• Teaching rule‐based algorithmic composition: the PWGL library cluster rules

      Anders, Torsten; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2016)
      This paper presents software suitable for undergraduate students to implement computer programs that compose music. The software offers a low floor (students easily get started) but also a high ceiling (complex compositional theories can be modelled). Our students are particularly interested in tonal music: such aesthetic preferences are supported, without stylistically restricting users of the software. We use a rule‐based approach (constraint programming) to allow for great flexibility. Our software Cluster Rules implements a collection of compositional rules on rhythm, harmony, melody, and counterpoint for the new music constraint system Cluster Engine by Örjan Sandred. The software offers a low floor by observing several guidelines. The programming environment uses visual programming (Cluster Rules and Cluster Engine extend the algorithmic composition system PWGL). Further, music theory definitions follow a template, so students can learn from examples how to create their own definitions. Finally, students are offered a collection of predefined rules, which they can freely combine in their own definitions. Music Technology students, including students without any prior computer programming experience, have successfully used the software. Students used the musical results of their computer programs to create original compositions. The software is also interesting for postgraduate students, composers and researchers. Complex polyphonic constraint problems are supported (high ceiling). Users can freely define their own rules and combine them with predefined rules. Also, Cluster Engine’s efficient search algorithm makes advanced problems solvable in practice.
    • Biblical proximity and women: the image of Arabs in Victorian works of religious nature

      Witwit, May; University of Bedfordshire (Arab World English Journal, 2015-10)
      Abstract The pro-suffrage campaign to elevate the Oriental female did not give emphasis to Arab women; however, they were vividly presented in religious literature and romances of a religious nature. The inferior position and the victimisation of Arab women, attributed to Islam, delivered a political and a religious message that helped steer the Victorian reader’s opinion towards a desired effect. The paper will focus on the image of the Arab woman in some of these publications to highlight that the use of the biblical element of the Middle East was employed to reinforce Christianity and combat Ottomans. The image of the victimised Arab woman also prepared the public for a future military involvement in the Middle East. The paper suggests that the Victorian depiction of the Arab female may well be the precursor of present-day use of Islam-phobic slogans that trigger sorrow easily transformed into anger at the men, culture and the religion that victimise women.
    • Media literacy and transmedia storytelling

      Weedon, Alexis; Knight, Julia; University of Bedfordshire; University of Sunderland (SAGE, 2015-09-29)
      n the United Kingdom there is a debate about how media studies should be taught to 16 to 18 year olds. Should they be studying the artefacts as literature students do with canonical readings of Austen and Shakespeare or the institutions and hegemonic structures of the means of production? If they are to study artefacts then what artefacts should these be? BBC news and the much exported period drama Downton Abbey or popular television franchises which have worldwide take-up such as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (ITV 1998-) The problem with this debate is that it misunderstands the ontological basis of media studies. Media studies have claimed the realms of television, newspapers, cinema, radio and audiovisual texts, their forms, the industries that produce them and the means of distribution and consumption as its object of study. New media researchers have added identity, interactivity, geolocation, engagement, affectivity, sharing, creativity and fan crowd and other forms of online and real life community building through new communications technologies. Ontologically we accept as a basis of our field that as humans we construct and visualize stories – both from fact and fiction – to make sense of the world around us and that by analysing and deconstructing these narratives as researchers we review, challenge or change erroneous or simply dominant knowledge paradigms.
    • Market suitability: the case of Eliza Lynn Linton

      Witwit, May (2015-07-07)
      Market Suitability: The Case of Eliza Lynn Linton At the beginning of her career Linton wrote ‘bold’ novels and articles supporting women’s emancipation but later insisted that the emancipation of women was a “giant mistake.” This paper argues that she changed from a vanguard of modern womanhood into an anti-suffrage misogynist to suit the anti-suffrage press backed by the ruling aristocrats. Her attacks on women began with the women’s emancipation movements and her sensational article ‘The Girl of the Period’ and similar essays criticized the New Woman and highlighted women’s points of weakness. Through chronologically setting the change in her public attitude against real life events, taken from her letters and her barely concealed autobiographic works, this paper attempts to show that Linton’s conversion to anti-feminism in the later part of the 1860s was a change in tactics rather than conviction and a part of her literary industry to achieve fame and keep a reasonable flow of income.
    • Teaching rule-based algorithmic composition: the PWGL library cluster rules

      Anders, Torsten; University of Bedfordshire (2015-07)
      This session reports on an approach to research - informed learning (research - based learning, according to Jenkins et al. (2007)) in the field of Music Technology. In the unit Algorithmic Composition, students learn how to create computer programs that assist the music composition process (using an easy to learn visual programming system). They then use their programs to compose music with them. Our students typically want to compose in a mainstream musical idiom, e.g., virtually all students aim for tonal music, and most often they want a clear rhythmic structure. Constraint programming is a proven approach to successfully model complex mus ic theories like harmony. I recently developed a software library that greatly simplifies the constraint - based modelling of tonal and metric music. More specifically, this new library (called Cluster Rules) provides a collection of predefined musical rules (constraints) for the new music constraint system Cluster Engine by Örjan Sandred (University of Manitoba, Canada). The collection includes various rules on rhythm, melody, harmony and counterpoint. These predefined rules offer a low floor (students easil y get started), but also allow for a high ceiling (highly complex music theories can be modelled freely, by defining further rules for Cluster Engine from scratch). This session will demonstrate the new software, motivate its design, discuss how students u sed this software to generate musical material for their compositions, and it will report on challenges met in that process.
    • Generation and regeneration: a tale of 'Helen’s Babies'.

      Darwood, Nicola (2015-07)
      In 1876 John Habberton published his first novel, Helen's Babies: With Some Account of Their Ways Innocent, Crafty, Angelic, Impish, Witching, and Repulsive, Also, a Partial Record of Their Actions During Ten Days of Their Existence. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of Harry, Helen’s brother, left alone for a fortnight with his two nephews whose behaviour both charms and exhausts him in equal measure. It was a popular adult book from its first edition; however, over the succeeding years the novel has come to be regarded as a children’s book, rather than one for adults, and this transition, this regeneration, provides an interesting component in the history of the publication of children’s fiction. Although Habberton might have believed that the novel ‘had no literary justification for surviving its first summer’,[1] reporting that it was ‘declined by every prominent publishing house in the United States’,[2] George Orwell noted that ‘in its day [the novel was] one of the most popular books in the world–within the British Empire alone it was pirated by twenty different publishing firms, the author receiving a total profit of £40 from a sale of some hundreds of thousands or millions of copies.’[3] Part of its enduring charm may lie in its picture of a past which Orwell describes as ‘not only innocen[t] but [depicting] a sort of native gaiety, a buoyant, carefree feeling’’,[4] its popularity possibly enhanced by the 1924 movie adaptation starring the child actor Baby Peggy and Clara Bow.[5] With each edition and revision of the text, a new audience was sought. The regeneration of the text – from adult book to children’s book – is a fascinating story; through an analysis of six different editions of the book which focuses on the materiality of the book, the type and the illustrations, this paper charts that journey of regeneration, as Helen’s Babies became a novel which was firmly at the heart of childhood in the mid twentieth century.
    • Superficial and Eurosceptic? British press coverage of the EU

      Rowinski, Paul (European Journalism Observatory, 2015-06-08)
    • The happiness illusion: how the media sold us a fairytale

      Hockley, Luke; Fadina, Nadi; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2015-06)
      The Happiness Illusion explores how the metaphorical insights of fairy-tales have been literalised and turned into commodities. In so doing, their ability to educate and entertain has largely been lost. Instead advertising and television sell us products that offer to magically transform the way we look, how we age, where we live –both in the city and the countryside, the possibility of new jobs, and so forth. All of these are supposed to make us happy. But despite the allure of ‘retail therapy’ modern magic has lost its spell.
    • A novel music constraint programming system: the PWGL libraries cluster engine and cluster rules

      Anders, Torsten; Sandred, Örjan (2015-06)
      This workshop demonstrates a music constraint system that offers a user-friendly visual programming interface suitable for rapid development, and at the same time allows for a large range of constraint problems, including complex polyphonic problems. This system consists of the two PWGL libraries Cluster Engine and Cluster Rules.
    • A portrait of lives constrained: Zhang Yimou’s 'Ju Dou'

      Larrea, Carlota (Senses of Cinema Inc., 2015-05)
    • Sense about science - making sense of crime

      Silverman, Jon; Sutherland, Alex; Thompson, Alex; Shepherd, Jonathan; Pease, Ken; Morrison-Coulthard, Lisa; Ross, Nick; Buch, Prateek; Wortley, Richard; Brown, Tracey (Sense About Science, 2015-04-30)
      There’s always heated debate about crime in the media and a lot of political argument about how we should respond to it. But these arguments rarely provide insight into what actually causes crime, what lies behind trends over time and in different places, and how best to go about reducing it. Values inform how a society decides to deal with crime. We may decide that rehabilitation is a better principle than punishment, and this will influence how we decide what is most effective. However, we also expect these choices to be disciplined by sound evidence, because if crime policy ignores what works and what doesn’t, there are likely to be bad social consequences. And with over £10bn spent annually on tackling crime through the police, prisons, probation and courts, unless we look at evidence we can’t see how effective any of it is. Crime policy usually has twin aims – to prevent crime, and to seek justice by punishing those who commit offences. Research shows there’s only a loose link, if any, between the way offenders are punished and the number of offences committed. There is no reliable evidence for example, that capital punishment reduces serious crimes as its supporters claim. Yet politicians and commentators regularly claim that more punishments are a way to cut crime. Academic, government and community organisations have all said crime policies need to be based more on evidence, but much of the evidence available at the moment is poor or unclear. Debates about crime rarely reflect how strong the evidence behind opposing policies is, and even when politicians honestly believe they’re following the evidence, they tend to select evidence that supports their political views. This guide looks at some of the key things we do know and why it has been so difficult to make sense of crime policy. An important point throughout is that policymakers sometimes have to make decisions when things are not clear-cut. They have a better chance of making effective policies if they admit to this uncertainty – and conduct robust research to find out more. In the following pages we have shared insights from experts in violent crime, policing, crime science, psychology and the media’s influence on the crime debate. They don’t have all the answers, but we hope they leave you better-placed to hold policymakers and commentators to account and promote a more useful discussion about crime.
    • Jungian screen studies: ‘Everything is awesome’…?

      Hockley, Luke; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2015-02)
      Jungian film theory has reached a point where it has started to coalesce into a field. It is perhaps timely to take stock of what constitutes that field, and the extent to which a Jungian orientation to film and media is differentiated from Freudian and Lacanian approaches as well as those derived from traditional phenomenology and Deleuze.
    • Multidisciplinary predictors of adherence to dance: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

      Aujla, Imogen; Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2015-01)
      Little is known about the predictors of adherence in a dance context. The aim of this study was to investigate adherence to a dance talent programme using a multidisciplinary set of variables representing psychological correlates of adherence, maturation and physical factors relating to dance talent. Psychological (passion, motivational climate perceptions, eating attitudes), physical competence (vertical jump height, handgrip strength, hamstring flexibility, external hip rotation, aerobic fitness), and maturation-related (age of menarche) variables were gathered from female students enrolled on a dance talent programme. Participation behaviour (adherence/dropout) was collected from the talent programme's records approximately two years later. Logistic regression analysis of 287 participants revealed that greater levels of harmonious passion predicted greater likelihood of adherence to the programme, and greater ego-involving motivational climate perceptions predicted less likelihood of adherence. Neither measures of physical competence nor maturation distinguished adhering from dropout participants. Overall, the results of this study indicate that psychological factors are more important than physical competence and maturation in the participation behaviour of young talented dancers.
    • The Alhondiga project: glocalising culture for the community

      Larrea, Carlota; University of Bedfordshire (2015)
      Positioned as a local, community alternative to the Guggenheim Museum, the Alhondiga cultural centre is one of the many projects of urban regeneration through culture in the city of Bilbao, Northern Spain. It is a multipurpose leisure and arts centre extending over 43,000 square meters, built in the early XXth century as a wine warehouse and redesigned recently by Philip Starck. While the Guggenheim Museum has maintained its international outlook and connotations, oriented towards cultural tourism and being filled primarily by tourists visiting the city, the Alhondiga project is a usable, open space used primarily by the local community, offering an experience that straddles the local and the global, the traditional and the contemporary, the everyday and the cutting edge achieved through a mix of material space design and cultural programming. The presentation will analyse how elements of material and immaterial culture blend in order to foster education, leisure and citizenship agendas in a community which in the past was culturally inward looking. It will evaluate the contrasting understandings of culture and its consumers that emerge from the venue and its programme and the attempt to combine the local and the global both in content and in terms of audience appeal and engagement. It will do so through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the different activities and events, both regular and occasional, over a period of two years, and what they reveal about how community inclusivity and engagement are targeted through cultural programming.
    • Technological cognitive embodiment and the digital ‘other’

      Douse, Louise Emma; University of Bedfordshire (2015)
      This paper extends on Don Ihde’s theories of human/ technology relations in order to clarify the affective interactive experience of self with ‘other’ as mediated by technology. It offers a new conceptualization of world, technology and other within digital performance research. The paper argues that technologies such as motion capture can be utilised in the storing and representing of embodied cognitive skills as in dance improvisation, in which knowledge in the body is articulated through motor skill. This ability to store and manipulate enables interaction with the world, and thus with an ‘other’ via a digital double.