Third issue in and, once again, the journal is representative of the WRoCAH organisation it hopes to serve. What does it represent? Variety. Or perhaps eclecticism would be a better word. Within the obvious criteria of belonging to the arts and humanities, the extent of different ideas and subjects that are covered by WRoCAH students is boundless. Before the eyebrows start rising in offence at this hint of hyperbole, I suggest you caste those sceptical eyes over the articles featured in this issue.
Starting with a tour of Saudi dialects, we discover how geographical location (and proximity to certain historical and religiously important sites) can change the perception that speakers might have on the way that they speak. Next, we look at how the ‘ageing’ of the Avant-Garde movement leads to a tense paradox where what was once considered radical shifts and becomes accepted as art, the very forum it was designed to criticise. We are then invited to revisit the parable of Isaac’s sacrifice and to join in with Kierkegaard to ponder how easily believers throughout the generations have accepted the morality of this story and what pragmatics this might have for religious faith. It reopens the debate over whether religious texts should be taken at face value or whether interpretations should be allowed to change as the society changes. For the more musically inclined, we dip next into Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5. The article delves deep into the technicalities of music to ask how it is possible that a composition which does not keep to a musical key can nevertheless sound as if it does. With an abrupt change of tone, we go buzzing off to South Korea to delve into the mind of cinematic auteur (Kim Ki-young). You may never look at a flight of stairs in quite the same way again.
Changing the theme to political theory, we are given the chance to readdress the different roles men and women had to promote and rebuild peace after the First World War in a report on the Gendering Peace in Europe 1918-1946 conference. When you have finished with this, try following in the wake of the Phoenicians’ ships in a debate over the origins of the Cretan port Kommos. An archaeologist’s study on the artefacts left behind by the sailors on their progression to the West reveals how they might have built their trading stations as they went, thus solidifying their place in the Aegean Sea. To follow, a discussion about the origins of the Royal Society and its first forays into experimental philosophy opens a window onto an eclectic group of open minded and eager learners that puts into mind another network of academics. Finally, we find ourselves once more in the North of England (insert obligatory cheer here) on a theatrical tour in the first half of the 20th century. We take a look at how enterprising minds stole the show from London and put cities like Newcastle back on the map.
If these articles have anything in common, it is the tenacity and hard work of all the contributors, both those who authored an article and those who worked to edit and polish them to their current standard. We thank them not just for helping us to produce this issue but for proving once again what our consortium can achieve if we work together.