Research Events

Research Events in Media at Edge Hill University

The Media Department has a vibrant research culture that combines research into the theory and practice of media. Our events reflect both traditional academic research and the Department’s interest in practice as research. Below is a list of speakers and symposia organised by the Media Department. For further information, please contact Owen Evans

Research Seminars 2017

Research Seminars –   Autumn 2017
CE229 (unless otherwise stated)

November 28th
Dr. Aimee Mollaghan (EHU)
“Lost in the Landscape: Barbara Loden’s Influence on the Contemporary American Female Road Movie”

The late 1960s and early 1970s proved a fertile period for creativity and innovation in American Cinema. Moving film production from the confines of the film studio to the highways and byways of America, a number of now iconic road movies such as Two Lane Blacktop (1971), Five Easy Pieces(1970), Badlands (1973), Vanishing Point (1973), Scarecrow (1973) and Easy Rider (1973) were produced which directly engage with the topographical specificity of the American landscape. This body of work is associated almost exclusively with male directors. Yet, in 1970 Barbara Loden, perhaps better known at the time for her work as an actress and her marriage to Elia Kazan wrote and directed her erstwhile road movieWanda (1970). Although Wanda was awarded the Critic’s Prize at the Venice Film Festival and lauded by European intellectuals such as Marguerite Duras, it enjoyed release at only a single cinema in New York and was arguably for a time written out of the history of American Independent Cinema until its limited rerelease in 2007.

Unlike the male protagonists in many of the road movies of the early 1970s, the road in Loden’s film does not signal an open road to freedom nor conversely does it signal the manifestation of a psychological crisis, rather Wanda is imprisoned wandering within the landscape with nowhere to go. This paper will investigate the legacy of Loden’s film in the work of contemporary female directors such as Reichardt, exploring the manner in which the landscape in these erstwhile ‘road’ movies is representing and interrogating the aesthetic and existential representation of female figures stranded within the topography of the American landscape.

November 8th – 4.00pm
Dr Andrea Wright (EHU)
“Outside Inside: Nature, gender and the altered domestic space in Possum (1997) and Nature’s Way (2006)”

The landscape and nature are central to New Zealand cinema and the duel conception of landscape, observed by Claudia Bell as both beautiful and dangerous and beautifully cultivated, has variously influenced screen representations. In particular, it is pivotal to the rural Kiwi Gothic and its unsettling imaginings of the natural environment.

Short films Possum and Nature’s Way come from this tradition and present a troubling vision of human interaction with the natural. As Ian Conrich has observed, “[t]he binary opposition of domestic/wild is central to many examples of Kiwi Gothic in which the home of the settler offers shelter against the forces of the wilderness”.

Cinematically the films, although stylistically different, visually and aurally capture the strangeness of a natural environment that remains outside human control. The soundscapes are especially pronounced and render the environment eerie and threatening. The films also situate men in a particularly uneasy association with the natural that disrupts settler mythologies of man’s mastery of nature.

Nature, aligned with the feminine, cannot be contained by masculine action and the domestic spaces, which are, unusually, masculinised, are susceptible to its strange power. This paper will explore how these films dramatize the theme of outside inside and the relationships between nature, gender and the domestic space.

Research Seminars –   Spring 2017
3.30pm, CE229 (unless otherwise stated)

January 25th – Dr Paddy Hoey (EHU)
“Arthur Daley, Minder and the fallacy of the working class Thatcherite entrepreneur.” (co-authored with Dr Steve Baker, Ulster University)

February 8th – Emily Baker (University of Liverpool)
“In the age of Autotune: the (re)construction of Aretha Franklin.”

February 22nd – Connor Jackson (EHU)
“This Place. It’s Never Gonna Accept People Like Us. Never Ever”: (Queer) Horror, Hatred, and Heteronormativity in the British Zombie-Drama In The Flesh.”

March 1st  Dr Yannis Tzioumakis (University of Liverpool)
“American independent cinema in the age of speciality media content”

March 8th – Prof Anahid Kassabian (Royal Holloway)
‘”You mean I can make a tv show?”: Web series, assertive music, and African-American women producers’

March 22nd – Mita Lad (EHU)
“Representations of punishment on prime time Hindi serials.”

April 5th – Prof Jody Berland (York University, Canada)
Title tbc

May 3rd – Prof Owen Evans (EHU)
“No Place like Heimat: The Representation of Space in the Cinema of Christian Petzold.”

May 17th
MA/ MRes presentations

Research Seminars Archive

Research Seminars –   Autumn 2016

Wednesday, October 13. 3.30pm. CE229
‘Getting Your Fan Base In’: The Value of the Web Series to the Creative Economy.’
Prof. Sue Turnbull, (University of Wollongong).

Wednesday, October 19. 3.30pm. CE229
‘Distorted Recognition: On the Pleasures of Televisual Caricature.’
Dr Hannah Andrews, (Edge Hill University).

Tuesday, October 25. 1pm. CE015
‘Lean Back: Songza, Ubiquitous Listening, and Internet Music Radio for the Masses.’
Dr Christina Baade, (McMaster University).

Wednesday, November 2, 3.30pm, CE229
‘Acoustic Ghosts and Haunted Landscapes: the sonic invention of place in British landscape cinema.’
Dr Aimee Mollaghan, (Edge Hill University).

Wednesday, November 16, 3.30pm. CE 229
‘Vorsprung durch Technik – Kraftwerk and modernity.’.
Dr Richard Witts, (Edge Hill University).

Wednesday, November 30. 3.30pm. CE229
‘Queer Characters in British and the US Soap Operas.’
Dr Ahmet Atay, (College of Wooster).

Wednesday, December 14. 3.30pm. CE229
‘Peter Capaldi and the anxieties/authenticities of being a life-long Doctor Who fan: ‘Enduring fandom’ embodied by an ageing TV celebrity.’
Prof Matt Hills , (University of Huddersfield).

Research Seminars –   Spring 2016

January 20th  Rosa Fong (EHU)
Becoming Zoe – Documentary screening plus Q&A

February 3rd  Mita Lad (EHU)
The Gaze, The Glance and Darshan: developing a new critical perspective of the look

February 17th Dr Anne Cronin (Lancaster University)
Media, mediation and ‘reputational and capital’: the case of UK universities

February 24th Dr Karen Shepherdson (Canterbury Christchurch University)

 March 2nd Dr Kate Egan (Aberyswyth University)
The Film that was Banned in Harrogate: Local Newspapers, Monty Python and the Expression of an Alternative Local Community

 March 16th  Dr Lee Broughton (University of Leeds)
The Italian Western & the American Civil War

 April 20th Dr Paddy Hoey (EHU)
Football fan podcasting: Fandom in the age of convergence and globalisation

 May 4th Dr Nessa Johnson (EHU)
Hearing ‘DV Realism’: the sounds of Dogma 95, Blair Witch, and beyond

 Research Seminars  –  Autumn 2015

October 7th Derek Murray (EHU)
Welcome to the New Reality: Virtual reality in documentary production’

October 21st Anthony Killick (EHU)
Building Small cinemas: modernity and the neoliberal city

November 4th Dr Andrea Wright (EHU)
“Vampires don’t do dishes”: Old myths, the modern world, the fantastic and the mundane in Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clements’ What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Doing Research with Arts/Media/Cultural Organisations; Their Plans, Your Opportunities

December 2nd Sally Pearce
Chernobyl Horses

For further  information on the Media Department Research Seminars please contact: Paddy Hoey. Tel: x4862. E:


Conferences & Symposiums

Re-imaging Regional Television Drama: Women as Agents of Cultural Change

Edge Hill University with the University of Liverpool
11 September 2014

In recent years, female writers, producers and directors have emerged as central innovators of television fictions. Dramas and dramadocs by Kay Mellor, Sally Wainwright and Heidi Thomas belong to some of the most-watched programmes on British screens, and they also celebrate significant success across the pond and elsewhere. At the same time, new production houses, such as Red Productions, contribute significantly to the vibrancy of British (and international) television. In America, Ann Biderman has taken the realist aesthetics of NYPD Blue to new extremesin Southland and more recently Ray Donovan. And in Germany, Claudia Matschulla has developed scripts focused on spaces that are embodied, lived spaces rather than offering the touristic views of so many other German television dramas. Many of these female writers/producers/directors have ventured into new territories in terms of representation such as the non-ageist depiction of a romance between two widows in Last Tango in Halifax, substance abuse in response to domestic violence in The Syndicate, or the friendship between a widower and a young woman suffering from Downs Syndrome in Moving On. Additionally, they connect these new representations to specific conceptualisations of space and place, invariably making the most of their regional locations. Unlike the first wave of regional drama in the 1960s and 70s, these women do not use regional space as ‘liminal ground on which to criticize its own values, to challenge the “acceptable” way of life with other attitudes’ (Newcombe 1979: 158). Rather, they imagine these spaces as mundane, lived space, and thereby imagine an embodied experience of regional identity that has its own rich patterns of speech and everyday life. This crucially impacts on the conceptualisation of the regions as touristic spaces (Blandford 2005),  redefining them not only as places with their own histories, cultures and identities where life is lived in and through local identities but as new centres of creative and cultural production that are situating these identities centre stage in national life.

More information on the Re-imaging regional television drama symposium

Cutting Edge Postgraduate Conference

Saturday, 22 March 2014
We live in an age of growing globalisation and expanding engagement with new media such as on-demand entertainment and social networking. The question of culture, identity and representation therefore becomes ever more pertinent to academic enquiry in the 21stcentury. How is identity and culture represented through visual image, sound, literature or performance, and conversely, how do these representations reflect or perform identity and culture?

More information on Cutting Edge Postgraduate Conference

Visiting Speaker: Toby Miller “Greening the Media”

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Professor Toby Miller will be visiting Edge Hill University on Wednesday 26th March 2014 to deliver his lecture ‘Greening The Media’.

You may not look at your cell phone, TV, or computer the same way after rethinking the media from a green point of view. That perspective can reveal secrets lurking within electronic devices. Marshalling economic, environmental, and historical facts, Toby Miller will examine the environmental, safety, and health record of these technologies to show how making, consuming, and discarding such gadgets is rife with toxic ingredients, poisonous working conditions, and hazardous waste. But all is not lost: we can think creatively about ways to solve these problems as green workers, consumers, and citizens.

More information on  Toby Miller “Greening the Media”

“Transnational Productions for Film and Television”

Visiting Speaker: Lothar Mikos
CE225, Creative Edge
Thursday, 27 March 2014, 11am

In times of audience fragmentation and diversification of media outlets the budgets for the production of audiovisual products such as films and fictional TV formats are decreasing. One of the strategies to cope with this situation is the support of international co-productions and transnational productions. Regulations for film and TV are different. There are EU regulations for co-productions of films. The TV market is much more deregulized and is integrated in the economic impact of global television flows. But not all co-productions work. They have to be adjusted to local cultural contexts, and to local laws, local policy and local economy. There’s a complex field of interdependancies that inform international co-productions and transnational productions.

More information on Lothar Mikos, “Transnational Productions for Film and Television”

Free Screening: The Stuart Hall Project, in tribute to Stuart Hall

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

As a tribute to cultural theorist Stuart Hall, Edge Hill University will be screening ‘The Stuart Hall Project’ the recent, highly acclaimed documentary about his life and his cultural and political passions, in Creative Edge on April 1st.

‘A founding figure of contemporary cultural studies – and one of the most inspiring voices of the post-war Left – Stuart Hall’s resounding and ongoing influence on British intellectual life commenced soon after he emigrated from Jamaica in 1951. Combining extensive archival imagery – television excerpts, home movies, family photos – with specially filmed material and a personally mixed Miles Davis soundtrack, Akomfrah’s filmmaking approach matches the agility of Hall’s intellect, its intimate play with memory, identity and scholarly impulse traversing the changing historical landscape of the second half of the 20th century.’

Free. All welcome. No booking – just turn up. Light refreshments available from 17:30.

Beyond Benefits Street Symposium

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The ‘Beyond Benefits Street’ symposium responds to current debates on welfare, ‘poverty porn’ and the demonization of working classes by popular media. This symposium aims to explore alternatives to current commissioned television programming, to critique journalistic practices and the framing of working class culture, and to discuss the role and obligations of HE media departments, taking as our starting point Owen Jones’ recent comment: “As unpaid internships and expensive Masters’ qualifications become gateways to TV careers, it is the privileged who are commissioning the shows” (Independent, 21.1.14).

‘Beyond Benefits Street’ will include speakers from the film and media industries as well as contributions from academics in the fields of journalism, communications and media studies. This public event includes screenings of Condition of the Working Class (2012); Giro: Is This the Modern World? (1985) and a selection of short films. ‘Beyond Benefits Street’ aims to stimulate discussion and debate.

The event will take place in the University’s new Creative Edge building on Wednesday 2nd April 2014. The symposium is from 12- 5pm. Screenings are from 5-7pm. All welcome.

Registration for the event is now open. If you wish to attend, please visit:

European Cinema Research Forum

The European Cinema Research Forum (ECRF) is the international forum for the discussion of all things relating to European film and European film culture.

The ECRF was founded in 2000 as a means to create a network for scholars working across Film Studies and Modern Languages, to identify common issues of interest or concern, and increasingly to bring theory and practice into closer, and more meaningful, dialogue. Others soon showed considerable enthusiasm for the Forum and it engaged in its first international discussions later that year. Other activities followed and the Forum held its first conference, video-linked mini-conference and seminar series in 2001. As the ECRF enters its twelfth year, it has become a very vibrant interdisciplinary, international forum of colleagues and friends who actively welcome new participants in the ECRF and its activities. We are especially proud that many postgraduate students have presented their first academic papers at our conferences, and we celebrate this developmental role. The organisation is based at no one university and is seen to be ‘owned’ by all its participants, wherever they might be based.

The ECRF holds a highly successful annual international conference, organized by those interested in European film and European film culture and held at different universities throughout the world, as well as developing other activities, including visiting film speaker events, video linked conferences, public screenings and talks, web-linked discussions, and a range of research projects and publications. This year we are delighted that Edge Hill University will be hosting our twelfth conference in Ormskirk.

For more information on the ECRF and its history, please visit:

If you are interested in becoming involved in the ECRF or in hosting a future conference, please do not hesitate to contact us ( or

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