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This chapter will examine pre-Cold War British spy fictions (exemplified by the work of the Scottish novelist John Buchan) in order to capture a more knowing encounter with various Others (and Imperial ‘Selves’) in Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973). The American Pynchon identifies an early interest in these British genre fictions (especially Buchan’s) in the introduction to his short story collection Slow Learner (1985) and the troubling encounters of one Empire’s popular genres becomes a way to articulate the rise of the US, as another Empire, in Gravity’s Rainbow. This postcolonial interrogation (still unusual in US fiction, or other cultural forms, in the seventies) also allows considerations of the ideology of Whiteness as a force of terror across Pynchon’s text. Pynchon’s work takes the encounter with the Other and identifies it as an encounter with what is feared and unacceptable in the Imperial Self. Whiteness, in this sense, is the ultimate way to disguise the power and violence of control. Pynchon’s readings of spy fiction reflect all his texts’ struggle to represent the construction of Whiteness and the peoples, groups and ideas its ideology ignores.

In: Shades of Whiteness

The purpose of this article is to critically analyse the methodology and impact of the investment chapter the European Union (EU) proposed for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It focusses on the innovations of an appellate body and the incorporation of a ‘right to regulate’-provision, as well as general exceptions that are very similar to Article XX of the GATT. In light of the development that these features have been replicated in the CETA and the EU-Vietnam FTA, it questions why the EU is changing the traditional form of investor-State arbitration in a preferential trade and investment agreement and whether the EU’s model is viable, and formulated on a robust design that will stand the test of time.

In: The Journal of World Investment & Trade

The global trend towards the expansion of student participation in higher education study has resulted in unprecedented challenges to the sector as it seeks to respond to greater diversity in the student body and increased demand for academic support and flexibility in entry pathways. Unsurprisingly, this trend has been accompanied by a proliferation of research examining how universities and higher education are responding to the challenge of meeting the needs of a diverse population of students. This qualitative study, using a dual sector further education and higher education academic partner institution of a dispersed Scottish university as a case-study, investigates the ‘lived experiences’ of learners as they transition into and through the first year of higher education. The data analysis revealed three dominant enablers to student transitions: ‘higher education demystification’, ‘student-centred peer support’ and ‘pastoral care’. The study recognises that student transitions are entangled in circumstances of time and place, as well as the unique dynamics of individual agency and interaction with others. However, by linking the student experiences to wider arcs of understanding on educational transitions, this small-scale study aims to contribute to broader discussions on how to forge better progression pathways between further education and higher education.

Open Access
In: Scottish Educational Review

Abstract

Western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, have been introduced around the world, and can affect native fish through competition and predation. The diet of G. affinis may therefore determine the extent of their interactions with native species. We examined stomach contents of G. affinis from two ponds in central Ohio in 2010, 2015, and 2016. In Olde Minnow Pond, we collected diet data before and after the introduction of the native sunfish, Lepomis megalotis, in 2014. We also collected data for G. affinis for the same period in Wood Duck Pond that has contained G. affinis and Lepomis macrochirus for years prior to the study period. The most important prey were zooplankton, especially Chydorus sp. and Alona sp. Aquatic insects, especially chironomid larvae, were often found in stomachs, with their importance varying by year. The relative consumption of zooplankton increased dramatically in G. affinis , especially females, in Olde Minnow Pond from 2010 to 2015 but then dropped in 2016. In addition, the relative consumption of aquatic insects increased in Olde Minnow Pond after the arrival of L. megalotis compared to 2010. In contrast, the diets of G. affinis in Wood Duck Pond remained relatively similar across the study period. Male and female G. affinis in Olde Minnow Pond had different diets, whereas the diets of males and females in Wood Duck Pond were generally similar. In conclusion, the results of this natural experiment provide circumstantial evidence that the arrival of L. megalotis in Olde Minnow Pond affected the diet of G. affinis.

In: Animal Biology

Abstract

Forest tree composition can affect the distribution and abundance of terrestrial salamanders. We examined the effect of leaf litter type (deciduous or coniferous) and soil type (deciduous and coniferous) on red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) substrate choice using a series of laboratory experiments. Salamanders preferred deciduous leaves over coniferous pine needles and the deciduous soil/deciduous leaf litter combination over all others. In addition, our results suggest that leaf litter type may be more important than soil type in influencing salamander substrate preference in our study. Our results suggest that behavioural avoidance may partially explain differences in P. cinereus abundances in deciduous and coniferous forest habitats.

Full Access
In: Amphibia-Reptilia