1st October RIP Seminar

Presentation Titles and Research Interests Summaries




  • Malcolm James, Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies 

My research interests are in youth, racialisation and urban (multi)culture. My PhD project was and ethnographic study of youth politics, urban culture and marginalisation in East London. I currently have funding from British Academy Small Grants for a project called ‘The New Circuitries of Youth Politics in East London’ which explores contemporary lexicons and sites of youth politics through engaging with the production and performance of YouTube music videos.


  • Pollyanna Ruiz, Lecturer in Media and Film

I am interested in the media’s role in the construction of social and political change. My book Articulating Dissent; protest and the public sphere, which explores the communicative strategies of social movements and their impact upon the mainstream, and has just been published by Pluto Press. I’m currently working on a number of new projects. Firstly I am investigating the impact of new technologies on the dynamics of inter-generational memory. This project asks whether, in the absence of organisational continuity, the Internet can maintain memory across different generations of activists. It will do so by conducting in-depth interviews about the transfer of knowledge, tactics, values and beliefs between three different generations of activists; anti poll tax protesters, anti globalisation protesters and anti austerity protesters. Secondly I am examining the way in which the police’s ability to categorise protesters as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is being undermined by technological and cultural changes in the media landscape. This project will begin by reviewing the media coverage surrounding the policing of protest and then take the results of this analysis and discuss them in interview with groups of protesters, police and journalists. Finally I am beginning a collaborative project that will offer a top-down and bottom-up analysis of the long-running political, economic and cultural struggles over attachments to the Southbank site in central London. This project is funded by the AHRC and will be conducted in collaboration with the youth filmmaking collective Brazen Bunch and Youth Roots. All these research projects are underpinned by an inter-disciplinary approach which aims to develop a more flexible and nuanced account of the ways in which subaltern and official public spheres interconnect.


  • Sally Bream, PhD candidate in Creative and Critical Practice

Is climate change visually identifiable in the moderate climate of South-East England and can photography show some of the changes that are taking place?


  • Sharif Mowlabocus, Senior Lecturer of Media Studies/Digital Media

I’m a Senior Lecturer in Digital Media and I am particularly concerned with the role that digital technologies and practices of communication play within our intimate lives. My work has hitherto focused primarily on gay and bisexual men and their use of digital and social media. In my book, Gaydar Culture, I documented the first ten year’s of gay men’s use of the Internet in the UK. This work touched upon issued of sexual identity, sexual desire, sexual health and sexual politics. Themes of space, community, politics and representation also framed these discussions. Spinning out of this book, I collaborated with a leading HIV/AIDS charity to explore the relationship between representations of unprotected sex (bareback pornography) and gay men’s perceptions of sexual desire, risk and health. This study took an intergenerational perspective and allowed us to identify the changing understandings of HIV, risk and desire within contemporary gay male cultures. More recently, I’ve been funded by the Cultures and Communities Network+ (LEDDS) to undertake a health-focused project, looking at the role that existing social media platforms can play within the development of online outreach strategies. This work is ongoing and I’ve just received funding to undertake further dissemination work that takes the research out to new stakeholders who are working with vulnerable people. In terms of my research interests, I would say that I am interested in work that speaks to the following keywords: LGBT use of digital media, M-health and E-health initiatives, sexual cultures, technologies and practices of intimacy, pornography and sexual representation, homonormativity and queer marginalisation.


  • Margaretta Jolly, Reader in Cultural Studies

Enjoying oral history, autobiography, biography, diaries, I specialise in the art and history of life narrative across media. Dear Laughing Motorbyke: Letters from Women Welders of the Second World War (Scarlet Press, 1997), presents letters from the extraordinary Mass-Observation Archive to explore war stories as well as arguments about women’s roles. I designed my Encyclopedia of Life Writing (Routledge, 2001) to reflect the field’s expansiveness, ranging from Scandinavian life-story competitions to American confessional television, African oral history to Arabic Medieval biographical dictionaries. (Recipient of Outstanding Reference Book Award, 2001, American Libraries Association. Reviewed by Margaret Drabble for Auto/Biography, Dec 2002). I explored fictions of memory, war and masculinity in my co-edited Critical Perspectives on Pat Barker (University of South Carolina Press, 2005). In Love and Struggle: Letters and Contemporary Feminism (Columbia University Press, 2008) explores feminist relationships as they have been expressed in letters and emails since the 1970s. Winner of the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association Book Prize 2009. My most recent book, We Shall Bear Witness: Life Narratives and Human Rights (U of Wisconsin Press, 2014), focuses on testimonial forms of life narrative in the urgent contexts of today’s wars, traumas and struggles for justice. I am a core member of the International Association for Auto/Biography and on the editorial boards of Auto/biography; Life Writing, and Life Writing Annual. I am the director of the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research http://www.sussex.ac.uk/clhlwr/


  • Lizzie Reed, PhD candidate in Gender Studies

LGBTQ parents interacting with media representations of families like theirs


Break: Refreshments 


  • Frank Verano, PhD candidate in Film Studies

Observational documentary under construction in the late Direct Cinema work of D.A. Pennebaker


  • Michael Lawrence, Lecturer in Film Studies

My research areas include: film stardom and screen presence/performance; the work and representation of children and animals in the cinema; Indian cinema, more specifically Hindi cinema; and humanitarianism and film. My book about the Indian child star Sabu was published by the British Film Institute in 2014. I am the co-editor of Animal Life and the Moving Image (forthcoming with Columbia University Press, 2015) and I am currently editing two further collections, Indian Film Stars (for the BFI) and The Zoo: Images of Exhibition and Encounter (for Palgrave Macmillan). My article “‘Bombed to Stardom’: Roddy McDowall, ‘British Evacuee Star’ in Hollywood” is forthcoming in the Journal of British Cinema and Television.


  • Catherine Grant, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies

Author and editor of numerous film studies videos, as well as of written studies of intertextuality, film authorship and adaptation theories, Latin American and European cinema, and feminist and queer theory, Catherine Grant runs the Film Studies For FreeFilmanalytical and Audiovisualcy websites and, in 2012, guest edited the inaugural issue of online cinema journal Frames on digital forms of film studies. She is the founding editor of the REFRAME digital publishing platform, and is also founding co-editor of [in]TRANSITION, a new videographic film and moving image studies journal – the first ever peer reviewed journal on and for this emerging form – produced in collaboration with the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ official publication Cinema Journal and MediaCommons. Her latest project is the internationally co-produced website at REFRAME on The Audiovisual Essay: Practice and Theory in Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies.


  • Ivor Gaber, Professor of Journalism

I will touch on three current or prospective projects.

  1. The relationship between the news media and child protection
  2. Monitoring the media during elections in sub-Saharan Africa.
  3. TV News viewing in a converged multi-media environment


  • Alban Webb, Research Fellow in Broadcasting History

My studies of British politics and the machinery of government, civil defence planning and public participation, nuclear deterrence strategy and the intelligence and security services have shaped my interest in Britain and the Cold War with particular emphasis on the projection of British foreign policy and the exercise of influence overseas. This has led to my current research on the role of public diplomacy and “soft power” in international relations. My book examining the frontline role played by the BBC World Service in the United Kingdom’s non-shooting war with the Soviet Union, London Calling: Britain, The BBC World Service and the Cold War, was published in July 2014 by Bloomsbury.


  • Evelyn Ficarra, Lecturer in Music Theatre

Evelyn Ficarra is a composer and sound artist working across a range of genres including concert music, dance, experimental film, music theatre, installation, radio. Current preoccupations include explorations of the ‘sound object’ in a performative / theatrical context, the disembodied / re-embodied nature of recorded sound, and issues of time and representation in audio and visual media.


  • Enrike Hurtado Mendieta, PhD candidate in Music 

The Digital Txalaparta: Translating a rule based folk instrument into the digital domain


Best wishes from the PhD Seminar team  [Oscar, Mike, Nicola]  and the Faculty team [Eleftheria, Joanna, Richard]



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