Contemporary Feminine Aesthetics After Postfeminism
My research investigates the relationship between 1990s-early 2000s postfeminist discourses of empowerment and constructions of female subjectivity in contemporary fictional genres aimed at women and girls.
The primary aim of the thesis is to better understand the impact of postfeminist empowerment discourse on women whose coming of age coincided with the height of its cultural ubiquity, and to explore the continuing postfeminist legacy in girlhood coming-of-age genres. To do this, I focus on the shifting affective registers of postfeminist culture and the role feelings and emotions play in constituting female subjectivity.
Reading Socially Engaged Book Art: Establishing New Dialogues
To construct a critical framework in which to read socially engaged book art (2000 to present day), with reference to selected case studies, through the mapping of connections between production methods, themes and book forms.
Portrait as Landscape: Rendering Topography of Face and Body
“Stop asking us for the inner being, essence, soul…,” Richard Avedon pleaded: "the surface is all you've got. "My research addresses questions of why when looking at portraits we instinctively make judgements about the subject’s character and personality and why such assumptions are wrong. Using a knowledge of the science of visual perception I will attempt to produce photographic portraits that reveal unexplored surface terrain unhindered by erroneous opinions.
Objects of Delight: The Nineteen Century Mass-Produced Miniature
My research explores the phenomenon of miniaturisation, as reflected by the global trade and consumption of mass-produced miniatures, and what it reveals about the nineteenth century people who delighted in, desired, acquired, displayed, collected and discarded them.
'Believe me, I remain...': Meaning and Materiality in the Mary Greg Collections at Manchester Art Gallery
As a museum curator turned researcher, I am interested in the histories and uses of art museum collections, with particular respect to decorative art and craft. My PhD research considers the changing values, status and meaning of 'everyday' objects within the art museum, through an investigation of the Mary Greg Collections at Manchester Art Gallery.
All The Men I Never Married: Poetry and Everyday Sexism
Despite the fact that most women will experience some form of sexism during their lifetime, contemporary poets have been strangely silent on this subject. My research project will address this gap by creating a portfolio of poetry which explores how experiences of 'everyday sexism' (Bates) and micro-aggression can be represented in poetic practice. The ability of the female poet, to use different modes of address, talking both to and about men and masculinity, and with the potential to explore previously ignored or neglected areas of female experience creates the potential for 'critical consciousness' (bell hooks) in the audience and the potential for social change. The project will also consider three other issues: the role of the female gaze, representations of female desire and how these poems are situated in a wider contemporary context of women's poetry.
Weaving with code: How can emotional attachment be designed into digital jacquard textiles using coding?
My Ph.D. research builds upon a variety of approaches to explore which factors generate emotional attachment into the practice of digital jacquard textiles and responds to an existing gap in research and data regarding emotional attachment into the digital jacquard design practice. It examines human responses to coding alongside the mechanical production of weaving on digital jacquard looms.
Breakdown: Mechanical Dysfunction and Anthropomorphism
My thesis begins by investigating the performative relationship of Breakdown in detail. It describes a machine-human body that is materialised fleetingly by mechanical dysfunction. Through an intimate relationship with one machine, it then goes on to identify a typology of breakdown: seize, play, burnout and cutting loose, concluding that each emits differing expanding and contracting forces around which bodies disperse and coalesce. Finally, employing the flicker of a thaumatrope and the making of the science fiction film robot, the thesis posits that anthropomorphism is an integral element in the dissipation and reformation of human-machine bodies.
Cascading Public Engagement with the Landscapes of HS2
Of particular concern has been the primacy of qualitative, lived and embodied landscape knowledge, as held by local people. I discuss how best to access this knowledge, and why it should be valued. Walking the landscape with inhabitants has been a significant method, proving valuable in moving from methodology to strategic recommendations for achieving non-linear engagement. I consider how small disturbances in landscape systems can have huge effects, and apply this thinking to how small disturbances might catalyse large-scale engagement with landscape.
The Human Body as a Building Architectural Colossi and their Metaphors
The research will be based on the relation of human body and architectural structures; especially how the human body has been the inspiration for the exterior shape of several architectural human colossi and how it was used as a building itself.
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