Postgraduate research students

Iwan Bala – Custodial Aesthetics
Director of Studies: Professor Lisa Lewis
Supervisors: Professor Mark Durden
Funder: University of South Wales

In 1999 I published a book called ‘Certain Welsh Artists; Custodial Aesthetics in Contemporary Welsh Art’ (Seren) in which I attempted to formulate a defining term for artists who were culturally, politically and historically aware of their Welsh identity, and who sought ways of expressingthis identity through their artworks. More than anything, it is issues of ‘Identity’ that gave me purpose in writing it, but twenty years later, it is still an unresolved issue that needs further exploration. What constitutes a ‘Welsh’ artistremains a perennial question. Which identity? Whose Identity? The aim of the research is to expand on the initial thesis of ‘Custodial Aesthetics’ and explore how and if it remains relevant twenty years on. The main question is; ‘Is Custodial Aesthetics relevant in Wales?’.


Gareth Bonello – Welsh and Khasi Cultural Dialogues: Identity in Melodies
Director of Studies: Professor Lisa Lewis
Supervisors: Professor Paul Carr, Dr Rhiannon Williams
Funder: Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and University of South Wales

This PhD project is located within the broader interdisciplinary project ‘Welsh and Khasi Cultural Dialogues’, funded by The Leverhulme Trust. This creative arts research project investigates the shared cultural history of the people of Wales and the Khasi people of Northeast India. It uses Practice as Research (PaR) to construct a ‘cultural dialogue’ between Welsh and Indian scholar-practitioners, one that investigates and responds to our historical relationship. As an experienced musician writing in both Welsh and English, Gareth is collaborating with Khasi artists to create new music that explores our shared history and the continuing influence of the relationship on contemporary culture in both societies. The aim of the project is to investigate how shared cultural histories have shaped identities in the modern world.


Faye Hannah – Talent Development in Welsh Screen Industries
Director of Studies: Professor Ruth McElroy
Supervisors: Dr Rebecca Williams, Michael Carklin
Funder: University of South Wales

Talent and talent development are terms which have become ubiquitous across creative industries. These terms apply to a very broad cross section of the workforce and have become increasingly visible to researchers and policy makers over the past twenty years. This research examines screen industries’ talent development and creative labour in the context of Wales as a small nation. It focuses on the impact of policy developments for creative industries as a priority sector and key contributor to economic growth. Fundamentally, it considers access to Wales’ creative screen industries as well as the role of higher education in developing creative screen talent in Wales. The Welsh experience is set in context through comparison with another small nation in Europe, namely Denmark. The study involves a mixed-methods approach, including qualitative interviews, analysis of existing policy and industry documentation and statistics as well as desk-based and ethnographic research to detail the triangulated perspectives of industry, education and workforce.


Luke Thomas – Towards a Ladder of Popular Music Support in Wales: the Musicians’ Experience
Director of Studies: Professor Paul Carr
Supervisors: Dr Rob Smith, Professor Ruth McElroy
Funder: University of South Wales

A report for the Welsh Music Foundation (Carr, 2011) identified that support for popular music from the Arts Council of Wales has room for improvement; and that participants in the Welsh industry give the impression they reach a plateau in their career, after which they either change career or move out of Wales. More recently, a music industry experts’ (e.g. John Rostron and Adam Walton) wishlist suggested that the prosperity of Welsh popular music requires improved engagement between Welsh Government and the popular music sector, and better support and training at grassroots level. Via a series of case studies, this research investigates how Welsh policymakers have valued popular music, and ultimately, how resulting initiatives have impacted the careers of popular musicians in Wales.


Richard Chua Formulating a conceptual framework for establishing an academic programme related to entertainment arts – A case study of the first entertainment arts diploma programme in Malaysia. (PhD by Portfolio)                                                                                                                                                                                              Director of Studies: Professor Paul Carr                                                                                                                            Supervisors: Inga Burows, Dr Hilary Ramsden 

Performing arts students find it difficult to enter employment into the entertainment scene in Malaysia, which led to the establishing of an academic programme called the diploma in entertainment arts in a private university in Malaysia in 2011. 5 years on, a critical evaluation and analysis of the programme is necessary, from which, in its 3 distinctive project components within the academic programme, a conceptual framework could be formulated to assist institutes of higher learning in their consideration of establishing an academic programme in/related to entertainment arts.


Jeanette D’Arcy                                                                                                                                                                 Supervisors: Dr Márta Minier, Dr Rachel Grainger


Chris Inglis – To What Extent Does The Genre Of Electro Swing Resurrect, Remix And Recontextualise The Past?                                                                                                                                                                                                      Director of Studies: Professor Paul Carr                                                                                                                                  Supervisor: Dr Rob Smith

My PhD is on the development of the electro swing genre, a fairly recent style within popular music, which has shown a considerable level of increasing popularity across Europe over the last 10 or so years. This style, as the name suggests, combines the two existing styles of swing (or jazz or any style considered ‘vintage’ in a much broader sense), and electronic dance music. As far as this subject is considered academically, little attention has been paid to its roots, evolution, or its place in global cultural landscapes. Therefore, I plan on investigating the genre through a number of different ways of critical engagement, and to present a comprehensive account of this new and significant area of popular music.


Sean Tuan JohnUglyism: Towards a new critical framework in the contemporary arts and dance.                      Director of Studies: Professor Lisa Lewis                                                                                                                        Supervisor: Dr Jodie Allinson

My practice as research PhD investigates the historical, philosophical and social contexts of dance and whether by constructing an 'uglyist’ framework we may be able to initiate new discourses on the form, which can question and illuminate both the aesthetical and conceptual frameworks within which dance operates. By the examination of theories of the grotesque, the transgressive and the carnivalesque and the re- alignment of these conceptual frameworks into the allied arts of cinema, visual arts and theatre, through this I have sought to re-evaluate contemporary dance’s relationship to these specific developments and question why the history and analysis of dance has consistently avoided and ignored the topic of the ugly. Though explicitly dance has been historically aligned with radical and excessive movements and developments in other associated art forms, the central problematic for dance remains and resides in the foregrounding of the body and, in particular, the dancer’s body which paradoxically seems to limit the possibilities to explore alternative discourses and practices that embrace or embed 'uglyist’ agendas.


Denis Cryer-Lennon Breathing through the text: Investigating the Role of Breathing Work in Anglophone Shakespearean Traditions of Acting, from the 1960’s onwards.                                                                                  Director of Studies: Michael Carklin                                                                                                                                  Supervisors: Dr Márta Minier, Dr Jesse Schwenk


Julie Benson – The Representation of the Female Action Hero in Multi-platform Narrative.
Supervisors: Dr Márta Minier, Dr Deirdre Russell, Dr Jesse Schwenk


Brian Morrell – How Music Creates Meaning. (PhD by Portfolio)
Director of Studies: Professor Paul Carr
Supervisor: Dr Rob Smith

My area of study concerns itself with ‘how music creates meaning’. Having written three books on film music, I am about to embark on a PhD to pursue this field of study by placing my research in more of an academic framework. The research in my existing books discuss harmony, composition, orchestration and production of music for film and television but the centre of gravity for the research is how music, and harmony in particular, helps and embellishes the narrative function of the film. I discuss how and why we have music in film, what the function of film music is and why it is so pivotal in making films communicate to audiences. The issue of how, why and under what circumstances music can be said to convey a sense of ‘meaning’ to listeners lays at the heart of my existing research and will form the basis of my PhD.


Leonie Sharrock
Supervisor: Professor Lisa Lewis


Abdel Wahab Himmat – Title: The Sudanese Communist Party.
Director of Studies: Dr Ruth McElroy
Supervisors: Emeritus Prof. Hamish Fyfe, Prof. Sharif Gemie


Sabina MacciavelliRadio Drama in the UK and Italy.
Supervisors: Dr Geraint D’Arcy, Dr Márta Minier


  • Sera Moore Williams: PhD by Portfolio
  • Simon Dancey: International Cultural Policy
  • Jessica Hopkins
  • Tom Sankey
  • Sarah Pace: The Role of Artists in the Regeneration of Communities in South Wales
  • Alex Brady: Celebrity in Small Nations.
  • Rene Mamo: The Record Producer in Maltese Classical Music: A Critical Reflection. (PhD by Portfolio)
  • Amy Genders: Getting Creative with BBC Arts: Public Service Broadcasting in the New Media Landscape.
  • Paul Trynka: “Before we create the art, we must create the artist”: the persona in the creation of popular music. (PhD by Portfolio)
  • Peter Hodges: Sound and Vision: Towards a Definition of the Dialogical Interactions between Image and Sound in Animated Films.
  • Nina Jones: Beyond the M25: BBC Television Drama in Wales and Scotland 2003-2013.
  • Chanan Hanspal: Frank Zappa and the Orchestra Question: Dissonant Clatter or Well-Crafted Design?
  • Sian Powell: Sylw’r cyfryngau o etholiadau yng Nghymru wedi datganoli: cymhariaeth o sylw’r cyfryngau yn ystod Etholiad Cyffredinol 2010 ac Etholiad Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru yn 2011 [Trans. Coverage of election in Wales post-devolution: a comparison of media coverage of the 2010 General Election and the National Assembly for Wales Election 2011]
  • Emily Underwood-Lee: The Body Exposed: strategies for confronting objectification in women’s autobiographical performance.
  • Rhiannon Williams: Y Capel Cymraeg: Cymdogaeth a Pherfformiad.
  • Gabriel Zepeda: Xenophilia in Mass Media: Unity in Diversity or Confusion in Uniformity?
  • David Barrett: The Performance of Shakespeare in Original Pronounication.
  • Bridget Keehan: The Function of Theatre in Prison.
  • Dongil Oh: Aesthetical Research into Diverse Modes of Storytelling in Animated Performance, with the Specific Reference of Reality and Illusion.
  • Michael Picardie: The Symbolic and the Semotic in Boesman and Lenn and Shades of Brown.
  • Peter Rawbone: Causality and Interaction in Computer Music Composition.
  • Brian Fagence: Scriptwriting and the Transformation of Realities: A critical discussion of story creation, transformation and transmedia storytelling in animation, comics and computer games.
  • David Langdon: How has the Gothic Genre Continued to Function within the Interactive Narrative?
  • Laura Newcombe: In What Way Has Subtitles Progressed to Reduce the Barriers in Communication for the Hearing Impaired through Mainstream Cinema and Television Programmes.
  • Ben Lamb: Spaces of Television: Production, Site and Style.
  • Will Ashton: How Can Interactive Music Contribute to a More Immersive and Engaging Experience in Real-tIme Strategy Video Games?
  • Louise Atkins: Occupational Health for Musicains.
  • Carl Boland: Developing a Sonic Arts Approach to Sound Design Practice in Film and Animation.
  • Rob Campbell: To What Extent, And With What Consequences, Did Northcliffe’s Guest Editorship of Pulitzer’s New York World On January 31 1900 Represent a Division in the Monolith of Anglo-American Journalism Along a ‘Tabloid Fault Line’?
  • Steve Johnson: Community Radio in Wales: How to Achieve Longevity?
  • Jonathan Goode: An Investigation of Contemporary Church Music Practices and the Relevance of Vocational Music Education in Colleges of Further and Higher Education.
  • Madelon Hoedt: Acting Out: The Enjoyment of Performances Horror.
  • Jodie Allinson:
  • Geraint D’Arcy: Towards an Aesthetics of Theatre Technology
  • Kingsley Edafienene: Media Exposure, Policy Agenda-Setting and Risk Communication In Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Nigeria’s Niger Delta Region
  • Glyn Fry: Marketing, the Literary and the Logos of Cool. (Joint PhD with English Department)
  • Maureen James: Investigating the Tales of the Lincolnshire Cars
  • Liz Jones: More than 'Pictures of People Talking’?: Adaption of Theatre Plays to Film.
  • Emma Leslie: The Branding of the Consumer Relationship: How the Online Brand Community is Animated by its Fans.
  • Rob Lewis:
  • Benny (Kok Wai) Lim: Postmodern Theatre in the Singapore Cintext.
  • Katalin Nagy: Promoting Hungarian Culture and Constructing Cultural Identity
  • Laura Newcombe: I’m Not Deaf, I’m Just Ignoring You: Exploring Forms of Subtitling Technologies from the Perspective of a Young Cinema Audience.
  • Adam Perkins: The Possibilities and Effectiveness of Spin and Propaganda in Sport
  • Sian Powell: The Relationship between the Press and the Media and Elections in Wales. (Coleg Cenedlaethol Cymru-funded Studentship associated with the Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations) .
  • Jesse Schwenk: A Practical Investigation into Notions of Authorship in Live Performance. (PhD by Portfolio)
  • Robert Smith: Building a Community around Music. (PhD by Portfolio)
  • Daniel Turner: Profiling a Metal Mastermind: The Production Aesthetics of Andy Sneap.