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' 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
  • Interactive Media Group
  • Practice and Personal Research Group
  • Screen and Script: cross-media practices

The institute hosts the JOG: Journalism and the Olympic Games Research Group which is co-ordinated by Emeritus Professor Garry Whannel. The JOG Group was established to develop an international network of research into journalism, politics and the Olympic Games.


Prof Luke Hockley is editor of International Journal of Jungian Studies

Professor Julia Knight, Emerita Professor of Moving Image, University of Sunderland and Professor Alexis Weedon, University of Bedfordshire co-founded ;Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies and co-edited it until 2018. It is now edited by Dr Sarah Atkinson, King’s College London, and Dr Helen Kennedy, University of Brighton.

Guest lectures and seminars

  • Visual Perception, Simon Bill (Gulbenkian Science Institute in Lisbon, artist in residence) about the science of visual perception
  • The Captured Thought, Prof Nicky Clayton and Clive Wilkins (Cambridge University) on Gesture: subjective experience of memory and cognition
  • Katy Haber MBE, (Hollywood producer) Experiences in the film industry, working on Blade Runner and Straw Dogs, and with director Sam Peckinpah.
  • Dr Akmal Abdelrahman, (Helwan University, Cairo) The Impact of the Egyptian Revolution on Contemporary Egyptian Art.
  • Dr Pat Brereton (Dublin City University) Smart Cinema.

Recent conferences staged

All About Cinderella: retellings in a cultural imagination convened by Dr Nicola Darwood In June 2017 academics from a variety of disciplines, including literature, dance, theatre and film, explored the popular Cinderella story and how different cultures interpreted the myth in different ways. At the centre of the conference was a selection of items from the collection of Cinderella memorabilia donated to the University by an anonymous donor – it was this collection, held in the library at the Bedford campus, which inspired the conference.

Laughing and coping during World War One: Studying the mechanisms and forms of humour and entertainment March 2016. The conference was co-organized by Professor Karen Randell University of Bedfordshire, Dr Clémentine Tholas-Disset, University Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle (EA 4399 CREW / CRAN) and Professor Karen A. Ritzenhoff Central Connecticut State University. The conference drew together research film, music hall, literature and contemporary television comedy. It featured screenings of Les Gosses de la Butte (1916), Love and Duty (1916), The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918), The Bond (1918), Doing his bit (1918), On Doit Le Dire (1918), A.W.O.L (1918).

Elinor Glyn (1864-1943): her life and legacy symposium 12 June 2015, Convened by Professor Alexis Weedon. Glyn was a British author of romantic fiction who went to Hollywood in the 1920s and became famous for her movies. She was a celebrity figure of the 1920s, and wrote constantly in the Hearst’s Press. She wrote racy stories, most famously Three Weeks (1924) and ‘It’ (1927). Glyn has become a peripheral figure in histories of this period, marginalised in accounts of the youth-centred ‘flapper era’. Decades on, the idea of the ‘It Girl’ continues to have great pertinence in the post-feminist discourses of the 21st Century. The symposium resulted in a special issue of Women a Cultural Review 29(2) Summer 2018 co-edited by Karen Randell and Alexis Weedon

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 films include

  • Luke Hockley, (ed) International Handbook of Jungian Film Studies Routledge, 2018.
  • Paul Rowinski, Evolving Euroscepticisms in the British and Italian Press: Selling the Public Short, 2017.
  • Noha Mellor Reporting the MENA region: Cyber Engagement and Pan Arab Social Media, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016
  • Noha Mellor and Khalil Rinnawi, eds. Political Islam and Global Media: The boundaries of religious identity, Routledge, 2016
  • Agnieszka Piotrowska and Ben Tyrer, Psychoanalysis and the Unrepresentable, 2016
  • Vincent L Barnett and Alexis Weedon Elinor Glyn as Novelist, Moviemaker, Glamour Icon and Businesswoman, 2014
  • Agnieszka Piotrowska, Embodied Encounters: New approaches to psychoanalysis and cinema, 2014

Recent films include


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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