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Summer 04



Postgraduate training has become a steadily increasingly priority for the Centre, responding to the AHRB’s own initiatives in this field. With institutions under pressure to mount substantial research training programmes and form consortia to develop these, as a condition of receiving bursaries for research students, the Centre has taken a lead in experimenting with new ways of giving students ‘real world’ experience. In April, the Centre mounted two innovative postgraduate ‘sidebars’ within existing events. Students working on early British cinema were funded to participate in the Nottingham British Silent Cinema Festival and benefit from the array of specialists attending through a series of special lunchtime seminars. Meanwhile, the University of Ulster organised a special forum for postgraduates working on ‘National and Regional Film and Television’, attached to its annual cross-border Irish Postgraduate Film Research Seminar. Feedback from both events indicates that such initiatives are welcomed by research students seeking experience in presenting their work publicly.

The future of the Centre has also been an important concern during the first half of 2004, following the first formal visits of the AHRB’s Director of Research Centres, Professor Nigel Llewellyn. At meetings with the Master of Birkbeck, Professor David Latchman, on 2 Feb and with the Vice Chancellor of Lincoln, Professor David Chiddick, on 13 May, Professor Llewellyn heard at first hand about the strong commitment of these two institutions to the work of the Centre and its federal structure. Sylvia Harvey and I both attended the Board’s London away-day for Centre directors, at which experiences were exchanged and new guidelines for centre management vigorously debated.

Finally, at the end of June, details of the competition for Phase 2 centre funding were released. Partners have been preparing for this opportunity to develop our centre for some time, devising new strands of research, considering how these could deliver synergy and greater critical mass, and how the Centre might respond to approaches from other institutions who are interested in joining forces with it. The initial ‘expression of interest’ has now been sent, and we look forward to laying out plans for the Centre’s future in greater detail. - IC



The Centre is applying for Phase 2 funding, with a range of new projects and, potentially, additional partners. The second phase of application will be completed by 1 October with interviews and results of the competition for Phase 2 funding expected by the end of the year.

One of the Centre’s original architects, Professor John Hill, is leaving the University of Ulster, where he has been based for over twenty years, to take up a new chair at Royal Holloway. He intends to maintain close links with the Centre at RHUL as well as continuing his association with Ulster.

Following the appointment of Luke McKernan as Senior Research Fellow and Jonathan Davis as Senior Research Advisor to the London project at Birkbeck, Simon Brown will be joining the project as a part-time Research Fellow from August.

The Broadcasting Policy Research group led by Professor Sylvia Harvey at Lincoln has made a number of recent submissions to the government’s new super-regulator Ofcom. For details see p.3.

Birkbeck’s new Film and Media Research Centre moves on, with the recent appointment of Surface Architects, whose partners have been involved with innovative conversion and extension of historic buildings at Queen Mary, and previously with Will Alsopp’s landmark Peckham Library. The new extension to 43 Gordon Square will house the Centre’s headquarters and provide research offices, a seminar room and a digitally-equipped screening auditorium.


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Last modified 24 November, 2004 ; web@bftv.ac.uk