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THE UNDERGRADUATE, SPRING 2015, Vol. 2, No. 2. Published by THE UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC JOURNAL. Printed and bound in the UNITED KINGDOM by SHORT RUN PRESS LTD, Exeter, Devon. ISSN 2054-8478

8 Ancient History & Classics 12 Business & Economics 16 English & Film 20 International Relations 24 Law 28 Middle Eastern Studies 32 Modern Languages 38 Theology 44 Close Reading: ‘Do Ya Thing’ 47 Focus Feature: Dating in the Twenty-First Century






















DIRECTOR OF The Undergraduate Live

ASSISTANT OF The Undergraduate Live













With our outgoing team: CAMERON HO, CHERRIE KWOK,





t is an undeniable human instinct to always want to discover more.

remember when I went to my first Undergraduate team meeting. It was this time last year, and I had been recently chosen as the new theology editor, a role I had never expected to get. I was terribly nervous, especially when I found myself surrounded by a group of people a lot more academic than myself. As I quickly discovered, this fear was unfounded. I have never worked with a more accepting and engaging group of people before, and through this I learnt exactly what The Undergraduate is really all about. It is a celebration of the minds of young adults, beyond the limitation of our degrees – recognising us for who we are, beyond the numbers and the grades.

Undergraduates, like us, go to university to help satisfy their endless yearning for more knowledge (or at least, in theory we do). I’ll admit, it hasn’t always worked for me – I’ve often found myself drifting off whilst trying to stuff my brain with more knowledge from a dry textbook, and then there was that time I fell asleep in a first-year Microeconomics lecture. Sometimes, studying can be boring. Why do we struggle on through these dark hours? Because they allow us to open the door to times when we’re so fascinated by a passage we’ve read, we can’t stop thinking about it all day long. When we can’t wait to share an interesting fact with the first person who’ll understand what we’re talking about. When we’re inspired to go beyond the course reading list and learn for the sake of learning.

We have one of the most interesting academic fields ever among young adults. We are the most powerful of all the generations that have come before us. We have the most advanced technology and we are the best equipped to make huge advancements. We have also faced the difficulties that inspire us. We are the victims of the politics that have come before us. We have more to talk about than ever, evident in our new focus feature. Last issue we, the academics of the future, took an interdisciplinary look at IS, weighing in on angles not always covered in the mainstream media. This time, we have turned our attention to dating in the modern age. It has been fascinating for me to see our wonderful team create a diverse and intriguing piece from many different angles, on something that is one of the major differences between us and the previous generation – the way in which we date.

I’m writing these words surrounded by Economics textbooks and French grammars in a little town in the mountains in France. Aside from looking up the French for “Should my radiator be making that noise?!”, my academic accomplishments today include researching the financial breakthroughs of recent leaders of national banks and finishing the autobiography of a Belgian author nostalgic for her childhood in Japan. Neither of these tasks is required for my course and no-one would have known about them if I hadn’t told you, but they caught my attention and retained my interest (so much better than that dry old textbook). They also embody what this journal is about – going that one step further to broaden your horizons of the world of academia.

This year, I take on the role of Editor-In-Chief, the first new one since The Undergraduate’s founders. This is undeniably daunting, and in the production of this issue, my already huge respect for our previous Editor has grown ten-fold. I believe that The Undergraduate has the potential to be a very influential and powerful publication, and it is my intention to ensure that happens. I will be very sad to see our outgoing team leave, they are a wonderful and engaging group of people that I have learnt so much from and have felt honoured to work with. I wish them all the best in the future. As sad as this may be, it opens up the way for a new team of editors and readers that are ready for the coming year. Working with them for the last few weeks has been fantastic and I have very high hopes for the year ahead. I truly believe that with their hard work and dedication, The Undergraduate will continue to grow from strength to strength. Having said that, we couldn’t do any of this without the people that submit to us. This issue we had a record breaking number of submissions and it has been a joy for me to read them all. It was harder than ever for our editors to choose which essay to publish and if we were able, I would publish all of them. The essays we have chosen are dynamic and drew our attention and I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I have done. Thank you for submitting, and thank you for reading and here is to the year ahead – may it be our biggest year yet.

We at The Undergraduate really value interesting articles that appeal to all, regardless of discipline. We strive to find essays that everyone can and wants to read. In this fourth step on our journey of undergraduate journal greatness, we’re moving out onto a new path with a change in leadership for the first time. We’re all working hard to make sure it’s a smooth one and I’m so grateful for the incredible team effort in taking us on our way, guided by the great examples before us and lead by the fantastic Rosemary Lennie, new Editor-in-Chief, who has done a fantastic job of steering around the bumps along the road. Just one final note of thanks to all who continue to donate their time, energy and funds to our benevolent venture. If time is money, we know that students have a lot of the former and little of the latter. The journal always has been and always will be free, thanks to the tireless efforts of our administrative team. The coming year will be the last one financed by the incredibly generous University of Exeter Annual Fund, so our committee’s work is now ever more important in securing the uninhibited future of the journal. Please wish them luck in their search for further support. Here’s our latest selection. Dive in, see what you think and ask yourself what you’ve come across on your quest for knowledge that you could contribute next time. I do hope we pique your interest. CAROLINE HUGHES INCOMING PRESIDENT 2015/16









ANCIENT HISTORY AND CLASSICS In this cleverly structured and original piece, the murky relationship between Roman love elegy and the longestablished epic tradition is made readily accessible. The author combines an engaging critique of recent scholarly approaches with penetrating literary analysis to produce work of a rare standard. This essay has effortless relevance to modern creative writers, and will intrigue students from a panoply of Arts subjects. SUBJECT EDITOR Jack West-Sherring

The Relationship Between Roman Love Elegy and Epic: How Did the Elegists Engage with the Epic Genre? written by Ben Pullan


hroughout love elegy’s brief heyday, its weightier, more appropriate ‘cousin’ epic loomed over it. The elegies of Ovid and Propertius were written in a society governed by an imperial regime, in whose eyes ‘good poetry’ addressed topics such as martial prowess, pride for your country, and national heroes, all of which Homer had covered in his twin epics seven hundred years earlier. More prevalent was the emergence of Rome’s equivalent, Virgil’s magnum opus, the Aeneid, which was published in 19 BC, and by the time Ovid’s Amores were first released (only three years later), was already considered by emperor and public alike as Rome’s greatest piece of literature. Such was the backdrop to which the elegists had to write. The pressure applied on love elegy by the elevated status that Augustan society gave epic forced the elegists to engage with epic material, in forms varying from defending their own poetic choice, to subverting the balance of power by reworking epic’s material to suit an elegiac purpose. Despite this, through their engagement with epic material, the elegists display an underlying admiration for the achievements of the epicists.

he had “meant in solemn metre to rehearse / A tale of arms and war and violence, / […] But Cupidlaughed (they say) / And filched one foot away.”t Contrary to Keith’s claim that the purpose of Ovid’s recall of the Aeneid is to put himself on a pedestal with Virgil, I would suggest that, by imitating Rome’s greatest practitioner of epic poetry in this ridiculous context, he is trying to undermine it to the full.4 In addition to subverting the opening of Rome’s greatest epic, Ovid re-works the Virgilian recusatio from Eclogue 6, fittingly replacing Apollo with Cupid, who makes Ovid’s verse elegiac by stealing a foot from the second dactylic hexameter in the couplet. Farrell suggests that Ovid here is restoring the Callimachean recusatio to its rightful place, elegy.5 I would agree with this, as the light-hearted mockery of epic in Ovid’s recalls the famous ‘small is better than big’ opening of Callimachus’ Aetia.6

The risqué manner in which the elegists sometimes engaged with epic is prevalent in the elegists’ defence of their choice to write love poetry. Throughout ancient literature, it is common that, when poets wrote material other than epic, they gave a recusatio, defending themselves for doing so. Even Virgil himself writes in Eclogue 6 that Apollo, the god of poetry, convinced him to write bucolic as opposed to epic.1 Ovid subverts this tradition completely in Amores 1.1. Echoing the famous opening of Virgil’s epic – “Arma virumque cano”2 – Ovid describes how 1 2

In the opening of Propertius’ second book of poems he similarly refutes the traditional recusatio, saying how, in direct address to his patron Maecenas, rather than Apollo or a muse, the only inspiration for his love poetry is a girl.7 This is risky; as a chief advisor to Augustus, Maecenas encouraged the writing of the 3 4 5 6 7

Virgil, Eclogues VI, 5. Virgil, Aeneid I.1, 1.


Ovid, Amores I.1, 1-6. Keith (1992) 329. Farrell (2004) 43. Callimachus, Aetia I, 9-10. Propertius, II.1, 4.

‘right’ type of poetry. But in a more straightforward recusatio than Ovid’s, Propertius says simply that the Fates denied him the “power” to address the weighty topics of epic. Furthermore, if they had, according to Propertius, he would not have sung of Homeric heroes, rather he would “record your Caesar’s wars and works, and you / Would be the second theme to mighty Caesar.”8 However, we read on that he does not have the “heart to trace back Caesar’s name / In rugged verse to Phrygian ancestors.”9 Similarly to Ovid’s opening, Propertius here is belittling the Aeneid; both poets use their recusationes to subtly attack epic.

Though both Propertius and Ovid display irritation at the way Augustan Rome elevates epic material tothe detriment of love elegy, they, as poets, are aware of the significance of the epicists to their art. They both crave the posthumous fame that epic poets have achieved or will do so. In Amores 1.15, Ovid names a variety of poetic greats from different genres who are in this category, which includes Virgil (“Aeneid, Eclogues, Georgics shall be read / As long as Rome’s the conquered globe’s great head”16), before stating that he too will acquire this fame: “so I / When the last flame devouring me has gone, / Shall still survive and all the that’s best live on.”17 Propertius similarly proclaims Virgil’s fame in 2.34 (“Make way, you Roman writers, and you Greek, make way! / A greater than the Iliad is born.”18), before saying how Cynthia will live on in death “If fame agrees to add me to that list [of great poets].”19 It would be naïve to dismiss this as pure envy on the elegists’ behalf. In 3.2, Propertius describes how the great monuments of the world will not last forever, “But age will not destroy the name achieved by talent; / Talent’s glory stands – immortal.”20 Ovid echoes this sentiment in Amores 1.15 (“over poetry death has no sway”21) and in 3.9 (“Verse, verse alone escapes the insatiate pyre”22). In citing the epic poets as exempla for this, Ovid and Propertius are acknowledging the epicists’ talents. Farrell argues convincingly that Ovid’s appreciation for Virgil’s skill extended further – that Ovid, in order to increase his own fame, modelled his career on Virgil’s.23 Farrell argues that, when in Amores 1.1 Ovid claims that he has tried and failed to write epic, he is deliberately echoing Virgil’s claims in his Eclogues, similarly his first major work.24 He then highlights how Ovid followed Virgil’s transition to didactic with his Ars Amatoria.25 He omits Ovid’s further transition to epic, his fifteenbook hexameter poem the Metamorphoses, which imitates and reworks the Aeneid frequently. Ovid may not have deliberately planned his poetic careerpath to follow Virgil’s, but Ovid’s admiration for the epicist is plain. His and Propertius’ complaints were not concerning the calibre of the epicists’ work, rather

Both elegists extend the defence of their genre by directly addressing elegies to epicists. In Amores 2.18, Ovid writes to the epic poet Macer, explaining how he is stuck writing elegy: “I’m idling, Macer, in the shade of Venus; / Love wrecks the fine themes I’d have faced before.”10 It seems as if Ovid is lamenting the fact that he himself does not write epic, but the tone changes. For he claims, having mentioned exempla of ‘epic’ lovers, that “You, Macer, too, within our epic limits / In midst of warfare sing love’s sweet desire”11, and furthermore, in the final couplet of the poem, that his epic opponent would “rather write of love than war”, and will soon be converted to writing elegy.12 In the contest between elegy and epic, Ovid is declaring open war. Propertius increases this antiepic aggression in his equivalent, the twin poems 1.7 and 1.9. In 1.7, Propertius tells the epicist Ponticus that, if he were “hit by the Boy’s inerrant bow [the arrow of Cupid],”13 he would appreciate the difficulty of writing good love poetry, and warns him: “take care in your pride not to despise my verse.”14 The sequel, 1.9, contains some of the most overt anti-epic diction in the genre. Ponticus has not heeded Propertius’ advice and has fallen in love, and the elegist now takes his chance to vent his frustrations about epic’s dominance: “Much good it does you now, poor wretch, to mouth your epic / […] Please go and stow away those gloomy cantos / And sing what every girl would like to hear.”15 Both poets, therefore, display a desire to defend their genre, which they feel has been belittled by the pro-Augustan forces in society.

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Ibid., 17-26. Ibid., 40-41. Ovid, Amores II.18, 3-4. Ibid., 35-36. Ibid., 39-40. Propertius, I.7, 15. Ibid., 25. Propertius, I.9, 9-14.


Ovid, Amores I.15, 29-30. Ibid., 44-45. Propertius II.34, 64-65. Ibid., 94. Propertius III.2, 19-26. Ovid, Amores I.15, 35. Ovid, Amores III.9, 28. Farrell (2004) 41. Ibid., 42. Ibid., 44.

Aeneas. Again, the similarities are impossible to ignore – a man accused of unfaithfulness by theghost of a past lover.34 Allison likewise points out how the furor displayed by Cynthia on her return in 4.8 recalls Dido’s final moments in Aeneid IV.35 Cynthia’s return in these poems is significant, as Book Four had started with Propertius seemingly drifting towards appeasing Maecenas and abandoning elegy. However, his mistress comes back as a symbol for elegy, reminding Propertius of his forgotten love and fighting for it. By writing “elegy in epic garb”36 with Homeric and Virgilian undertones Propertius highlights the conflicting forces he faces in regard to his poetic career.

its dominance over love elegy in Augustan Rome. In addition to this, both elegists frequently use epic material in their work, which they manipulate to suit an elegiac purpose. Their engagement with epic exempla varies in its potential offensiveness. Epic is often used by the elegists to illustrate the concept of militia amoris. In 2.14, for example, Propertius states that the joy Agamemnon felt when he conquered Troy was “less keen than my rapture this past night”26. Though bathetic, this is harmless wit from Propertius. Propertius also cites epic in more serious, sincere situations, such as in 3.12, where he compares the situation of a Roman soldier departing on campaign and leaving behind a faithful wife to Ulysses and Penelope.27 Dalzell describes how Propertius “read Greek epic with the eyes of a Roman elegist”; we see this clearly in 2.8 which he describes as an “elegiac Iliad”.28 In this poem, in order to illustrate his point that lost love causes immense pain, Propertius cleverly shifts the focus of the Iliad onto the love story of Achilles and Briseis, emphasising that Agamemnon’s theft of Briseis provided the catalyst for the chain of deaths which ended with Achilles’ abuse of Hector’s body.29 Propertius’ manipulation of the story is typical of his virtuosity, which was “at least part of what was meant in Augustan Rome by being a follower of Callimachus.”30 This comes to the fore in 4.7 and 4.8, where Propertius cleverly parodies two Homeric passages in poems with an elegiac subject matter. In 4.7, Cynthia bizarrely returns to Propertius as a ghost, castigating him for having moved on too quickly from her passing.31 It is impossible to dismiss the likeness of this passage to the famous speech of the ghost of Patroclus to Achilles in Iliad 23, in which Patroclus similarly criticises Achilles for forgetting him in death.32 Dalzell detects a similar likeness in the poem’s sequel 4.8 to Odysseus’ conflict with Penelope’s suitors in Odyssey 22, citing the violent nature of both characters’ return, the driving out of potential lovers and the ensuing purification process.33 Allison highlights a further epic undertone to this pair of poems, the relationship of Dido and 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

Ovid’s reworking of epic is more offensive. In Amores 1.7, he takes the concept of militia amoris to the extreme, using epic language to describe the feelings that prompted him to abuse his mistress. Ovid describes how: “My frenzy [furor] roused rash hands against my mistress, / My mad [vaesana] hands hurt her and my girl’s in tears”37. As Greene suggests, Ovid’s use of this elevated, Virgilian language to describe this abusive scene is grotesque.38 Ovid describes the rewards of victory in his militia amoris with similarly epic terms such as “victor”, “triumphos”, “Iovi” and “victa”.39 Though, as Cahoon points out, Ovid is mocking his own ‘conquest’, he is still taking epic material and subverting it to an elegiac and deeply anti-Augustan purpose.40 The way in which the elegists subverted epic material to suit their own agenda is key to our understanding of how the elegists engaged with the epicists. For, though it is clear that Ovid and Propertius were not ignorant of the epicists’ skill and of epic’s significance, they felt that their art was being repressed by epic’s dominance in a pro-Augustan society. By re-working epic to suit an elegiac purpose they were reversing the balance of power. It is, nevertheless, important to remember the respect for the epicists’ achievements that both Ovid and Propertius display in their elegies. Both list Homer and Virgil as poets whose talents have ensured that their work will last forever, and by engaging with and reworking the material of these epicists, they are showing their awareness of

Propertius II.14, 1-10. Propertius II.12, 1-38. Dalzell (1980) 30. Propertius II.8, 29-40. Dalzell (1980) 35. Propertius IV.7, 1-96. Homer, Iliad XXIII, 69-92. Dalzell (1980) 33.

34 35 36 37 38 39 40


Allison (1980) 332. Ibid., 335. Ibid., 332. Ovid, Amores I.7, 3-4. Greene (1999) 412. Ovid, Amores I.7, 35-38. Cahoon (1988) 297.

its importance. It should also be said that both Ovid and Propertius hint at a future in which they could be writing epic in their elegies.41 Ovid, of course, completed this transition with the publication of his Metamorphoses. So it would be naïve to say that the elegists rejected epic; rather, they appreciated and admired the epicists’ skill and achievements, and therefore used epic material, but subverted it to suit an elegiac purpose, in order to overturn the dominant position epic held in Augustan society over love elegy.

41 Ovid, Amores III.15, 1-2. Propertius III.9, 47- 48.

Works Cited Primary Texts

Callimachus, Aetia, trans. by C.A. Trypanis (London, 1958). Homer, Iliad, trans. by R. Lattimore (Chicago, 1951). Homer, Odyssey, trans. by E.V. Rieu (London, 1946). Ovid, Amores, trans. by A.D. Melville (Oxford, 1990). Propertius, The Poems, trans. by G. Lee (Oxford 1994). Virgil, Eclogues, trans. by H.R. Fairclough (London, 1919). Virgil, Aeneid I-VI, trans. by H.R. Fairclough (London, 1919).

Secondary Texts

Allison, J. W. (1980) ‘Virgilian Themes in Propertius 4.7 and 8’, Classical Philology 75: 332-338. Cahoon, L. (1988) ‘The Bed as Battlefield: Erotic Conquest and Military Metaphor in Ovid’s Amores’, Transactions of the American Philological Association 118: 293-307. Dalzell, A. (1980) ‘Homeric Themes in Propertius’, Hermathena 129: 29-36. Farrell, J. (2004) ‘Ovid’s Virgilian Career’, Materiali e discussioni per l’analisi dei testi classici 52: 41-55. Greene, E. (1999) ‘Travesties of Love: Violence and Voyeurism in Ovid Amores 1.7’, Classical World 92: 409-18. Keith, A. M. (1992) ‘Amores 1.1: Propertius and the Ovidian Programme’ in C. Deroux, ed. Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History VI. Brussels: Latomus.


BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS In a world where competition for product sales is an everyday occurrence, particular shelf placement is just one strategy used by companies to increase their profits. This essay discusses the rationale behind ‘eye-level’ shelving, and whether it is an effective strategy. We picked this essay, because while it is business-focused, it addresses many other issues, and therefore succeeds at reflecting The Undergraduate’s ethos of being interdisciplinary. SUBJECT EDITOR Agata Siuchninska

More Expensive at Eye Level: Price Discrimination in Supermarket Shelf Space written by Alice Tapper


ever before has competition between supermarkets been so fierce. With increasingly thin margins and shifts in buying behavior, supermarkets have been left in a desperate state, scrambling for market share (Buttle, 2007). As consumers become increasingly impermeable to mass-media marketing, influencing consumers instore has become a necessity, reflected in huge shifts in promotional spending (Muris et al., 2002). One manifestation of these efforts can be observed in the pervasive use of slotting fees: “fees manufacturers pay to retailers in order to obtain retail shelf space” (Aalberts and Jennings, 1999, p.1). Whilst this form of pricing has been commonplace since 1987, it is only recently that supermarkets have incorporated price discrimination into the slotting fees model, charging more for “valuable” eye level shelves on the assumption that sales are higher in these locations (Weiten, 2002). In order to understand the rationale for shelf-level price discrimination, this essay will take a three-fold approach. Beginning with the analysis of relevant marketing literature, it will examine the effectiveness of the strategy in bolstering sales, questioning whether certain shelves really are more valuable than others. Following this, the computational searching processes of consumers will be examined, assessing the apparent preference for “eye-level” products. Finally, the evidence will be evaluated further, looking at the criticisms for the models discussed and ethical concerns over the use of this prevalent pricing strategy. There is a notion within retail space allocation literature that “Eye-Level is Buy Level”, a concept which informs the shelf-space allocation of many supermarkets (Buttle, 2007). This belief is founded on research, which finds increased sales in “eyelevel” products”. The Colonial Study was the first to investigate this theory, determining that the number of items picked at “eye-level” far exceeded

“floor level” or “waist level” picks. This translated into sales, where sales at floor level and waist level were just 57% and 74% of those at “eye-level”, respectively (Curhan, 1973). More recently, the Food Marketing Institute confirmed these findings, suggesting that “eye-level” (approx. 5 ft. 2), offers the greatest chance of selling success (Muris et al., 2002). Matamalas and Ramos (2009) conclude that “eye-level” offers the most attractive space as it requires the shopper to engage in the least physical effort, rendering “foot” level a relatively unproductive space (Corstjens and Doyle, 1981). In a sector battling for market share it is unsurprising that these findings have found their way into the general practices of supermarket space allocation. For supermarkets, the benefits of “eye-level” shelves offer an opportunity to implement product versioning into the previously existing “slotting fees” model. Supermarkets have created a market for shelving location, charging suppliers for the space they wish to acquire (Manuel, 2007), boosting their margins. (Curhan, 1973). Product versioning of this kind not only accommodates the different utilities of the suppliers, allowing shelf space to be allocated accordingly but also favours larger brands. For smaller brands, “eye-level” slotting fees may be too expensive, thus leaving the optimal shelf spaces for “big brand” products, which deliver higher profits (Aalberts and Jennings, 1999). Whilst the Colonial Study is insightful, it may be outdated. The 2008 Recession and rise in


online shopping have developed consumer’s thriftiness, with many shopping around for the best deal(Flatters and Willmott, 2009). This is reflected in the recent growth of discount retailers, Aldi and Lidl, who interestingly do not use slotting fees (Jonas and Roosen, 2005).

items that require the least physical effort (Buttle, 1984). Unlike the traditionalview of unbounded rationality, Simon’s model allows for the consumer to limit their search to “eye-level” products, only moving to other shelf levels if the initial “eye-level” search fails to meet a satisficing level of utility (Caplin, Dean and Martin, 2011). This therefore, significantly reduces the chance of a “non-eye level” product being chosen.

Given these developments in consumer behavior, it is possible that this increasing frugality renders shelflevel price discrimination less effective. In order to fully examine the rationale behind shelf-level price discrimination, it is important to look beyond the outcomes of shelf level on sales, and into the behavior and cognition of the consumer. This will enable us to understand why it is that “eye-level” products are chosen more over those at “foot level”. It is only through understanding the computational search processes of consumers, that supermarkets will be able to make predictions about how shelf space allocation affects choices (Pierre and Chandon et al., 2008).

Research supports the presence of this behavior in a supermarket context. In an eye-tracking study by Reutskaja et al (2011), decisions over supermarket products with differing values were examined. Despite shelf space being allocated randomly, subjects more frequently chose “centrally located” items. Further supporting the use of a bounded rationality, other studies have also shown that in timeconstrained and high-information environments, such as the supermarket, simpler computational models are utilised (Bettman, Luce and Payne, 1998; Maule and Edland, 1997). Research shows that as the number of products increases, the consumer simplifies the decision making process, by using an elimination strategy (Carson et al., 1994). Cognitive Psychologists also offer a useful insight into this behavior through the “Choice Overload” hypothesis, which posits that as available options increase, consumers find it increasingly hard to make decisions. This helps explain why consumers often appear to rule out other shelves, choosing “eye-level” products more frequently (Townsend and Kahn, 2014).

Within the “low consequence” environment of the supermarket, the traditional “unbounded” view of rationality cannot account for preferentially choosing items at “eye-level” (Todd, 2012, p.4). This view posits that the searching process involves the weighting and processing of all information, before deciding which option provides the greatest utility (Stigler, 1961; McCall, 1970). However, the relationship between shelf-level and product preference does not imply a rational calculation of utility. Rather, this behavior points towards the application of “fast and frugal” heuristics, processes found within the bounded rationality perspective (Todd, 2001, p.3). This offers a more compelling and realistic account of the consumer’s preference for “eye-level” products. Simon (1955), who championed this view of cognition, found that consumers are limited in their ability to process information when making decisions and thus use “approximate methods to handle most tasks” (Simon, 1990, p.6). One method, which forms the basis of Simon’s “satisficing model” is the use of search heuristics, in which humans implement a lower bound and search sequentially, until a “satisficing” level of utility is achieved (Caplin, Dean and Martin, 2011). Simon’s model of satisficing offers a convincing explanation for the preference for “eye-level” products over those at lower levels. It asserts that consumers limit the available information by ruling out less accessible and prominent items, before adopting an item-by-item search until a product is found that provides a “satisficing” level of utility (Prabha et al., 2007). This is consistent with previous literature, which states that consumers typically “seek to process as little data as is necessary in order to make decisions” (Haines, 1974, p.96) and picking

Having examined the computational and cognitive processes of the consumer, we have gained a greater insight into the processes behind the consumer’s preference for “eye-level” products. With the integration of the marketing literature, the creation of a slotting fee market and the rationale for shelf-level price discrimination becomes a logical step for the margin-wary supermarket. However, despite finding grounds for differentiated shelf-level pricing there are a number of criticisms with the theory, which lead us to questions some aspects of the rationale. Firstly, whilst Simon’s model satisficing corresponds well with the consumer’s preference for “eye-level” products, literature examining the computational processes in supermarket shoppers is sparse with the marketing literature possibly outdated. Furthemore, most studies examine decision making in an artificial environment. A more recent study, found no case for a complete model of satisficing within a supermarket context, but rather proposed a “hybrid model”, combining both optimal search theory and satisfying (Reutskaja, 2011). These observations highlight the possibility that consumers do undergo a more calculated search process, leaving a differentiated pricing strategy less valid.


Secondly, in applying Simon’s model of satisficingthere runs the risk of oversimplifying consumer behavior. Studies show that there are a number of factors that influence the comprehensiveness of the computational process, including time constraints and level of product involvement (Weiten, 1998). Targeted research is required, for example, given the differing demographics of supermarket shoppers and the impact of the 2008 recession on consumer behavior, it would be useful to investigate frugality and the effectiveness of “eye-level” shelf placement.

Works Cited Aalberts, Robert J., and Marianne M. Jennings. “The ethics of slotting: is this bribery, facilitation marketing or just plain competition?.” Journal of Business Ethics 20.3 (1999): 207-215. Bettman, James R., Mary Frances Luce, and John W. Payne. “Constructive consumer choice processes.” Journal of consumer research 25, no. 3 (1998): 187217.

Finally, supermarkets must also consider the ethics of utilising this strategy. It is commonly argued that slotting fees are anti-competitive, placing smaller suppliers who cannot afford the expensive “eye-level” spaces, at a disadvantage. There are also concerns over the exploitation of the consumer’s preference for “eye-level” products, challenging the traditional Friedman notion, as to whether retailers have a duty to protect the welfare of consumers (Aalberts and Jennings, 1999). Drawing from the bounded rationality perspective, Libertarian Paternalists argue that they do, advising public policy makers to encourage supermarkets to place “healthier” product options at “eye-level”, in order to “nudge” consumers towards “better” decisions (Sunstein and Thaler, 2003).

Buttle, Francis. “Retail space allocation.” International Journal of Physical Distribution & Materials Management 14.4 (1984): 3-23. Caplin, Andrew, Mark Dean, and Daniel Martin. “Search and satisficing.” The American Economic Review (2011): 2899-2922. Carson, Richard T., Jordan J. Louviere, Donald A. Anderson, Phipps Arabie, David S. Bunch, David A. Hensher, Richard M. Johnson et al. “Experimental analysis of choice.” Marketing letters 5, no. 4 (1994): 351-367.

Whilst the integration of marketing literature and computational search process theory sheds light on the rationale behind shelf-level price discrimination, recent and focused marketing literature examining its effectiveness, is sparse. In order to gain a more definitive understanding of the practice, further studies investigating its impact on sales in a contemporary context are required. Further research into the computational processes of supermarket shoppers would also be beneficial, with the examination of specific variables such as shop-type and frugality. This could include further examination of the aforementioned hybrid model. It may also be beneficial for supermarkets to carry out their own in-store research. Finally, gaining a more substantiated understanding of the rationale has important implications for both supermarkets’ promotional spending and on policy makers who must evaluate the ethical implications and consider the need for policy intervention.

Corstjens, Marcel, and Peter Doyle. “A model for optimizing retail space allocations.” Management Science 27, no. 7 (1981): 822-833. Curhan, Ronald C. “Shelf space allocation and profit maximization in mass retailing.” The Journal of Marketing (1973): 54-60. Fearne, Andrew, Rachel Duffy, and David Hughes. “Concepts of collaboration: supply chain management in a global food industry.” (2001): 5589. Flatters, Paul, and Michael Willmott. “Understanding the post-recession consumer.” Harvard Business Review 87, no. 7/8 (2009): 106-112. Gigerenzer, Gerd, and Peter M. Todd. “Simple heuristics that make us smart.” Oxford University Press, 1999. Goldstein, Daniel G., and Gerd Gigerenzer. “Models of ecological rationality: the recognition heuristic.” Psychological review 109, no. 1 (2002): 75.


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Todd, Peter M. “Fast and frugal heuristics for environmentally bounded minds.” Bounded rationality: The adaptive toolbox (2001): 51-70.

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Todd, Peter M., Yvonne Rogers, and Stephen J. Payne. “Nudging the Trolley in the Supermarket: How to Deliver the Right.” Developments in Technologies for Human-Centric Mobile Computing and Applications (2012): 99. Townsend, Claudia, and Barbara E. Kahn. “The “visual preference heuristic”: the influence of visual versus verbal depiction on assortment processing, perceived variety, and choice overload.” Journal of Consumer Research 40, no. 5 (2014): 993-1015.

Matamalas, Rafael Lucena, and M. Santandreu Ramos. “Marketing Strategy Of The Supermarkets.” (2009). Maule, A. John, and Anne C. Edland. “The effects of time pressure on human judgment and decision making.” Decision making: Cognitive models and explanations (1997): 189-204.

Weiten, Wayne. Psychology: Themes and variations. Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1998. Wilkie, William L., Debra M. Desrochers, and Gregory T. Gundlach. “Marketing research and public policy: the case of slotting fees.” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing (2002): 275-288.

McCall, John Joseph. “Economics of information and job search.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics (1970): 113-126. Payne, John W., James R. Bettman, and Eric J. Johnson. The adaptive decision maker. Cambridge University Press, 1993. Prabha, Chandra, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Lawrence Olszewski, and Lillie R. Jenkins. “What is enough? Satisficing information needs.” Journal of Documentation 63, no. 1 (2007): 74-89. Reutskaja, Elena, Rosemarie Camerer, and Antonio Rangel. in consumer choice under time tracking study.” The American (2011): 900-926.

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Simon, Herbert A. “A behavioral model of rational choice.” The quarterly journal of economics (1955): 99-118. Simon, Herbert A. “Invariants of human behavior.” Annual review of psychology 41, no. 1 (1990): 1-20. Stigler, George J. “The economics of information.” The journal of political economy (1961): 213-225. Sunstein, Cass R., and Richard H. Thaler. “Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron.” The University of Chicago Law Review (2003): 1159-1202.


ENGLISH AND FILM Reading through this issue’s submissions was an inspiring start to my editorial role at The Undergraduate – the wealth of brave and innovative essays we received made my job an immensely enjoyable challenge. Our selection for this edition makes careful use of existing critical enquiry, which is itself interrogated to provide a fresh and exciting analysis of madness and gender in one of Shakespeare’s best known plays. Happy reading! SUBJECT EDITOR Lucy Maguire

The Interplay Between Notions of Madness and Gender in Hamlet written by Eamonn Crowe


n the Elizabethan era, gendered forms of madness which depicted the characteristics of specifically a mad man or a mad woman, rather than madness as a gender neutral concept were commonplace within stage plays. Female madness in Elizabethan plays typically took on a hysterical form and presented women as weak. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia’s highly gendered madness does not divert from the popular depictions of female madness at the time. Unlike when assessing Hamlet’s possible insanity, critics of the play have historically viewed Ophelia’s madness as having no ‘method’ (Shakespeare 91) in it. Conversely, through this essay, I will prove that Ophelia’s madness makes her a sexually and politically dangerous force. I will assert this through a detailed focus on Ophelia’s distribution of flowers, analysing the  sexual and political strength she emits through this effeminate act. I hope to evoke a rethinking of Ophelia’s highly gendered form of madness, showing it not as her demise, but rather her emancipation. Before getting to the crux of my argument, it is important to have a full understanding of Elizabethan attitudes towards women and their sexuality, which forms a key part of the depiction of female madness in Hamlet. Before she turns mad, Ophelia is shown to be an obedient maiden, but after insanity takes its hold, she is provocative and makes startling allusions to her sexuality. Thus, it is clear that female sexuality was seen as synonymous with disorder and that active female sexual desire was a symptom of female madness. This idea is evidenced by Bach’s writing that ‘in Shakespeare’s world…sexual intercourse between men and women done for the sake of pleasure was viewed as polluting…such joy in sex was the province and the curse of women.’ (1) Consequently, female sexuality was something to

be contained and restricted and any woman openly expressing sexual desire could easily be seen to have lost her mind.Shakespeare appears to want us to view Ophelia as an obedient, yet sexually frustrated maiden. I say this because Shakespeare includes two instances in the play in which Ophelia is warned by Laertes and Polonius respectively to not give her ‘chaste treasure’ (35) to Hamlet. A common belief of the time that could explain Shakespeare’s presentation of Ophelia is the concept of ‘green girl’ sickness. Green sickness refers to ‘the commonly held view…that females produced larger amounts of seeds or sperm than males and that this would build up in the womb causing an imbalance and ensuing illness. Thus ‘green sickness’ figures duplicitously as a sign of virgin purity and unregulated desire.’ (Jones 108) This culturally specific consideration helps us both to gain an understanding of Elizabethan views regarding women and sexuality, but also goes some way to explain why Shakespeare presents Ophelia as a virginal maiden, but one who is harbouring secret sexual desire. Ophelia’s madness is clearly inherently attached to her gender; her actions are considered mad because as a woman, she should not speak of her sexuality. In fact, before her madness, Ophelia’s sexuality is solely projected unto her, rather than exuded by her, as is obvious on a number of occasions, such as Hamlet’s explicit wordplay during the play scene


(143). Ophelia is constantly viewed in the play as someone whose sexuality needs to be repressed and in this way, it can be said that Ophelia’s sexuality is wholly controlled by the men in the play because they project it unto her. However, Ophelia’s madness represents a shift in this narrative; Ophelia’s insanity allows her to take control of her sexuality and through this change, she becomes powerful. Shakespeare uses Ophelia’s archetypally effeminate act of handing out flowers as a profound symbol of her newly-gained political and sexual strength. An in depth close analysis of this act shows how Ophelia’s madness can in fact be seen as her emancipation.

50) the handing of rue to Claudius reflects his regret in murdering his brother King Hamlet and accredits Ophelia as knowing farmore about the happenings within the royal court than people believe. Ophelia also distributes fennel and columbine to Gertrude, a personal attack on the Queen’s character. Fennels are the ‘emblem of flattery’, but columbine is the ‘emblem of forsaken lovers.’ (Kerr 49) Thus, Ophelia is clearly criticising Gertrude’s lack of grief regarding the death of King Hamlet and the swiftness from which she moved on to Claudius. Ophelia’s use of fennel to cover her criticism can be seen as a reference to the Queen’s attempts to pretend everything is fine, when in reality, she and Claudius are atop a very unstable monarchy. Ophelia’s insanity, coupled with Hamlet’s own erratic behaviour, represents a very real threat to the political structure of Denmark and Ophelia is demonstrating her awareness of her own ability to disrupt the royal court.

Ophelia’s distribution of flowers shows her as both politically and sexually powerful, but only her madness allows her to be so provocative. The first herb Ophelia distributes is rosemary; ‘that’s for remembrance.’ (217). There are no stage directions as to who receives what flowers in the sequence, but the associated meaning of the flowers means we can work out who Ophelia was most likely to have handed them to. The rosemary is thought to be given to Laertes and the remembrance aspect refers to the death of his and Ophelia’s father, Polonius. However, Ophelia can also be seen here to be making a strong political statement, thereby challenging the King and Queen. As well as connotations of remembrance, Jones argues that a more practical use for rosemary at this time can uncover Ophelia’s stinging political criticism. ‘Dead bodies were wrapped in flowers, and rosemary, in particular, was used to disguise the smell’. (113) This is how Polonius should have been buried, but typical policy was not followed in the instance because of the nature of his death. Ophelia is aware of this failure to give Polonius the funeral he deserved and ‘when she sings, ‘They bore him barefaced on the bier’, she indicates a major breach of decorum, for a man of his rank should have been covered and buried with due ceremony.’ (113) Thus, Ophelia is actively and intelligently criticising the royal couple, arguably saying that they are not fit to run the state, as they are too caught up in their own personal scandal to offer the correct burial rites to a man of their court.

Whilst her political strength in the flower giving sequence is obvious, Ophelia’s sexual power is far more explicitly shown. The death of her father Polonius acts as the trigger for Ophelia’s insanity, but also signals a release for Ophelia, in that she can now indulge in an active sexuality. Ophelia no longer has a father, or ‘lord’ (41) to answer to, and this has freed her, allowing her to finally say what she wants and to break free of the shackles of the patriarchal society she inhabits. This new autonomy is reflected in Ophelia’s mention of violets, ‘I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.’ (217) The lack of violets here symbolise two notions. Firstly, violets have a short life span, ‘[they are] one of the very first flowers to appear with the coming of spring and seldom stays to enjoy the summer sunshine. For this reason, [violets are] often associated with death.’ (Kerr 46) Therefore, Ophelia’s mention of dead violets represents her grief over the death of her father Polonius, whose life was cut short. However, this interpretation leads in to a far more explosive idea about what the lack of violets symbolise. Kerr writes that the violet is ‘the very emblem of modesty.’ (46) Thus, the absence of violets, which stand for modesty, represents the unleashing of Ophelia’s sexuality. This idea is compounded by Ophelia’s frank allusions to her sexuality in the songs she sings whilst mad. For instance, before Ophelia hands out her flowers, she sings ‘let in the maid, that out a maid never departed more.’ (207) This line suggests the loss of Ophelia’s virginity to Hamlet. However, whether or not Hamlet and Ophelia slept together is

Ophelia takes her criticism of Gertrude and Claudius further when she hands them flowers. Claudius receives rue, which bears connotations of regret. ‘Because repentance in Elizabethan times was associated with bitterness, the herb rue with its strong aromatic smell and the bitter, sour flavour of its leaves came to be associated with repentance, too.’(Kerr


a debate for another essay. What is really important here is the fact that Ophelia’s new ability to make such sexually liberated statements shows how her tipping over into insanity allows her to rebel against patriarchy and transcend the constraints of her gender, which dictated a repressed sexuality. This newfound freedom actually makes Ophelia more powerful than other women in the play, namely Gertrude, who remains a symbol of obedience and female subordination. However, Gertrude makes sure to reverse this through her poetical description of Ophelia’s death, which reduces Ophelia to simply an object of beauty and femininity and ensures she will be mourned for because of her prettiness and dainty nature, rather than for the dangerous intelligence she showed during her final hours.

landscape to the political landscape. The use of the word pastoral refers to ‘an idealised landscape, cut off from political or social realities’. (Jones 107) There is room for Ophelia to be seen as a pastoral speaker, as she is presented as and referred to by the male characters as ‘pretty Ophelia’; a woman whose concerns should lie with prettiness and flowers, rather than politics. However, through her act of distributing flowers, which bear connotations of burial rites and marital strife, Ophelia ‘brings what is outside into the body politic.’ (Jones 207) Ophelia is associated with a natural, pastoral landscape because of her gender. However, her reversal of her own repression, in which she projects symbols unto her counterparts allows for an invasion of the body politic, which enables Ophelia to express her political views in a calculated and destructive fashion. Yet, Ophelia cannot possibly continue to exist in this way due to the context of the period. Her madness emancipates Ophelia from the sexual and political issues that have so far repressed her, but also signals her imminent death. Tragically, the aftermath of Ophelia’s death serves to undo her work regarding her critique of politics and patriarchy. Ophelia dies by drowning in a swamp and this returns her to a natural landscape. Gertrude’s description of Ophelia’s death is poetical and unrealistic, nullifying the intelligence and strength Ophelia showed whilst mad by reducing the maiden to a pretty girl once again; ‘mermaid-like awhile, they bore her up’. (233)

This leads on to why Ophelia’s madness, tragically, must result in her death. The male characters in the play react to Ophelia’s madness by trying to belittle her and reinstate her within the constraints of an Elizabethan noblewoman. For instance, when Laertes sees Ophelia enter the room singing and holding flowers, he comments ‘thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, she turns to favour and to prettiness’. (217) Here, Laertes is claiming that Ophelia has had a typically feminine reaction to tragedy and is expressing her grief in a classically feminine way. In her despair, Ophelia has turned to giving out flowers and singing charming songs. Laertes is thus implying that women are not capable of dealing with grief rationally; they are weak-willed and hide behind ‘prettiness’. Through this declarative statement, Laertes is dismissing any notion of Ophelia’s flower-distribution actually being a highly intelligent and politically destructive act. Therefore, it is obvious that the idea of Ophelia, a mere woman, holding strong political views and expressing them in such a way, was unthinkable. Claudius also tries to dismiss Ophelia’s intelligence when he refers to her as ‘pretty Ophelia.’ (209)Throughout the play, Ophelia is repeatedly described in such a way, using classically feminine epithets. Again, this reduces Ophelia to an embodiment of beauty and femininity, rather than a sentient, rational human being.

Ophelia’s madness makes her greatly powerful, as it allows her to express all that she has been taught to supress; namely her sexuality and intelligence. Ophelia’s madness acts as her emancipation from a patriarchal world, but sadly this is an escape that can only be fully achieved through her death. The quote from Laertes on Ophelia turning to ‘favour’ and ‘prettiness’ encapsulates views on madness and gender in the Shakespearean age and explains why Ophelia could only achieve true freedom through madness and then death. While Ophelia’s madness saw her seek comfort in femininity, her typically effeminate act of distributing flowers is far more intelligent and politically destructive than critical history has given her credit for.

Through her insanity, Ophelia plays with this idea and reverses it totally, by reducing the rest of the royal court to the associated symbolism of particular flowers, much like the men of the play try to reduce her to a symbol of femininity. In this sense, Ophelia’s role in the play can be seen as that of a progressive pastoral speaker; one who moves from the pastoral


Works Cited Bach, Rebecca Ann. Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature Before Heterosexuality. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2007. Print. Jones, Maria. Shakespeare’s Culture in Modern Performance. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003. Print. Kerr, Jessica. Shakespeare’s Flowers. Illus. Anne Ophelia Dowden. Belgium: Longmans Young Books Ltd, n.d. Print. Salkeld, Duncan. Madness and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993. Print. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Elizabeth Seely and Ken Elliot. 2nd ed. Heinemann Advanced Shakespeare, 2000. Print.


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS The conflict in Syria has been one of the most defining issues in international relations since the Arab Spring. The nature of the war has evolved and changed so much since then that it is difficult to recollect how exactly it began and what the real issues that sparked the first demonstrations were. This well written and insightful essay does precisely this. A big thanks to all those who submitted! SUBJECT EDITORS Daniel Kibsgaard and Ribka wZerihun

What Sparked the Syrian Revolution? written by Sam Salzman


ince March 2011, the Syrian Arab Republic has been gripped by a bloody civil war, which has fragmented into a conflict between many sides: the Syrian government and Army under President Bashar al-Assad, the many units and groups of the Free Syrian Army, the Kurds and their Peshmerga militia, and the shadowy group known variously as Islamic State, ISIL and ISIS which controls vast swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq with an iron fist. I will examine some of the causes of the revolution; the factors which turned a seemingly stable dictatorship into a state gripped by civil war and rebellion. First, the situation within Syria: the corrupt, autocratic and unequal regime beset by poverty. Secondly, the role of technology: how new technologies such as the internet, camera phone and social media allowed for a high level of planning, idea-sharing, coordination and information distribution. Thirdly, the Arab Spring: how successful revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia influenced Syrians to revolt against their own dictator. I will examine these chief causes of the Syrian revolution and the role they played in triggering small scale protests that later turned into a revolution, then a civil war that has killed, as of January 2015, around 220,000 people1.

occupation by Israel of the Golan Heights5. This might have been acceptable were it not for the fact that the economic reforms had done little good for ordinary Syrians with per capita GDP only $5100 in 20114 and corruption at every level of society, from customs officers demanding bribes to bring goods into the country to large business deals. Major contracts would often be awarded to those close to the regime, such as Assad’s cousin Rami Makhlouf, who received money for several infrastructure projects.6 On a smaller scale but no less annoying for ordinary people was the fact that if one did not pay civil servants or officials money under the table for something it would not get done at all. This would not only have made it more difficult for people to build and produce things their families or businesses needed, but it also hit poorer people the hardest as they either could not afford the bribes to get things done or had to fork out a significant portion of their income to get anything done7. The anti-corruption drive which marked the start of Assad’s reign8 came to very little as eleven years later, corruption was still rife.

The most immediately obvious reason for the revolution is the unpopularity of the government and the desire for change among the Syrian people. Bashar Al-Assad’s regime is notorious for its willingness to use force to remain in power2 and he was considered by many to be a repressive tyrant. His party’s ideology, Ba’athism, whose motto was “Unity, Freedom, Socialism” was by 2011 nothing more than a name with the Arab socialism favoured by Ba’athism3 having become largely defunct under economic reforms in the 1990s and 2000s4, and the regime had lost credibility to the continuing

The corruption and bureaucracy meant that in 2011 the Syrian economy was still poor. A population boom a couple of decades earlier had meant that the workforce in 2010 was growing at around 4.5% per year, faster than jobs could be created, giving an unemployment rate officially at 10% but possibly at up to 25%9. Syria had oil, but not enough was being


produced due to supply depletionand Syria had to import oil rather than selling it10. This gave a rate of poverty at around 30% including an extreme poverty rate at around 11%11. This indicated that the Ba’ath Party’s economic reforms it had brought in were not working: corruption and favouritism of Assad’s cronies scared away foreign investment12 and made it more difficult to build the infrastructure necessary to make the economy work. Furthermore, the antiIsrael, pro-Iran and anti-Western policies followed by the Assad government isolated Syria from the West, and even further from any investment from Europe or America13. In a democracy, such a lack of economic success would have likely led to the government being voted out of office. In what was effectively a single-party system however, there were no such peaceful means of reform and as a result many Syrian people felt economically repressed in 2011. Having suspended constitutional rights in March 1963 under an “emergency law”, including rights to freedom of expression and assembly, the security services had free reign to brutally crack down on dissent. One of the first sparks of revolution occurred on the 6th March 2011 when a number of teenage schoolboys were arrested and tortured by the police for spraying anti-government graffiti on the wall of their school in the city of Dera’a. The subsequent protest14 turned violent after a vicious response by security forces15. The story became more wellknown through social media and the protest spread to Damascus as well. As protests became more widespread, it became a regular occurrence for protestors to be attacked or fired upon. In April, the Army launched a major offensive against Dera’a, shooting indiscriminately at anything that moved. Soldiers conducted house raids and posted snipers to shoot at people16. This apparent attempt to intimidate people and crush their will to resist failed; instead it angered people and the uprising continued. The harsh attempts to subdue the people and make examples of the dead turned the dead into martyrs, with their funerals often becoming focal points for protest. At a funeral of some activists killed in Dera’a on the 24th March, up to 20,000 people came out to mourn and demonstrate17. Some of these crowds began to include soldiers who refused to fire on their fellow citizens and instead defected to a new opposition militia called the Free Syrian Army18.

family formed part: the Alawites. Of particular note was the makeup of the army in Syria. Alawites were heavily overrepresented in the officer classes and army leadership of the army19. This is the most pertinent example of the relative privilege afforded to some Alawites. This privilege seems to keep many of the Alawites loyal to Assad: Hinnebusch and Lesch (2014) suggest that this may be why the (majority of the) Syrian Army remains loyal to Assad. If that were so, it would be in marked contrast to the situations in Tunisia and even more so Egypt where the security forces in the former case eventually came around to supporting the revolution20 and in the latter were largely responsible for forcing the dictator out21 after his position became untenable. That there was tension between the Alawites and Sunnis is very clear: the 100,000 members of the pro-Assad militia formed since the revolution, the “National Defence Force”, are almost exclusively Alawite. Tensions between the two sects have become so great that Alawites and Sunnis have been known to kill each other in tit-for-tat incidents22. Despite the internal problems within Syria, the revolution would have been made very much harder for the revolutionaries were it not for the use of relatively new technologies such as the internet and camera phones. These allowed people to record what was going on in their part of Syria, and then to distribute those recordings to other Syrians in other parts of the country. Assad’s regime, unlike the regimes in Egypt and Tunisia always kept tight controls on the internet, for example by blocking and YouTube, but the internet was still useful for the protestors. In February, Assad unblocked Facebook, apparently in an attempt to entrap his opponents who might be tempted to use it as a platform to spread dissent. It was a catastrophic error on the government’s part, because thousands of people already aware of what was going on elsewhere started to discuss and organise protest using Facebook as a common platform23. Technology also played its part after the protests actually began, people were able to use camera phones and social media to spread news of what was happening. When government forces used force against protestors, shooting or beating them, the videos could be spread around so people would know what was happening; for example when security forces beat a protester outside a mosque in Damascus in March 2011, the footage was posted on YouTube so that anybody with access

Not only was Assad’s government dictatorial and corrupt, it also showed considerable levels of favouritism to the minority group of which the Assad


to the internet could watch it24. Around 20-25% of Syrians had internet25. Some of the footage posted online ended up being broadcast by international television stations like Al Jazeera, which anybody with Satellite TV could pick up even if national television did not show it. Whilst many people were simply uploading their private footage online of their own accord, the cyber-campaign was not purely spontaneous. Anti-Assad activists, especially those in exile outside Syria, were especially active in receiving and disseminating the material. One such activist, named Rami Jarrah, runs one of a number of operations called “Coordinating Committees” from Cairo to spread such material online as and when they find it, with the ultimate aim of taking it to the International Criminal Court, presumably in the event of Bashar al-Assad or his colleagues ever being indicted there26. Elsewhere, a pro-revolution Facebook page “The Syrian Revolution 2011”, has at time of writing gained 941,182 “Likes”, each of which receives regular updates in Arabic about the progress of the revolution27.

corruption in the local government which prevented him from making a living, set himself on fire in protest and in so doing generated a wave of anger there over the corruption and lack of democracy30. As protests started in Tunisia, so people elsewhere were inspired to protest creating a domino effect throughout the Middle East as they became aware of what was happening, and when they saw that the Tunisian and Egyptian people had succeeded in overthrowing their dictators, it would have come as an enormous encouragement to those in Syria who sought to do the same with their own. Just as social media allowed the Syrian people to see what was happening elsewhere within their country it is logical to assume that such technology, as well as Satellite TV would have allowed them to understand what was going abroad. With so much information on outside happenings floating around it would have been almost impossible for the Assad government to keep the people in the dark. There was no one single circumstance which sparked the Syrian Revolution. Rather it was a combination of several factors which came together to spark an uprising. Syria’s population was, like many other Arab populations, tired of living under the authoritarian and corrupt rule of its dictator and was ready to rebel. While people had been kept in check by the security forces which cracked down on dissent, uprisings elsewhere in the Middle East inspired people in Syria to emulate their counterparts in other countries and to protest too. When the government repeatedly used deadly force to try and subdue the protestors, it merely angered them further by creating martyrs, thereby ensuring more protests followed. The protesters were then able to let the world and each other know what was happening by the use of new technology that allowed them to quickly and effectively disseminate their ideas and news to each other. Only time will tell whether or not this use of technology will ensure the revolution will succeed or whether Assad will survive the campaign to oust him. Only one thing is certain: whoever wins, their victory will come at a tragic cost of hundreds of thousands dead and a country left in ruins.

Perhaps the best illustration of the importance of technology to the revolution was the authorities’ reaction to it. They attempted to prevent people from filming and distributing damaging material. People seen with camera phones at protests were intimidated28 and during an operation to crack down on protests in Dera’a in April 2011, services such as electricity and telephone lines were cut off, perhaps in an attempt by the authorities to minimise footage reaching the outside29. However it was impossible for the authorities to completely cut off the protestors from the internet across the country and as a result, Syria joined the other Arab countries in undergoing a revolution greatly aided by technology. Had these technologies not existed, it would surely have been easier for the Assad government to cover up what was happening from his people and the outside world and to make it harder for its opponents to coordinate. Twenty years earlier, people simply did not have camera phones or Facebook. Of course, technology was not the reason for the revolution, only the means by which is was able to spread. Nor did an entire country revolt on account of a few arrested teenagers; that was merely the spark that lit the fuse. The Syrian revolution is part of a series of revolutions across the Arab world known as the Arab Spring which has claimed the rulers of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. That started in Tunisia in December 2010 when a fruit seller, frustrated at the


17) BBC News, (2011). Protesters march at Syria funeral. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015]. 18) Wood, P. (2012). BBC Panorama- Homs: Journey into Hell. [video] Available at: watch?v=IF7sRdOJMD0 [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015]. 19) Gasiorowski, M. ed., Hinnebusch, R. and Lesch, D. (2015). The Government. p.266. 20) Chaffin, J. and Saleh, H. (2011). Tunisian army chief vows to guard revolution. Financial Times. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Feb. 2015]. 21) Gasiorowski, M. ed., and Stacher, J. (2015). The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. 7th ed. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, p.380 22) Dagher, S. (2013). Syria’s Alawite Force Turned Tide for Assad. Wall Street Journal. [online] Available at: http:// 903412487708 [Accessed 18 Feb. 2015]. 23) Hussein, M. (2015). How Facebook Changed the World. [video] Available at: watch?v=LDjCYBMxZAQ [Accessed 15 Feb. 2015]. 24) al-Hussein, H. (2011). Syrian security forces beating a young protester at mosque. [video] Available at: https://www. [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015]. 25), (2014). Middle East Internet Usage Stats and Facebook Statistics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015]. 26) McTighe, K. (2012). Syria’s Faceless Voices Risk Their Lives by Speaking Out. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015]. 27) Facebook, (2011). The Syrian Revolution 2011 ‫ةروثلا‬ ‫دسالا راشب دض ةيروسلا‬. [online] Available at: https://www. [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015]. 28) Taki, M. and Coretti, L. (2013). The role of social media in the Arab uprisings – past and present. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, [online] 9(2), p.118. Available at: pdf_file/0004/220675/WPCC-vol9-issue2.pdf [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015]. 29) BBC News, (2011). Syrian army ‘attacks protest hub’. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015]. 30) Abouzeid, R. (2011). Bouazizi: The Man Who Set Himself and Tunisia on Fire. Time. [online] Available at: http://,9171,2044723,00. html [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015].

Endnotes and Works Cited 1) D. Hadid, “Syrian Rebels And Government Reach Truce In Besieged Area”, Huffington Post, 15th January, 2015, (Accessed 13th February 2015). 2) Author unknown, “Middle East unrest: Three killed at protest in Syria”, BBC News, 18th March 2011, http://www., (Accessed 13th February 2015). 3) Berman, P. (2012). Baathism: An Obituary. [online] The New Republic. Available at: article/world/magazine/107238/baathism-obituary [Accessed 16 Feb. 2015]. 4) Gasiorowski, M., Long, D. and Reich, B. (2014). The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. 7th ed. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, pp.263-264. 5) Author Unknown, (2015). Golan Heights profile. [online] BBC News. Available at: world-middle-east-14724842 [Accessed 16 Feb. 2015]. 6) Yacoubian, M. and Lasensky, S. (2008). Dealing with Damascus. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, p.10. 7) Sinjab, L. (2011). Syrian Corruption. [podcast] Crossing Continents. Available at: programmes/b00x44dx [Accessed 16 Feb. 2015]. 8) BBC News, (2000). Bashar al-Assad: Eyeing the future. [online] Available at: middle_east/785921.stm [Accessed 17 Feb. 2015]. 9) Lyon, A. (2010). Syria grapples with surging population. Reuters. [online] Available at: http://www. [Accessed 17 Feb. 2015]. 10) Borshchevskaya, A. (2015). Sponsored Corruption and Neglected Reform in Syria. Middle East Quarterly, [online] Summer 2010, p.42. Available at: meq/pdfs/2760.pdf [Accessed 17 Feb. 2015]. 11) El-Laithy, H. and Abu-Ismail, K. (2005). POVERTY IN SYRIA: 1996-2004- DIAGNOSIS AND PRO-POOR POLICY CONSIDERATIONS. [online] United Nations Development Programme, p.1. Available at: http://www.undp. org/content/dam/rbas/report/PovertInSyriaEnglishVersion.pdf [Accessed 17 Feb. 2015]. 12) Borshchevskaya, A. (2010). Sponsored Corruption, p.p46. Available at: pdf [Accessed 17 Feb. 2015]. (Citing: Volker Perthes, Syria under Bashar al-Asad: Modernisation and the Limits of Change, Adelphi Paper 336 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 38.) 13) Gasiorowski, M. ed., Hinnebusch, R. and Lesch, D. (2015). The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. 7th ed. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, p.270. 14), (2015). Syria escalates violent crackdown; 11 killed. [online] Available at: http://www. [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015]. 15) Fahid, K. and Saad, H. (2013). A Faceless Teenage Refugee Who Helped Ignite Syria’s War. New York Times. [online] Available at: world/middleeast/a-faceless-teenage-refugee-who-helpedignite-syrias-war.html?_r=0 [Accessed 18 Feb. 2015]. 16) BBC News, (2011). Syrian army ‘attacks protest hub’. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015].


LAW We would like to thank everyone who sent their work to The Undergraduate. The quality of submissions were incredibly high! Our selected submission concerns the insanity defence. The author examines whether the defence is in line with psychiatric understanding, concluding that the inclusion of epileptics and hyperglycaemic diabetics within the defence is unfair. We hope our readers find the work engaging. SUBJECT EDITORS Helena Gadsby and Jessica George

Justice and the Insanity Defence written by Nicole Litvinova “You may answer the question yes or no, Doctor. Limit your answer to yes or no.” “Yes.” “And what is your opinion?” “I think that within the usual definitions Mr. Hickock did know right from wrong.”

The defence of insanity has been the subject of considerable criticism since its inception. The cruxof the problem of this defence is that the law lags behind psychiatric understanding of insanity, which is why the lines between insane and non-insane automatism are blurred. How can prosecutors, jury and judges assess the impact of a mental disorder if they do not actually know falls into a category mental disorders? One of the functions of the law is to deter crime, provide justice and punish guilty. Current insanity law deters crime by putting in a mental hospital those who would never be called ‘insane’ by an ordinary person, and it cannot serve justice properly since the law on insanity is extremely confused. This article will expose weaknesses of the insanity defence and propose reforms which would be desirable and practical.

-“In Cold Blood”1.


his is an extract from the trial of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith – infamous murders who were sentenced to death for the brutal quadruple murder of the Clutter family in a rural, quiet city Holcomb in Kansas, USA. Both murders were declared to be sane, despite having no real motive for killing the family, and despite the fact that the doctor employed by the court did find ‘abnormalities’ in the brains and behaviour of both men. Perry Smith’s startling quote from his confession about one of the victims - Herb Clutter - particularly caught the attention of both prosecution and defence: “I didn’t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Softspoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.”2 After mentioning the answer of the doctor about the state of mind of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, Truman Capote perfectly summed up the archaic Insanity Defence (M’Naghten rules) which operates to this day in the USA and the UK: “confined to the “usual” definitions, M’Naghten rules is colorblind to any gradations between black and white”3.

Unfairness and unreasonableness surrounding the insanity defence is caused by the outdated M’Naghten test4. According to M’Naghten rules, in order to establish a defence on the ground of insanity, it must be proved that, at the time of committing of the act, the accused did not know the nature and quality of his act due to a mental condition, and if he did, it must be proved that he did not know what he was doing was wrong. It is worth noting that the test is legal, and is based on outdated legal terms, not medical terms. Whilst it is difficult to define

1 Truman Capote, In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences (Penguin Classics 2000) 285. 2 ibid 237. 3 ibid 286.



M’Naghten [1843] UKHL J16.

the concept of mental disorder as it lacks consistent operational definition that covers all situations,5 it seems absurd that a defence of having a severe mental disorder does not rest on medical knowledge of mental disorder; this resulted in distinctions in cases involving diabetics in the hyperglycaemic state and driving of vehicle. The courts found it difficult to differentiate between organic and functional mental permanent, and whether this impairment is permanent or transient. Internal and external factors that determine whether defendant can rely on automatism or insanity are no help either; for example, a defendant who committed a crime due to epileptic automatism will be labelled ‘insane’ under the current law which is stigmatising, offensive, absurd, and breaches Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights6. The best paradigm would be case R v Sullivan7 where the defendant involuntary kicked the victim due to a seizure. Judges ruled that the defendant was ‘guilty by reason of insanity’, although judges themselves admitted that the decision is unfair, but said it is up to Parliament to change the law. Unfortunately, this has not been done.

suffersfrom Klinefelter’s syndrome, which causes an uncontrollable impulse to steal. In September 2014, his attorney raised this defence in September 2014 and said that his client “the wrongfulness of what he was doing”9. Kleptomania is a mental disorder, but since M’Naghten test (which operates both in the UK and the US) does not mention impulse-control disorders it is unclear whether or not people gripped by irresistible impulse should be held accountable. And finally, Person E knew what he was doing, knew it to be wrong but, due to some delusion, considered his actions to be appropriate. A perfect example would be Breivik known for his terrorist attacks in Norway: he had been preparing for these terrorist attacks for a long time, therefore he appreciated the quality and nature of his act. He knew what he was doing was atrocious, and he justified killing all these people in cold blood by saying that these attacks were necessary to protect Europe from ‘Muslim invasion’. Under the current UK law, it is possible that he would not be able to plead insanity (if the test is applied strictly) since he knew his act was legally wrong, but morally right. On the other hand, he could plead insanity because he thought that his actions were appropriate, necessary, and doing more good than harm. On top of that, he recently referred to himself as a ‘human rights activist’ according to The Telegraph. Insanity defence could easily go wrong in his case because the word ‘wrong’ is not defined in the rules. There are some straightforward cases where defendant thought that what he was doing was right. For instance, there was a case in 2013 in which a woman from Seabrook forced her kids to drink bleach because she thought she was giving them medicine. After reviewing the counselling records and her mental health thoroughly and consulting with forensic psychiatrists10, she was declared legally insane. However, these rules are too unclear, narrow and vague for cases such as Breivik’s case.

The following hypothetical examples show how flawed this defence is: person A, when he committed a crime, was unconscious and did not understand the quality of his act. In this case, an epileptic automatism can be considered as insanity. To illustrate this example, on 22 September 2013 a man called Nigel Constable killed his mother during a violent epileptic seizure in West Yorkshire, and now pleads not guilty of murder by reason of insanity8. Person B knew what he was doing and knew it was wrong but, due to mental disorder, could not control his actions, in which case it is unclear how the insanity defence operates. It is here me might refer to “irresistible impulse” ignored by the M’Naghten rules. In 2012 in California, a 23-year-old Kevin Hagan convicted of burglary broke into residences of a minority leader of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, actor Robert Redford and others. This man

Insanity defence is too complex to propose a specific reform. It is currently unclear what

5 D Bolton, K WM Fulford, John Z Sandler, Kenneth S Kendler, Dan J Stein, Katherine A Phillips, ‘What is a Mental/Psychiatric Disorder? From DSM-IV to DSM-V’ [2010] PSYCHOL MED 1, 2. 6 European Convention on Human Rights 1950. 7 R v Sullivan [1987] AC 156. 8 ‘MURDER TRIAL LATEST: Man Killed His Mother during Violent Epileptic Fit Jury Told’ [2014] <>


9 Kerana Todorov, ‘Man Who Burglarized Pelosi and Redford Homes Set to Go to Prison’ [2014] < article_624615fd-44e4-5a36-9257-870bb70b172e.html> 10 Jennifer Crompton, ‘Insanity plea for mother accused of feeding children bleach’ ( 2014) <> accessed 9 October 2014.

diseases constitutecurrently unclear what diseases constitute ‘disease of mind’, and it is also argued that ‘[l]egal definitions of what constitutes a mental condition in the insanity defence are generally unclear and variable’.11 For instance, it is unclear whether depression should constitute ‘disease of mind’. Moreover, another question is why it is called ‘disease of mind’? It could be argued that mind is not a physical form, and thus cannot be ‘diseased’. However, what would vastly improve the insanity defence is to break down brain disease into two categories: organic and psychiatric brain disease. The first category would include brain disease such as brain tumours, epilepsy, blood clots and other disease that cannot be controlled by the accused and that should be treated in a hospital, not a mental institution. The latter would include schizophrenia and psychosis. To put the matter differently, one of the categories must exclude people with such disease as diabetes (specifically those who may commit a crime in a hyperglycaemic state), epilepsy and sleep walking as they cannot control their actions, they do not have hallucinations or delusions, and they do not understand the quality and the nature of their acts because they are unconscious. Besides, it seems implausible to argue that a rational human being would call them ‘insane’: stigma that cannot be easily washed away. Introducing the term ‘sane automatism’ which can be applied to epileptics for example would make a big difference.

Works Cited Allnutt, Stephen; Samuels, Anthony and O’Driscoll, Colman. ‘The Insanity Defence: From Wild Beasts to M’Naghten’ (2007) 15(4) Australasian Psychiatry 292, 297. - See more at: http://www. Bolton, D; Fulford, K WM; Sandler, John Z; Kendler, Kenneth S; Stein, Dan J; Phillips, Katherine A; ‘What is a Mental/Psychiatric Disorder? From DSM-IV to DSM-V’ [2010] PSYCHOL MED 1, 2. Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences. London: Penguin Classics, 2000. Crompton, Jennifer. ‘Insanity plea for mother accused of feeding children bleach’ ( 2014) <http://> accessed 9 October 2014. European Convention on Human Rights 1950. M’Naghten [1843] UKHL J16. ‘MURDER TRIAL LATEST: Man Killed His Mother during Violent Epileptic Fit Jury Told’ [2014] < murder-trial-latest-man-killed-his-mother-duringviolent-epileptic-fit-jury-told-1-6045733>

In conclusion, the insanity defence ignores the complexity of human brain. There are a lot of nuances in the insanity defence and disagreements between scientists and legal professionals as to what mental conditions fall within the scope of the defence, but it cannot be denied that confinement of epileptics and diabetics is fair. In order to bring more fairness, the law must not be so outdated and unambiguous to avoid absurdity and injustice that plagued the insanity defence.

R v Sullivan [1987] AC 156. Todorov, Kerana. ‘Man Who Burglarized Pelosi and Redford Homes Set to Go to Prison’ [2014] <http:// article_624615fd-44e4-5a36-9257-870bb70b172e. html>

11 Stephen Allnutt, Anthony Samuels and Colman O’Driscoll, ‘The Insanity Defence: From Wild Beasts to M’Naghten’ (2007) 15(4) Australasian Psychiatry 292, 297. - See more at: http://www.



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MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES Anyone who has followed events in the Middle East will have noticed links, both speculative and evidenced, to Iran in all ongoing conflicts. This analytical piece discusses the historical and political evidence behind Iran’s actual and perceived role in regional stability. SUBJECT EDITOR Helena Bennett

Is Iran Today a Threat to the Middle East Region and to World Peace? written by Krister Noren


he Islamic Revolution of 1979 completely changed Iranian-Western relations. It replaced the days of bilateral cooperation with a war of rhetoric and sanctions between Iran and the USA in particular that, in the eyes of many, threatens global peace. Israel insists that it is the target of Iran’s nuclear programme whilst Iran asserts that it is only for civilian purposes, as is their right under the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The NPT aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons but also promote cooperation around peaceful nuclear technology. Whilst Iran itself proclaims innocence, the Lebanese Shi’a militant group Hezbollah, supported by Iran, continues to threaten Israel. However the Syrian Civil War has contributed to a rise in Sunni terrorism which challenges the traditional Western view that Iran sponsored Shi’a terrorism is the greatest threat. Additionally the election of the moderate president Hassan Rouhani has helped to break down the “walls of mistrust”1 between the two sides. So is Iran entering a new era of cooperation or does it remain the threat that people have believed it to be for the past 30 years?

2002 was a significant year in this debate because leaks from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed Iran was“further ahead in its nuclear research than expected”3. Unknown to the West, Iran had two sites which strongly suggested the ability to make nuclear weapons, making it easy to argue Iran threatened peace. But the timing of the leaks changed Iran’s approach, it became slightly more open. Ali M. Ansari believes that “the mounting international crisis in Iraq, and gentle encouragement from the Europeans, convinced the Iranians…to be as transparent as possible about their nuclear programme”.4 Iran has since suspended the programme that was leaked in 2002 and has opened up to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections, as is expected of an NPT signatory. Two US National Intelligence reports concluded that Iran “was not believed to have restarted the…weapons programme halted in 2003”5 and that “Iran could not divert safeguarded material to produce a weapon-worth of [weaponsgrade uranium] before this activity is discovered”.6

The nuclear issue dominates this question. Iran’s history with nuclear technology began in 1959 and was accelerated in the 1970’s, aided by coordination with the United States,2 after signing the NPT. However the revolution plunged Iran’s nuclear programme into secrecy and the debate has raged ever since, with little hard evidence ever being produced.

Furthermore Rouhani’s election last year has paved the way for a new start in Iranian3 Ibid., 199 4 Ibid., 202 5 M. Ayoob - Will the Middle East Implode? (Polity Press 2014) p.116 6 Ibid., 117

1 A. M. Ansari- Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Roots of Mistrust (C. Hurst & Co. 2006) p.6 2 Ibid., 64


Western relations by replacing the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, under whom the nuclear issue worsened considerably. Ahmadinejad’s confrontational stance led to sanctionswhich “economically strangle Iran”7. In retaliation he threatened to block the Straits of Hormuz, through which flows one fifth of the world’s oil,8 which would inevitably threaten global stability. But Rouhani has eased these worries by opening up dialogues with the P5+1 over Iran’s nuclear programme. Hitherto he has “impressed all concerned with [his] seriousness and [his] readiness to compromise in order to reach a solution [to] the nuclear dispute”9. Michael Axworthy sees him as “the best interlocutor the West could have hoped for”.10 Judging by the two US reports and Rouhani’s presidency it is harder to argue that Iran wishes to, and is in the process of, acquiring nuclear weapons which threaten peace.

build one in the face of imminent danger”.13 But it is again worth stressing Iran’s obligations as an NPT signatory. After the revelations “the Iranian view was that they had nothing to apologise forbecause their actions were fully compatible with…the [NPT], which stated that they only needed to alert the IAEA when they intended to enrich uranium.”14 Moreover there is no evidence that Iran is enriching uranium above 20%15 when weapons grade uranium is enriched to 90%.16 What is certain though is were Iran to reach breakout capability there is no doubt that it could be seen as a threat. There is, however, uncertainty whether Iran would ever initiate conflicts themselves, instead acting only in retaliation. The most significant example of this is with Israel. “The Zionist regime has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and the wound should be removed.”17 This quotation from Rouhani suggests little has changed in terms of Iran’s view of Israel. It constantly denies Israel’s right to exist and such language substantiates the danger Israelis feel. Unsurprisingly Israel believes this threat is nuclear weapons and its leaders have become “increasingly shrill in their insistence that Iran is about to cross an Israel-imposed “red line”.”18 But as previously discussed no-one knows the true intentions behind Iran’s nuclear programme. Besides, were Iran to acquire nuclear weapons it is doubtful they would initiate conflict between the two countries, instead using them as a deterrent like other nuclear armed nations19. Whilst Israel “poses a credible military, including nuclear, threat [to Iranian policy-

But this conclusion ignores the fact that Iran possesses nuclear facilities whose capabilities stretch beyond those needed for civilian energy production. The NCRI leaks revealed the existence of two previously unknown facilities, Natanz and Arak. The Natanz site is the central facility for uranium enrichment, whilst the Arak heavy water plant is due for completion this year. This is particularly important because heavy water plants aren’t essential for civilian energy production, and waste products are more hazardous and can be used in nuclear weapons.11 12 Additionally, in 2009, Western intelligence revealed the existence of another plant near Qom that was big enough to produce weapons grade material rather than low grade civilian material. Furthermore, it had been built into the hills which would protect it from air strikes. These facts raised international skepticism over Iran’s intentions with some concluding that “Iran was seeking breakout capability, that is, stopping short of actually constructing a nuclear weapon but setting in place the means to rapidly 7 Ibid.,113 8 Ibid., 134 9 M. Axworthy - The Last Best Chance for Iran from Prospect (December 2013) 10 Ibid. 11 A. M. Ansari- Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Roots of Mistrust (C. Hurst & Co. 2006) p.200-201 12 reactor 13 M. Bunton and W. L. Cleveland - A History of the Modern Middle East Fifth Edition (Westview Press 2013) p.519

14 A. M. Ansari- Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Roots of Mistrust (C. Hurst & Co. 2006) p.200-201 15 16 M. Axworthy - The Last Best Chance for Iran from Prospect (December 2013) 17 middle-east/iranian-president-hasan-rouhani-israel-is-awound-on-the-body-of-the-islamic-world-8743751.html 18 M. Ayoob - Will the Middle East Implode? (Polity Press 2014) p.7 19 M. Axworthy - Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic (Penguin Books 2013) p.412


20 M. Ayoob - Will the Middle East Implode? (Polity Press 2014) p.121 21 M. Axworthy - Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic (Penguin Books 2013) p.394 22 Ibid., 395

makers]”,20 Axworthy believes the comparative military spending of the two countries (Israel’s being 6.3% of GDP, Iran’s being 2.85%)21 suggests that “Iran is not a militaristic or expansionist state”.22 ErvandAbrahamian agrees, saying Iran “controls a mass citizen army, which, although unequipped to wage offensive war, would be highly effective for defensive purposes.”23 With Mohammed Ayoob emphasising Israel’s “insistence on maintaining its regional nuclear monopoly…which could have military implications”24 it would appear that Israel is the greater threat to peace as it continues to threaten military action against Iran despite Iran’s incapability of launching attacks. Furthermore Iran has agreed in principle to a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (MENWFZ) that includes Israel. But Israel refuses to consider it25, again suggesting it is the threat, not Iran.

in its fourth year. Furthermore Ansari highlights that “as [Hezbollah] developed and grew in confidence, it took less notice of Iran’s directives [and] tended to choose which orders it would follow from Tehran,”29 suggesting that Iran’s involvement with Hezbollah (and therefore threat to Israel) is waning. Israel/Palestine isn’t the only Middle Eastern region that is prone to conflict. Analysts talk of a “regional cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran for [regional] pre-eminence”,30 perhaps represented in the SunniShi’a conflict between Islamic State (IS) and Syria and Iraq. For years Iran and Shi’a branches of Islam were seen as the terrorists. America believed Iran was “not just a member of the Axis of Evil, but…the chief sponsor of state terrorism”.31 Ansari notes how in Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ speech “references to Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were minimal [compared to] the list of terrorist groups related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Certainly, none of the three members of this new axis had connections to Al-Qaeda or 9/11”.32 The most significant description of the situation is Ansari’s use of “blinded”33 when referring to US support for Israel, and perhaps Saudi Arabia (as 15 of the 9/11 perpetrators were Saudi Arabian). But recent events no longer support this. IS are an extremist Sunni organisation who are religiously closer to the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not the ‘state sponsor’ of IS but there are wealthy Saudi individuals who provide funds, to which the Saudi government “may have turned a blind eye”.34 Conversely Iran is involved in the international fight against them.35 Whilst source 35 suggests a darker side to Iran’s involvement, Axworthy believes “the present regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq…are pro-

However others argue that Iran poses a military threat to Israel through its proxy Hezbollah. Iran “was present at the birth of Hezbollah”26 and has since provided decades of military and financial aid. Hezbollah has subsequently waged war on Israel and attacked Israeli citizens, all made possible by Tehran’s support. In 2002 Israel seized a ship destined for the Palestinian Authority, reportedly from Iran, that was laden with weapons. This gave Western governments “a useful connection between Iran and terrorism,” explaining why President Bush included Iran in his ‘Axis of Evil’.27 This link to terrorism firmly suggested that Iran was an, albeit indirect, threat to Israel. Hezbollah is now active in Syria, fighting alongside President Assad to ensure continued support from both Syrian and Iranian governments. Ayoob underlines that “Iran could not afford to let the Assad regime, its principal Arab ally and the main conduit for its finical and military support to [Hezbollah], be overthrown”28. This may initiate greater Iranian intervention on behalf of Assad but is perhaps unlikely considering the war is 23 E. Abrahamian - A History of Modern Iran (Cambridge University Press 2008) p.194 24 M. Ayoob - Will the Middle East Implode? (Polity Press 2014) p.4-5 25 Ibid., 137-138 26 A. M. Ansari- Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Roots of Mistrust (C. Hurst & Co. 2006) p.101 27 Ibid., 186 28 M. Ayoob - Turkey and Iran in the Era of the Arab Uprisings published in The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World (Cambridge University Press 2014) ed. F. A. Gerges p.412

29 A. M. Ansari- Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Roots of Mistrust (C. Hurst & Co. 2006) p.101 30 M. Ayoob - Will the Middle East Implode? (Polity Press 2014) p.88 31 A. M. Ansari- Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Roots of Mistrust (C. Hurst & Co. 2006) p.3 32 Ibid., 187 33 Ibid., 192 34 iraq-crisis-how-saudi-arabia-helped-isis-take-over-thenorth-of-the-country-9602312.html 35 36 M. Axworthy - Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic (Penguin Books 2013) p.413


Iranian”, therefore suggesting that Iran has no need to spread its influence, and ultimately revolution, to its neighbours.36 Moreover he comments that “Iran has consistently worked for stability in the region immediately around its borders”.37 It appears, therefore, that the Sunni-Shi’a conflict is currently being provoked more by Saudi Arabia than Iran.

and dramatically increasing energy prices, thus destabilising the political [and] economical equilibrium of an increasingly fragileinternational system”41. With this view being shared by Martin Bunton42 the feeling is that the only way to safeguard the fragile regional and global peace is to persuade Israel out of initiating conflict with Iran. Iran can no longer be seen as a threat to the world; Israel and the West must take the opportunity presented to them by Rouhani to reconcile with Iran and leave behind their own threats of heavy sanctions and war.

To conclude, despite the ambiguity surrounding Iran’s nuclear intentions it is clear Iran is not part of a threatening ‘Axis of Evil’. Iran’s development of a nuclear programme displeases Western powers, especially Israel and the US, where Congress continues to be too “blinded” by their loyalty to Israel to consider negotiations. President Obama’s phone call to Rouhani last year, the first such conversation in 30 years, has signalled the beginning of a new approach to Iranian-American relations. The process will be helped by Rouhani’s “willingness to show greater flexibility”38. As Ayoob suggests, “it is important…that Washington seriously consider taking the opportunity presented by [Rouhani]”.39 Better relations will help convince Americans that Iran isn’t the threat it once was. Despite the rhetoric Iran shows no capability, or even intent, to launch attacks on foreign countries, instead being in favour of a MENWFZ. A rise in Sunni extremism has also altered perceptions of Iranian sponsored Shi’a terrorism. Finally Israel, having not signed the NPT, continues to threaten Iran and looks most likely to initiate conflict. Like Axworthy says, “as the clock is ticking and the centrifuges spin, Israel warns that it will take military action to destroy the Iranian nuclear (weapon) programme if it is not halted by other means…Israeli concerns cannot [be dismissed as scaremongering].”40 It seems very much as if Israel, despite the possibility of international isolation, will not alter its stance. Were Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, Ayoob gives the damning verdict that it is “likely to have far-reaching consequences for the region and the global economy, hardening Muslim animosity against the United States

41 M. Ayoob - Will the Middle East Implode? (Polity Press 2014) p.8 42 M. Bunton and W. L. Cleveland - A History of the Modern Middle East Fifth Edition (Westview Press 2013) p.516

Works Cited Books

Abrahamian, Ervand - A History of Modern Iran (Cambridge University Press 2008) Ansari, Ali M. - Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Roots of Mistrust (C. Hurst & Co. 2006) Axworthy, Michael - Iran: Empire of the Mind: A History from Zoroaster to the Present Day (Penguin Books 2008) Axworthy, Michael - Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic (Penguin Books 2013) Ayoob, Mohammed - Will the Middle East Implode? (Polity Press 2014) Bunton, Martin and Cleveland, William L. - A History of the Modern Middle East Fifth Edition (Westview Press 2013) Gerges, Fawaz A. ed. The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World (Cambridge University Press 2014)

37 M. Axworthy - The Last Best Chance for Iran from Prospect (December 2013) 38 M. Ayoob - Will the Middle East Implode? (Polity Press 2014) p.141 39 Ibid., 142-143 40 M. Axworthy - Iran: Empire of the Mind: A History from Zoroaster to the Present Day (Penguin Books 2008) p.296

Journals Prospect - December 2013 edition: Article - ‘The Last Best Chance for Iran’ by Michael Axworthy


MODERN LANGUAGES Thank you to all those who submitted their essays – it was a pleasure to read them and all were worthy of publication. I chose this essay, because it gives a compelling overview of the literary, cultural and political climate of 14th to 15th century France, whilst also placing emphasis on the emerging feminist undertones present in literary debate of the time. SUBJECT EDITOR Victoria Horbach

The Querelle de la Rose: how politics, antifeminism and the case for women shaped one of the most famous debates in medieval French history. written by Lucy Armstrong


he Querelle de la Rose is one of many literary debates which took place against the troubled historical backdrop of late 14th and early 15th century France. During this period the country endured considerable instability owing to several religious, international and civil conflicts, namely the Papal Schism, the Hundred Years War with England, and the clash between the Armagnacs and the Burgundians. However, the unstable political situation was not the only cause of the widespread enthusiasm for debate literature at this time. A main contributing factor was the sizeable inheritance of elements from classical debating tradition dating back to Greek and Roman times, which influenced both the choice of topics and the way in which these were addressed. In this essay I will briefly examine how political, social and historical factors led to the debate climate of the late medieval period and then analyse to what extent these factors impact the structure and content of the Querelle de la Rose (henceforth abbreviated to QDLR). I will focus particularly on the involvement of its most famous participant, Christine de Pizan, in contrast with that of the French royal secretaries Jean de Montreuil and Gontier Col, in order to ascertain the extent to which the QDLR can be called a product of its times.

into the reign of his son Charles VI and with it prompted a renewed interest in, and opportunity for engagement with, classical literature. This included (among other literary genres) dialectical discourse, such as the Latin models of debate - altercatio and conflictus - where themes such as winter versus summer and body versus soul would be disputed. A symptom of this renewed interest in classicism was the widespread use of such works and their authors by scholars to support their arguments. Examples of this technique, accessus ad auctoritates, are numerous and can be found throughout the literature belonging to the QDLR. For instance, in Jean de Montreuil’s letter to Gontier Col he cites the Roman author Lactantius ‘...ils mènent donc grand vacarme, comme le dit Lactence...’2 to emphasise how opponents of de Meun blind themselves to the truth of his literary greatness. Later, in Jean Gerson’s sermon ‘Considerate Lilia’ he cites Cicero ‘...which things Cicero faults in De Officiis...,’3 using this authority to strengthen his argument against the use of nominalism regarding the ‘shameful parts

In the decades preceding the appearance of the QDLR, the monarchy played a pivotal role in creating optimum conditions for its realisation. During his reign, Charles V ordered the translation of many major Latin texts and Greek works into French, such as those from Livy and Aristotle, not just for personal, but also for public use.1 This practice continued

2 Christine de Pizan, Le Débat sur le ‘Roman de la Rose’, ed. and trans. by Eric Hicks (Paris: Champion, 1977) p.35 For further references to this work, page numbers will be given in brackets directly after the quotation.

3 Christine de Pizan, Debate of the Romance of the Rose, ed. and trans. by David F. Hult (University of Chicago Press, 2010) p.89

1 Nadia Margolis, An introduction to Christine de Pizan (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012) p.5



Hult, p.89

of the body.’4 In addition to this literary antecedent produced by the French royal power,there existed legal antecedents to the debate culture, resulting in the incorporation of judicial elements into late medieval debate literature. This judicial aspect of the debate climate can be found on examination of the structure of the above-mentioned classical debate models in comparison with 15th century argumentation texts. The parry and riposte formation of the disputatio can be compared to the back and forth between the prosecution and defence in a courtroom; while the inclusion of a final judgement being carried out by a king or divinity as found in Mesopotamian disputes, adamanduga, from the early 2nd millennium BC can be compared with a judge delivering his verdict. Both of these elements can be applied to the epistolary exchange between the participants in the QDLR; with Christine as prosecutor examining the Roman de la Rose before a jury comprised of her readership, and trying to convince Montreuil as judge to reconsider his verdict. This combative nature of literary disputation was simultaneously a contributing factor to the strong sense of competition between authors at the time. In the 15th century literary debates were often instigated as a source of entertainment, where participants would respond to arguments in a way that would allow them to showcase their literary skill and rhetorical ability as much as possible, as summarised by Armstrong and Kay ‘...late medieval verse texts...have a markedly anti-prosaic character, rejoicing in elaborate metrical and rhetorical forms.’5 This is particularly relevant in later works such as the Querelle de la Belle Dame Sans Merci but bears mentioning at this stage in the context of the QDLR, as it highlights the enthusiasm and element of playfulness with which contemporary authors engaged with debate literature at the time. Thus, the combination of the re-emergence of classical literature into the literary culture and its polemical structure explains the vogue for debate in 15th century France, and so provides the first set of favourable conditions for the QDLR.

Querelle Anglaise) werewritten in verse and were used as material for teaching in intellectual institutions. This practice is reflected at multiple points during the QDLR; for instance, in the composition of Gerson’s ‘Considerate Lilia,’ where he specifically divides his work into 3 sections, each destined for a specific group of students,6 showing that he wrote it knowing that it would be used as educative material. Secondly, in de Meun’s work, he states directly ‘ne m’escriture diffamer, / Que toute est por anseignement.’7 However, this does not serve ‘for teaching purposes only’ as he claims, but rather (as it was probably intended to) to provoke a reaction from the reader in order to instigate debate and further engagement with the text. Nonetheless, it is the theme of instruction with which Christine is particularly occupied. She publicises herself as an author and teacher, and adopts a didactic approach in writings that even predate the QDLR, such as her ‘Enseignemens Moraux’ and ‘Livre des trois vertus.’ In doing so, she makes it clear that for her authorial responsibility is of great importance. Indeed, it is one of the two primary reasons she cites for entering into the QDLR in the first place. More precisely, she opposes de Meun’s work on the grounds that it offers ‘aucune utilité’ (p.80), specifying that any work that does not provide moral guidance for its readers is ‘sens preu’ (p.13). She continues, and in particular condemns Le Roman de la Rose for its lack of moral examples ‘Quel bon exemple ne introduction puet estre es?’ (p.16), going so far as to call it an ‘excortacion de vice confortant et dissolue, doctrine plaine de decevance’ (p.21). Therefore, it is dialectical dialogue as an instrument in educational institutions, prompting the raising of awareness of the issue of authorial responsibility that provides further advantageous circumstances for the advancement of the QDLR in that it provokes Christine’s response and further involvement.

As well as understanding the enthusiasm for debate in late medieval France, it is important to take its status in society into account. At this time poetry, in addition to providing a source of entertainment, played a considerable educative role. Important texts including those concerning political matters (like the

The second and principal reason for Christine’s participation in the QDLR is her determination to oppose de Meun’s misogynistic stance; evident in his defamatory characterisation of women (particularly in the speeches of Genius, La Vielle and Le Jaloux). Assertions made indiscriminately about the female sex were a common attack stratagem in antifeminist discourse, and the nature of these attacks included various conclusions, which were often drawn from classical literature. The most prominent of these

5 Adrian Armstrong, Sarah Kay, Rebecca Dixon, Knowing Poetry: Verse in Medieval France from The Rose to the Rhétoriqueurs (Cornell University Press, 2011) p.3

6 Hult, p.84 7 Jean de Meun, Roman de la Rose, ed. F. Lecoy (Paris: Champion, 1966) < rosem2.pdf>, accessed 22 December 2014, l.15172


was the assumption that particular qualities were an inherent part of a woman’s natural disposition based on her biological constitution. According to Greek theory, women psychologically belonged to the ‘water’ element and ‘phlegm’ humor, rendering them damp and phlegmatic8 and therefore ‘unstable’. Consequently, women were associated with traits such as fickleness. Additionally, Aristotle argued male activity and strength in contrast to female weakness and passivity, identifying men with ‘virile qualities such as judgement...and women with their opposites – irrationality’9. This view of women as inferior to men inherited from Greek philosophy ‘became the basis for medieval thought’10 and is a recurring theme in antifeminist works of the period, such as Matheolus’ ‘Lamentations.’ The prevalence of this concept as a norm in 15th century France is further demonstrated in letters exchanged between Christine and Gontier Col, where he describes her as a ‘femme passionnee’ (p.23). The use of this emotive adjective suggests, in accordance with the above-mentioned Greek theory, that as a woman, she has a heightened sense of emotion, implying that he expects her to respond in an overly-emotional, or perhaps even hysterical,11 manner. Christine, however, unequivocally refutes this slur against her sex, rejecting the notion set out in classical doctrine ‘ ce moult m’ennortez que je m’en desdie...’ (p.25). Furthermore, in order to counteract the use of generalisation to categorise women according to patriarchal stereotypes as either ‘pure’ or ‘wicked,’ Christine makes extensive use of female exemplars. These could be found in ‘catalogues’ of noble and virtuous women such as her Livre de la Cité des Dames, which included women from biblical and classical tradition, as well as famous and royal women, and examples of how they were particularly good and virtuous. In her letter to Montreuil she cites ‘Sarra, Rebecha, Hester, Judith’ (p.19) from biblical tradition and ‘la saincte devote royne Jehanne’ (p.19) among others to counter de Meun’s defamatory generalisations, by providing numerous examples of positive representations of women. She further challenges the classical strand of misogyny in her ‘Epistre au Dieu d’Amours’ in which she

responds to Ovid’s Remedia Amoris. She criticises his defamatory remarks against women ‘...villaines mours, / Ordes, laides, pleines de villenie’12 and opposes the generalisation used to characterise them: ‘Doit on pour tant toutes metre en fremaille / Et temoigner qu’il n’est nulle qui vaille?’13 She continues in a similar vein in her letter to Montreuil concerning the allegorical figures Le Jaloux and Genius, criticising the content of both their speeches for the derogatory vocabulary used to describe women ‘...quell besoing recorder les dishonnestetés et laides paroles’ (p.15) and for the ‘excessive... tres nonveritable...’ (p.16) accusations that women possess ‘plusieurs très grands vices’ (p.16). Montreuil, however, defends classical antifeminist doctrines by arguing that Christine and other opponents of the work ‘ regardent pas à la diversité des personnages;...ils mé tâche de satirique que s’était donnée ce moraliste’ (p.43). Therefore, this shows that the QDLR is a product of its time, as these examples containing classical tradition are incorporated into works of the period, serving to demonstrate the significance and the extent to which classical tradition is engrained in, and informs, 15th century French society. To further her cause, Christine carefully orchestrates the presentation of the QDLR in her compilation of the letters for subsequent manuscripts, ensuring that the final versions contain ‘no substantial arguments counter to hers.’ 14 To do this, she employs the use of a selective citational mode, addressing what she deems advantageous to her cause and, more crucially, leaving out what is not. For example, she omits Montreuil’s Traité sur le Roman de la Rose (the catalyst for the debate), allowing herself to select and respond to only those parts that interest her, without the reader being able to compare her arguments with those of the original document. Furthermore, she paraphrases and manipulates quotes from the Roman de la Rose itself; for example, she abbreviates the 30 line quotation15 beginning ‘Fuiez, fuiez, fuiez, fuiez, / fuiez, enfant, fuiez tel beste’16 to make it seem like a direct attack on women instead of the slightly more neutral and predominantly didactic advice that he 12 Christine de Pizan, Epistre au Dieu d’Amours, ed. Miranda Remnek, <http://www.hs- gallica/Chronologie/15siecle/Christine/chr_amor.html>, accessed 22 December 2014, l.284 13 Christine de Pizan, ed. Miranda Remnek, l.191 14 Hult, p.20 15 Hult, p.56 16 Jean de Meun, ed. F. Lecoy, l.16552

8 Hult, p.xi 9 Hult, p.x 10 Hult, p.xii
 11 As noted by Margaret L King and Albert Rabil Jr, passions generated by the uterus, ‘hystera’ in Greek, such as lust, deceit and irrationality lead to hysteria when in excess. (Hult, p.xi)


actually offers. Moreover, Christine conveniently omits the entire subsequent line in which Genius appears to contradict what he has just stated17

necessary to combat the social constraints facing female authors such as Christine de Pizan, who, despite her obvious intelligence, could not form part of the intellectual circle occupied by men like Montreuil and Col due to her sex.

‘Si ne di je pas toutevoie, / n’onc ne fu l’antancion moie, / que les fames chieres n’aiez / ne que si foïr les daiez; / que bien avec eus ne gisiez.’18

Finally, Christine’s reaction to the Roman de la Rose and her involvement in the ensuing literary quarrel incite differing responses from the other participants, which reflect both traditional and developing attitudes of the time period. On the one hand, she is seen to be accepted into the debate community as a worthy and intelligent opponent with letters addressed to her containing highly complimentary language such as ‘...prudent, honnouree et sçavant demoiselle’ (p.9) and ‘femme de hault entendement’ (p.23). Gontier Col also addresses her using the ‘tu’ form which, while less formal, he does ‘quant...[il] ...escript a [s]es amis, especialement quant sont lectréz’ (p.24), to show once again Christine’s acceptance into the debating body and to demonstrate how she challenges the traditional role of women within the debate community. On the other hand, in other letters Christine is met with insults ‘ me semblait entendre «la courtisane grecque Leuntion...»’ (p.43) and prejudiced terms ‘...repprouchant [s]on femmenin sexe’ (p.25) as well as being labelled a ‘literary traitor’ by Montreuil, who attempts to limit her involvement in the QDLR through this appellation and by not responding directly to her letters19 so that her participation remains within the confines of the accepted gender roles of 15th century France. Thus, this shows that the QDLR is a product of its times, as Christine’s involvement maintains the illusion of the traditional female archetype whilst also challenging the restrictions this imposes on her admittance into literary debate.

On the other hand, it could be said that Christine is forced to react thus due to the constraints imposed on female authors at this time. Specifically, while the male authors dominate the debating scene, hereby actively producing argumentation on a range of subjects, their female counterparts are limited to counter-argumentation, responding to attacks using largely defensive stratagems as in Christine’s response to Pierre Col ‘...encore puis je bien respondre à ce que tu dis’ (p.20), showing how they must concede power to the male and play the passive role of respondents. In order to overcome the limitations imposed on her sex by society, Christine employs another tactic involving her patron, Isabeau de Bavière, and another notable figure, Guillaume de Tignonville, in the QDLR. Although there is no evidence to suggest that they ever responded to her letters, the very fact of their inclusion in the quarrel serves Christine’s purpose. Her appeals to these figures of royal and political authority have a significant positive impact on the reception of her view inasmuch as their influence would provide her much support for her side of the debate, being a woman and lacking in rank compared to the secretaries and notaries to the King found among her opponents. Using this influence from both male and female figures of considerably higher social standing than her own, Christine improves her position in the debating sphere, raising herself to be on an equal footing with her male opponents with the association and figurative backing of these royal and political powers. Additionally, Christine structures the QDLR to ensure that one of her letters (that she marks “EXPLICIT LES EPISTRES SUS LE ROMMANT DE LA ROSE”) (p.26) is the last in the series of texts, giving herself the final word and hereby providing herself with the position of power and control usually reserved for a judge, king or divinity. This careful and systematic construction proves the QDLR to be a product of its times in that it reflects how such measures were

17 18

Despite having roots in classical tradition, it could be said that the QDLR is, to a large extent, a product of its times, as it reflects how this tradition informed society and therefore debate literature at the time. However, Christine’s participation and its effect must also be taken into consideration, as while the QDLR began as one concerning the issues of the nominalism of the private parts, the scandalous mélange of religious and sexual ideas, and poor literary style, its focus shifts, instigated by Christine, 19 Emma Cayley, ‘“Tu recites, je replique; et quant nous avons fait et fait, tout ne vault riens”: Explorations of a Debating Climate in Early Humanist France’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 48 (2004) 73

Hult, p.56 Jean de Meun, ed. F. Lecoy, l.16587


to fulfil her own agenda. Namely, to provoke social engagement with the subject of the representation of women in literature. This equally exemplifies what could tentatively be called the on-going development of multiple aspects of French culture of the time, leading to a “critical re-examination of ideas inherited from the ancient and medieval past,”20 (the case for women included), which is perfectly reflected by the tone of Christine’s argumentation, demonstrating the significant extent to which the QDLR is a product of its times.


Works Cited Primary Sources

Christine de Pizan, Le Débat sur le ‘Roman de la Rose’, ed. and trans. by Eric Hicks (Paris: Champion, 1977) Christine de Pizan, Debate of the Romance of the rose, ed. and trans. by David F. Hult
(University of Chicago Press, 2010)

Secondary Sources

Armstrong, Adrian, Sarah Kay, Rebecca Dixon, Knowing Poetry: Verse in Medieval

Hult, p.xviii

France from The Rose to the Rhétoriqueurs (Cornell University Press, 2011) Brown-Grant, Rosalind, Christine de Pizan and the Moral Defence of Women: Reading beyond Gender (Cambridge: CUP, 1999) Cayley, Emma, ‘“Tu recites, je replique; et quant nous avons fait et fait, tout ne vault riens”: Explorations of a Debating Climate in Early Humanist France’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 48 (2004) 37-59 Christine de Pizan, Epistre au Dieu d’Amours, ed. Miranda Remnek, <http://www.hs- augsburg. de/~harsch/gallica/Chronologie/15siecle/Christine/ chr_amor.html>, accessed 22 December 2014 Christine de Pizan, The writings of Christine de Pizan, ed. by Charity Cannon Willard (New York: Persea Books, 1994) Jean de Meun, Roman de la Rose, ed. F Lecoy (Paris: Champion, 1966) <txm.bfm- pdf>, accessed 22 December 2014 Kay, Sarah, The ‘Romance of the Rose’ (London: Grant and Cutler, 1995) Margolis, Nadia, An introduction to Christine de Pizan (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012)


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THEOLOGY Theology – The quality of submissions for this issue was the highest yet and it was a very difficult decision to make, especially given the diversity of the topics. This essay was chosen because of its interdisciplinary nature and the questions it raises about theology within politics and law. I hope that you find it as interesting a read as I did. SUBJECT EDITOR Emma Stanworth

Surveillance Technology: An Invasion of Privacy or a ‘Care-ful’ Technology?

written by Ed Schofield


CTV cameras on Britain’s roads capture 26 million images of number plates every day through an automated number plate recognition (ANPR) software, which is then sent to the world’s largest data collection bank of its kind, the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC)1. This use of CCTV and the ever-increasing level of surveillance within all aspects of our lives, as well as other technologies such as e-mails, mobile phones, social networking, even our Tesco Clubcards and Nectar cards, suggest that we are unconsciously submitting private information, which is then collected and stored on databases all over the UK. Does this suggest that surveillance technology is implementing a level of unnecessary fear in which we believe everything must be watched, or, is it actually aiding us in building stronger relationships within society?

What is ‘privacy’? Privacy is defined as ‘The quality or condition of being secluded from the presence or view of others’4, yet, when we bring in issues surrounding criminal justice, privacy becomes much more complicated. The Human Rights Act 1998, Article 8 says that ‘everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence’5, yet, states afterwards that ‘there shall be no interference… of this right except such as is in accordance with… national security…[and] the prevention of disorder or crime’6. This shows that even though we are given the right to our own privacy, it can be invaded through justification by the government as it being a necessary act in order to prevent crime. The issue that arises here is the level of surveillance that is maintained and constantly increased by not only the government, but also by other corporations as well. The Data Protection Act of 1998 has tried to enforce the privacy laws set about by the Human Rights Act 1998, however, it seems to have been to no avail.

In order to tackle the question, we must first understand what we mean by ‘care’. The term ‘care’ is used by Stoddart as the process of ‘active engagement in building life-affirming relationships’2. Stoddart tries to enforce the idea that surveillance technology can be used as a force for good, not only for its primary function of catching people breaking the law, but also in creating ‘right relations’ through making sure we enable society to develop and flourish through the ‘practice of surveillance compassionately’3. 1 Nick Hopkins, ‘CCTV Cameras on Britain’s Roads Capture 26 Million Images Everyday’, (The Guardian, published on: 23rd January 2014, http://www., date accessed, 07/03/2015. 2 Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Society’, ‘Taking Care’, p 55. 3 Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Society’, Introduction’, (2011), p 2.

4 ‘Privacy’, (The Free Dictionary, http://, date accessed: 06/03/2015. 5 Human Rights Act 1998 Article 8, http://www. chapter/7 , date accessed, 06/03/2015. 6 Human Rights Act 1998 Article 8, date accessed, 06/03/2015.


In order to interact within the modern world through social networking, e-mails, and mobile phones for example, it seems that we must surrender our private information to do so, exemplified in the use of Google’s services such as ‘Gmail’. Google’s terms and conditions state that ‘Our automated systems analyse your content (including emails) to provide you with personally relevant product features… this analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.’7. This means that ‘customers have little choice but to agree with data surveillance in order to access essential components of everyday life’8 or they are left with the only other option which is to remove ourselves from society in order to maintain full privacy. Therefore, the majority of the UK’s society is subjected mostly unknowingly to what is known as ‘Dataveillance’; ‘The systematic use of personal data in the investigation or monitoring of the actions or communications of one or more persons’9. Our private information is now used as a tool not only by the government to detect criminal activity, but, also by large corporations as a way to economically benefit from our personal information by advertising products to us, and hoarding information for later use through observing our internet searches and e-mails. We now rely on large corporations to keep things we deem to be private, such as bank details, and phone numbers, in order for us to use their services.

suggests that we must understand that privacy is a Godgiven construct for humanity, and is there to enable us to understand the importance of relationships. Many scholars would argue that for Christians, ‘God and the right to privacy are incompatible’10, yet, several theologians suggest that we cannot merely examine the idea of ‘privacy’ purely in relation to God’s omniscience, and that ‘privacy’ as a concept is irrelevant to God. Stoddart utilises the argument presented by Taliferro suggesting that it is wrong to believe that due to His transcendence, ‘God strictly speaking does not have senses so cannot be held responsible for improper hearing or seeing’11. Taliferro argues that because humanity has entered into a ‘covenantal relationship’ with God, therefore, we are allowed to request a degree of ‘volitional privacy’, so that we can have a level of control over our lives12. Stoddart develops the idea by including McLain’s theology of God having ‘self-limiting knowledge’. By God giving mankind a degree of privacy, the idea is presented of an ‘intimate relationship’ between God and humanity. Muers’ argument utilises Bonhoeffer’s questioning of the concept of telling the truth as a duty. This argument revolves around the idea that ‘truthfulness is anchored, not to an abstract principle, but to the reality of life’13. This suggests that, due to the relationships we have with one another, privacy is needed within ‘social spheres’ in order to stop us from violating the trust we have with the members of those social groups. This also allows us to further our understanding of relationships with each other, and how that privacy enables us to understand the gravitas of our relationships with other members of humanity. Meurs and Bonhoeffer, moreover, make the link that we view knowledge as a possession, which is becoming ever more apparent in the modern age where surveillance technology is being used for ‘Dataveillance’. Meurs highlights, that through Bonhoeffer’s work of ‘Fiction From Tegel Prison’14, we must come to understand the ‘ultimate secret’, the

This means that the definition of ‘privacy’ in relation to criminal justice has stayed relatively the same, the only difference is that we have had to accept that in order for criminal justice to prevail, we must allow some areas of our private lives to be accessed for the benefit of national security. Whether or not surveillance technology has become an ‘invasion of our privacy’ or is actually a ‘care-ful’ technology is yet unanswered. Is God Invading Our Privacy? We have managed to assess what ‘privacy’ is in relation to criminal justice, which has become nearly non-existent within the eyes of the law. This is due to the lack of legislation and the way in which large corporations, seem to be able to ignore safeguarding acts. ‘Privacy’ in relation to theology, however,

10 Rachel Muers, ‘Keeping God’s Silence’, ‘Privacy, Omniscience and the Silence of God’, (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2004) p182. 11 Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Society’, ‘Unto Whom’, p 141. 12 Ibid., 141. 13 Ibid., 143.

7 Google, ‘Google Terms and Conditions,’ (Google:, date accessed: 06/03/2015. 8 Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Society’, ‘Unto whom No Prive Thing is Hid’, p 138.

9 Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Thirteenth Chime’, p 22.


14 Muers, ‘Keeping God’s Silence’, ‘Silence of God’, p 204.



one private piece of information that we can protect from others, due to the belief that we neither have a right, nor does anyone else, to possess this knowledge, is the reality of our own personal existence that is known through Godself, and is the only real piece of private information we have, as it is non-possessive. This shows that our ‘ultimate secret’ is to come to the understanding that only God fully understands who we are, and that as a community, we can never fully claim to possess full knowledge of anyone15.

rather than enforcing the concept of ‘care’. ‘Risk’ is something that ‘…we should not fall prey to a negative portrayal of [and] the potential benefits of both risk analysis and of surveillance as a response. It would be quite inappropriate to let our fear of crime and of a terrorist attack dominate to the point where other concerns are marginalised’.17 Our constant obsession with ‘dataveillance’, has not only hindered the practice of a ‘care-ful technology’, but, our society is now entering a ‘vicious cycle of a risk society breed[ing] risk’18. Through fear we have lost sight of what surveillance is predominately about; catching criminal acts that occur in the present and not trying to predict criminal activity. ‘Risks are socially defined and constructed; capable of being magnified or minimised by those in key social and political positions such as the mass media…’19. Stoddart highlights the fact that ‘CCTV footage, replayed every 30 minutes during a 24/7 rolling news programme… [ensures that] our fears are revitalised at the top and bottom of each hour’20.

This raises the prospect that God is invading our privacy, because He is he only one that knows our ‘ultimate secret’ through his omniscience. God makes us understand the importance of relationships within humanity and our ‘social spheres’, and the role that privacy plays within these groups. This demonstrates that, although God is invading our privacy, He is doing it in order to strengthen our relationships within humanity. Not only does this help us achieve self-transcendence, but, also showing that through this invasion of privacy and God’s constant surveillance of mankind, He is enabling society to actively engage in ‘building life-affirming relationships’16 with one another through the use of privacy, thus, implementing a level of ‘care’. He enables us to improve our relationships through ‘the practice of surveillance compassionately’.

Bader-Saye builds upon the concept by showing that the mass media has made it ‘difficult to distinguish between an evil being remote or near and therefore treats them all as near…’21. This process of ‘fear mongering’ has led to society wanting surveillance to be implemented within all our social spheres and therefore, we have allowed surveillance to become more of an ‘invasion of privacy’ rather than a ‘care-ful’ technology. The perfect example of this is the USA Patriot Act 200122. This Act has enabled the US government and more importantly internet service providers and search engines to legally use ‘dataveillance’ in order to prevent terrorism. This act, in relation to a terror threat, is a reasonable course of action to take, and enforces the point made before that we should not fall entirely towards a negative portrayal of surveillance. The problem with this Act however, is it seems to ignore issues surrounding Data Privacy as it has allowed internet service providers to legally share private information without the consent of the individual

The issue that now arises from this theological perception of ‘privacy’, is whether the state is attempting to implement surveillance everywhere to achieve enough information, not only to catch criminal activity, but also in an attempt to predict crimes before they even happen. The question that arises from this is as to whether the government and the media might be trying to create a society based around fear or ‘risk’ in order to obtain our private information for their own socio-economic gain and the ability to see within all aspects of our ‘social spheres’. Is surveillance a response to ‘risk’? Even though we have seen that the ‘practice of surveillance compassionately’ can be achieved within theology, when we look upon surveillance within modern-day British society, we cannot help but think that the constant implementing of new surveillance technology is the result of fear or ‘risk’ 15 16 p 55.

17 Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Society’, ‘An Unsafe Peace’, p 110. 18 Ibid., 107. 19 Ibid., 107. 20 Ibid., 110. 21 Ibid., 127. 22 USA Patriots Act 2001, (http://legal-dictionary., date accessed 08/03/2015.

Ibid., 207. Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Society’, ‘Taking Care’,


which can be utilised for means other than to prevent terror, i.e. economic gain. This shows that due to single acts of terror, and the eagerness of the media to constantly make us re-live any small act of criminal activity, we have become too focused on ‘risk management’, thus we have begun to give up our human right to privacy in exchange for security from future threats that may not even occur.

information (social security debts) being published online. Even though this information was outdated, it still caused Mr Gonzalez issues within his ‘social spheres’ such as at work and with friends, thus, highlighting where surveillance technology becomes an invasion of privacy rather than a ‘care-ful’ technology. Even though other countries within the EU are trying to enforce the Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in relation to data protection, there is still more that needs to be done within the UK in order for surveillance technology to become a more ‘careful’ technology. Borgmann argues from a theological standpoint that we have allowed technology to become something that ‘orientates us… to genuine and deep engagement’25, whereas it should be viewed as an instrument for self-development not, as he coins it, a ‘focal practice’. This is detrimental towards our concept of ‘practice of surveillance compassionately’, due to the fact that technology is distracting us from ‘nature and life’26, and stopping us from establishing a just society. Borgmann is not suggesting that we should get rid of technology altogether, we should ‘prune back the excesses of technology and restrict it to a supporting role’27. If we look upon this in light of modern-day Britain, we can see how, specifically, surveillance technology, when used improperly, is shifting our attention from activities that are more important ‘focal points’.

This suggests that there is a very fine line between where surveillance stops becoming a benefit for society by protecting society from crime and as a concept of ‘care’, and when it becomes an invasion of our privacy, through phone-hacking, ‘dataveillance’ and so on, for economic gain. This means that we must try and discover what needs to be criminalised in light of surveillance technology being a ‘careful’ technology so that we can prevent our fear from causing surveillance to impede upon our human right to privacy, and thus damaging our society. What Should Be Criminalised? Through assessing the surveillance as a response to risk and the issues surrounding privacy legally and theologically, we have come to the understanding that we must try and define, and firmly place, where surveillance stops becoming a ‘care-ful’ technology. We must assess the problem of when surveillance becomes a detrimental impact upon ‘care’ and the ‘building of life-affirming relations’. In order to do this, we must carefully assess what should be criminalised, and how we can restrict surveillance technology, without impeding its main function within criminal justice.

The perfect example of why we should stop technology being a ‘focal point’ of our society, is the recent ‘Phone Hacking Scandal’28. This scandal, included invasions of privacy varying from the publication of celebrity photos, health scares surrounding members of the Royal Family, and worst of all, the hacking and surveillance of a missing 13 year-old girl, Milly Dowler’s mobile phone. We have allowed the privacy of an innocent 13 year-old girl to be invaded, showing our society’s failure at using surveillance as a ‘care-ful’ technology when we allow it to go unregulated. This is a degrading use

The Data Protection Act 1998 has tried to enforce the privacy, yet, due to our fear, we have allowed this rule to become ‘an ineffective safeguard’23. Within the EU, attempts at trying to uphold privacy in relation to the Human Rights Act 1998, have been made. For example, the case of Google Inc v. Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos (Spanish Agency of Data Protection)24, shows the enforcement of the Data Protection Act in reference to an individual’s private

25 Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Society’, ‘Careful Technology’, p 77. 26 Ibid., 77. 27 Ibid., 78.

23 Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Society’, ‘Unto whom’, (Law Society of Scotland 2007), p 139. 24 Westlaw, ‘Google Spain SL v AEPD. Case C-131/12’, (Ellis Publications, http://, 13/05/2014), date accessed, 09/03/2015.


28 Indu Chandrasekhar, Murray Wardrop and Andy Trotman, ‘Phone Hacking: Timeline of the Scandal’, (The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph. Phone-hacking-timeline-of-a-scandal.html, date published: 23/07/2012), date accessed: 09/03/2015.

of surveillance from preventing crime to a means by which to invade people’s privacy in a thirst for ‘gossip’, which is not a way of ‘building lifeaffirming relationships’. This not only emphasises Borgmann’s point about our how our ‘focal point’ should not rest upon technology, but how we are straying further away from the practice of compassionate surveillance.

this we must not only make sure that legislations like the Data Protection Act of 1998 remain an effective safeguard, but, as Borgmann rightly states, we must restrict surveillance to a supporting role, in order to prevent cases like the phone-hacking from occurring again. ‘Risk society’ is bred through fear of the future, and because of this, we shall continue to invade people’s privacy out of fear. Even though some scholars, such as Kellner would accuse those trying to restrict technology as ‘technophobes’30, George Orwell, arguably predicated in his novel ‘1984’31, the concept that through surveillance all aspects of our lives would be invaded and monitored by ‘Thought Police’. This suggests, that through fear, our constant thirst for information, and our constant development of surveillance technology, we are to an extent, creating God out of surveillance, in a never ending pursuit to obtain our ‘ultimate secret’. This highlights that we must end the ‘vicious cycle of risk society breeding risk’, in order for surveillance to become a ‘care-ful’ technology.

Therefore, what should be criminalised within surveillance, from a theological and legalistic perspective, is when the technology becomes an infringement upon our idea of ‘care’ within society, and it is instead used for socio-economic or political gain. The problem that has arisen however, is that it seems impossible to create a set of legalistic rules that encompasses all acts of privacy invasion. This means that the system we already have in place in which we tackle each act of privacy invasion, at a case-by-case’ level29, is the best possible system of processing criminal acts surrounding the invasion of privacy. Is surveillance technology an invasion of privacy or a ‘care-ful’ technology?

30 Stoddart, ‘Surveillance Society’, ‘Careful Technology’, p 79. 31 George Orwell, ‘1984’, (London: Oberon Books, 2012).

Overall, we have gathered that surveillance not only within the legal system but also within theology is a very complicated and delicate matter. As a society, we have allowed surveillance technology to become an invasion of privacy, and because of this, surveillance technology is becoming ‘careless’. This is because we are failing as a society to uphold legislations such as the Data Protection Act of 1998 due to the ‘risk society’ we are engrossed in. This idea of ‘risk’, highlighted by Stoddart, has allowed privacy invasion to become more acceptable, and in some cases for the good of society for national security purposes, yet, overall, it has become a damaging part of society. This is especially in relation to the media and large corporations where morality has been thrown aside in pursuit of economic gain. The theological concepts that have been discussed have shown us that it is possible for surveillance technology to be used to ‘build life-affirming relations’. Society as a whole, however, needs to make a radical change if we are ever going to use surveillance technology compassionately. In order to achieve 29 Sharon Rodrick, ‘Emerging Challenges in Privacy Law: Comparative Perspectives’, (London: Cambridge University Press, 2014) p 389.


Works Cited Books/Journals

Esther Reed and Michael Dumper, ‘Civil Liberties, National Security and Prospects for Consensus’, Jeremy Waldron, ‘Safety and Security’, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 13-34. George Orwell, ‘1984’, (London: Oberon Books, 2012).

Human Rights Act1998 Article 8, ( , date accessed, 06/03/2015. PowerPoints Dr Timon Hughes-Davies, ‘LAW2015, Privacy I’, (University of Exeter), date accessed, 07/03/2015. Dr Timon Hughes-Davies, ‘LAW2015, Privacy II’, (University of Exeter), date accessed, 07/03/2015.

Rachel Muers, ‘Keeping God’s Silence’, ‘Privacy, Omniscience and the Silence of God’, (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2004) pp. 182-212. Sharon Rodrick, ‘Emerging Challenges in Privacy Law: Comparative Perspectives’, (London: Cambridge University Press, 2014) pp. 386-392. Eric Stoddart, ‘Theological Perspectives on a Surveillance Society, Watching and Being Watched’, (Surrey, England, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2011).


Nick Hopkins, ‘CCTV Cameras on Britain’s Roads Capture 26 Million Images Everyday’, (The Guardian, published on: 23rd January 2014, http://www., date accessed, 07/03/2015. Indu Chandrasekhar, Murray Wardrop and Andy Trotman, ‘Phone Hacking: Timeline of the Scandal’, (The Telegraph, news/uknews/phone-hacking/8634176/Phone-hacking-timeline-of-a-scandal.html, date published: 23/07/2012), date accessed: 09/03/2015. * ‘Privacy’, (The Free Dictionary,, date accessed: 06/03/2015.

Case studies/Legislation/Terms and Conditions Westlaw, ‘Google Spain SL v AEPD. Case C-131/12’, (Ellis Publications, http://, 13/05/2014), date accessed, 09/03/2015. * USA Patriots Act 2001, (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary. com/USA+PATRIOT+Act+of+2001), date accessed



This competition was established in order to give students the opportunity to show their inner creative flairs. The aim was to perform an analysis either on Rupert Brooke’s “Sonnet Reversed” or Andre 3000’s “Do Ya Thing”. The winning response certainly showed an aptitude for original and insightful thinking, and we will be very pleased to award the winner with a goody bag sponsored by the Literary Gift Company.

‘Do Ya Thing’ Gorillaz, James Murphy, André 3000 (2012) ‘3 Artists. 1 Song’ campaign.2 This is telling, as the consumption of music allows a person to express who they are, which group they belong to and allows for an expression of their identity.3 Essential then, for a brand such as Converse, that usually relies heavily on visual aesthetics. Principally, the track acted as a form of advertisement, with Converse acting as the label for the release of the track on February 23rd 2012, via their website.4 This was in the form of a four and a half minute radio cut, which was followed by an explicit, extensive, somewhat indulgent thirteen minute edition available on the Gorillaz website.5 The fact that the track was extended to thirteen minutes indicates the pleasure each artist felt in creating it. This is essential for the legacy of Do Ya Thing, as it displays that the artists wished to create art rather than a mere magnet of consumerism. The level of enjoyment emits from the track, everybody gets their

written by Daniel Hammond


his track was one of the most remarkable to drop in 2012, a collaboration between Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000. The music on the track makes the song interesting, yet this is furthered by the fact that each of the artists involved have released seminal albums, each with their own unique and definitive sound. Do Ya Thing marks the marrying of musical styles at a time where each artist was in a varying stage of their career. Murphy’s ‘LCD Soundsystem’ had recently released their last, ground-breaking album ‘This is Happening’ in 2010, just prior to the demise of the band. Also, Andre’s Hip Hop ensemble ‘Outkast’ had done so much for music, their later work displayed rap in a pop-light whilst retaining artistic integrity and an authentic air of cool. The fans of Outkast were starving for something new in 2012. As a result, the release of ‘Do Ya Thing’ was much sought after, resulting in a trifecta of musical prowess, a rap-rock-pop amalgamation that Rolling Stone referred to as a “zippy future-freak soul summit.”1

2 h t t p : / / w w w. b i l l b o a r d . c o m / a r t i c l e s / news/504508/gorillazjames-murphyandre3000s-converse-track-the-story-behind-the-song 3 W, Dolfsma. The Consumption of Music and the Expression of VALUES: A Social Economic Explanation for the Advent of Pop Music. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 58, No. 4 (Oct., 1999), p. 1021 4 gorillaz-do-ya-thing_n_1265377.html 5

Converse commissioned the track as part of their 1 h t t p : / / w w w. r o l l i n g s t o n e . c o m / music/songreviews/doyathing-20120217


spot, each sharing control as the track progresses. At times there are perfect blends of the three artists, resulting in a hybrid track of tempestuous frivolity. The track begins with stripped back synthesisers, casting a fun, colourful mood that holds a plastic, synthetic feel. This echoes Gorillaz 2010 ‘Plastic Beach’ album in a clear effort to further facilitate this particular sound. This envelops the listener, with the addition of the buzzing, synth-bassline that effectively underpins the track. Alongside this is the listless vocal delivery of Gorillaz’ Damon Albarn, who in typical Gorillaz fashion relays lyrics with vague connotations of apathy. Albarn has stated in relation to the writing of Do Ya Thing that “Music inspired by a shoe is quite a hard thing to get your head around.”6 This may go some way in explaining the abstract lyrics present in the track that represent a collection of disconnected thoughts. Such lyrics as “I’m the light in the mall when the power is gone /A shadow in a corner / Just playin’ along!” portray this notion. Furthermore, ‘playin’ is exactly what this track illustrates, it is an invitation to join in the party. In terms of structure, the song features Albarn playing guitar, which surfaces minutes into the track in the form of monotonous repetition , driving the progressive track to new levels of intensity. Murphy plays bass guitar, spinning a repetitive web of driving bass akin to that of the punk genre, with André 3000 rapping over a drum machine in the background. The way in which the drum machine apes a drum kit further emboldens the notion of a synthetic feel within the track. Additionally, the drum machine is successful in creating stark, punchy percussion that acts as a rapid metronome for the playful musical discourse and infectious beat. Murphy channels his inner falsetto whilst singing the hook “You don’t know what you’re doin baby,” which is instantly catchy. Despite this, the track is truly defined by the unflinching lyricism of Andre 3000. Andre’s vocal delivery is rhythmic and he hardly pauses for breath. The result is a mesmerising vocal pattern that on occasion breaks into singing. This is typical of Andre, with the rap element of Do Ya Thing sounding like the flow presented in ‘Bombs over Baghdad’ from Outkast’s 2000 album Stankonia. There is a transition into more vocal elements



from Andre, more akin to the track ‘Hey Ya’ from Outkast’s 2003 fifth studio album, ‘Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below’. The polarity of vocal styles act as an almost bipolar metaphor on behalf of Andre. This notion is further unpackaged in his lyrics, such as “Sometimes I feel like the shit, sometimes I feel like shit” repeated in the bridge. With a nod to his band and fans, Andre uses the lyrics “I’m an Outkast but you’re into me” that further forms a clever juxtaposition alongside “Summer got mad / Cuz winter blew me.” Such examples illustrate nonsense syllables tucked behind clever constructions that create humorous imagery that add to the joviality of this collaboration. In regards to the production of Do Ya Thing, there is an air of supreme quality. This is expected with the status of the three artists involved, alongside the cash injection from Converse. Yet James Murphy has recalled that “We didn’t exchange any ideas at all… Damon was basically saying, ‘Let’s just get in a room.’”7 This illustrates the somewhat impromptu ethos that went into the creation of the track, that resulted in an organic style. This style is marked by the progression of the song, which around the ten minute mark dissolves into a break down featuring discordant piano, glitch-like synthesiser and hollering, electronic vocals that are cut apart by a piercing drum. This section acts as a quasicomedown, ushering the listener back to a sense of reality as the song climaxes. A potent reminder of the power of collaborative music.8

Works Cited Dolfsma, Wilfred. The Consumption of Music and the Expression of VALUES: A Social Economic Explanation for the Advent of Pop Music. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 58, No. 4 (Oct., 1999), pp. 1019-1046 http://beatsperminute. com/reviews/track-review-gorillaz-doyathingfeat-andre-3000-and-james-murphy/ http://www. gorillaz-do-ya-thing_n_1265377.html doyathing-20120217

7 h t t p : / / w w w. b i l l b o a r d . c o m / a r t i c l e s / news/504508/gorillazjames-murphyandre3000s-converse-track-the-story-behind-the-song 8 reviews/track-review-gorillaz-doyathingfeat-andre-3000-and-james-murphy/


Focus Feature

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Susan was quickly tiring of continually swiping left on Tinder.â&#x20AC;?

Managing Editor: Flora Carr Contributors: Eavie Burnett, Tara

Martin, Lucy Maguire, Emma Stanworth, Rosemary Lennie, Carl Lofthagen, Helena Bennett, Jess George, Tom McConnell and Davide Scarpignato.

Dating in the Twenty-First Century 47


any people argue that dating in the Twenty-first century is all but unrecognisable compared to the eras that have come before it. Taking into account increasing multiculturalism, progressive attitudes towards gender roles and non-heteronormative relationships, plus substantial impact new technologies have had on how we interact with one another, it seems that dating today is in a league of its own. However, has dating - and what we look for when dating - truly changed in the twenty-first century? Is modern love different from that expressed in Shakespeare’s sonnets, or other poems of the past? In a recent social experiment conducted by YouTube channel ‘Simple Pickup’, a woman set up five dates through Tinder and then wore a fat-suit to meet with them. All were evidently shocked when they realised it was her, and all but one left the date prematurely. One didn’t sit down, saying he didn’t appreciate people lying to him, before stomping away. This could suggest that modern dating is somewhat shallow: based on appearance and instant sex appeal rather than on character or personal qualities. Yet this does not necessarily deviate from the values suggested in traditional love poetry. The ideal ‘blazon’ woman is a habitual feature of pastoral literature, and numerous ‘classic’ love stories such as Romeo and Juliet or Hero and Leander centre upon sexuallycharged instances of love-at-first-sight. Theresa M. Krier observed that “the blazon of the sonnet mistress has come to function as an epitome of the ways that gendered discourse systems commodify and exchange women” (85), noting that the poetic form can be seen to “control women’s agency and sexuality, and mystify masculine desire as normative” (85). These charges, if considered for a moment outside their Early Modern context, are equally applicable to ‘swipe-right culture’ and sonnets. Moreover, modern dating seems to be more progressive in its multiculturalism or enabling a wider range of sexual expressions is not entirely true either. Nonheteronormative love has been depicted in poetry since Sappho’s lyrics or Homer’s Iliad. Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 20’ is notable for seeming to address another man. Indeed, many of the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries contain homoerotic undertones. Additionally, numerous pieces of literature depict cross-race relationships – Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130” or Othello, for example. Meghan Trainor’s most recent music video, ‘Dear Future Husband’, fuses modern internet dating with 1950s ideals. Much like the shallowness displayed by early modern blazons, this video suggests that twenty-first century dating may not be ideologically different from previous displays

Sexism, Sonnets, and Swiping Right of love. Trainor’s video is set in a home behind a white picket fence, within which she cleans the floor and describes how she will “buy groceries, buy buy what [her future husband] need[s]”. It is clear that this sentiment does not align with feminist thought. It is interesting, therefore, that Trainor searches for her “future husband” on ‘Plenty of Fish’, an online dating site. Whilst online dating has undoubtedly allowed us to progress technologically, this video posits questions as to whether technology has caught up with progressive feminist thought. Profiles on dating sites seem to be made up of two main components: appearance and gender. Whilst a small personal description accompanies these it is easy to swipe past a profile based only on appearance and gender, without even considering the individual’s personality. The ‘gender+appearance=ideal’ partner equation highlighted by dating profiles seems ideologically similar to beauty idolatrous blazons and Trainor’s modern housewife. It appears that dating sites prioritise gendered images in terms of selecting a partner: biological sex is a key factor here. Whilst gay dating sites are available, they still apply this gender+appearance formula to form users’ profiles. Twenty- first century dating therefore proliferates a gendered representation of love. In her video, Trainor envisages an “ideal man” for whom she is searching. This, of course, leads to the questioning of what that ideal is, or what it should be. She ascribes regimented characteristics not only to her potential partner: “you’ve got to treat me right”; but to herself, “I’ll be the perfect wife”. Here, the video’s engagement with online dating brings to light the heteronormativity implicated in the latter. Dating sites give users the impression that they will be able to utilise the online services to find their perfect sexual or romantic match. Like Trainor’s video, this creates the impression that certain individuals embody perfection in their actions which are often ascribed by gender. This type of dating can therefore be said to be steeped in outdated, heteronormative sentiment, despite its relative novelty. Whether you’re serenading your loved one with sonnet poetry, or swiping right on Tinder, the sentiment seems scarily similar - and it’s one that desperately needs an update.

Written by Eavie Burnett and Tara Martin. Additional contributions by Lucy Maguire.



The Reality of BibleBased Relationships

exual attitudes have changed dramatically in the last three decades. A study conducted by UCL shows just this. It was conducted by surveying 15,000 people every ten years, beginning in 1990 and ending in 2012. It was found that the age at which people first have sex has declined to an average of 16 years among 16-to-24-yearolds. Among this age group, the latest survey found that 31% of men and 29% of women now first have sex before age 16. In the age group 16-44 years, the average number of partners over a woman’s lifetime has more than doubled since the first survey to 7.7 in the latest survey. When it comes to casual sex, 20% men see nothing wrong in ‘onenight stands’, the same proportion as in 1990-91, but the number of women holding this view has increased from 5.4% to 13% over the same period (Mercer et al, 2013). Virginity is of vital importance for the Church in sexual ethics. Virginity ‘for the sake of the kingdom’ it is called many times. In Matthew 19:12 we find the most important quote from Jesus himself, used in the Catechism to justify the abstinence from sexual acts; as the word of Jesus, it becomes a fundamental teaching. “For…there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”(NRSV). Paul, the next major Christian teacher, appealed to his followers to remain as the marital state they were and focus their lives on God instead (Jordan, 2010). The founding fathers discuss marriage and virginity in their formation of doctrine. Then, as the next major Christian thinker, Augustine deemed any sexual relationship not between a married man and woman and for the purpose of procreation, an abominable sin (Augustine, City of God). Sex in marriage was condoned a “necessary evil” for procreation. He condemned any sexual activity that didn’t fall into the category of ‘simple fornication’. Many Christians in the West have found ways of relaxing the boundaries of these mandates: accepting certain contraception and permitting divorce, for example. However, much of the same rationality remains in discourse, and influences church youth today, and the response of Christian students on campus reflect this; one interviewee described ‘intentional dating’. He said: “You don’t go shopping without the intention of buying something”. Growing up in the Church, the overwhelming message taught is that you should only be dating with the intention to marry. The natural outcome of this teaching is that young Christians view dating as confined to solely an adult curricular and sinful at their age. They might feel guilty about dating people who they liked and who made

them happy, because it wasn’t love within wedlock. Some youths therefore felt forced into secrecy about relationships, shrouding the whole topic of dating and love in an unhealthy mystery that could have long-term effects. How can Christians in the twenty-first century look to the Bible for guidance where society is so reliant upon the life motto of ‘learning from your mistakes’? The Bible offers no room for trial-and-error. One Christian interviewee commented: “I’ve learnt a lot from failed and ongoing relationships - my relationships have sculpted me as a person”. For Christians, there is an unprecedented fear of dating because the Bible doesn’t talk about it. Many Christians defend their choices by stating that whilst the law of the Hebrew Bible was concerned with immorality and purity, the New Testament was focused on the life-binding commitment of marriage in imitation of the binding of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:2133; Colossians 3:18-19). Marriage is about submission to one another, wholly and eternally through the act of sex whereby “the two shall become one flesh” (Matthew 19:5). There is no room for multiple partners in one lifetime. Because of this ethos, there arises criticism for dating non-Christians. I was once advised, “if you die today and are standing before your Creator, will you be able to justify your choice of committing yourself to a non-Christian?” “Do you want to be in heaven without your soul-mate?” Life-changing questions like these put to a 15-year-old, were, in my opinion, bound to end in disaster. Society tells us that we have complete autonomy over our own bodies and decisions. It’s easy to forget that Christians regard there to be a higher rule over these parameters than themselves. Christian relationships call for a level of commitment that is entirely countercultural. It sets the bar for a relationship high, and most people don’t want this so young. This is a challenge now it’s considered foolish to bow to this kind of commitment, particularly when dating mainly revolves around the physical rather than the emotional. How do young Christians cope with these pressures from the two sides? On one side society, telling us to be free and young and experience these things and on the other, the Church, telling us to save ourselves ‘for the sake of the kingdom’.

Written by Emma Stanworth. Additional contributions by Rosemary Lennie.


Carl Lofthagen and Helena Kate Bennett examine Islamic attitudes towards modern dating in Iran and Jordan.


e’ve all either seen or experienced the way popular forms of online dating has changed since the beginning of the Twenty-first Century. What started with internet and its quick-fix matchmaking sites went on to adapt to the rise of smartphones, with apps such as Tinder, Grinder or Snapchat providing users with a free and easy way to meet other people. These changes, albeit often morally questionable, represent the current assumption many have of the dating world in the Twenty-first Century. But in truth it may not necessarily recognize the entire picture of how today’s technology, has shaped the way people all over the world now date. In a country like Iran where the people have been living under a strict religious autocracy since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, we have started to see the way new forms of online dating reflect larger currents within a new wave of modernizing popular culture. Muslim clerics are stereotypically regarded as old fashioned in their views on modern technology and ostracized from Western Culture. They have, nonetheless, started institutions such as the Ameen family culture institute; Iran’s first dating agency. Muslim clerics now dubbed as “clerical cupids”, 1 have with the spread of globalization and easier means of communication, as well as being mixed with a deeply traditional society, changed the way Iranians experience the dating culture. Whilst traditional values are still an important part of Iranian society with, for example, different sexes often not allowed to mix freely in public, technological advances create a controlled platform by which clerics help a rising number of Iranians to try and find their future spouse. What may seem like an antiquated way of meeting people for many in Western countries, may lead a strictly religious society to discover new experiences.

International Relations

Fact: On the 28th of March this year, a young Jordanian man attempted suicide because his girlfriend’s family refused the match, making it impossible for them to marry.


his piece is based on two individual interviews undertaken in Jordan, each presenting highly opposing views on modern dating. Jordanians are predominantly Muslim, meaning pre-marital relationships with no view to engagement carries great stigma. Both, however, felt that communication technology and social media have contributed to a shift in attitudes towards how relationships develop.

Middle Eastern Studies

Technology’s main role in this change is in facilitating communication, particularly in remote places1, or for women with very strict families2. Where in the past there was little opportunity to get to know someone without family help, modern marriages occur between people who have met online3, at work or university, or even by chance in the street4. However, most Jordanians still prefer to honour traditional marriage customs – questioning by friends and families, asking parents’ permission, etc. Although the interviewees described the process as quicker now, this refers to a month5 of getting to know someone as opposed to hours.

Furthermore, although a shallow focus on external beauty is encouraged by social media, the alternate criteria of morals, education and social background are still considered crucial when choosing a partner. Here, different perspectives may be due to differences in expectations for men and women. Whilst Jordanian society retains the absolute expectation of female virginity6 upon entering marriage, men may instigate relationships with divorced women, prostitutes or foreigners. It is possible that unmarried men are led towards the shallower, instant gratification aspect of online relationships, while women are more inclined to focus on their long-term future. Despite this ongoing double standard, technology seems to have given women more freedom, both in general and in terms of relationships. This may be due to an increased ability to live a private life, speaking to people unknown to the family, without having to leave home. However, this is not necessarily considered positive7, as it may allow certain “red lines” to be crossed.

Law Isend

t is estimated that 54% of adults or receive intimate content1. While most photos sent will be harmless, photos which are shared can cause emotional distress and be an invasion of privacy. Legal stances on sending nude photos are straightforward for people under the age of sixteen. It is an offence for a person to take or permit to be taken, distribute, publish and have in possession,2 an indecent photograph of someone under the age of sixteen.3 This includes those who are legally considered a child and share indecent photos of themselves to others. The offence can result in prosecution with the potential consequence to be registered as a sex offender.4 The law has, until recently, been uncertain in cases where offender concerned is over the age of sixteen. Previously, the European Convention on Human Rights5 in addition to other areas of law6 have been used to work around the lack of specific legislation in relation to the disclosure of private photographs.7 The Criminal Justice and Courts Act8 was passed in February 2015 with an intention to criminalise ‘revenge pornography’ (the sharing of sexually explicit images of previous partners, without their consent). Sections 33-35 create a new offence of “disclosing private sexual photographs and films without the consent of an individual who appears in them and with intent to cause that individual distress.”9 For the offence to take place, there has to be a disclosure of the photograph(s) to a third party. The Act provides that a disclosure occurs if a person “by any means... gives or shows it to the person or makes it available.”10 The offence will occur in the cases where any information about the photograph is divulged, or where the photograph is physically shown to others, such as by passing a phone with the photo to another. There is a limitation to the offence, however; there must be an intention to cause the other person distress. It remains to be seen in subsequent cases and judicial interpretation of what “intention” and “distress” will amount to, in terms of conduct. Written by Jess George.

Fact: According to a McAfee study, of those who send intimate content, 77% have sent the content to a significant other, and 1 in 10 to a total stranger.

Classics Isocial media and smartphone

n Twenty-first Century Britain,

apps have allowed for instant access to a world of dating for all, including the LGBTQ community, to whom such technology allows greater freedom and fluidity. This might recall the ancient Greeks, who, in common perception, were extremely free in their homosexual relationships, whereby men could pursue each other without license or constraint - a mistake, as I shall argue. This has perhaps been exacerbated by “Greek Love”; the reclaiming of Classical models of homosexual love by certain intellectual movements, e.g. 18th and 19th Century Germany.1 This permeated into common discussion too. Accordingly, a Yahoo Answers question, where an anonymous individual asked whether the Spartans in 300 were ‘gay’, was made with the telling qualification, ‘aside from the greek gay jokes...’.2 What lies behind the romanticism?3 Homosexual relations existed, but in an extremely controlled way.4 For example, Pausanias’ speech in Plato’s Symposium details how such relationships existed between older and younger men only, with a strict didactic purpose. Indeed, it was frowned upon when the older male actively sought a lover, or when two older men take up together.5 What about women? One naturally thinks of Sappho, hailed as the first lesbian poet, but other examples are rare. There was certainly no formalised social structure for women as existed for men. Garland concludes his analysis of the evidence that women, often grouped together and separated as they were, might well have formed such relationships, but we hear nothing of it.6 Ultimately, these social constructs only existed for the upper classes, indicating further that homosexual love would have been possible for the common Greek but not necessarily free or open, and certainly not for women; a far cry from now, equipped as we are with forward-thinking attitudes and Grindr. Written by Tom McConnell. Additonal Contributions by Davide Scarpignato.

Works Cited

English Krier, Theresa. M. (2001) Birth Passages: Maternity and Nostalgia, Antiquity to Shakespeare. New York: Cornell UP.

March 2015) < system/uploads/attachment_data/file/415465/cjc-actcircular.pdf> accessed 29 March 2015. 10 Criminal Justice and Courts Act (n 9) s 34.

Simple Pickup (2005, April 2). Buzzfeed- Fat Girl Tindr Date (Social Experiment). [Video File]. Retrieved from

Classics 1 For more on this example, see the “Research Uncovered” lecture by Dr Sebastian Matzner (Exeter), available here: historyofsexuality/ 2 See the question (and further interesting comments) here: index?qid=20070321130923AA0w4ky 3 For works dedicated to refuting this myth, see Aldrich (1993) and Fernandez (1989). 4 See the classic treatment of Dover (1978). 5 Plato’s Symposium 181d-182a. 6 Garland (1990), 199-241.

Trainor, Meghan. (2015, March 16). YouTube- Dear Future Husband. [Video file]. Retrieved from https:// Theology Augustine. City of God, Book 14, Chapter 26 Jordan, M. The Ethics of Sex. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2002. Mercer, C et al. ‘Survey examines changes in sexual behaviour and attitudes in Britain’, http://www. Press-releases/WTP054816.htm. Accessed 01/04/2015. Middle Eastern Studies 2, 4, 5, 7 Al-Saleh, L. (2015). Interview on dating in Jordan in the 21st Century. 1, 3, 6 Qtaishat, O. (2015). Interview on dating in Jordan in the 21st Century. Law 1 McAfee, ‘Study Reveals Majority of Adults Share Intimate Details via Unsecured Digital Devices’ (McAfee for Business, 4 February 2014) <http://www.> accessed 29 March 2015. 2 Protection of Children Act 1978, s 1(a-d). 3 ibid s 7 (6). 4 Press Association, ‘Teenagers Who Share ‘Sexts’ Could Face Prosecution, Police Warn’ (The Guardian, 22 July 2014) <http://www.theguardian. com/media/2014/jul/22/teenagers-share-sexts-faceprosecution-police> accessed 29 March 2015. 5 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights, as amended) art 8, art 10. 6 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; Protection from Harassment Act 1997; Theft Act 1968, s 21; Malicious Communications Act 1988, s 1; Communications Act 2003, s 127. 7 Mosley v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2008] EWHC 1777 (QB). 8 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. 9 Ministry of Justice, ‘Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 Circular 2015/01’ (Ministry of Justice, 23

Image Credits (All under Creative Commons Licence, in order of appearance):,_The_ Swing.jpg on_a_supermarket_shelf.JPG by_William_James_Herschel_1859-1860.jpg File:Meister_des_Rosenromans_001.jpg Christine_de_Pisan_-_Project_Gutenberg_eBook_12254.jpg c0020b3bb3_o.jpg https://farm4.staticflickr. com/3537/3882218831_7f6da9bce3_o.png Giovanni_Bellini_018.jpg Islamic_Adam_%26_Eve.jpg Sappho_and_Erinna_in_a_Garden_at_Mytilene.jpg



t seems like just yesterday when our founding team released our inaugural 2013 issue. Ever since our establishment, our roles at the The Undergraduate have been nothing but rewarding. How wonderful it is to meet like-minded people; how satisfying it is to watch a vision grow into a reality! This year, we saw the addition of two new sections, our first live speaker event, our first slow-journalism Focus Feature, the addition of over twenty new positions, and a swanky distribution box from the Forum Library. We also welcomed our first invitation to represent the journal at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research. We’ve come a long way in two short years, and we have relished every single moment.

The caliber of our success means that we have several people to thank. We are especially indebted to our graduating 14/15 Subject Editors—Ellie, Harry, Mim, Mike, Olivia, and Tom—who are also leaving this year. Together, they have lifted the journal to new heights, and we’ve had some great times together. We have been very lucky to work with such a fiercely passionate editorial team, and we wish them every success in the future. Credit is also due to our 14/15 Administrative Team, whose smooth management of advertising campaigns (Laura & Sherv), budgeting (Kendrick), and coordinating team meetings (Haley) has been excellent. We could not have asked for a more committed group. Additionally, we must also thank Dr. Lisa Stead from the Department of English and Film, who has provided remarkable assistance to the journal. In the upcoming academic year, Dr. Stead, joined by Professor Regenia Gangier, will be the first faculty members on The Undergraduate’s growing advisory board. We could not be more thrilled about their involvement with us. We look forward to watching the journal grow under their wise guidance, and the sizzling energy of the incoming 15/16 committee. We would say ‘good luck’—but the brilliance of this issue is proof that our 15/16 committee don’t need it. On that note, we are delighted to announce our replacements. Returning from her year abroad in France to take up the mantle of 15/16 President is Caroline Hughes. She was a member of our founding team in 2013, and we are thrilled that she is joining us again. Alongside her, spearheading the journal as 15/16 Editor-in-Chief will be the wonderful Rosie Lennie. We have full confidence that Caroline and Rosie will continue upholding our journal’s uncompromising commitment to encouraging, enriching, and rewarding undergraduate research. Our interdisciplinary values and nonprofit stance are safe in their able hands. We leave the journal knowing that with the help of many friends and, of course, our lovely readership, we’ve created a publication that will, hopefully, last for many years to come. Goodbye Exeter, and goodbye to The Undergraduate. Be well, and keep in touch—we’ll be watching lovingly from New York and London! All the very best, Cameron Ho Outgoing President, 2013-15

Cherrie Kwok Outgoing Editor-in-Chief, 2013-15


atching The Undergraduate progress and grow from just a vague chat in a pub to a fully-fledged, respected and successful publication has been a joy and a pleasure. Everyone remarks upon how such a great idea it was, and how every other university missed a trick in not establishing such a thing before. As I leave my post teary-eyed, I know that it is in capable hands, and I look forward to seeing it continue to thrive and inspire students. Harry Lesser


t has been tremendous to work with the journal since it was first founded in 2013. Seeing it grow from strength to strength fills me with a sense of pride (like a doting godparent, no doubt!) and I am very excited to think about the journal’s future with next year’s very talented and hard-working team. I cannot quite believe that we will all soon be moving on ourselves and taking the next big step, but I can definitely say that working with The Undergraduate it has been one of the highlights of my university experience and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with such a great editorial team. Mim Hubberstey


The Undergraduate is the University of Exeterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first and only non-profit interdisciplinary academic journal. We aim to stimulate, recognise, and reward undergraduate work at the university, and to provide a platform for undergraduates to exchange ideas. Our interdisciplinary approach and accessible nature seeks to engage with an expansive undergraduate readership from across the university. We publish twice per academic year, in print and online at Both are free of charge to read. All Exeter undergraduates are welcome to submit to us for print or web publication. Ensuring that the journal remains free is our central priority: please do consider supporting our publication by sponsoring us, or making a donation online. | Facebook : The Undergraduate Exeter | Twitter: @TUndergraduate


The Undergraduate Volume 2, Issue 2  

The fourth issue of the University of Exeter's leading independent, interdisciplinary academic journal. Featuring essays written by students...

The Undergraduate Volume 2, Issue 2  

The fourth issue of the University of Exeter's leading independent, interdisciplinary academic journal. Featuring essays written by students...