Serial return and regional working-class self-expression: a cultural history of the East Midlands

Wakefield, Thirza (2021) Serial return and regional working-class self-expression: a cultural history of the East Midlands. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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My research focuses on representations of working-class life in the East Midlands. It offers for the first time a comparison of literary and audiovisual works by East Midlands-born and based artists, among them the largely underexplored early dramas of D. H. Lawrence, and Shane Meadows’s This is England television series, which has yet to be subjected to sustained critical analysis. I draw on recent developments in regional studies, neo-genetic criticism, post-colonialism, town planning studies, and cultural sociology, as well as conceptualisations of place and space and person-place relationships that have dominated the discipline of geography since the 1970s, to prove that Lawrence’s mining plays, Meadows’s This is England sequence, and Alan Sillitoe’s four-book Seaton novel series mobilise similar formal and aesthetic strategies for the representation of regional ways of life, and share a basis in the eschewal of the singular, the fixed, and the finished. By examining these works of drama, literary fiction, and television side-by-side, I show that these three artists have in common an artistic sensibility arising from a responsiveness to place, social class, and cultural marginality. My thesis charts a cultural lineage of the East Midlands region, and argues that serialness and its correlatives, repetition and open-endedness, are modes of expression typical of the representation of working-class identity in this historically under-regarded part of the country.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Moran, James
Newsinger, Jack
Keywords: D.H.Lawrence, Shane Meadows, Alan Silitoe, East Midlands
Subjects: H Social sciences > HC Economic history and conditions
P Language and literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
P Language and literature > PR English literature
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Item ID: 66665
Depositing User: Wakefield, Thirza
Date Deposited: 31 Dec 2021 04:41
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2021 04:41

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