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Research in the Department of Creative Arts is committed to diverse intellectual traditions and interdisciplinarity. Our research in media, performance, film, television, music, theatre, and culture focuses on three key themes:

  • Transnational flows, media, and audiences.
  • Communities, identity, and political agency.
  • Critical production and performance studies.

The Department of Creative Arts hosts a regular research seminar series and is home to a thriving practice research group that meets throughout the year. Our research and evaluation work has been funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, Arts Council, and a range of organisations that include The Vegan Society, Wakefield Council and Warrington Borough Council. Researchers in the department work with local organisations such as Tate Liverpool, FACT, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Burscough Community Farm and The Bluecoat.

AHRC funded research

Vital to our culture is the next generation of research talent. We welcome applications to our range of postgraduate taught and PhD programmes of study.

Critical Studies in Television Slow Conference 2022

27 June – 15 July 2022
Online (Teams)

The Outliers of Television (Studies)

Television has been widely theorised in relation to the everyday, the habitual and the repetitive. But there are a lot of phenomena that are surprising, and that require TV scholars to provide nuance to these observations. Take Squid Game (Netflix, 2021) which was supposedly the streaming hit of the year 2021 in the UK and elsewhere. But as an example of a Korean TV drama, it is highly unusual. Similarly, when we asked British audiences what programme gave them the most comfort during Covid, Grayson’s Art Club (Channel 4, 2020), a small, participatory and community-focused programme was voted winner of the Critical Awards in Television, instead of any of the expensive dramas that television critics spent so much time reviewing and writing about. There are stories to be told that need telling and that we don’t hear enough about  because while television is complex and mutable, discussion of it remains entrapped with longstanding cultural hierarchies. On the other side of the spectrum is a subject area that still worries about its legitimacy and hence continues to produce more publications on high-end productions such as Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011-2-19) over those that, in the daily lives of audiences, might actually play a more important role, such as the different versions of Strictly Come Dancing (BBC, since 2004), including Dancing with the Stars (ABC, 2005). Thus, we want to put a particular focus this year at the Critical Studies in Television Conference at the outliers of television (studies). This includes, but is not restricted to:

  • Overlooked programmes
  • Aspects of television as a medium that have not attracted enough attention
  • Different forms of television
  • Innovative ways of working
  • Surprising audience behaviour
  • Marginalised voices
  • Failures of television (studies)
  • The invisible in television (studies)

We invite abstracts on any of these and any other television related topics. Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and should be submitted by 15 February. We are always looking for alternative ways of presenting, so if you want to submit an abstract for a screening, roundtable, etc. please feel free to do so too. We are hoping to send out acceptance emails by early March. Papers should be 20 minutes long, screenings should include a discussion element and should be no longer than 1 hour. Roundtables should also be no longer than 1 hour.

To submit your abstract please go to the Critical Studies in Television Conference Abstract Submission .

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the significant uncertainties regarding it, we will run the conference as an online slow conference again this year in the hope to return to a face-to-face conference the year after, after which we will alternate formats. We recognise that the slow conference format also enables a wider variety of voices to be heard and we will do our utmost to make it accessible in a number of ways.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the CST Conference team.

Confirmed speakers

Rowan Aust is Lecturer in Television Studies and Production at the University of Huddersfield.

Rowan Aust is Lecturer in Television Studies and Production at the University of Huddersfield. Her research looks at care practices in film and television production. She is also Co-Director of SMTJ ( which advocates for parity in film and TV work, and runs The Time Project (, an hours and rates app designed to highlight inequalities in the film and TV industries. She has been published in AlphahvilleCST, and various edited collections and has authored and co-authored industry-facing reports.

Steve Smith is a BAFTA award winning television director

Steve Smith is a BAFTA award-winning television director and has taken the creative lead on numerous projects to help create some of the UK’s most popular television programmes. With over 30 years production experience in which he’s directed, produced and executive produced shows, working on a wide range of programmes across several genres.

He is the former Chair of Directors UK, a BAFTA Albert Ambassador and environmental production consultant teaching sustainable activities in all aspects of programme-making and a board member at Elstree Film Studios where he leads on sustainability and net zero strategy. In 2019, Steve co-founded Picture Zero Productions, focusing on producing engaging, innovative, and entertaining content on climate change and solutions.

Marta Lopera-Mármol is a PhD candidate at the Communication Department at Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

Marta Lopera-Mármol is a PhD candidate at the Communication Department at Pompeu Fabra (UPF). She is a researcher of the Communication, Advertising and Society group under the Media Psychology and Psychophysiology section, where she obtained a scholarship to undertake her PhD. She is currently a visiting scholar at Cambridge University (Cambridge, UK) at the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages and Linguistics and a member of King’s College. Marta did a PhD research stay at the Sorbonne Nouvelle III (Paris, France). She obtained an MPhil in Communication Research at UPF.

Marta has a B.A. in Audio-visual Communication with a minor in Marketing and Management from the University of Barcelona (UB) with two International academic stays at Hanzehogeschool of Applied Sciences (Groningen, The Netherlands) and La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia). She has participated in two Spanish Ministry research projects, a European one, published several book chapters and articles for peer-reviewed journals and taught in the undergraduate Journalism and Public Relations & Advertising programs at UPF. Her research focuses on television series, media sustainability, mental disorders, youth and Brit-grit aesthetics. Currently, she co-leads alongside Dr Manel Jiménez a project on Green Shooting and Media Sustainability framed under the Planetary Well-Being (UPF).

Manel Jiménez-Morales is currently the vice-rector of Educational Transformation, Culture and Communication at Pompeu Fabra University-Barcelona (UPF)

Manel Jiménez-Morales is currently the vice-rector of Educational Transformation, Culture and Communication at Pompeu Fabra University-Barcelona (UPF). He holds a degree in Audiovisual Communication from UPF and in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature from the University of Barcelona, and has a PhD in Social Communication from Pompeu Fabra University.

Manel has combined his work as an academic with several projects in the audiovisual industry. He has been on several international research exchanges (University of Oxford, UCLA, BFI) and has taught at various international universities. Apart from leading some research projects, Manel started to develop the strategy for MOOCs and new educational formats at UPF and is entrusted with the incorporation of new technologies into teaching. He was also the director of the Centre for Learning Innovation and Knowledge at UPF.