2011-2012 Committee:

Editor-in-Chief Ciara Dangerfield
Assistant Editors-in-Chief Kate Reynolds,
Alexandra Lucas
Publisher Kate Reynolds
Treasurer Alexandra Lucas
Typesetters Kate Reynolds,
Alexandra Lucas
Webmaster Peter Nelson
Cover Design Hana Ross
Editorial Committee Laura Crosby,
Ciara Dangerfield,
Ruth Faram,
Talia Gillis,
Michael Kendall,
Alexandra Lucas,
Laura Rendondo,
Mark Rodgers
SCR Review Committee Mari Sako,
David Parrott


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Volume 7 of The New Collection is available as a PDF download from here. Links to individual articles can be found below.



Articles:

Rachel Becker ‘Wherefore art thou Romeo?’: The Travesti Role of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Benjamin Darnell Contradicting the ‘Confessionalisation’ thesis: the Counter Reformation in seventeenth century France
Talia Gillis Women on Boards: Is it Good or Bad for Business and Does it Matter?
Yvonne Kramo Are there persuasive reasons for having mandatory minimum sentences for crime(s) other than murder?
Alexandra Lucas Detecting Single Molecules of DNA in Nanocapillaries: The New Gene Sequencing
Mark Rodgers ‘O worlds inconstancie’: translation and the ethics of reading in Edmund Spenser’s Complaints
Merlin Seller ‘Scrubbing the top of a well used kitchen table is very close to the way I work’: Questioning Abstraction and Modernity in the Sculptural Reliefs of Ben Nicholson
Emily Spiers ‘This is Utopia’? Narrating Time, Space and History in Jeanette Winterson’s Sexing the Cherry and The PowerBook



‘Wherefore art thou Romeo?’: The Travesti Role of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Rachel Becker
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In this paper, I examine the characteristics of trouser roles operatic roles where male characters are played by female singers and their societal implications, as the changing relationship of the trouser role to operatic norms reflected changes in society, particularly in expressions of gender and socio-sexual characteristics. I then discuss the ways in which Romeo of Vincenzo Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi exhibits the conventions and complications surrounding trouser roles. Looking at both voice and physicality, I investigate the interactions of Romeo and the other characters, and the presentation of Romeo as it intersects with common tropes of trouser role characters. While discussion of trouser roles seems to focus on a few key operas, I believe that I Capuleti occupies a critical point within the operatic tradition of these characters; in some ways a conventional opera of its time, I Capuleti’s relatively late date and prominent trouser role allow it to serve as both as a representative and as an outlier of typical travesti characteristics.

Contradicting the ‘Confessionalisation’ thesis: the Counter Reformation in seventeenth century France
Benjamin Darnell
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Recent literature on the sixteenth and seventeenth century European Reformations has demonstrated that the top-down, elite model of religious change proposed by the confessionalisation thesis bears little relation to reality. Yet, early-modern France continues to be seen as a paradigm case of confessionalisation, in which ecclesiastical and political elites imposed order and religious uniformity on society. In this essay, I argue that the seventeenth century French Reformation was a complex and gradual two-way process, the most extreme elements of which lacked the strong support of the royal government. Religious change was in factmediated by the local clergy and laity, and its results were moderated by the Gallican Church’s diffuse structures and practical limitations.

Women on Boards: Is it Good or Bad for Business and Does it Matter?
Talia Gillis
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Despite the high and increasing proportion of women participating in the work- force, the number of women serving on the board of directors of companies remains troublingly low. Over the past few decades academics and policy-makers have debated the causes of the male domination of boards and how to encourage firms to hire more female directors.
In recent years the prevailing argument for hiring more female directors has become the economic justification, known as the “business case”. The business case claims that female directors can improve the profitability of companies. This article argues that the empirical evidence connecting female directors to firm performance is weak and, furthermore, that advocates of female board participation should not use the business case since it often relies on stereotyping of women in the claims made for distinctly feminine contributions to boards. This renders its support for female directors unconvincing and possibly harmful for broader claims for sex equality. It is suggested that the failings of the business case should lead advocates of the representation of women on boards to rearticulate the moral and social justifications for female participation that were neglected because of the popularity of the business case.

Are there persuasive reasons for having mandatory minimum sentences for crime(s) other than murder?
Yvonne Kramo
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Mandatory sentencing laws that result in significantly enhanced prison terms are among the most severe sanctions which can be imposed on an individual convicted of a criminal offence. They are now commonplace in different penal systems and have been progressively expanded to deal with the perceived prevalence of certain offences. The curtailment of judicial discretion, which is inherent to these sentencing frameworks, often results in overly harsh and inconsistent sentencing. This paper argues that the increasing use of these mandatory minimum sentences is a cause for concern in view of the practical and legal problems that they create. Not only are mandatory sentences inconsistent with the principle of proportionality; the common justifications for their imposition based on deterrence and high levels of public support are also empirically weak.

Detecting Single Molecules of DNA in Nanocapillaries: The New Gene Sequencing
Alexandra Lucas
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Nanopore genetic sequencing has recently reached the public domain with Oxford Nanopore’s MinION, the size of a USB memory stick. Here is an account of a possible alternative sequencer, similar in principle but different materially, used to detect single molecules of DNA using quartz nanocapillaries. λ-DNA, 48,500 base pairs long, were electrophoretically driven through pores with diameters at the nanoscale, in a potassium chloride solution. The electrical current during DNA translocation reflected the folded states of the single molecules.
The salt dependence of such pores is extended in this investigation, covering a concentration range of 0.001-2 M. Translocation of DNA through the pore was found to increase the nanopore conductance for concentrations below 390±100 mM, and increase it for concentration above 390±100 mM linearly, with a slight deviation at 2 M.

‘O worlds inconstancie’: translation and the ethics of reading in Edmund Spenser’s Complaints
Mark Rodgers
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This paper examines the juxtaposition of Edmund Spenser’s translations of Petrarch and du Bellay with several of his own shorter poems in the anthology Complaints Containing sundrie small poemes of the worlds vanitie (1591). Translation is particularly thematized in Spenser’s rendering of du Bellay’s sonnet cycle Antiquitez de Rome as Ruines of Rome. Exploring the dynamics of translation at play in Ruines of Rome, I argue that Spenser’s translations in Complaints act in coordination with the historiographic project of The Faerie Queene (1590); by drawing our attention to the gaps and holes of historical and literary knowledge, Spenser celebrates the creative and illusive elements of translation. The illusion of Complaints effectively constructs a literary genealogy of vernacular lyric reflected materially in the form of the printed book.

‘Scrubbing the top of a well used kitchen table is very close to the way I work’: Questioning Abstraction and Modernity in the Sculptural Reliefs of Ben Nicholson
Merlin Seller
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An investigation of the relationship of representation and the traditional national imaginary to the most seemingly abstract of interwar British Modernisms. This article focuses on explaining the emergence of Ben Nicholson’s White reliefs, questioning previous Formalist analyses and hagiographies.

‘This is Utopia’? Narrating Time, Space and History in Jeanette Winterson’s Sexing the Cherry and The PowerBook
Emily Spiers
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In this paper I explore the British author Jeanette Winterson’s literary engagement with post-twentieth century developments in science and with the possible implications of quantum physics, in particular. I situate Winterson on a continuum of writers who, from the early twentieth century onwards, have challenged the boundaries between science and fiction with their explorations of the New Physics, arguing that Winterson is part of a postmodern continuation of this project. I investigate the manner in which she employs the New Physics thematically and aesthetically in her historical narrative, Sexing the Cherry (1989), and in her ‘interactive’ text, The PowerBook (2000). I enquire whether, by emphasising the ‘story’ in ‘history’, Winterson risks uprooting history from material concerns. Ultimately, this line of questioning leads me to explore whether Winterson’s employment of quantum-physics-inflected narrative for the development of a model of autonomous subjectivity results in ‘entrapment’ in the text.