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Faculty of Arts at Home

Faculty of Arts at Home is a series of videos that will be produced by the faculty during lockdown and beyond. It showcases the diversity of our research in relation to a series of overarching themes and will involve colleagues from across the Faculty.

Staying in: the Faculty of Arts at home

The history of solitude in the home

Dr. Naomi Pullin from the (History Department) discusses what we might learn from the history of domestic solitude in the early modern home in relation to our current lockdown situation. The story that Naomi tells here, based on the correspondence of Lady Anne Dormer (1648–1695), is one of the importance of keeping in touch with those we love.

Television and the domestic arts

Professor Rachel Moseley (Film and Television Studies/Centre for Television History) explores the role that television has played in informing, educating and entertaining us in relation to cooking, sewing, home decoration, etc. Rachel’s film also thinks about the ways that the lines between public and private space have been blurred during the COVID-19 crisis and how to make sense of this.

At home with the NHS

In this episode, Professor Roberta Bivins (History/Centre for the History of Medicine) explores how the NHS has always encouraged us to take action to protect our own health, and asks important questions about what kind of NHS we want in the future. Visit the website of the People's History of the NHS to learn more about the project.

Victorian Theatre at Home

Associate Professor Michael Meeuwis (English and Comparative Literary Studies) explores the history of Victorian theatre and, particularly, the Victorians’ love for amateur theatricals at home. Michael makes the link between these performances and how we’re keeping ourselves entertained during lockdown.

Re-thinking the creative industries post-Covid-19

Undigital - Content Creators after Corona

Today, explore with Dr Chris Bilton (Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies) a view of the ‘undigital’ creative economy and the impact that COVID-19 has had on it. Chris asks us to consider what performances, publications, and works of art and culture we value, and encourages us to try to support artists and creators directly.

Consuming culture under/after lockdown

Dr David Wright (Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies) examines the social divisions in the consumption of culture at home, and looks at the extent to which the digital cultural offerings of lockdown are available to all. David also asks what the risks are of privately owned platforms controlling our access to culture.

Reimagining Theatre after Covid Triple Threat

In this film, Dr Maria Barrett (Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies) examines this time of crisis for UK theatres as an opportunity for government, policymakers, theatre management teams and activists to reenvisage the sector and reach out to those not normally reached by, or represented in, our theatres.

Free Freelancers

Dr Heidi Ashton (Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies) discusses how freelance workers in the creative sector are ‘Free Freelancers’ in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Heidi details the precarity of this sector, the ways that freelance workers have fallen through the gaps of government safety nets, and the difficulties faced in monetising freelance work on digital platforms.

Health, Wellbeing and the Arts

Raising awareness of homelessness with a boardgame

Here we hear from Professor Nadine Holdsworth (Theatre and Performance Studies) about her work on the ‘Homeless Monopoly’ project, a game which has been developed by Nadine, Jackie Calderwood and partners to facilitate better understanding of homelessness (and its causes) in young people. This film gives us insight into what can be achieved through partnership working (both with the charities that support the homeless, and with the homeless citizens of Coventry themselves).

Beckett and the Age of Covid

In this film, Dr Elizabeth Barry (English and Comparative Literary Studies) presents her fascinating research on the representation of aging in the work of Samuel Beckett. Liz is interested in how Beckett’s work can be understood in relation to the experience of aging in lockdown and beyond, and how the current pandemic amplifies generational tensions.

Only the Lonely

Dr Anna Harpin (Theatre and Performance Studies) expands on the nature and politics of loneliness in her film ‘Only the Lonely’. This brilliant, poignant meditation on the ‘age of loneliness’ makes some radical proposals about altering our thinking about loneliness as a problem of the individual to something we can collectively change as a society.

Queer Immigrants of Colour, Coventry 1970 to Now

Hear about the research journey of Dr Somak Biswas (Institute for Advanced Studies, Global History and Cultures) and Dr Sara Bamdad (Sociology, now at the University of Kent) on their fascinating project, ‘Queer Immigrants of Colour, Coventry 1970 to Now’. As well as discussing some of their findings, they talk about the challenges of doing this research in lockdown.

Environmental Issues

Visualising Climate Change

Dr Olga Smith (Institute for Advanced Studies, History of Art) explores the effect of images on our perception of global climate change and how this might impact upon public awareness of these issues, as well as on the formation of environmental policy. Her broader research looks at the relationship between humans and nature in contemporary landscape art.

Paragraphs on Forest Bathing

Hear from Dr Jonathan Skinner (English and Comparative Literary Studies) about his critical and creative work in the field of ecopoetics. Jonathan illuminates for us the importance of the writing and study of poetry in environmental contexts, and highlights the important work that poetry can do in times of environmental crisis. He reads here his poem ‘Paragraphs on Forest Bathing’, written for the HS2 protest encampment at Cubbington Woods, Warwickshire.

Environmental Media Management


Hear from Dr Pietari Kaapa (Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies) about his work on the relationship between media and climate change. Pietari asks us to think here about the environmental impact of the production of our media and reports on the work of the Global Green Media Production Network.

The "Year of Misery": Ecological grief in the Safaitic inscriptions of Ancient Northern Arabia

Hear from Dr Eris Williams Reed (Classics and Ancient History) about her work on the history of the Roman Near East and ancient communities’ interaction with the environment. Eris looks for expressions of environmental loss and ecological grief in the Safaitic inscriptions of Northern Arabia and uncovers the precarious, volatile and fragile relationship that some people in the ancient world had with their environment.

Ethics, Politics and Social Justice

The Author Dies Hard

Explore with Professor Silvija Jestrovic (Theatre and Performance Studies) some ideas from her recent work about the presence and absence of the author, in ‘The Author Dies Hard’. Siilvija challenges us to think about the questions ‘Who is the author?’ and ‘Where is the author?’. Her wider work looks at how the author is constructed through cultural and political imaginaries and erasures, intertextual and intertheatrical references, re-performances and self-referentiality, and what the politics and ethics of these constructions are.

Feminist Dissent: Struggle not Submission

Explore with Dr Rashmi Varma (English and Comparative Literary Studies) the topic of the latest issue of the journal Feminist Dissent which she co-edits, which focuses on secular states and fundamentalist politics (https://feministdissent.org). Rashmi’s passionate film recalls the struggles of women migrant workers in India during the 2020 lockdowns, as well as the protests of the women of Shaheen Bagh in 2019. She also reads her translation of Aamir Aziz’s poetic tribute to these women, ‘The Girls of Jamia/Jamia ki Ladkiyan’.

Ethical Praxis and the Moving Image

Explore with Dr Michele Aaron (Film and Television Studies) the power of film to affect and effect personal, social and political change. She discusses her projects, including the Screening Rights Film Festival (https://screeningrights.com) and Life:Moving (https://lifemoving.org), which looks at how film making might develop authentic and ethical representations of the experience of dying, and argues that film can be critical in feeling for, and feeling with, the suffering of others.

Literature, Language and Translation

Literary Translation: A Guide for the Perplexed, Curious and Uninitiated

In this film, Dr Chantal Wright (Warwick Writing Programme) is an important advocate for translation as a profession and a practice, and she draws our attention here to the creative processes of literary translation. She highlights, for example, the significance of the #namethetranslator​ hashtag, and the campaign to properly credit translators for their work. Her film urges us, more broadly, to appreciate the fact that translated works are the result of the creative endeavours of two people.

Caribbean Artivism: Exploring the connections between environmental and racial justice

Dr Fabienne Viala (Director of the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies) explains the concept of ‘artivism’ to us, in its Caribbean context, as a fusion of art forms and practices through which artists confront and engage with a range of publics. Fabienne argues that artivism activates the empathetic imagination, and looks at how environmental and racial justice are brought into dialogue through her work with Caribbean artivists.

Building back Empathy: Research and Engagement during Lockdown

Dr James Hodkinson (German Studies, School of Modern Languages and Cultures) delivers a conversation with one of his key collaborators, the artist Mohammed Ali MBE (https://www.soulcityarts.com), explores the relationship between his research into Islam in Germany in the 19th Century and his public engagement projects including the Art of Empathy (2019) and Congregate (2020-), a collaborative livestream of visual art, film, music and conversation. James explores the concepts of kinship and empathy, and the power of art to allow us to view the world from alternate cultural perspectives.

Invention

Digitalisation and Cinema Projection in the UK

Tying in with the launch of the Resonate Festival, the University of Warwick’s year-long programme of events for City of Culture, and its focus on the idea of Invention throughout the month of May, Dr Richard Wallace (Film and Television Studies) brings us the film ‘Digitalisation and Cinema Projection in the UK’. Rick’s film explores his work on the AHRC funded ‘Projection Project’ and the history of film projection practices, reaching from the earliest days of cinema to the current digital revolution in film exhibition.

Sanctuary

Chilean Exiles in the UK: Capturing Historical Experiences of Sanctuary

Tying in with the Resonate Festival, the University of Warwick’s year-long programme of events for City of Culture, and its focus on Sanctuary throughout the month of June, Professor Alison Ribeiro de Menezes (Hispanic Studies, School of Modern Languages and Cultures) brings us the film ‘Chilean Exiles in the UK: Capturing Historical Experiences of Sanctuary’. Alison’s film explores her work on the history of Chilean exiles who were brought over to the UK through assistance from World University Service. Her research has traced the impact of the grants which helped 900+ Chilean scholars escape the brutal regime of Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s. We also hear here from one of these scholars, Professor Eleuterio Toro, about his experiences of the scheme and its impact on his life and work.

Community

Engaging with Coventry's TV Past

Our latest Faculty of Arts at Home film ties in with the Resonate Festival, the University of Warwick’s year-long programme of events for City of Culture, and its focus on Community throughout the month of July. Kat Pearson (PhD Student in Film and Television Studies) introduces her research into UK Cities of Culture and television, and the role that the television archive plays in placemaking. Kat discusses how she worked with the Media Archive for Central England’s collection of historic television to curate screenings of footage of Foleshill for community members, and to produce a film reel about Coventry’s architecture and public art for the Metropolis exhibition which opened in the city this month. She also discusses her role in the production of BBC4’s documentary ‘Coventry Cathedral: Building for New Britain’.