26th Sept

Welcome Party and Research Introductions

[UPDATE: 28th Sept] The first PhD research seminar of the year was a great success – so much so that we had to move rooms to fit everybody in!  Thanks to everybody who came, and particularly to those who spoke.  We have had some lovely feedback from people who found out about research interests and projects that they were unaware their colleagues were pursuing.  Hopefully this will inspire some collaboration in the future.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, there are some notes below which detail very briefly what each speaker mentioned.  If anything is missing or needs to be changed please email the organisers, or use the comment function on the blog.  The same goes for any feedback you have.

Finally, the organisers would like to thank Sharif Mowlabocus  for his help in getting the session together, and Holly Chard for her help and advice (and preventing a few potential disasters that we hadn’t noticed).  Thanks to Vicky Smith for bringing delicious cake – it was tasty yummmmmmmm.  We would also like to give a special mention to Sharif, Holly, Rachel Wood and Ben Litherland, who were scheduled to speak but kindly agreed to step down at the last minute when the organisers realised they had over-booked!


Catherine Grant

Film scholar.  Publishing almost exclusively online nowadays.  A film blogger who makes use of new media.  Katie spoke about the new academic open access digital publishing platform for media, film and music: REFRAME.  She also introduced SEQUENCE, an experimental, peer-reviewed sequential edited-collection format.  If anybody is interested in getting involved with either project, there will be a meeting next Wednesday (3rd October) at 3pm – please contact Katie for more details.

Monika Metykova

Monika spoke about her research interests, which have included media and religion.  More recently, she has written about music, for example some work on Hungarian National Rock.  She is the author of an introductory book on ethnicity and the media.

Lizzie Thynne

Lizzie is a documentary specialist, primarily producing practice-based research.  Lizzie spoke about her film work, in particular her recent film On the Border.  Describing the film as a biography, or an auto/biography, the film interrogates a woman’s relationship to her Finnish family history.  Lizzie has also produced short films on women’s liberation.

Emma Withers

Emma’s research relates to digital devices and gaming, and film.  Her focus is to develop a phenomenological film critique, and more broadly to interrogate the formal interaction of films in general with digital culture.  Her research concerns the increased coalescence of the digital and the material

Richard Elliot

Richard is a popular music researcher.  He spoke about his research into the themes of memory, nostalgia and loss in music.  Richard also mentioned his interest in Portuguese musical genre of ‘Fado’. He has been involved with a biography of Nina Simone, and he summarised his research by proposing 5 concepts related to lateness.

Kirk Woolford

Kirk had prepared an exciting piece of interactive performance software, but sadly the huge turnout meant it was not workable in this session.  (You’re welcome to bring it along to another research in progress seminar Kirk!)  Kirk explained his background as a performance artist interested in movement.  He described a recent project where they compared people’s movements through an iron-age encampment; first in a virtual construction with digitised boundaries, and then in a real (reconstructed) iron-age camp.

Anna Arrowsmith

Anna is a researcher in gender studies, highly influenced by Judith Butler and queer theory.  She spoke about her research into ‘so-called offensive behaviour’ by men, arguing that this is actually defensive: defending against the perceived power of women.  Her research also touches on homosocial behaviour, asking of the existing literature: “where are the women?”


Kate Lacey

Kate described her research into listening.  In an academic field overcrowded by the concept of spectatorship, Kate is interested in ‘Listening Publics.  Arguing that listening and both an embodied experience and a cognitive action, Kate is interested in how ‘listening out’ can be an ethical approach to everyday life.

Stella Sims

Stella spoke about her work on retro history and nostalgia, and retro-chic.  Stella is particularly interested in the concept of the 1950s as it is perceived today.  Both the British 1950s, and understandings of the American 1950s in Britain today.  She highlighted a binary that appears in the recollection of the 1950s – often conceived of as either the birth of rebellion and rock ‘n’ roll, or conversely remembered fondly as innocent and naïve: ‘simpler times’.  Stella’s research concerns the ways in which nostalgia is an active site of struggle for and of representation.

Rosalind Galt

Rosalind’s research concerns world cinema, European cinema, and issues of gender and sexuality.  Rosalind has recently published a book on the concept of ‘pretty’, and how this patriarchal, colonial concept has entered film and film theory.  She is also interested in varieties of critical queer experimental film, and is a member of the Global Queer Cinema research group.

David Hendy

Before entering academia, David was a documentary maker for the BBC.  David is currently working on a series called “Media and the making of the modern mind”, which concerns how the media influence the ways in which we think.  He is also working on a series for Radio 4 called “Noise: A Human History”, cataloguing the history of noise from the prehistoric age up to the present.

Sally-Jane Norman

Sally’s research centres around the theatre.  She is interested in playing with the idea of the theatre, and challenging the limits of the concept of theatre.  Her research examines a broad range of theatre objects, concepts and theories, from the hardware and props of Greek theatre to digital influences today.  More broadly, Sally is interested in the emergence of phenomena which mean that we see theatre as aesthetic, and aesthetically interesting.


Welcome and introduction to new PhD students.  Current students and staff give a 5 minute summary of their research:


Kate Lacey – Director of Doctoral Studies, Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies (Media and Film, Centre for Material Digital Culture)

Sally-Jane Norman – Director of the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, Music)

Kirk Woolford – Senior Lecturer (Media and Film, Centre for Material Digital Culture)

Monika Metykova – Lecturer in Media Communications/Journalism Studies (Media and Film)

Catherine Grant – Senior Lecturer in Film Studies (Media and Film, Centre for Material Digital Culture)

Lizzie Thynne – Senior Lecturer in Media and Film Studies (Media and Film, The Centre for Visual Fields, Centre for Material Digital Culture, Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence)

Rosalind Galt – Reader in Film Studies (Media and Film)

David Hendy – Professor of Media (Media and Film)

Richard Elliott – Lecturer in Popular Music (Music)

PhD Students:

Emma Withers – “Virtual Corporeality: Remediation of the Embodied Subject in Popular Science Fiction Film”

Anna Arrowsmith – “Rethinking Misogyny: Men’s Perceptions of Female Power in Dating”

Aaron Saunderson-Cross – “Friendship, the Body, and Same-Sex Love: Towards a Catholic Epistemology”

Carina Westling – tbc

Stella Sims – “Retro, history and nostalgia: rethinking popular memory and the 1950s”


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