Research Institute for Media, Arts and Performance

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

Research groups

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

  • International Journalism and Political Communications
  • Practice Research Group
  • Psychoanalysis, culture and the body
  • Publishing, cultural production and literary analysis

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.


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.

The Cinderella Collection: In August 2012 Mrs Janet Stowe gifted the University of Bedfordshire a varied collection of items on the Cinderella myth/fairy story. This collection comprises of books, cuttings, games and toys all related to the Cinderella myth. The individual items in the collection are not necessarily unique in themselves, although some are, what is unique is the collection itself. Some of the books may be available in the main library collection. The Cinderella Collection is held in closed access at the Bedford Campus Library.

The Hockliffe Collection contains over a thousand British children's books dating predominantly from the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They were originally collected by Frederic Hockliffe (1833-1914), a Bedford publisher and bookseller and were donated to Bedford Training College in 1927 by his eldest son, Frederic Rich Hockliffe (1861-1929), bookseller and mayor of Bedford. The books in the Hockliffe Collection range in date from 1685 to the mid-twentieth century, although the majority were published between 1760 and 1840.

The Snowdrop Fairy

The collection is not comprehensive, but it is representative of the wide range of writing for children in late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and includes fables and nursery tales, books of instruction and religious works, spelling books, toy-books, and books with moveable parts. The collection was the focus of a major research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board between 1999 and 2002. The Hockliffe Collection is held in closed access at Bedford Campus Library. Up to 50% of the collection may be accessed digitally. You may browse the entire catalogue on the Hockliffe Project website

Access to items from the physical items in the Cinderella and Hockliffe collections is by appointment only. Please submit requests to consult Hockliffe items for research to: carly.ramirez-herelle@beds.ac.uk


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.

Contact Us

To get in touch with RIMAP, please email Dr Nicola Darwood nicola.darwood@beds.ac.uk with your enquiry.


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