Cluster for Research in Cultures and Humanities (RiCH) - Research Seminar Papers

Groin Wounds: David Foster Wallace’s John McCain and Wounded White Masculinity by Edward Jackson - February 2014.

Though widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, an encyclopaedic satire of contemporary American culture and its various addictions, David Foster Wallace was also a prolific essayist, much sought after for his witty, irreverent and at times profound journalistic writing. Constant throughout however was his attempt to resuscitate expressions of unironic sentiment in a hyper-mediated, postmodern landscape. His account of John McCain’s 2000 campaign to become the Republican presidential nominee offers a fascinating insight into this pursuit of sincerity at its most politically contentious.  Wallace’s invocation of McCain’s wounded white masculinity - specifically in relation to his five years as a POW in Vietnam - both underpins and complicates his attempt to cast the politician as an avatar of genuineness in American political discourse. In this talk I will examine the gender politics at play in Wallace’s conflicted estimation of McCain’s much publicized ‘Straight Talk’. I argue that his cautious promotion of McCain’s wounded masculinity provides the rhetorical grounds upon which Wallace explores sincerity as a possible counterforce to a neoliberal emphasis on kneejerk cynicism and irony.

A reading of 'Practical Kabbala', A Tale for Hallowe'en - November 2013

A short story reading by Dr Glyn Hambrook, Reader in Comparative and European Literature and Co-Director of the Centre for Transnational and Transcultural Research. Dr Hambrook read his translation from the Spanish of ‘Kábala práctica’, a tale published in 1897 by a pioneer of fantastic literature in Argentina and beyond, Leopoldo Lugones.

Michael Jacobs: A Journey to the Source of the Magdalena River - March 2013

RiCH public lecture with travel writer Michael Jacobs

Close Encounters of a Guru Kind: Reflections of the Ethnographer as Outsider - December 2012

Lecture by Dr Stephen Jacobs 

Help Your Self: Therapeutic Solutions and Self-Empowerment - June 2012

By Alan Apperley, Steve Jacobs and Mark Jones,

The Raw and the Cooked: Genre, Attitude and the Spectatorship of Death - May 2012

By Elena Woolley 

Horatio Clare - March 2012

Horatio Clare talks about his work and in particular his latest novel, 'The Prince's Pen'

'Mervyn Peake's Life and Works' - February 2012

In this free public lecture his son, Sebastian Peake, takes us on an illustrated tour of his life and works.

Fflur Dafydd - February 2012

The writer, who works in both Welsh and English, discusses her just published re-imagining of a Mabinogion story, The White Trail.