School of Arts & Media Graduate Programme, Trimester 1 2016/17

It is my pleasure to present the Graduate Programme for the School of Arts and Media, Trimester 1, 2016 – 17. A rich array of events featuring both internal and external speakers has been arranged, in addition to the Salford International Media Festival, and Graduate Week. This year we have assembled a series of talks, presentations and exhibitions spanning practice-based and theoretical approaches to current issues in Arts and Media. We explore such areas as open access publishing, utopias and dystopias, creative/critical methodologies, media policy, visual text, contemporary horror, and poetry and film, reflecting and expanding the diverse make-up of the School of Arts and Media. This year’s programme is especially trans-disciplinary with many events offering cross- or inter-disciplinary applications. This year we are also delighted to showcase the world-class facilities in New Adelphi, as well as those at our MediaCityUK campus, offering a truly inspirational environment for our research development.

These events are open to all in the PGR and research communities at Salford, and beyond, offering a forum for intellectual stimulation, innovation and discussion as well as a chance to meet and socialise with fellow researchers. As in previous years, we’ll e-mail out detailed reminders a couple of days before each talk. We very much look forward to seeing you there!

Trimester 2 events will be confirmed shortly.

Dr Ursula Hurley, Director of Graduate Studies, School of Arts and Media (

19th October 2016 room 6.44 New Adelphi

This afternoon features two talks from external speaker Dr Caroline Edwards.

15:00 – 16:30 “‘The Next Information Revolution': How Open Access is Transforming Academic Publishing".

This talk is likely to be of interest across the institution and researchers based in other schools are warmly invited to attend.


17:00 – 18.30 “'Today we know that dreams point to a serious mental illness' (Zamyatin): Revisiting Early 20th-Century Utopian and Dystopian Visions”.

This talk is hosted by the English Research Group, and will be more discipline-specific but all are welcome!

Dr Caroline Edwards is Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London. She was Director of the MA Contemporary Literature and Culture and supervises PhD research students working on contemporary literature and science fiction projects.
Caroline’s research interests are in 20th and 21st-century British fiction, utopian literature (1516-present), science fiction and post-apocalyptic narratives, critical theory, modernism, postmodernism, cultural studies, post-secularism, Marxist aesthetics (particularly Ernst Bloch, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin and Fredric Jameson), and Open Access publishing. She is Founding and Commissioning Editor of the open access journal of 21st-century literary criticism, Alluvium, and is Founder and Co-Director of the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) – an initiative set up to publish sustainable open access journal articles and monographs in the humanities, which is working with numerous international partners including: Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Open Book Publishers, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Public Knowledge Project, the Wellcome Trust, the British Library, the Creative Commons, RCUK, Jisc Collections and the Modern Languages Association. 

2nd November 
This afternoon's offering features two events: a CCM research seminar (15:30 – 16:30)
followed by the Practice as Research Centre of Excellence launch event (17:00 – 19:00)

15:30 - 16:30 Culture, Communication and Media Research Seminar “Weaponising Cinema”: Hollywood, the OSS, and the Logistics of Perception
Dr Simon Willmets (University of Hull)

The Second World War was the first conflict to be perceived predominantly through motion pictures. This new “logistics of perception”, as Paul Virilio has termed the process of seeing war, and the implications of different ways of seeing, transformed the epistemic authority of the cinema from a medium viewed primarily as a means of entertainment to one regarded as being most capable of capturing objective reality.

This paper examines how the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the CIA’s wartime predecessor, both exploited and contributed to cinema’s new authority as a documentary medium. Whether it was John Ford’s vivid images of the Battle of Midway for the OSS Field Photographic Unit (FPU) in his Oscar-winning documentary, or the FPU’s reconnaissance missions along the European coastline, or the concentration camps footage that effectively secured the conviction of a number of Nazis for crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials, the OSS’s use of cinema profoundly shaped the
perception, conduct and memory of the war.

Dr Simon Willmetts is a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Hull. His research falls broadly within the fields of film history, cultural theory and US foreign policy. Before joining Hull he worked on the AHRC project at Warwick University entitled The Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA and the Contested Record of US Foreign Policy. The project explored the formation and development of public perceptions of the CIA in various cultural mediums. Simon’s work for the project examined filmic representations of the Agency. He has published articles on spy cinema and the public perceptions of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Journal of American Studies, the Journal of British Cinema and Television and the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. His forthcoming book with Edinburgh University Press is a history of the OSS and CIA in Hollywood cinema. He has recently begun work as a Co-Investigator on an ESRC project examining the ethics and rights of cybersecurity. Simon will be exploring how major
contemporary debates regarding digital governance have been shaped by cultural texts, in particular feature films, documentaries and novels.

Convenor: Seamus Simpson (Professor of Media Policy, University of Salford,


17:00 – 19:00 Practice-as-Research Centre of Excellence launch event. Rehearsal Room 2 (7th floor) New Adelphi

Dr Alison Matthews and Dr Joanne Scott (University of Salford)

We anticipate that this launch event will be a helpful networking and learning opportunity for any researcher with an interest in practice-based methodologies. This new interdisciplinary centre will work with and across the research groups in the School of Arts and Media, with the aim of supporting, prompting and making visible Practice as Research activity, both within the school and beyond.  The centre also has a remit to be at the forefront of current conversations in the wider field of practice-as-research, both strategically and methodologically, and to make this information accessible to university colleagues and postgraduate students. We aim to champion and celebrate research-through-practice in its concomitant variety of formats and disciplines, through events such as seminars, workshops and publications. We are particularly interested in developing and supporting interdisciplinary and collaborative ways of working. Finally, the Centre endeavours to increase the visibility of existing and developing PaR enquiries in the School, and increase our knowledge (in the School of Arts and Media and beyond) of differing definitions of PaR and how it is documented, disseminated and assessed.

This interdisciplinary centre will work with and across research groups within the school to fulfil its aims. Planned activities for the centre include:

• Supporting and nurturing early-career and PG researchers in the development of PaR projects
• Advocating for the validity of these forms of research by seeking out models of good and successfully evaluated practice from other national and international institutions


Dr Alison E Matthews: 0161 295 6866 
Dr Joanne Scott: 0161 295 5388

15th and 16th November 2016, MediaCityUK

Salford International Media Festival / Challenging Media Landscapes Conference: Access, Participation and the Mediatised World

In a world replete with media networks, content and services delivered through traditional and newer wired and wireless environments, the opportunities for access to, and participation in, media are seemingly proliferative. The accessible and inclusive nature of media is often emphasised and celebrated strongly by commercial players and governmental interests, as well as a considerable number of academic voices. Others, hailing from academia and civil society quarters, whilst recognising the accessibility and participative affordances of media environments, also point to serious deficiencies.

There will be a drinks reception following the first day of the conference on Monday evening.

Keynote speakers

• Professor Christian Fuchs
• Professor William Uricchio

30th November 2016

There are three events this afternoon and evening:

14:00 – 16:0 Visual Text exhibition and talk at the Portico Library, 57 Mosley St. Manchester (exact timings tbc)

Tim Isherwood (University of Salford), joined by members of the School's Visual Text Forum, will present the work he has completed during his Residency in 2016.

15:30 - 16:30 Culture, Communication and Media Research Seminar: Transmedia Archaeologies in Latin America: "The clue to reconciliation in our country"
Matt Freeman (Bath Spa University)

Dr Matthew Freeman is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Bath Spa University, and Director of its Media Convergence Research Centre. He is the author of Historicising Transmedia Storytelling: Early Twentieth-Century Transmedia Story Worlds (Routledge, 2016), the author of Industrial Approaches to Media: A Methodological Gateway to Industry Studies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and the co-author of Transmedia Archaeology: Storytelling in the Borderlines of Science Fiction, Comics and Pulp Magazines (Palgrave Pivot, 2014). His research examines cultures of production across the borders of media and history, and he has published in journals including The International Journal of Cultural Studies, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, and International Journal of Communication.

17:30 – 19:00 Practice as research seminar New Adelphi 6.39

Following the launch event for the Practice-as-Research Centre of Excellence, Dr Ali Matthews and Dr Jo Scott (University of Salford) will offer a PGR-focused seminar aiming to introduce the mission of the PAR Centre of Excellence, outline some examples of PAR projects and methodologies, and invite students to consider how they'd like to be involved in Centre proceedings going forward.

7th December 2016, Crescent House meeting room 3 (ground floor)

13:30 - 16:30 English Research Group staff seminar

Dr Akis Kechagias: 'Syntax, Perception and Information Structure'

Dr Mark Smith: ‘GROUP HUG EVERYONE: Performing digital community around ForcedEntertainment’s livestreams’

Dr Pal Vik: 'Impact and the REF'

Convenor: Dr Judy Kendall,

14th December 2016, 6.39 New Adelphi

15:00 – 16:30.30 External speaker: Dr Helen Pleasance (York St John University) with Dr Ursula Hurley (University of Salford)

“But what does that mean in practice? Creative nonfiction and/as methodology.”

Creative memoir, autobiography, biography and historical fictions have all been used to illuminate, subvert and open up dialogue with other, more conventional knowledge systems. But there is still an uneasy relationship between the two terms: creative and methodology. The term methodology assumes that the researcher is on a forward journey to produce quantifiable 'results' or 'findings' of some kind. The term creative, conversely, suggests no such single direction or quantifiable end-result. What, then, does the one term do to the other? And why is there an increasing turn to creative methodologies within disciplines as diverse as poststructuralism, feminism, radical history, cultural studies, fictocriticism, and thing theory? In this hybrid paper we will explore these issues through our own creative/critical practices and reflections upon that practice.

This paper will be followed by end-of-year drinks.

Graduate Week 23rd - 27th January 2017 room 2.36 MediaCityUK 

This is a full week of skills development and research presentations, including student-led symposia across a range of critical and creative concerns. The full programme will be published separately but highlights include:

23 January 2017 MediaCityUK

11:00 - 12:30 'Building Your Academic Career' with Professor Seamus Simpson

25 January 2017 MediaCityUK

10:00 – 16:00 'Horror' symposium led by PGR student Stella Gaynor

Confirmed papers include:

  • “Archetypes of the Unconscious: The Uncanny and the Abject in Kubrick’s The Shining” Dan Hey, University of Salford
  • “'Master, save thyself.' Gothic Contagion: Redressing the Gothic in contemporary apocalyptic television drama, Fear The Walking Dead.” Stella Gaynor, University of Salford
  • “Their Lives in Their Handhelds: The Aesthetics of Terror in Survival Horror Gaming.” Shellie McMurdo
  • “The pre-history of Survival horror: tracing pre-Resident Evil trends and historical cycles in the use of elements of horror in games.” Martin Smith
  • “Spectatorship and Horror: The Connective Tissue of American Horror Story.” Charlotte Baker

27 January 2017 MediaCityUK

11:00 – 17:00 ‘Poetry and Film’ symposium hosted by the Northwest Poetry and Poetics Network.  

Talks and screenings from PGR students and leading practitioners. Confirmed speakers
Sarah Tremlett
Tom Jenks
Helen Mort
Michael Symmons -Roberts (with Martin Kratz)
Convenor: Dr Judy Kendall,