘Narrative and Nation’’s Field Trip to Bath

Recounting our expedition to Bath.


Blog post by Jannat Ahmed (@PemberleyParade). Photo credits to Caitlin Coxon (@CoxonCaitlin), Jo Daniel (@JFDMID), Anthony Mandal (@CardiffBookHistory) and Sophie Coulombeau (@SMCoulombeau). We are very grateful to the School of English, Communication and Philosophy’s Teaching Enhancement Fund for meeting the costs of this trip and ensuring an accessible learning experience for all students on the module.

This year, the MA Narrative and Nation cohort, led by Dr Sophie Coulombeau and Professor Anthony Mandal, had the wonderful opportunity and pleasure to go on a field trip to Bath. Our psychogeographic exploration of the town sought to consolidate the project of the module: to understand the relationship between narrative and nationhood. But, as it happens, we managed to achieve much more!

After passing multiple heritage plaques within minutes of arriving, our exploration proper began at South Parade, on the River Avon, where we were treated to a reading by Sophie of Frances…

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