Screen Media Research Centre (SMRC)

Overview

The Screen Media Research Centre has established a substantial body of research in a range of screen media, principally film and television and areas of digital media including videogames. We specialise in studies of contemporary film, television and related media but also welcome applications with a more historical basis. We can supervise practice-based as well as more traditional, theoretically-focused projects.

Four themes provide major strands within and across which much of the work is organized:

  • Cult Media
  • Documentary and the Politics of Representation
  • National and Transnational Film and Television
  • Games and Digital Media

The centre is also host to the refereed journal Intensities

Areas in which members of the centre have published books recognized in the field include British, European, Hollywood, American Independent, Hong Kong and Third cinema; cult film, science fiction, comedy, horror and the cinema of the occult, the integration of video practice and theory, Marxism and the media, sex and the cinema, environmentalism and cinema, videogames, contemporary British and American television, the media ‘effects’ debate and various aspects of journalism theory and practice. For more details, see entries for staff under the 'Members' tab above.

The centre has organized a number of conferences (see 'Conferences' tab above) and runs a series of research seminars that has attracted leading figures in the field, in addition to separate seminars for postgraduate research students. PGR students in the subject area in the School of Arts automatically become members of the centre.

Among other ongoing research projects, the centre was recently host to Television News, Current Affairs and Young People: The Problem of ‘Disconnection’, a three-year £108,000 project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project included the organization of a conference in 2007 (see below) and publications including the book Television News, Politics and Young People: Generation Disconnected?

Recent investment in this area has included the provision of new spaces and equipment for practice-based projects and the provision of a dedicated Games Lab.

The SMRC is based in the School of Arts at Brunel, but also includes members from the School of Social Sciences and Media Studies.

Research Degrees

We offer supervision for PhD and MPhil research degrees in a wide range of areas of staff expertise, primarily in film, TV and videogames. These include but are not limited to:

  • Recent and contemporary British, European, African, Hong Kong, Hollywood and American independent cinema
  • Cult film, television and other media
  • British and American television
  • Science fiction, horror, comedy, the western, crime films
  • Documentary, video practice, practice as research
  • Relationships between documentary and fiction
  • Media and press regulation
  • Political cinema, activist media
  • Gender, sexuality and the body in film
  • Celebrity culture
  • Videogame design and theory
  • Marxist and psychoanalytical approaches to screen media
  • Cinematic spectacle, narrative
  • Avant-garde and experimental cinema
  • Ecocriticism and screen media
  • Trade unionism in film and TV industries
  • Animation
  • The Gothic; fairy tales
  • Film and philosophy
  • Film and memory
  • Representations of Africa
  • Representations of genocide on screen

    Some funding is available, please check to see if you are eligible.

    Full list in relation to individual members of staff.

    Formal Procedures for PhD/MPhil Applications

How to apply online

For any preliminary discussion of areas of research contact Prof Geoff King, Director, Screen Media Research Centre, geoff.king@brunel.ac.uk

Current and recently completed research students.

Members

Name and Title Phone Email Office
Dr Doug Brown
Subject Leader Games Design
01895 267913 Email Dr Doug Brown Gaskell Building 152
Dr Piotr Cieplak
Lecturer
01895 265899 Email Dr Piotr Cieplak Gaskell Building 161
Murray Dick
Lecturer in Multi-Platform Journalism
01895 265 502 Email  Murray Dick Gaskell Building 176
Dr Lesley Henderson
Senior Lecturer in Sociology & Communications
+44 (0)1895 265459 Email Dr Lesley Henderson Marie Jahoda Room 144
Dr Sean Holmes
Deputy Head of School (Undergraduate)
01895 266832 Email Dr Sean Holmes Gaskell Building 162
Dr Leon Hunt
Senior Lecturer
01895 266586 Email Dr Leon Hunt Gaskell Building 160
Dr David Ingram
Lecturer; Director of Studies
01895 266587 Email Dr David Ingram Gaskell Building 159
Dr Angelina Karpovich
Lecturer in Creative Multimedia Design/ Level -3 Coordinator (Digital Media)
+44 (0)1895 267380 Email Dr Angelina Karpovich H204
Professor Geoff King
Professor of Film & TV Studies; Director, Screen Media Research Centre
01895 265826 Email Professor Geoff King Gaskell Building 167
Paul Lashmar
Lecturer in Journalism, Course Convenor MA International Journalism
01895 267634 Email  Paul Lashmar Gaskell Building 174
Dr Sharon Lockyer**
Senior Lecturer
+44 (0)1895 267373 Email Dr Sharon Lockyer** Marie Jahoda Room 146
Dr Sarita Malik**
Lecturer in Media and Communications
+44 (0)1895 266874 Email Dr Sarita Malik** Marie Jahoda Room 152
Professor Sarah Niblock
Professor and Head of Journalism
01895 267 273 Email Professor Sarah Niblock Gaskell Building 175
Mr Justin Parsler
Lecturer, Games Design
01895 265214 Email Mr Justin Parsler Gaskell Building 151
Professor Julian Petley
Professor of Screen Media
01895 265 479 Email Professor Julian Petley Gaskell Building 164
Dr Caroline Ruddell
Lecturer and Film and Television Admissions Tutor
01895 267937 Email Dr Caroline Ruddell Gaskell Building 158
Dr Daniele Rugo
Lecturer
01895 265353 Email Dr Daniele Rugo Gaskell Building 106
Professor Michael Wayne
Convenor of Documentary Practice MA
01895 265830 Email Professor Michael Wayne Gaskell Building 166
Dr Milly Williamson
Subject Leader Screen Media
01895 274000 Email Dr Milly Williamson Gaskell Building 165

Conferences

The centre created and organizes two ongoing conferences series, Cine-Excess and Documentary Now!

Details of individual events:

Cine-Excess IV, Odeon Covent Garden, April/May 2010. Conference theme ‘Corporeal Excess: Cult Bodies’. Guest of Honour Joe Dante, director of cult features including Piranha, The Howling, Gremlins, and Matinee, who received the Cine-Excess Lifetime Achievement Award, previous recipients of which include Roger Corman and Dario Argento. Keynote given by Professor Richard Dyer, speaking on series killers in European cinema and society. The event including a screening of Dante’s rare early film The Movie Orgy.

Cine-Excess III, Curzon Soho Cinema & Odeon Covent Garden, April/May 2009. This year's Guests of Honour included Dario Argento (Suspiria, Tenebrae) and his long term composer Claudio Simonetti, while keynote addresses were delivered from Professor Chris Jenks and Professor Jeffrey Sconce. Alongside exclusive UK theatrical premieres of films such as Last House on the Left (Dennis Illiadis, 2009), Cine-Excess III also featured the official launch of the Nouveaux-Pictures-Cine-Excess film label (see above).

Cine-Excess II, The ICA, London, May 2008. Featured world-renowned exploitation filmmaker Roger Corman as Guest of Honour as well as a keynote by Sir Christopher Frayling. More than 100 speakers took part, from Europe, North America and the Far East. The event, which also included a number of premiere film screenings, gained extensive national media coverage and secured commercial support and funding-in-kind from a number of sources including Sky Television, Air New Zealand, Tartan Films, I.B. Tauris publisher, Scan Box Entertainment, Optimum Releasing and Wallflower Press.

Cine-Excess: An International Conference on Global Cult Film, Apollo West End Cinema, Regent Street, London, May 2007. A high-profile three-day event in central London, organized by Brunel in conjunction with the Sci-Fi London film festival. Conference opened by special guest speaker, film director John Landis (The Blues Brothers, Animal House, An American Werewolf in London), and including a special recorded video message from Roger Corman, the acknowledge godfather of cult and exploitation film. Now planned to be an annual event.

Documentary Now! A Conference on the Contemporary Context and Possibilities for the Documentary Genre, Birkbeck College, London, January 2010. By now a regular fixture on the documentary scene, the third Documentary Now! event brought together scholars, filmmakers, students and interested members of the public to discuss current trends in documentary film, from the return of documentary as a box-office phenomenon to broadcast television, the web and beyond.

Documentary Now! Birkbeck College, London, October 2008. Second event, jointly organized with Roehampton University, attracted 125 delegates with events including the screening of a few film from the leading Argentinian filmmaker Andres di Tella.

Documentary Now! A Conference on the Contemporary Context and Possibilities for the Documentary Genre, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London, April 2007. A sell-out event bringing together academics, documentary filmmakers and interested members of the public to discuss current trends in documentary practice, from the return of documentary as a theatrical box office phenomenon, to broadcast television and beyond. Also planned to become an annual event.

Television News, Young People and Politics: Generation Disconnected, British Film Institute, London, December 2007. Part of three-year AHRC funded project. Contributors included academics, broadcasters, media activists, young people and NGOs working with young people to discuss how young people and politics are represented on television news. [needs link to conference web pages]

The Spectacle of the Real: From Hollywood to Reality TV and Beyond, Brunel University, January 2003. A two-day event focused on a wide variety of conjunctions of spectacle and constructions of ‘reality’, in film, television and wider cultural phenomena. Full versions of selected papers published in Geoff King (ed.), The Spectacle of the Real: From Hollywood to Reality TV and Beyond, Bristol: Intellect Press, 2005.

Science Fictions: 9 September 1999, Brunel University. A one day conference exploring various aspects of science fiction in the media.

Research Students

Currently studying for a PhD with the working title of Femininity, Feminism and Masochism: The Female Masochist Body in Paracinema, Sarah Harman's research examines adaptations of sadomasochistic texts, through a prism of feminist, psychoanalytical and socio-political analysis. In addition she is currently co-editing a collection for publication titled Screening Twilight: Critical Approaches To A Cinematic Phenomenon (I. B. Tauris, forthcoming). She is also Peer Editor for Roehampton University's journal for performance and creative research, Activate, as well as for Goldsmiths' Cultural Studies department magazine, Nyx, a Noctournal. Sarah Harman is also a member of the Onscenity Research Network and was co-organiser of the 2012 Sexual Cultures Conference at Brunel.


Mark Adams

PhD student whose research challenges the influential theoretical models that see authorship as a major source of social control and thus sees audiences that ‘poach’ meanings from texts as engaged in rebellion. His work examines fan-producers in contemporary television, and the complex links and interactions between producers and fans, contributing to the current reassessments of the way media audiences are theorised. This research will ultimately seek to construct a workable model for understanding fan practices. Mark previously completed a First Class Film Studies BA with Honours at Southampton Solent University and a Masters with Merit in Cult Film and TV at Brunel.

Mark Adams
Stephen Curran

PhD candidate whose research seeks to account for the existence of the screenwriting guru or teacher in the American film industry since the earliest days of Hollywood. Stephen’s interest in this subject matter was inspired by his desire to understand the screenwriting process as part of his own writing for the screen. He was the winner of the Euroscript (European) Screenwriting competition in 1998 and 1999, where his first original screenplay had agency representation and was pitched to all the major European film directors. He is still writing and looking for his first big break in the UK film business. Stephen is currently working on his fourth full-length feature film script. He is also a trained actor and former English and drama teacher with an MA in Educational Theatre (1992), a BA in music (2003) and BA in Theology (1982).

Stephen Curran
Sarah Harman

Currently studying for a PhD with the working title of Femininity, Feminism and Masochism: The Female Masochist Body in Paracinema, Sarah Harman's research examines adaptations of sadomasochistic texts, through a prism of feminist, psychoanalytical and socio-political analysis. In addition she is currently co-editing a collection for publication titled Screening Twilight: Critical Approaches To A Cinematic Phenomenon (I. B. Tauris, forthcoming). She is also Peer Editor for Roehampton University's journal for performance and creative research, Activate, as well as for Goldsmiths' Cultural Studies department magazine, Nyx, a Noctournal. Sarah Harman is also a member of the Onscenity Research Network and was co-organiser of the 2012 Sexual Cultures Conference at Brunel.



Sarah Harman
Eirini Konstantinidou

Currently working on her first feature script as part of a practice-based PhD. Her principal research interests lie in the field of science fiction film. She is investigating the filmic representation of artificial memories and their impact on personal identity. Her project is self-reflexive exploring these themes and their close relation to the medium of film. She intends to shoot a third of the film as part of her PhD. Erini has a BSc in Economics (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/Greece) and did an MA in Media and Communication (Fordham University, New York) as well as an MA in Film Studies (UCL, London). She has also received a film directing certificate from New York University. She has directed 4 short films, and her film "I love you...?” won first prize in the 2007 Thessaloniki Short Film Festival (previously known as AZA Digital Film Festival). In addition, the film "Snapshots" that she co-directed with Lorenzo Fabrizi and Robin King won the first prize at the Dorset Cereals Film Competition.

Eirini Konstantinidou
Justin Parsler

A PhD candidate researching the nature of player agency within games. He took the MA Digital Games: Theory and Design and comes from a background of professional games design. He is interested and engaged in creating all sorts of games, not just digital ones. He is now a member of the games teaching team focusing on design on the BA and MA courses.

Justin Parsler
Asefeh Sadeghi-Esfahlani

Asefeh comes from a background in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies and is also a practicing photographer and filmmaker. The working title of her research is Capital and Labour in the Hegemonic Spaces of Cinema; the Case of Iranian Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s.

In this project, Asefeh critically analyses the forces and relations of production in the Iranian cinema during the 60s and 70s and its impact on the cinematic representation of the antagonism between capital and labour and the subsequent class struggle. She investigates the emerging hegemonic force-filed of socio-economic relations within the industry and its dialectical effects on films as cultural products.

Asesfeh Sadeghi-Esfahlani

Page last updated: Wednesday 07 September 2011