Contact RIMAP

Research Institute for Media, Arts and Performance
University of Bedfordshire
Luton campus
University Square

+44 (0)1234 400 400 (switchboard)


Research Institute for Media, Arts and Performance

With a mature research base in media, and highly active exhibition culture in art and design, the institute welcomes applications for Master's by Research and PhDs.


The institute hosts the Centre for International Media Analysis, Research and Consultancy 'CIMARC' and the Centre for Applied Research in Dance 'CARD' It has research specialisms in new media publishing; cross-media integration; political communication; journalism; sport and the media; community radio; performance, and creative writing.

Research groups

The Research Institute for Media, Arts and Performance has research groups in:

  • Journalism - leader Dr Alec Charles
  • Interactive Media Group - leader Dr Gavin Stewart
  • Practice and Personal Research Group - leader Joanna Callaghan
  • Screen and Script: cross-media practices - leader Dr Carlota Larrea
  • The institute hosts the JOG: Journalism and the Olympic Games Research Group which is co-ordinated by Professor Garry Whannel. The JOG Group was established to develop an international network of research into journalism, politics and the Olympic Games.

Convergence journal

The editorial office of the international refereed journal, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies is based within the institute housing editorial staff Alexis Weedon (co-editor), and Gavin Stewart (editorial assistant). Julia Knight (co-editor) is based at the University of Sunderland.

Convergence has an international editorial board, with members drawn from Europe, Australia, USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan,and has an international subscriber base.

The journal acts as an invaluable bridge between the research work of the staff and postgraduate students of the institute and the wider community of scholars.


  • Katy Haber MBE, (Hollywood producer) Experiences in the film industry, working on Blade Runner and Straw Dogs, and with director Sam Peckinpah.
  • Geraint John (Chief Architect, GB Sports Council) Designing a Sustainable Architecture and Legacy for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Dr Akmal Abdelrahman, (Helwan University, Cairo) The Impact of the Egyptian Revolution on Contemporary Egyptian Art.
  • Dr David Barnard-Wills, (Cranfield University) Playing With Privacy.
  • Dr Pat Brereton (Dublin City University) Smart Cinema. 
  • Tom Scott (Sky 1 HD) The Internet, the accelerating pace of change, and how to deal with social media.
  • David Malone (Financial blogger, film maker & author of "The Debt Generation") Why are we bailing out the banks?
  • Dr Scott Thurston (University of Salford) Poetry, Movement, Gesture.
  • James Fair (University of Staffordshire) Alternative Models of Film Production.
  • Michelle Paule (Oxford Brookes University) Small Screen Smarts: Narratives and representations of gender and ability in Teen TV.
  • Tamiko Thiel – (media artist) the dramatic and poetic capabilities of virtual and augmented reality. 
  • Justin Schlosberg, (Goldsmiths University) Revitalising Public Interest News.

Recent Conferences Staged

MeCCSA Annual Conference: In January 2012 we hosted the Annual Conference of MeCCSA, the Media Communication and Cultural Studies Association. MeCCSA is the main academic body in the field. The conference was a great success and very positive feedback has been received. Around 100 delegates registered for each of the three days. Leading figures from the field who contributed included Professor John Downing (Southern Illinois University) Professor Christine Geraghty (University of Glasgow), Professor Stuart Laing (University of Brighton), Professor Steven Barnett (University of Westminster), Professor Janet Murray (Georgia Institute of Technology) and film-maker Clio Barnard.

PSA Media and Politics Group Annual Conference: in November 2012 the University hosted the 2012 annual conference of the Political Studies Association's Media & Politics Group, sponsored and supported by the academic publishers Palgrave Macmillan and Intellect. The conference featured over 50 speakers, from countries as diverse as Brazil, Germany, Ecuador, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The conference was opened by our Vice Chancellor, Bill Rammell and featured as keynote speakers the renowned BBC journalist Robin Lustig and the influential media academic Professor Natalie Fenton from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Under the Mask 2012: Perspectives on the Gamer, staged in June 2012, is the fifth conference in this series, which has been making a significant contribution to the development of game studies:

"I thank also the organizers of, and contributors to, the annual 'Under the Mask' conference at the University of Bedfordshire, and in particular Steve Conway and Gavin Stewart, where over the last years I have listened to many significant papers that have greatly advanced my understanding of video game culture" Professor Garry Crawford, Director, Digital Cluster, University of Salford.

Journalism Education and Africa: event organised in April 2012 by UNESCO UK, in cooperation with the AJE and the University of Bedfordshire to develop greater links between journalism schools in the UK and Africa. It is designed both to bring UK-based and African journalism educators together and to provide professional development workshops.

Recent Books Include

  • Barnett, Steven; Gordon Neil Ramsay (both University of Westminster) and Ivor Gaber (University of Bedfordshire) (2012) From Callaghan to Credit Crunch: Changing Trends in British Television News 1975-2009, Publication of official report on research funded by Leverhulme Trust
  • Charles, Alec (2012). Interactivity: New Media, Politics & Society. Oxford: Peter Lang
  • Fisher, Austin (2011) Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema, IB Tauris
  • Gardner, Leslie; and Luke Hockley, eds (2011) House: The Wounded Healer on Television'Jungian and Post-Jungian Reflections, London: Routledge
  • Gordon,Janey (ed) Community Radio in the 21st Century, pp367-384, Peter Lang Publications, Oxford
  • Hauke, Christopher; and Luke Hockley, eds (2011) Jung and Film II: Further Takes on the Moving Image: London: Routledge 2011
  • Horne, John and Garry Whannel (2011) Understanding the Olympics, London: Routledge
  • Jackson, David (2012) So Blue, So Beautiful, based on Jackson's recent photographic exhibition
  • Silverman, Jon (2011) Crime, Policy and the Media, Routledge, 2011

Recent Films Include

  • Joanna Callaghan, Do Not Read This which looks at the philosophical ideas of French philosopher Jacques Derrida, was screened at the Wired Screening Room in London's West End in November 2012.
  • Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska, The Engagement Party in Harare, screened in November 2012 in Harare Zimbabwe by the British Council.


Edward Buscombe collection: In November 2011 we acquired the book and journal collection of Edward Buscombe, formerly Head of Publications at the British Film Institute. Edward Buscombe is one of the world's leading experts on the western and on contemporary world cinema and the acquisition of his books and journals, augmenting the Manuel Alvarado collection, greatly enhances our ability to support graduate research projects. We are very grateful to Ed Buscombe for this generous donation. The Manuel Alvarado Collection and the Edward Buscombe Collection are now available to students and are housed in the Learning Resources Centre.

CIMARC Resources: apart from the extensive media study resources in the University Learning Resources Centre additional resources held in the CIMARC room include a large range of significant media journals, an archive of press cuttings, back runs of The Listener, Broadcast and Campaign, extensive recordings of television sport between 1980-2000, and the 80 books published by the University of Luton Press between 1996-2002.


Providing a valuable link with professional practice in the arts members of the institute artistically direct and perform in the professional dance company Erzatz Dance, based at the Bedford Campus and curate the hat Factory gallery 

Practice-led research projects

The institute currently supports a range of practice-led research projects as follows:

  • Ontological narratives - a film investigation of philosophical concepts by Joanna Callaghan
  • Heraclitus - Artists versus Hollywood, touring short film screening of films that subvert and rupture conventional filmic narrative including the work of Joanna Callaghan
  • 'Drawing in Motion' with work by Catherine Baker 30 September at Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery
  • Public Art Commission for Mid Beds District Council, supported by Happen and East of England by Catherine Baker
  • "Meanwhile": the use of wit and irony to investigate aspects of contemporary culture and mores through two dimensional digital animation
  • "Coming and Going": an investigation exploring the possibilities of digitally manipulated photographs in response to 'non-places', spatial aspects of the post-modern city
  • "Fabulous Confabulations": an investigation into human information processing focusing on flashbulb memory and the psychology of looking and seeing manifest as drawing. This is a science/art collaboration testing the potential for developing drawing using scientific data (AHRB funded)
  • "Views from Nowhere" exhibition at the hat Factory Gallery, Luton UK which ran alongside a conference on Media and the Expanded Europe at the University.
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