7,674 research outputs found

    The development of the Kent coalfield 1896-1946

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    One of the unique features of the Kent Coalfield is that it is entirely concealed by newer rocks. The existence of a coalfield under southern England, being a direct link between those of South Wales, Somerset and Bristol in the west and the Ruhr, Belgium. and northern France in the east, was predicted by the geologist R. A. C. Godwin-Austen as early as 1856. It was, however, only the rapid increase in demand for Britain's coal in the last quarter of the nineteenth century that made it worth considering testing this hypothesis. The first boring was made in the years 1886-90, and although it discovered coal, this did not in itself prove the existence of a viable coalfield. This could be done only by incurring the heavy cost of boring systematically over a wide area. As the financial returns from such an undertaking were uncertain, it was not surprising that in the early years, around the turn of the century, a dominant role was played by speculators, who were able to induce numerous small investors to risk some of their savings in the expectation of high profits. As minerals in Britain were privately owned, the early pioneer companies not only had to meet the cost of the exploratory borines, but also, if they were not to see the benefit of their work accrue to others, lease beforehand the right to mine coal from local landowners in as much of the surrounding area as possible. This policy was pursued most vigorously by Arthur Burr, a Surrey land specula tor, who raised capital by creating the Kent Coal Conoessions Ltd. and then floating a series of companies allied to it. Burr's enterprise would probably have been. successful had it not been for the water problems encountered at depth in -v- the coalfield. As a result, the Concessions group found itself in control of most of the coalfield, but without the necessary capital to sink and adequately equip its 01ffi collieries. By 1910, however, the discovery of iron ore deposits in east Kent, coupled with the fact that Kent coal was excellent for coking purposes, began to attract the large steel firms of Bolckow, Vaughan Ltd. and Dorman, Long & Co. Ltd. in to the area. The First World War intervened, however, to delay their plans, and to provide an extended lease of life to the Concessions group, which, by the summer of 1914, was facing financial collapse. By the time Dorman, Lone & Co, in alliance with Weetman Pearson (Lord Cowdray), had acquired control over the greater part of the coalfield from the Concessions group, not only was the country's coal industry declining, but so was its steel industry, which suffered an even more severe rate of contraction during the inter-war years. As a result, Pearson and Dorman Long Ltd. was forced to concentrate just on coal production, and this in turn was hampered not only by the water problems, but also by labour shortages and the schemes introduced by the government in 1930 to restrict the country's coal output, in an attempt to maintain prices and revenue in the industry. Nevertheless, production did show a substantial increase between 1927 and 1935, after which it declined as miners left the coalfield to return to their former districts, where employment opportunities were improving in the late thirties. Supporting roles were played in the inter-war years by Richard Tilden Smith, a share underwriter turned industrialist with long standing interests in the coalfield, who acquired one of the Concessions group's two collieries, and by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co. Ltd., which through subsidiary companies, took over the only colliery to be developed by a pioneer company outside the Concessions group. The impossibility of Kent coal, because of its nature, ever gaining more than token access to the more lucrative household market, and then the failure of the local steel industry to materialise meant that the -vi- companies had to develop alternative outlets for their growing outputs. Although nearness to industrial markets in the south-east of England did confer certain advantages were poor consolation for the hoped for developments of either the early pioneers or the later industrialists. Instead of the expected profits, the companies mostly incurred losses, and only the company acquired by Powell Duffryn ever paid a dividend to its shareholders in the years before nationalisation. From the point of view of the Kent miners, the shortage of labour in the coalfield, particularly in the years 1914-20 and 1927-35, was to an important extent responsible for their being amongst the highest paid in the industry. At the same time the more favourable employment opportunities prevailing in Kent compared with other mining districts enabled the Kent Nine Workers Association to develop into a well organised union, which on the whole was able to look after the interests of its members fairly successfully. Throughout the period 1896 to 1946 the Kent Coalfield existed very much at the margin of the British coal industry. Its failure to develop substantially along the lines envisaged by either the early pioneers or by the later industrialists meant that its importance in national terms always remained small

    The place where curses are manufactured : four poets of the Vietnam War

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    The Vietnam War was unique among American wars. To pinpoint its uniqueness, it was necessary to look for a non-American voice that would enable me to articulate its distinctiveness and explore the American character as observed by an Asian. Takeshi Kaiko proved to be most helpful. From his novel, Into a Black Sun, I was able to establish a working pair of 'bookends' from which to approach the poetry of Walter McDonald, Bruce Weigl, Basil T. Paquet and Steve Mason. Chapter One is devoted to those seemingly mismatched 'bookends,' Walt Whitman and General William C. Westmoreland, and their respective anthropocentric and technocentric visions of progress and the peculiarly American concept of the "open road" as they manifest themselves in Vietnam. In Chapter, Two, I analyze the war poems of Walter McDonald. As a pilot, writing primarily about flying, his poetry manifests General Westmoreland's technocentric vision of the 'road' as determined by and manifest through technology. Chapter Three focuses on the poems of Bruce Weigl. The poems analyzed portray the literal and metaphorical descent from the technocentric, 'numbed' distance of aerial warfare to the world of ground warfare, and the initiation of a 'fucking new guy,' who discovers the contours of the self's interior through a set of experiences that lead from from aerial insertion into the jungle to the degradation of burning human feces. Chapter Four, devoted to the thirteen poems of Basil T. Paquet, focuses on the continuation of the descent begun in Chapter Two. In his capacity as a medic, Paquet's entire body of poems details his quotidian tasks which entail tending the maimed, the mortally wounded and the dead. The final chapter deals with Steve Mason's JohnnY's Song, and his depiction of the plight of Vietnam veterans back in "The World" who are still trapped inside the interior landscape of their individual "ghettoes" of the soul created by their war-time experiences

    Metaphors of London fog, smoke and mist in Victorian and Edwardian Art and Literature

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    Julian Wolfreys has argued that after 1850 writers employed stock images of the city without allowing them to transform their texts. This thesis argues, on the contrary, that metaphorical uses of London fog were complex and subtle during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, at least until 1914. Fog represented, in particular, formlessness and the dissolution of boundaries. Examining the idea of fog in literature, verse, newspaper accounts and journal articles, as well as in the visual arts, as part of a common discourse about London and the state of its inhabitants, this thesis charts how the metaphorical appropriation of this idea changed over time. Four of Dickens's novels are used to track his use of fog as part of a discourse of the natural and unnatural in individual and society, identifying it with London in progressively more negative terms. Visual representations of fog by Constable, Turner, Whistler, Monet, Markino, O'Connor, Roberts and Wyllie and Coburn showed an increasing readiness to engage with this discourse. Social tensions in the city in the 1880s were articulated in art as well as in fiction. Authors like Hay and Barr showed the destruction of London by its fog because of its inhabitants' supposed degeneracy. As the social threat receded, apocalyptic scenarios gave way to a more optimistic view in the work of Owen and others. Henry James used fog as a metaphorical representation of the boundaries of gendered behaviour in public, and the problems faced by women who crossed them. The dissertation also examines fog and individual transgression, in novels and short stories by Lowndes, Stevenson, Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad. After 1914, fog was no more than a crude signifier of Victorian London in literature, film and, later, television, deployed as a cliche instead of the subtle metaphorical idea discussed in this thesis

    Material Economies of South Yorkshire. The Organisation of Metal Production in Roman South Yorkshire.

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    This thesis aims to develop a model for the social organisation and production of ferrous and non-ferrous metals in South Yorkshire during the Roman period. This characterisation of the organisation of metallurgical activities is achieved through a combined methodology that will gather data from grey literature, published literature, as well as chemical, visual and microstructural analysis of metallurgical debris. The metallurgical practices in the study area are primarily rural in nature. These results are looked at through the lenses of Agency, Habitus, and the social construction of craft production. The movement of materials and people within the study area and local specialist practices are central in the interpretation of regional metalworking practices. Furthermore, models of craft production are critiqued, and an alternative modelisation process is suggested to characterise and understand the organisation of metal production in Roman South Yorkshire

    Theorising Christian Anarchism A Political Commentary on the Gospel

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    This thesis argues that there is a tradition in political theology and in political theory that deserves to be called "Christian anarchism." The various thinkers that contribute to this tradition have never before been considered to be part of a theoretical movement or tradition, and the originality of this thesis is to weave these thinkers together and present a generic theory of Christian anarchism. . Taken together, thinkers like Tolstoy, Ellul, Elliott and Andrews put forward a comprehensive exegesis of Jesus' teaching and example as implying a critique of the state and a vision of a stateless society. Based on this understanding of the Gospel, they accuse both the state and the church of contradicting, betraying and corrupting the essence of Christianity. Some Christian anarchists - Eller in particular - even see Romans 13 and the "render unto Caesar" passage as not discrediting but indeed confirming their interpretation, and although more activist Christian anarchists sometimes disagree on the potential role of civil disobedience, they do all stress that what matters above all is obedience to God Moreover, they all call for the "true" church to lead the Christian anarchist revolution by example, despite the very demanding sacrifices which this involves. They point to numerous examples of similar witness ever since the early church, and themselves strive to emulate such examples in their own lives - the Catholic Worker movement being perhaps the most notable example in this regard Thus, Christian anarchist thinkers' critique of the current order and appeal to follow God's radical commandments echoes the voices of the prophets of old, calling society to return to God's covenant. By weaving their scattered voices together - by theorising Christian anarchism - this thesis provides a political commentary on the Gospel which contributes as much to political theory as it does to political theology

    Examining the Potential for Isotope Analyses of Carbon, Nitrogen, and Sulphur in Burned Bone from Experimental and Archaeological Contexts.

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    The aim of this project was to determine whether isotope analyses of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur can be conducted on collagen extracted from burned bone. This project was conducted in two phases: a controlled heating experiment and an archaeological application. The controlled heating experiment used cow (Bos taurus) bone to test the temperature thresholds for the conservation of δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S values. These samples were also used to test the efficacy of Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and colour analysis, for determining the burning intensities experienced by bone burned in unknown conditions. The experiment showed that δ13C values were relatively unchanged up to 400°C (<2‰ variation), while δ15N values were relatively stable up to 200°C (0.5‰ variation). Values of δ34S were also relatively stable up to 200°C (1.4‰ variation). Colour change and FTIR data were well correlated with the change in isotope ratios. Models estimating burning intensities were created from the FTIR data. For the archaeological application, samples were selected from two early Anglo-Saxon cemetery sites: Elsham and Cleatham. Samples were selected from both inhumed and cremated individuals. Among the inhumed individuals δ13C values suggested a C3 terrestrial diet and δ15N values suggested protein derived largely from terrestrial herbivores, as expected for the early Anglo-Saxon period. However, δ34S values suggested the consumption of freshwater resources and that this consumption was related to both the age and sex of the individual. The experimental data shows that there is potential for isotope analyses of cremated remains, as during the cremation process heat exposures are not uniform across the body. The samples selected for the archaeological application, however, were not successful. Bone samples heated in controlled conditions produced viable collagen for isotope analysis; however, there are several differences between experiments conducted in a muffle furnace and open-air pyre cremation that need to be investigated further. Additionally, the influence of taphonomy on collagen survival in burned bone needs to be quantified. Finally, methods of sample selection need to be improved to find bone samples from archaeologically cremated remains that are most likely to retain viable collagen. While there is significant research that must be conducted before this research can be widely applied there are a multitude of cultures that practised cremation throughout history and around the world that could be investigated through the analyses proposed in this project

    Make belief: the art of inventing religions

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    Attention has recently turned, within the study of New Religious Movements, to the phenomenon of invented religions. Invented religions import transmedial works of speculative fiction from art and popular culture and convert these fictions into scriptures for new forms of religious belief. I approach this phenomenon from the unique position of being both a student and practitioner of invented religions. For the past thirteen years, my work as an artist and cultural engineer has focused upon the re-construction of a fictional queer religion as art, called RELIGIONVIR.US. My religion invokes sci-fi franchise culture and merges Judeo-Christian iconography with psychedelic, queer and cyberpunk aesthetics, to produce a religion as an ongoing transmedial space opera whose “episodes” have been presented as artworks in over twenty five countries worldwide. RELIGIONVIR.US explores religion as an infective agent capable of multiplying within the living cells of its host, while proposing religion as a form of multimedia production capable of inspiring beliefs, generating worldviews and engineering cultures. This Practise-led PhD explores the fabrication of my own invented religion in relation to others of its kind, as a manual of techniques both studied and utilised to elicit “religious experiences” in secular publics through art. It speculates upon the processes that conspire to transform something “made” into something “believed”, the possibility of religion as an artistic medium, and probes what happens when people begin to “believe” in something that they know is a fabrication. The contents of my artistic portfolio produced within the auspices of the PhD are presented throughout the dissertation as case studies of “Religious Prosthetics”: devices designed with the intent to conjure religious reactions among various publics. Make Belief: The Art of Invented Religions probes the intersections of art, religion, myth and popular culture to speculate upon the difference between make-believe and make-belief in the post-truth era of deepfakes and alternative facts
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