Category Archives: Authors

Nawal K. Taneja: Should airlines offer more than flights?

Posted by Luigi Fort, Senior Marketing Executive

Should airlines offer more than flights?

A recent whitepaper from the Intelligence Unit of The Economist, entitled, ‘The Future of Air Travel’ examined this question. Its main tenet is that airlines who want to succeed should take control of the full travel chain and offer a complete door-to-door service. If they do not other players will enter the market and snatch the initiative.

Nawal TanejaAmong the top industry leaders interviewed for the document was Ashgate Author Nawal K. Taneja, whose latest book De­signing Future-Oriented Airline Businesses is also referenced in the text.

It quotes him: ‘If the airlines don’t re-strategise and become either travel facilitators or solution providers to the problems that people are facing …if they say, “we just fly seats from Airport A to Airport B,” people will still travel, but they will buy their travel services through new inter­mediaries.’

He maintains that new and cheaper technologies enable airlines to offer this fuller service and to a wide spectrum of customers. ‘We’re not just talking about sending limos to first-class travellers. We’re talking about sending a taxi to an economy-class traveller or suggesting to an ultra-economy-class customer “We know where you live; three blocks away is a bus station; that bus will take you to the subway, which will bring you to the airport.”’

Read The Economist whitepaper and for a deeper perspective read it in conjunction with Nawal K. Taneja’s latest book.

Designing future oriented airline businessesDesigning Future-Oriented Airline Businesses encourages airline managements to take a deeper dive into new ways of doing business.  It also provides a framework for developing strategies and capabilities, as well as executing them efficiently.

A key feature is a concluding section comprising five ‘Thought Leadership Pieces’ from senior executives both in and outside aviation.

‘The Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries’ Short Listed for the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award

Posted by Ally Berthiaume and Hattie Wilson

Congratulations to Ashgate author, Kevin A Quarmby for being awarded runner-up for the 2014 Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award for his monograph, The Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries. This award, only given every other year, goes to a first monograph published in the last two years that has made a significant contribution to Shakespeare scholarship. The award was judged by a panel of prestigious academics comprising: Patrick Spottiswoode, Director Globe Education (Chair); Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Globe Education); Professor David Lindley (University of Leeds); Professor Gordon McMullan, (King’s College London); Professor Laurie Maguire (University of Oxford); and Dr Abigail Rokison (The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, and Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award winner in 2012).

Now among those leaving their footprint in continuing Shakespeare scholarship is Ashgate’s very own, Kevin A Quarmby. Quarmby is Assistant Professor of English at Oxford College of Emory University, Atlanta, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Halle Institute for Global Learning. He is editing Henry VI Part 1 for Internet Shakespeare Editions and also holds the role of Editor for their theatre review journal, ISEC. In addition to his editorial accomplishments, Quarmby has published extensively in a variety of academic journals (Shakespeare, Shakespeare Bulletin, and Cahiers Elizabethain, to name a few). It is a considerable success then to have his first monograph attain short list status for this distinguished award.

We congratulate him on this most recent achievement and are proud to have him among our canon of authors.

The Disguised Ruler in ShakespeareThe Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries:

Measure for Measure, Malcontent and other disguised ruler plays are typically interpreted as synchronic political commentaries about King James. Quarmby, by contrast, traces the disguised ruler’s medieval origins and marks its presence on the Elizabethan stage. Influenced by European tragicomedy, the motif had by Jacobean times transformed romantic images of royal disguise into more sinister instances of politicized voyeurism. Market forces in London’s vibrant repertory system fuelled this dramatic evolution.

‘This excellent book fills a gap in the fields of English literature and history, and destabilizes some idée fixes of the Shakespeare field – for instance, the idea, often promulgated, that the Friar in Measure for Measure is a reflection of James I. Written with Quarmby’s typical charm and clarity, this important book is so cogent and accessible that scholars from undergraduates to professors will profit from it.’    Tiffany Stern, Professor of Early Modern Drama, University College, Oxford, UK

‘Kevin A. Quarmby’s The Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries offers a convincing rejoinder to a new historicist orthodoxy: that the beginning of James I’s reign witnessed the emergence and brief flowering of a distinctly Jacobean subgenre, the disguised ruler play.’    Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

‘…Quarmby’s monograph is an important contribution to theatre performance criticism which will hopefully lead to a reappreciation of the disguised ruler motif among Renaissance scholars.’    Shakespeare Jahrbuch

Announcing a new social policy series from Ashgate: Social Welfare Around the World

Posted by Claire Jarvis, Commissioning Editor

Our new Social Welfare Around the World series (edited by Bent Greve, Roskilde University) aims to publish high quality research monographs and edited books, focusing on development, change in provision and/or delivery of welfare – with a primary focus on developed welfare states. The books will provide overviews of themes such as pensions, social services, unemployment or housing, as well as in-depth analysis of change and impact on a micro level. The impact and influence of supranational institutions on welfare state developments will also be studied as will the methodologies used to analyse the on-going transformations of welfare states.  Publications can be diverse in approach; however the provision of new data and interpretation hereof is of central importance.

For further information about submitting a proposal please contact either the series editor Bent Greve (bgr@ruc.dk) or commissioning editor Claire Jarvis (cjarvis@ashgatepublishing.com)

About the Series Editor: Bent Greve is Professor of Welfare State Analysis at the Department of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University, Denmark and editor and author of (amongst others): Innovation in Social Services: The Public-Private Mix in Service Provision, Fiscal Policy and Employment (Ashgate 2014); Welfare and the Welfare State: Present and Future (Routledge, 2014); Historical Dictionary of the Welfare State (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014); Evidence and Evaluation in Social Policy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014); The Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State (Routledge 2013); and The Future of the Welfare State (Ashgate, 2006).

Gibson Burrell awarded the Joanne Martin Trailblazer Award 2014

Gibson Burrell, Professor at the School of Management at the University of Leicester, was presented with the Joanne Martin Trailblazer award at the recent AOM meeting in Philadelphia. The award is an accolade for exceptional career achievement, and is given by the Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division of the Academy of Management.

From OMTweb:

“The Joanne Martin Trailblazer Award is presented once every two years. The award recognizes scholars who have taken a leadership role in the field of OMT by opening up new lines of thinking or inquiry. A Trailblazer is a boundary-spanner and a conversation starter, someone who extends and builds the OMT community by shepherding new ideas and new scholarship, often in unconventional ways. Actions that may indicate “trailblazing” behavior include starting up or moving forward a journal or scholarly series, organizing a conference or workshop, and beginning or continuing a conversation about a set of OMT ideas.

The establishment of the award was motivated by the retirement of Joanne Martin. An important part of her legacy is that she has challenged and extended the boundaries of OMT. She was a critical voice in research on culture, and she leveraged her position in an attempt to bring feminism and critical theory into the mainstream of organization theory. Professor Martin encouraged people that wouldn’t have traditionally been considered in the mainstream of organization theory to develop ideas that did not fit into existing theories and has thus broadened the membership of OMT.”

Sociological paradigms and organisational analysisGibson Burrell is Professor of Organisation Theory at Leicester and was Head of the School of Management from 2002-7. He is co-author (with Gareth Morgan) of the classic book Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis.

How did Victorian Scots reconcile an independent history with a unionist present? A guest post from Richard Marsden

richard marsdenThis is a guest post from Richard Marsden, author of Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland’s Past c.1825-1875

With the independence referendum looming, Scotland’s history has become a battleground. Those against separation point to three hundred years of supposed shared culture and values. Those for it point to what they see as a proud independent history stretching back far longer.

Yet the independence movement in Scotland is of relatively recent origin. Up until the 1930s the goal of most Scottish nationalists was home-rule (itself a form of devolution) rather than the abolition of the 1707 union. Indeed in the nineteenth century, union with England went unquestioned by most educated Scots. Such a seemingly uncritical endorsement of union seems puzzling to twenty-first century eyes. It certainly raises questions about how the Scots in this period saw themselves and their place in the United Kingdom.

One of the best ways of answering these questions is to look at how Victorian Scots reconciled an independent history with a unionist present. After all, depictions of the past can often reveal as much about the times in which they were written as they do about the times to which they refer.

Cosmo Innes and the defence of Scotlands pastThis precept is the starting point for my new book: Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland’s Past c.1825-1875. This study uses the work of the influential antiquary Cosmo Innes (1798-1874) to open a window onto Scottish attitudes towards the ‘national past’ in the nineteenth century. What it reveals is not a straight-forward contest between union and independence, but rather a series of debates about Scotland’s relationship with and position within the union.

Interpretations of the past were central to those discussions. Scottish identity in this period rested on legal, educational and religious institutions that were distinct from those of England, as well as less tangible considerations such as landscape, architecture, descent, and national character. As a result, historical scholarship was framed by questions about the extent to which the development of these elements in the past had contributed to Scotland’s happy state in what was, for Innes and his compatriots, the present.

Innes saw much of value in Scotland’s pre-1707 history. In his view, Scottish institutions were singularly suited to Scottish national character because both had been forged through the same shared historical experience. For Innes, like many of his countrymen, past independence and present-day union were not at odds. Instead, it was that very history which enabled the country to stand in equal partnership with England in a way that Wales and Ireland could not.

Such attitudes are particularly telling given that the intellectuals of the Enlightenment had bequeathed to their nineteenth-century successors a profoundly negative view of the Scottish past. To them, it was union with England rather than any internal processes of historical progress that had dragged Scotland into the modern civilised age. A sizable proportion of Innes’s peers shared that view. They were consequently unconvinced by his attempts to reinvigorate Scotland’s sense of its own historically-based identity.

Innes’s views were thus a radical departure from those of the previous generation. Yet he also remained utterly committed to union, believing that Scotland’s well-being rested upon a close association with England as well as on the nation’s own unique history prior to 1707. Indeed like many of his fellows he believed that the lowland Scots were of the same Saxon stock as the English, and had little in common with the Celts of the Highlands. Innes’s work on Scottish history was therefore imbued with a desire to restore the union rather than break it; to return to the alliance of equals which, he believed, it had originally been.

So how does all this relate to the referendum debate today?

On the one hand we might argue that the roots of Scottish nationalism can be traced deep into the nineteenth century, despite the fact that this period was characterised by a near universal commitment to union. On occasion, Innes certainly employed stirring language that would not look out of place in a present-day political pamphlet. Yet on the other, we could point out that Scottish national identity does not always go hand in hand with aspirations to statehood. In a cultural sense it was alive and well at a time when political separatism would have been the perceived as purview of cranks and extremists.

Whichever way we look at it, the fact remains that Scotland’s past continues to be contested territory in arguments about the nation’s future. That is as true in the twenty-first century as it was in the nineteenth.

Music and Material Culture – a call for proposals

We are pleased to invite proposals for a new series from Ashgate.

Music and Material Culture provides a platform for methodological innovations in research on the relationship between music and its objects.

In a sense, musicology has always dealt with material culture; the study of manuscripts, print sources, instruments and other physical media associated with the production and reception of music is central to its understanding. Recent scholarship within the humanities has increasingly shifted its focus onto the objects themselves and there is now a particular need for musicology to be part of this broader ‘material turn’.

A growing reliance on digital and online media as sources for the creation and consumption of music is changing the way we experience music by increasingly divorcing it from tangible matter. This is rejuvenating discussion of our relationship with music’s objects and the importance of such objects both as a means of understanding past cultures and negotiating current needs and social practices.

Broadly interdisciplinary in nature, this series seeks to examine critically the materiality of music and its artefacts as an explicit part of culture rather than simply an accepted means of music-making.

Proposals are welcomed on the material culture of music from any period and genre, particularly on topics within the fields of cultural theory, source studies, organology, ritual, anthropology, collecting, archiving, media archaeology, new media and aesthetics.

Guidelines for proposals can be found on our website

Please send proposals to Laura Macy (on topics before 1900) or Emma Gallon (on topics since 1900)

What makes a good museum? The Art Fund knows – a guest post by Amy Jane Barnes

Amy Jane BarnesBy Amy Jane Barnes, University of Leicester

This article was originally published on The Conversation.  Read the original article here.

On July 9, the annual Museum of the Year Prize, run by the Museum Prize Trust and sponsored since 2008 by the Art Fund, awarded £100,000 to the winner: the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which shone in a shortlist of six museums and galleries.

The prize’s stated aim is to highlight the role of museums in society, to encourage more people to visit and to recognise the very best exhibiting institutions in the UK – but pinning down the characteristics of what the Art Fund calls “truly outstanding” museums is harder than it sounds.

As someone who studies museums, I have strong opinions about what makes a good one. To get my vote, a museum has to be prepared to take some risks, to remain intellectually (and physically) accessible while challenging its audiences. It should present different views and ideas and avoid neutrality, or rather, refrain from perpetuating the myth that the museum (and knowledge) is objective – we know it is not.

Museums with these characteristics are inspiring. They will also probably play a role in society that encompasses, as the UK Museums Association puts it, not simply just the collection, preservation and sharing of collections (although these of course remain core roles).

They will also act as catalysts for community cohesion and regeneration, and be places where social issues can be publicly explored.

What matters?

That said, everyone has a different opinion, as do many of my colleagues. When I asked them what makes a good museum, they all had different answers. It should have a clear identity; it should have an environmental conscience and a commitment to sustainability; it should be innovative and involved with its local community.

This was hardly a scientific poll, of course, but the range of answers I got highlights the considerable impact individual preferences and priorities have on perceptions of what a good museum does.

Pinpointing excellence in the museum sector is a tricky business, and is partly (if not entirely) shaped by the concerns and policies of the day. The Art Fund’s five-person judging panel will select the winner for the Museum of Year Prize, from six shortlisted institutions, each judged to have had a “transformative” effect on their users and audiences.

The big six

The Ditching Museum of Art + Craft in East Sussex presents examples of work by artists and craftspeople who formed a community in the village during the 20th century. In recent years, the museum has undergone major renovation and reopened last year. It has been praised by the judges for its “dedicated learning space” and fully accessible site.

The Hayward Gallery, on London’s Southbank, has been dedicated to displaying contemporary art since its creation in 1968. Its touring programme and exhibitions, which focus on “important issues in contemporary artistic practice”, attracted “record-breaking audiences” in 2013.

Opened to the public in May 2013, the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, houses the remains of Henry VIII’s flagship, sunk in 1545 and recovered in 1982. Its selection recognises the engaging and “intensely personal nature” of the museum’s narrative, which provides visitors with “an inimitable insight into Tudor life”.

The Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, Norwich, designed by Norman Foster to house the Sainsbury collection of art and artefacts and opened in 1978, relaunched last year after major renovation. The new SCVA features a redisplay of the permanent collection, and new exhibition and retail spaces.

Similarly, the oldest part of Tate Britain was restructured to bring nine galleries up to contemporary standards, and to allow for the creation of new spaces for schools and learning activities. On reopening, visitors were also able to experience a new chronological display of British art.

And finally, the winner: the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield, which features works by major sculptors from around the world. Among other things, it was highlighted by the judges for “engaging new audiences and providing a unique art experience for hard-to-reach groups” via its learning programmes.

More than money

In addition to the cash prize, Yorkshire Sculpture Park will benefit from an enhanced profile and wider public recognition – and in turn, a more secure future, something the Prize has done for winners before.

Last year’s victor, the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, had been been under threat of closure just six years earlier. But after winning the prize, the gallery experienced a massive increase in visitor numbers, which the local head of cultural services hoped would bring increased funding and stave off the threat of future cuts.

Just as we all came up with different definitions of what makes a “good” museum, I expect me and my colleagues would each have a strong opinion about which of the shortlisted museums most deserves to win the prize. We may not all fully agree with the final decision, but ultimately, anything that gives “immediate national attention” to museums, promotes excellence in the sector, and demonstrates their immense social and cultural value deserves our wholehearted support.

Museum representations of Maoist ChinaThe ConversationAmy Jane Barnes is author of Museum Representations of Maoist China: From Cultural Revolution to Commie Kitsch