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Research events archive

The Department of Media Arts runs a number of research seminars and related activities throughout the year. Take a look at the research seminars we've held in the past.


ADAPT Live at the Being Human Festival

Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th November 2017

National Science and Media Museum, Bradford

OB MonitorsPioneering ex-BBC television crews responsible for bringing colour into our homes in the late 1960s will bring TV history to life in the foyer of the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford later this month (November 23-24).

ADAPT LIVE, part of the Being Human festival, will reunite veteran TV crews to demonstrate the skills that brought us some of Britain’s earliest colour TV shows.

The veteran crews and kit were reunited and filmed for ADAPT ( www.adaptTVhistory.org.uk), a research project funded by the European Research Council and based at Royal Holloway, University of London. The project aims to research and document the history of British broadcast television technology between 1960 and the near-present.

During ADAPT LIVE, participants – all of them former television producers and technicians who worked on BBC outside broadcasts during the 1960s and 1970s – will share stories, host live demonstrations and screen footage to share how television used to be made.

PYE Camera

The event will include a rare opportunity to see working demonstrations of historic television camera, including the iconic Pye PC80 and EMI 2001, which were among the earliest colour cameras regularly used in the UK.

The exhibition includes:

  • Live outside broadcast with original kit from late 1960s/early 1970s.
  • ADAPT footage screening and live Q&A with experienced directors, cameramen, sound and lighting engineers.
  • Memory Booth – Your opportunity to tell us about your memories of 1970s TV and your thoughts about the ADAPT project.

The exhibition is FREE but booking is required for the Q&A via the Being Human Website https://beinghumanfestival.org/event/adapt-live-2/

To find out more about the ADAPT project visit: www.adaptTVhistory.org.uk

For further information about ADAPT Live, please contact Producer Amanda Murphy Amanda.murphy@rhul.ac.uk or Research Assistant Stephanie Janes Stephanie.Janes@rhul.ac.uk



Public Lecture / All Welcome

Anna Munster (University of New South Wales)


Royal Holloway University of London

11 Bedford Square, WC1B 3RA

Room: BEDSQ-1-01

Date: Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Time: 17:00-19:00

 ‘DeepAesthetics’ explores a new kind of formalism accompanying the artificial intelligence (AI) that has emerged in the wake of deep neural networking.  The massive deployment of images as, for example, training datasets, as attribute sources and as discriminators to solve ‘problems’ of classification and recognition has resulted in a shift in where and how ‘value’ and ‘judgement’ are aesthetically located and construed. ‘Aestheticians’ and an ‘autopoeitic’ visual aesthetics are now issuing forth from the research and development arms of upcoming corporate players in the AI domain such as NVidia.

 ‘DeepAesthetics’, then, names this emerging machinic assemblage of aesthetics, computation and (graphics) market share. Such an assemblage must be understood transversally as the relationality of technical, political and cultural claims to the production of automated forms of judgement and value. Here I want to ask: how have formalist aesthetic paradigms been subsumed and reconfigured by manufacturers of, for example, GPUs such as Nividia, and what are the consequences of this for our contemporary aesthesia? But the paper will also consider what other aesthetic practices – both immanent and ‘allopoeitic’ – might be possible in this context; ones that allow AIs themselves to become experimental. Here a minor ‘deep aesthetics’ operates deliberately out of the acknowledgement – widespread within deep neural network research – that we, humans, just do not know what is going on in the black box of deep neural networking. We might speculatively propose that the largely impenetrable operativity of such vast neural networking could become the site of a radical unknowability and affectivity for machine aesthetics.   


Anna Munster is Professor in Art and Design, University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia. Her book, An Aesthesia of Networks (MIT Press, 2013) explores expressions of networks beyond the ‘link-node’ image and new understandings of experience that account for relationality in contemporary assemblages of human and nonhuman technics. She is also the author of Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aesthetics (2006), which won a ‘highly commended’ in the 2008 Prix Ars Electronica Media Research category.  She is a founding member of the online peer-reviewed journal The Fibreculture Journal and has published with journals such as Inflexions, CTheoryCulture Machine and Theory, Culture and Society. She is a co-editor of the two-volume anthology Immediations, (with Erin Manning and Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, OHP forthcoming 2017) that explores novel speculative and radical empiricist concepts of the event. Munster is also a practicing media artist who regularly collaborates with Michele Barker. Their media environments explore animal, human and more-than-human movement and perception with a newly commissioned work, pull in the Experimenta Triennale of Media Arts ( http://experimenta.org/experimenta-make-sense/)

 Please contact Olga Goriunova at < o.goriunova@rhul.ac.uk> if you have any queries.


Friday, 16th June 2017

Conference Exoticism in Contemporary Transnational Cinema: Music and Spectacle

Humanities and Arts Research Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London 

This interdisciplinary conference explores exoticism, understood as a highly contested discourse on cultural difference as well as an alluring form of alterity that promotes a sense of cosmopolitan connectivity. Presentations and discussions will revolve around the question how the collapsed distances of globalisation and the transnational flows of media and people have transformed exoticism, which is no longer exclusively the projection of Orientalist fantasies of the Other from one centre, the West, but which emanates from multiple localities and is multi-directional in perspective.

Bringing together researchers with special interest and expertise in contemporary transnational and world cinema, film music and ethnomusicologists, this conference examines how contemporary transnational cinemas imagine the exotic, paying particular attention to the role of sound, music and spectacle.

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Rachel Dwyer, SOAS
  • Professor Song Hwee Lim, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Dr Laudan Nooshin, City, University of London 

For the final conference programme and registration:  https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/harc/fellowshipsprojects/exoticism-in-contemporary-cinema-and-culture.aspx

Registration £30 and student concessions £20, closes on 9th June. exoticism_poster




You are kindly invited to a talk by Professor Murray Pomerance  (Ryerson University, Toronto) entitled ‘Antonioni Reporting’ at Royal Holloway on Monday, 27 October at 6pm (Windsor Seminar Room 1-02). There will be a reception afterwards.  

The event is hosted by the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway.
Murray Pomerance is a prolific film scholar who has written extensively on film, the cinematic experience and performance. His publications include  The Eyes Have It: Cinema and the Reality Effect (2013), Alfred Hitchcock’s America (2013), Michelangelo Red, Antonioni Blue: Eight Reflections on Cinema (2011), The Horse Who Drank the Sky: Film Experience Beyond Narrative and Theory  (2008) and several more monographs, numerous edited and co-edited collections and fiction.

In his talk ‘Antonioni Reporting’, Murray Pomerance will consider modes of approach to visual art in terms of "enchanting" and "reportorial" creative and receptive posture in relation to artists such as Da Vinci, Sheeler, Estes, and O. W. Link. This is followed by an intensive examination of Michelanglo Antonioni's techniques of using, and playing with, reportorial configurations in La Notte, The Passenger, Blow-Up, Identification of a Woman, Eros, Beyond the Clouds, and other films. , and other films.   Contact daniela.berghahn@rhul.ac.uk for any queries. 

London Screenwriting Research Seminar Professor Ian Christie, Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History, Birkbeck College, University of London, will be speaking on ‘Emeric Pressburger and the Shape of Stories'


Professor Christie has written and edited books on early film, Powell and Pressburger, Russian cinema, Scorsese and Gilliam, has worked on numerous exhibitions and contributes  regularly to radio and television programmes on cinema.He is currently a vice-president of Europa Cinemas and member of its Experts Committee and was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1994.  For full details of his distinguished career  http://www.ianchristie.org/aboutme.html.  For more details email Adam Ganz

Past Events have included:

The department also hosts a series of lunchtime and evening seminars as well as a series of seminars related to ADAPT. We also co-host the  London Screenwriting Seminar and the Modernism and Film Seminar.ssburger and the Shape of Stories


Term 1

Wednesday 16 October 5pm, Windsor Building Room 1-04

Vanessa Jackson (Birmingham City University/ Royal Holloway)

Vanessa presented her work as curator of the www.pebblemill.org site as part of the ADAPT Seminar Series.

Wednesday 13 November 5pm, Windsor Building Room 1-05

Dr Graham Smith (Department of History, Royal Holloway).

As part of the ADAPT Seminar Series, Dr Smith discussed his current work on reconstructions of past surgical techniques.

Wednesday 20 November 1pm, Windsor Building Room 1-04

Rhys Davies (Media Arts, Royal Holloway).

'Dziga Vertov and the Laboratory of Hearing'.

Wednesday 20 November, 5pm Windsor Building Room 1-05

Howard Berry (University of Hertfordshire).

ADAPT Project seminar on the Elstree Project.


Term 1

Wednesday 14 November 2012 1-2pm, Windsor Building 003

Julia Vassilieva (Monash University Melbourne).

"Everybody dies but me": Female authorship, youth culture and marginality in the New Russian Cinema’.

Friday 23 November and Saturday 24 November 2012, Senate House, London

Organiser Mandy Merck (Royal Holloway).

'The British Monarchy on Screen' conference  (Screen Studies Group).

Wednesday 28 November 2012 5-6pm Media Arts Lecture Theatre 2

Professor Toby Miller (City University).

‘Greening the Media’.

Wednesday 5 December 2012 1-2pm, Windsor Building 003

Adam Ganz (Royal Holloway).

The Wire and Greek Mythology’.

Term 2

Thursday 7 February 2013 6pm, Room 264 Senate House

Charles Barr (St Mary's University).

'Hitchcock and his Writers'  (London Screenwriting Research Seminar).

Wednesday 27 February 2013 1-2pm Windsor Building 004

Dr James Walters (University of Birmingham).

‘Finding Words for Moves: Dance and Film’.

Wednesday 13 March 5-6pm ALT2

Professor Stella Bruzzi, University of Warwick.

‘APPROXIMATION: Documentary, History and Staging Reality’.

Wednesday 20 March 1-2pm Windsor Building

Dr George Dawei Guo, Royal Holloway.

‘Chinese historical TV drama: a story of change’.

Thursday 21 March 6pm, STB3/6 (Stewart House)

Dr Eva Novrup Redvall (University of Copenhagen).

'Writing and Producing Television Drama in Denmark: The Writing of Borgen' (London Screenwriting Research Seminar).

Term 3

Thursday 13 June 5pm MBLT

Dr Rosalind Galt, University of Sussex.

'World Cinema and the Politics of the Pretty'.


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