The roots of ‘ecocriticism’: Exploring the impact of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’

By Anna Sikora:
Anna Sikora is a tutor, part-time teacher, and final year PhD student in the Discipline of English, National University of Galway, Ireland. She is examining the works of John Wyndham, author of over 60 short stories and 12 novels, including the famous The Day of The Triffids (1951) and The Midwich Cuckoos (1957). Anna is interested to see when and why science fiction authors began to show an awareness of environmental issues, and how this was demonstrated in their work. She is adopting some of the concepts of environmental criticism (ecocriticism) to ask how environmental concerns are articulated in fiction, and whether literature can, and should, influence our daily environmental choices or the ways in which we interact with the environment.

Ecocriticism (environmental criticism) is not exactly new to the humanities, as it has been around for nearly a quarter of a century, but it is the latest to join the set of lenses – such as Marxism, Postcolonial theory and Feminism – through which students are invited to read literature. Do these theoretical frameworks enhance our understanding of literature and the creative process behind writing? Perhaps yes; perhaps no.

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100 years since Finland declared independence: a look back at the creation of a nation

By Lina Gerle
Lina Gerle is a Gale Sales Representative covering the Nordic countries and the Baltics. She joined Gale in 2015 but has more than 10 years’ experience working with Gale resources from her previous career as a local agent. She likes working for Gale because she it gives her the opportunity to be a researcher herself, mapping out the needs of faculty across the territory. When not visiting university libraries or delving in to the Gale archives, she likes talking about big and small things with her children, eating good food and lifting weights.

As Finland celebrates 100 years of independence this year, festivities will be mixed with contemplation of the country’s dramatic history, which has involved complicated relationships with its neighbouring countries, bloody battles and other momentous events which led up to the declaration of independence on December 6, 1917. I decided to delve into Gale Primary Sources to see what I could find out about this tumultuous history.

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The more things change, the more they stay the same – the Jacobite Uprisings of 1715 and 1745

Setting out boldly from France to Scotland with a loyal band of followers, the Pretender raises the Stuart standard upon arrival and the Highland clans rise in support. Edinburgh is attacked, declarations are made, battles are fought against Hanoverian forces – and French support fails to materialise. There are losses, and the Pretender flees back to France. The Uprising is over.

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Exploring perceptions of Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum using Gale Primary Sources

By Tiria Barnes
I am currently a third-year History student at the University of Liverpool, hoping to graduate with an extensive knowledge of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and good quality banter. When I’m not in the library plugging Gale’s amazing resources, I am usually in a hipster independent coffee shop sipping on a cheeky chai latte. Some of my passions include Jesus, street dance, and charity shops.

The International Slavery Museum, situated in Liverpool’s Albert Dock, explores the transatlantic slave trade and its permanent impact on our world. The museum opened in 2007, the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, and has welcomed more than 3.8 million visitors.[1] As suggested by the museum director, David Fleming, the museum does not claim to be a ‘neutral space’. Instead, it attempts to be an active voice in countering racism and promoting the equality of opportunities. The exhibit is also committed to expressing the bravery of the slaves, opposing the notion that they were merely victims.[2] I thought it would be interesting to explore articles written about the International Slavery Museum using Gale Primary Sources, to learn more about the different ways the museum has been perceived.

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Waugh in Print

By Daniel Mercieca
Daniel is an English Literature Finalist and President of both the English Literature Society and Bede Film Society at Durham University. His main research interest is analysing film as an art form, as well as film/TV adaptations of literature with other strong interests in twentieth-century poetry and poetry of the Romantic period. Dan enjoys the independence of thought, interdisciplinary and experimental aspects of studying English and plans to move on to a Masters course in Film and/or English Literature. Dan loves the novels of Thomas Hardy, Evelyn Waugh, Zadie Smith, Louise Erdrich and Annie Proulx as well as the films of Hitchcock, Aranofsky, Scorsese and Reitman. If he is not reading books or watching films then he is probably sleeping, lifeguarding, playing rugby or attempting to cook.

Evelyn Waugh is best known today for his delicately crafted satirical novels of the 1930s including Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies and Scoop. Only in Waugh do you find such precise comic timing and snappy diction: “Who’s that dear, dim, drunk little man?’ ‘That is the person who shot my son.’ ‘My dear, how too shattering for you. Not dead, I hope?” (Decline and Fall).

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The Stuart Papers: from Neglect and Oblivion to the Royal Archives, Windsor Castle

We know that the Stuart Papers were acquired by George IV when he was Prince Regent (1811-1820) following the death of Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal York, the final Jacobite heir, and that it was around this time they were moved from Rome back to the UK. They’re now housed in the Royal Archives, Windsor Castle. I decided to search through Gale Primary Sources, focusing particularly on newspapers and periodicals, to see if I could find out more about how the papers of the exiled Jacobite heirs returned to the UK, and how it has been reported in the press at that time, and since. The initial discovery of the Stuart Papers and their subsequent journey from Rome to Windsor Castle makes fascinating reading.

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Conquer Fake News!

In a recent Toastmasters International article, speaking of fake news and how to conquer it, Gale is mentioned as a reliable source of authoritative information. Here is a small excerpt:

“Knowing how they work can help you get more relevant results from your searches.

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Fireworks Without End

In the UK today, we associate fireworks with the fifth of November and (as the well-known nursery rhyme goes…) gunpowder, treason and plot. For many of us, fireworks are inextricably bound up with the smell of bonfire smoke, and standing in a park or sports ground, ankle deep in mud, waiting for the audio system to work. This is often combined with the unfettered glee of riding a fairground ride that appears never to have been safety tested! And of course, we all know and love the various fireworks themselves: the rockets, Roman Candles, Catherine Wheels, Golden Rain and sparklers. Perhaps your personal favourites are those that burst in gold, and then fizz silver? Maybe those that screech and scream? Or those that launch in a splendid spray of red and blue and then ‘phut’ into nothingness? Or the slow burner… refusing to go off until someone has cautiously poked it with a stick, whilst the others watch terrified that it should explode in the face of the poker… Firework night: a time of education and entertainment for all!

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Fostering a Global Perspective

Post by Mary Ruby.
Mary Ruby is a senior content developer at Gale. Her favourite way of fostering her own global perspective is through international travel, but she most often works on it by following current events and reading.

Global perspective. These words are increasingly uttered by educators and employers who understand that this combination of mindset and acquired skill is a critical element for interacting, working, and succeeding in the twenty-first century world. Continue reading

‘Who knows to suffer, Conquer, and to Save’ – Scottish Romanticism and the Jacobites

A king without a throne, a dashing young prince, and an army of exiles. These basic components of Jacobitism – with some misty lochs, rugged Highlanders, scheming Catholics and royal courts thrown in – lend themselves perfectly to high Romance and adventure. It is no surprise then, that the Stuarts and their Jacobite supporters provided inspiration for early Scottish Romanticism, evident in the works of authors such as Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, the poetry of Robert Burns, and popular tunes like The Skye Boat Song. With a core narrative of brave young men fighting a doomed cause against an oppressive regime, (particularly embodied in the merciless Duke of Cumberland), the stories surrounding the two Jacobite risings remain popular today, as the recent success of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series of historical novels has shown.

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