Research News

Grant Scott’s Autumn papers

Grant Scott from photography will present two papers in the upcoming Autumn term.
The first is entitled ‘AI’s impact upon professional photography is a fluid conversation not a final death sentence…’, and will be presented at the Royal Photographic Society: Photography and AI two-day conference, 9-10 October 2023.
The second, entitled ‘Creative Camera magazine as a platform for South African Photographers documenting Apartheid in the early 1960s’, will be presented at the Photo-magazines across the British Empire & Commonwealth one-day workshop at Cardiff University on 22 Sept 2023.

PhD Student Simon McFadden wins award at Poster Exhibition

School of Arts doctoral student Simon McFadden, studying under the supervision of Lindsay Steenberg, has won an overall prize at the Graduate College Annual Research Student Exhibition in April 2023 for his research on serial murder tourism. His poster gave an overview of his analysis on dark fandoms and the information-seeking activity of those fans. He is now undertaking fieldwork researching walking tours and museum exhibits in London and Los Angeles.

Maya Nedyalkova: Conference presentation

On 19 May, Maya presented a paper entitled “Breaking with the Canon – Films in Bulgaria through the Early Memories and Experiences of Three Generations of Viewers” at the biannual hybrid Studies in Eastern European Cinema workshop hosted by the University of Central Lancaster.

Prof. Alexandra Wilson to chair American Musicological Society award committee

This summer, Professor Alexandra Wilson is to chair the award committee for the American Musicological Society’s H. Robert Cohen / RIPM Award, for outstanding work based on the musical press. Being invited to serve in this capacity is an indication of Wilson’s reputation as a leading scholar in music reception studies and the esteem in which her work is held internationally. Read more on the AMS’s committees at

Warren Buckland: The Wes Anderson recipe

Warren Buckland wrote a short piece for “The Conversation” called “The Wes Anderson recipe,” offering advice (to a general audience) on how to recreate the director’s aesthetic in Instagram posts and TikTok videos. He identifies eight ‘ingredients’ (cinematic techniques) in the films of Wes Anderson, and argues that Anderson’s distinctive style only emerges from a specific combination of these techniques: a head-on camera angle plus tableau shot plus symmetrical (centred) framing etc. Read an article on Warren’s contribution at h#ps://

Elena Papassissa: Public talk at the ATypI conference

Dr Elena Papassissa gave a presentation on ‘Experiments on reforming the printed letters of the Bolorgir style’ at the sixty-sixth annual conference organised by ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale), an international organisation dedicated to typography and typeface design. The ATypI conference was held at the Sorbonne University in Paris 9-14 May 2023. It was attended by international type-design companies and type designers, educators, researchers and MA students. Elena’s proposal was selected from the 300+ submissions ATypI received from all over the world.


Barbara Eichner: Monastic music and architecture in the Counter-Reformation

Within the space of 5 days, Barbara will present two papers – or a similar paper in German and in English – about the mutual influence of the polyphonic music and church architecture which were created South-German monasteries and nunneries around 1600. She interprets them as part of the Counter-Reformation efforts to reach out to the faithful and the not-so-faithful through art, culture, and ritual. The first presentation will be on Thursday, 1 June, in Augsburg / Germany, where she has been invited by the Society for Swabian Church Music. The second presentation will take place in Merton College, Oxford, on Monday 4 June at 4.30pm, as part of the “Sounds of the Early Modern World” seminar series. For more information about the latter event, see here.

Prof Alexandra Wilson at the Houses of Parliament

Professor Alexandra Wilson  was invited to the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 23 May to address the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for opera, chaired by Sir Bob Neill. Attendees included the Minister of State for Digital and Culture (Caroline Dinenage), MPs, life peers and hereditary peers, with representation from the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Parliamentarians from all parties are extremely concerned about recent cuts to opera funding by Arts Council England, which have already led to the cancellation of the Glyndebourne Tour and a reduction in touring by Welsh National Opera, and about the edict that English National Opera must relocate outside London and drastically reinvent its operations on a reduced budget. Professor Wilson drew upon her research, funded by a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, to provide historical context about the funding of opera in Britain over the last century and about opera’s strong historic appeal to audiences of all classes. Members of the APPG will draw upon Professor Wilson’s research countering unhelpful stereotypes about opera’s supposed “elitism” as part of their efforts to  make the case for the continued funding of the UK’s leading operatic institutions.

Alessandra Palidda: Invited to international conferences in Italy and Switzerland

Alessandra has been invited and fully sponsored by the Fondazione Rossini (Pesaro, Italy) and at the Hochschule der Künste (Bern, Switzerland) to present at their upcoming conferences in June and July 2023. She will discuss issues of musical and operatic production, institutions, socio-political topicality and propaganda in revolutionary and Napoleonic Milan.


Alessandra Palidda: International workshop at KCL

Together with academics from the UK, the US and Italy, Alessandra has been invited to take part in a workshop at King’s College London, where she could discuss her ongoing work on operetta, film and the press in early-twentieth-century Italy. The papers discussed at the workshop will feed into a themed issue of the Cambridge Opera Journal (exp. Spring 2024).

Antonia Mackay: Oxford University Funding for Research-related Play

Antonia has recently received funding from Oxford University’s Sheila Kitzinger Programme for the creation, production and curation of a play inspired by her research into the effects of Covid on maternity services. The play will be written with support from Human Story Theatre’s Artistic Director and will work with Oxford Brookes’ Drama and Acting Department and the School of Midwifery in its creation and production. The play will run over two nights at the North Wall Theatre and will feature a Q&A panel of experts on the second night. For more information, follow the link here.

Daniela Treveri Gennari: Conference presentation in Glasgow

Daniela Treveri Gennari has been invited to present at the “Living well in a post-digital society: economic, social and cultural challenges” event at the University of Glasgow on the 18th of May 2023. Her presentation’s title is “Connecting Audiences through the Cinema Histories platform”.

Aaron Williamson: DAG – Bite the Hand the Feeds

Drawing on the theme of ‘working class’, on 21-23 April 2023 the Eleusis Film Festival (Greece) exhibited a one-hour retrospective of the short films that Aaron made with Katherine Araniello (2006 – 19) as the ‘Disabled Avant-Garde’. For the event’s full description and programme, read here.

Aaron Williamson: Interview at De Montfort University

On 27 March 2023, Aaron has been interviewed by by Dr. Harriet Curtis, Senior Lecturer in Drama and Deputy Programme Leader for the MA Performance Practices at De Montfort University, (Leicester), and Editor of Studies in Theatre and Performance. The interview, part of Harriet Curtis, Alissa Clarke, Elinor Parsons and Funmi Adewole’s ‘Creatively Innovating the Archive’ research project, was entitled ‘In Conversation with Aaron Williamson’, and will be puslished online. For more details on the original event, read here.


Aaron Williamson: Performance and exhibition in London and Derby

Aaron made a performance entitled ‘Smile’ for ‘glimpse2’, an event organised by Royal College of Art students as a benefit for Turkey/Syria earthquake humanitarian relief efforts. The event was staged at the Ivy House in Nunhead, London, on 20th April 2023; for further detail, see h#ps://

He also gave a presentation entitled ‘Punk Audiences: Derby the Punk Jubilee City 1976 – 1980’, which described the plans for an upcoming archival exhibition, (September 2023) that he is curating for Derby QUAD Gallery. The exhibition focuses on the memorabilia and experiences of Derby’s punk audience between 1976 and 1980, and draws on his own archive as well as a public call-ou

Barbara Eichner: “The harem in Franconia: new perspectives on Lady Craven’s aristocratic theatricals”

Barbara used the Easter break to give a paper for the Historical Society of Middle Franconia (est. 1830), which offered new perspectives on the theatricals organised at the court of the last Margrave of Ansbach-Bayreuth in the 1780s. The main playwright and theatre manager was Lady Elizabeth Craven, the (putative) mistress of the Margrave, who was notorious throughout Europe for her lifestyle and her journey to the Crimea and Constantinople. Barbara argued that her theatricals were not just an outlet for a self-centred and vain woman (she has been constantly reviled in local history), but that they are part of a larger European tradition of aristocratic amateur theatre, and that they address hot topics of the era, such as orientalism and revolutionary ideas. Thanks to a detailed preliminary report in the local newspaper, the presentation was very well attended (about 80 to 100 listeners). For more detail, visit

Warren Buckland: new monograph on the digital humanities

Warren Buckland has just submitted his latest monograph Who Wrote Citizen Kane? A Statistical Analysis of Disputed Co-Authorship to Springer, who will publish it later this year. This monograph (partly funded by a Research Excellence Award from Oxford Brookes in 2020) offers a solution to the long-running dispute over the contributions of Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz to the screenplay of Citizen Kane (1941), one of the most famous films in cinema history. The monograph subjects the language of the screenplay to close scrutiny using statistical methods, and demonstrates the vital importance of statistics to solving previously intractable problems in the arts and humanities. It will be published in the Springer book series ‘Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences’. For more information on the series, follow

Ray Lee: ‘Congregation’ in Belfast

Ray Lee is presenting his outdoor performance ‘Congregation’, which uses interactive sonic spheres, for a festival of ‘ambulatory arts’ in Belfast for two days over the weekend of the 6th May. See the performance in context here.

Miriam Johnson: Article to be published in Publishing Research Quarterly

Miriam’s article, ‘Navigating the Cultural Landscape through Publishing Brands: A Theoretical, Gendered Perspective’, will be published in the next issue of Publishing Research Quarterly. You can read the abstract below:

In the consumer!s cultural landscape everything is gendered, including publishers. Some publishers lean into the gendered elements of their brand personality and make active choices to design their brand, and the books they publish, to engage with gendering elements of design, fonts, colours, and text. The consumer can utilise publishers as landmarks to understand which spaces are safe for them to perform their chosen self- and projected-identities, and form relationships based on these considerations. Ultimately, the consumer enacts a gendered performance of self in their cultural landscape and in doing so, they can choose to interact with publishers that embody different gendered elements within a complex discourse of consumerism, societal norms and expectations, and perceptions.

Paul Whitty: CD Release

Paul Whitty’s anthology of experimental compositions ‘The Morning’ will be released by Metier on May12th. The anthology features work from his AHRC funded project ‘Vauxhall Pleasure’: a performance recorded at the Science Museum in collaboration with their public engagement programme; and an audiograft commission for the ensemble Icebreaker. As with Paul’s previous releases on Metier the recordings will be available on streaming platforms and as a CD. For more information, follow

Alexandra Wilson: article on the BBC and classical music for The Critic

Professor Alexandra Wilson had an article (entitled ‘Excellence for Everyone‘) published in The Critic online that drew upon her historical research in order to critique the BBC’s proposal to disband the BBC Singers. The article was widely shared and liked, including by many professional musicians and by politicians from both left and right. The BBC Singers have since been given a temporary reprieve.

Alessandra Palidda: Exhibition and public lectures at the Conservatoire of Milan

Dr Alessandra Palidda has been invited to curate an exhibition to be held in the Conservatoire “G.Verdi” of Milan from 24 March to 24 July 2023 on the subject of the musical repertoires and practices of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy (1805-1814). As well as writing the texts for the exhibition’s catalogue, Alessandra has also given 2 3-hour lectures open to the students and staff of the institutions as well as to the general public.

Alessandra Palidda: Opera in Transnational Contexts

Dr Alessandra Palidda has been invited to present at the study day on Opera in Transnational Contexts, held by the Cardiff Interdisciplinary Research in Opera and Drama (CIRO) research group at Cardiff University, School of Music, on 24 March 2023. Her paper connected operetta, popular culture and print market in the transnational experience of the Casa musicale Sonzogno (1874-1915).

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