Culture-Media-Text Research Centre
Exploring literature, film, media and other forms of culture within and across disciplinary boundaries.View content
The Culture-Media-Text Research Centre formalises a broad range of Arts-based research.
- Ethnicity and representation
- Gender and sexuality
- National identity
- Cultural icons
- The links and relationships between literary, material and visual culture
Researchers in the Centre were also instrumental in the establishment of Winchester University Press.
The centre hosts visiting lectures and performances, as well as an annual symposium exploring a topic of current critical interest from interdisciplinary perspectives.
CMT Spring Symposium 2022 explored Nature, Culture and the Arts
The latest CMT symposium focussed on the intersections between Nature, Culture and the Arts. It took place take place on 20 April 2022, in the run-up to Earth Day on the 22nd. For full details, see below.
A person dressed as a dragonfly at a community art festival to raise awareness of environmental issues
Meet the Convenors
Dr Daniel Varndell, Senior Lecturer in English, Co-Convener
Prof. Laura Hubner (Film and Media), Co-Convener
CMT Annual Symposium, 20 April 2022
Intersections between Culture, Arts and Nature
The University of Winchester Culture-Media-Text Research Centre hosted a one-day symposium on ‘Intersections between Culture, Arts and Nature’.
The recent lockdown saw many of us finding solace in the natural world for its restorative attributes, and nature has long been celebrated and exploited as a unique selling point by marketing and advertising industries as a signifier of untainted health, wellbeing and truth. This symposium seeks to explore our changing relationship with nature and our place within it, encouraging an interdisciplinary focus on diverse identities from local, national, transnational and global perspectives.
‘Nature’ has long found expression through literary, sensory, material and audio-visual arts and media, just as cultural practices and texts channel meanings of ‘nature’ as both a sign of lost traditions and a force for regenerative progress or change. The arts redefine the natural world, creating new ways of framing and perceiving its qualities.
The symposium aimed to encourage conversations about new possibilities of sustainable media, accessibility and equality, and the relative impacts of cultural phenomena such as ‘rewilding’ or ‘living wild’. Through cross-disciplinary considerations of ecological/environmental concerns, looking at lifestyle and industrial structures and boundaries, together with cultural discourses and representations of ‘nature’ and ‘the natural world’, the symposium allowed space to reflect on these richly varied and complex human connections to nature, in the hope of instigating meaningful dialogue and change.
The symposium encouraged cross-disciplinary dialogues related to intersections between nature, arts and culture, including (but not limited to):
- Conservation or Intrusion?
- Ecocriticism/Theories of Nature
- Equality and a ‘Just Transition’
- Nature and Philosophy
- Nature and the Pandemic
- Nature as Brand/Commodity
- Nature, Health and Wellbeing
- Natural Limits: Borders, Lines
- New Pastoral
- Representations of Nature/the Natural World
- Rewilding/Living Wild
- Science, Arts and Nature
- Sustainable Media
12.00 Welcome and Opening Remarks (Laura Hubner and Daniel Varndell)
12.10 Marilene Cardoso Ribeiro (Visiting Research Fellow, University of Winchester and Visual Artist): ‘Photography-based Research and the Environmental and Political Agendas’
13.15-14.15 Panel 1, chaired by Daniel Varndell
Chris Mounsey (University of Winchester): ‘Sarah Hall, The Wolf Border: Fact and Fiction’
Gary Farnell (University of Winchester): ‘Organicism at the Intersection of Culture, Art and Nature’
14.30-14.45 Poetry with Mark Rutter, University of Winchester
14.45-15.45 Panel 2, chaired by Laura Hubner
Abigail Whittall (University for the Creative Arts and University of Winchester): ‘Monstrous Mycelium: Exploring the Contemporary Fungal Gothic in Resident Evil: Village (2021) and Mexican Gothic (2020)’
Daniel Varndell (University of Winchester)
The film research cluster encompasses a range of interests regarding a variety of filmic practices, diversely identified formally, stylistically, historically and/or with respect to national or trans-national structures and boundaries. Research undertaken and in process includes work on British and European cinema, classical and post-classical Hollywood cinema, African and Third Cinema, animation, film genre, film authorship, the intersection of film, politics and culture, and the larger theorisation and critical reception of the filmic medium.
In addition to individual and collaborative work published and presented at conferences and other symposia, members of the cluster have organised the highly successful international conferences 'Violent Film' (2006) and 'Framing Film: Cinema and the Visual Arts' (2009) at the University of Winchester.
Identity and Culture Cluster
Research in this cluster interrogates the representation and construction of identity across different cultural forms. We are particularly interested in cultures of ethnicity and the use of material and visual culture in connection with national identity, in examples such as Nigerian television and the official sanctioning of art-historical narratives in national portrait galleries and museums. Our approaches engage with debates over the trans-Atlantic and the post-colonial, and over gender and sexuality.
The Arts Council England-funded project The Boat, by Prof. Andrew Melrose and Jonathan Rooke, is an example of current topical research in this theme. A collaboration between the University and four primary schools, it is designed to show how the creative arts and education can help promote social justice on the subject of (im)migration and refugees. Visit the The Boat website.
Journalism, Media and Culture Cluster
The journalism and media research cluster encompasses media theory and critical investigation of contemporary journalistic practice.
Ongoing research projects include:
- A volume on crime, capitalism and the media
- A special issue on Brexit and the rise of populist celebrity politicians in contemporary Europe
- A special issue on the TV show Friends
- A book on Generation X and 1990s popular culture
- A collection on Nigerian media
- A monograph on media and information literacy in the 21st century
Language and Society Cluster
Research in this cluster focusses on the cultural aspects of language use in constructing and defining identity.
Current projects include:
- Research into contemporary performances of medieval drama
- Identity construction through attitudes to language and dialect in NE Scotland and Bavaria
See also the Centre for Research into Language.
Literature and Culture Cluster
Research in this cluster explores the relationship between written texts and the cultures from which they emerge and within which they are interpreted. Viewing literature as one cultural practice among others, we are particularly interested in the relationships between literary texts and the following: urban space, globalisation, gender, and political activism.
Members of the cluster specialise in periods from the eighteenth century to the present, and in genres including literary naturalism, Jewish writing, detective fiction in literary, cinematic and televisual forms, and 'chick lit' and 'chick flicks' from Britain and the USA.