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Disrupted Knowledge: Scholarship in a Time of Change is a collection of essays that reflects the important work being done by the faculty in the School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University since 2020. It focuses on the intersecting disruptions of Covid-19, #BlackLivesMatter, political extremism, gender justice, the commodification of LGBTQ lives, and social media influence. Chapters in this book interrogate the themes of discourse, materiality, and affect; neoliberalism and commodification; media, citizenship, social relations and objects; the cultural politics of (in)visibility; and self-reflexivity and auto-ethnography.

Contributors are: James Barker, David Bates, Alexander Brown, Briony Carlin, Deborah Chambers, Abbey Couchman, Richard Elliott, Chris Haywood, Joss Hands, Sarah Hill, Gareth Longstaff, Joanne Sayner, Tina Sikka, Steve Walls, Michael Waugh, and Altman Yuzhu Peng.
Sports Semiotics applies semiotics (and other disciplines, secondarily) to analyse the social, cultural, economic and psychological significance of sports. It includes a primer on semiotic theory, sections on the analysis of wrestling by Roland Barthes in his book Mythologies, as well as sections on football and the sacred, the Super Bowl, and the semiotics of televised baseball.
In The Struggle for Development and Democracy Alessandro Olsaretti argues that we need significantly new theories of development and democracy to answer the problem posed by neoliberalism and the populist backlash, namely, uneven development and divisive politics heightened by the 9/11 attacks. This volume proposes a general theory of development and democracy, as part of a unified theory of power, emphasizing that development needs markets, civil society, and the state, and also the proper networks and interactions amongst markets, civil society, and the state. Imperialism undermines these interactions, and turns countries into providers of cheap land or labour. This book begins to sketch the mechanisms at work, and to answer one question: how did imperialist elites build their power?
Equine Medicine and Popular Romance in Late Medieval England explores a seldom-studied trove of English veterinary manuals, illuminating how the daily care of horses they describe reshapes our understanding of equine representation in the popular romance of late medieval England. A saint removes a horse’s leg the more easily to shoe him; a wild horse transforms spur wounds into the self-healing practice of bleeding; a messenger calculates time through his horse’s body. Such are the rich and conflicted visions of horse/human connection in the period. Exploring this imagined relation, Francine McGregor reveals a cultural undercurrent in which medieval England is so reliant on equine bodies that human anxieties, desires, and very orientation in daily life are often figured through them. This book illuminates the complex and contradictory yearnings shaping medieval perceptions of the horse, the self, and the identities born of their affinity.
Media constitute a privileged field of analysis as it interferes dynamically with the current popular ideas and myths (myths which narrate, explain and often justify social realities – such as games of power, economic and financial inequalities, drug dealing, disasters, diseases or pandemic threats). In this frame, the archetypal dimensions of the imaginary, of gossiping and of storytelling also seem to play an important role even in the frame of the (so called) “rational discourse”. Media Narratives is an effort to analyze ongoing narratives (either political or fictional) in Argentina, Brazil, Greece, Mexico or United States, expressing interpretations of contemporary events (such as crimes, scandals, diseases or political activism), but also presenting common beliefs and desires revealed by the popular artistic creations. These narratives compose the mythical background of the contemporary globalized world, the “spirit of the time” as Edgar Morin had named it, a spirit which is expressed in current ideas and mentalities. This effort can be characterized as a representative survey of popular beliefs of the 21st Century represented in storytelling. The articles collected in this book will reveal some important facets of the contemporary mythologies.

Contributors are: Lucia Acuña-Pedro, Graziela Ares, Eduardo Barbabela, Mercedes Calzado, Omar Cerrillo Garnica, Christiana Constantopoulou, Mariana Fernández, Humberto Fernandes, Jaqueline García Cordero, Enrique García Romero, Leda Maria Caira Gitahy, Yamila Gómez, Vanesa Lio, Melina Meimaridis, José A. Ruiz San Román, Pedro Paulo Martins Serra, Hara Stratoudaki, Leandro R. Tessler, and Gabriela Villen.