On 4th and 5th May 2016, we held the annual Postgraduate Symposium for all PGR students in Theatre, Film and Television and Cultural Policy Research. This forum gave the PGR students from all three subjects the chance to share their research with students and staff across the School of Culture and Creative Arts. The research papers presented covered diverse and fresh topics, such as a playful investigation on anti-immersive independent videogames, dramaturgy and the female exilic consciousness, and the social influence of second screen policies. On the first day of the symposium a keynote talk was delivered by Dr Margrethe Bruun Vaage, whose work on television and emotional engagement has been seminal in the field of cognitive television theory. Her brilliant talk engaged not only with the audience’s favourite TV shows and characters, but moreover approached interdisciplinary questions of emotional engagement with fictional characters applicable to a broad variety of genres.
In addition, on the second day of the symposium we facilitated a roundtable discussion between academic experts Dr Melanie Selfe, Dr David Archibald, the PGR students and local artists and activists Ann McCluskey, Hugh Sillitoe, and Heather O’Donnell. Together with the audience, we discussed The Glasgow Effect, a local art project by Ellie Harrison that has been funded by Creative Scotland and has received much public attention. Artist Ellie Harrison has come under widespread criticism by news media after receiving ₤15,000 to fund The Glasgow Effect wherein she will not travel outside the Strathclyde region for a year as part of an ‘action research’ art project. While the issues the project raises address artists and academics alike, the open roundtable discussion sought to clarify different positions towards the project’s aesthetics, funding structure, audience reactions, and media presence.
The symposium was well attended by students, postdocs, and lecturers from all of the Subjects and we received very positive feedback on our organisation of the symposium by participants. This engaging and lively two-day event promoted synergy and creativity across disciplines within the School of Culture and Creative Arts, in particular between Theatre, Film and Television, and the Centre for Cultural Policy Research, and helped especially the first-year doctoral students to gain confidence in giving public presentations based on their own research. The panels linked presentations from different disciplines and as such students were exposed to new research methods, methodological approaches, and empirical data that might become crucial for their own work.
Written by Anika Marschall, PhD candidate in Theatre Studies