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University of Wolverhampton Lecture Series

2017/8 Lecture Series

The Faculty of Arts Research Lecture series offers the opportunity to hear from expert researchers sharing their knowledge and expertise on a variety of subjects. Open the headings below to find out more about each lecture in our 2017/18 series.

2017/18 Lectures

Dr Stefan Nowotny



Dr Stefan Nowotny, Goldsmiths University

Research group: Art, Philosophy and Social Practice Cluster

Date: Tuesday 14 November 2017

Venue: MK045, 6 - 7.30pm

The Politics of Translation: Migration and the Becoming of Languages

In recent decades, translation has become an important focus of critical concerns yet also often been deployed as a ready-made metaphor to address questions related to globalisation, migration or other instances of rapidly shifting semiospheres. But what is actually at stake in the process of translation: agentially, socially, politically? Moving away from communicational understandings of translation based on models of source/target languages, and bracketing generalising debates around the (un)translatable, this talk will take its cue from the notion of a ‘becoming of languages’ (W. Benjamin). It will ask how acts of translation are informed by various political presuppositions – or may contribute, on the other hand, to undoing them.

Stefan Nowotny is a philosopher based in London. He teaches at the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and is a member of the independent research institute eipcp – European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies. He has been part of several research projects on translation since 2005, resulting in several co-edited volumes as well as the co-authored book Übersetzung: Das Versprechen eines Begriffs (w/ Boris Buden; Vienna/Berlin, 2008). Various of his writings on translation are available on the eipcp’s multilingual web journal transversal,


Here and there, now and then

‌‌‌Speaker: Jacqueline Poncelet

Research group:  Centre for Art, Design, Research and Experimentation, Material and Theoretical Practice Cluster 

Date: Tuesday 21 November 2017

Venue: MK045, 6-7.30pm

From the beginning of her career, Jacqueline Poncelet has been drawn to pattern and colour with an interest in form coming later. After initially studying ceramics, she worked exclusively in clay until the mid-1980s. Since then, it has been increasingly difficult to define her as an artist following explorations in sculpture and painting, as well as installations and collaborations with other artists. She has also curated exhibitions and worked on public commissions, both large and small. A theme of embracing the visual complexity of the world is present in Jacqueline’s work. Rather than being overwhelming, she views this complexity as both positive and exciting, something that enriches our lives.

Curatorial Consciousness


Speaker: Dr Michael Birchall, Liverpool John Moores University

Research group:  Centre for Art, Design, Research and Experimentation, Art, Philosophy and Social Practice Cluster 

Date: Tuesday 28 November 2017

Venue: MK045, 6-7.30pm


This lecture will discuss the challenges present in contemporary curating as museums continue to expand their collections, devote programming to durational performance, and socially engaged art. As artists have moved towards models of post-studio practice, in which the art object is no longer privileged above other forms, the gallery itself becomes a site for production, interaction and debate. This turn has seen the museum and the curators who programme exhibitions shift their attention to user experience. As such, the contemporary museum is quickly moving into a site of production and gravitating towards participatory models.


Photography in Superposition

Speaker: Paul Bevan, London College of Fashion

Research group:  Centre for Art, Design, Research and Experimentation, Communication and Design Cluster

Date: TBC

 The term 'superposition' is used in the quantum world to describe the status of (invisible) matter that conceivably exists in all possible states at once. The superposition collapses into a singular state through an act of detection or observation, when the matter is seen or observed. Paul Bevan considers photography as an act of observation that collapses the superposition in a number of ways, and also as a practice that creates it.

Is That a Thing? Voyages in Creative Computing and Digital Opera

Speaker: Lee Scott, Bath Spa University

Research group:  Centre for Creativity, History and Identity in Performance Research Centre

Date: Thursday 7 December 2017

Venue: WH027, 6-8pm

This talk traces the development of artworks that collide computing, music and interactive storytelling. Concepts such as digital opera and ASMR music are proposed, and positioned as examples of Creative Computing – an emerging field that is concerned with knowledge combination and deploying computing as a tool to enhance human creativity. Lee Scott introduces the trajectory of Creative Computing while revealing his personal approaches to co-creation, ‘liveness’ and digital music, and suggests how each contributes to a reimaging of the opera form. The talk closes with an outline of several upcoming projects that apply the philosophy of Creative Computing in contexts that extend beyond digital performance.

A Journey South by Chris Watson

Speaker: Chris Watson

Faculty of Arts, University of Wolverhampton and Institute of Acoustics (IOA), Midlands Branch 

Date: Thursday 25 January 2018, 6pm for a 6.30pm start

Venue: The Black Box Theatre, The Performance Hub, Walsall

Chris Watson will describe and illustrate with sounds and images the journey he made to Antarctica and the South Pole as sound recordist for the BBC television series ‘Frozen Planet’ several years ago. This is a place described a century earlier by the film maker Herbert Ponting as the ‘Great White Silence’ when he filmed the ill fated journey of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s polar expedition. Watson will describe his experiences in discovering a sound rich environment under the surface of the ‘silence’.

Background: Watson was a founding member of the influential Sheffield based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. As a freelance composer and sound recordist Watson specialises in creating spatial sound installations which feature a strong sense and spirit of place. His television work includes many programmes in the David Attenborough ‘Life’ series including ‘The Life of Birds’ which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ in 1996, and as the location sound recordist on the BBC’s series ‘Frozen Planet’ which also won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ (2012). Watson has recorded and featured in many BBC Radio 4 productions including ‘The Wire’ which won him the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Broadcaster of The Year Award (2012). His music is regularly featured on the BBC Radio 3 programme ‘Late Junction’.  In 2013 Watson received a Paul Hamlyn Composers Award. His installations have been commissioned by international galleries and festivals such as; Sheffield Millennium Gallery, Opera North in Leeds, The National Gallery, London, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, The Louvre, Paris and the Aichi Triennial in Japan.

Attendance is free and everyone is welcome, but booking is required. 

If you have any queries please contact  

The event is supported by PMC-The Professional Monitor Company (about PMC

Interactive documentary: what does it mean and why does it matter?

‌‌ Speaker: Dr Judith Aston, University of the West of England

Research group:  Centre for Film, Media, Discourse and Culture 

Date: Tuesday 30 January 2018

Venue: MK045, 6-7.30pm

Drawing on Judith’s work with i-Docs and her practice-led research, this talk will provide an overview of the field and explore key debates. Judith will make the case for emplaced interaction as a strategy through which to push back against the creeping threat of algorithmic agency.

Glass, technology and industrial engagement.

‌‌ Speaker: Dr Vanessa Cutler

Research group:  Centre for Art, Design, Research and Experimentation

Date: Tuesday 6 February 

Venue: MK045, 6-7.30pm

Being inquisitive is part of the human make up and a major element of my practice. By exploring application of traditional practice and industrial process the work builds on developing an intimacy of understanding between direct “hands on” application and the indirect methodology of industrial processing. In developing an intimacy with both machine and the material the work seeks to extend the parameters of both areas and investigate how this method of approach can be extended to others. The work explores the methods of industrial engagement through collaboration with industry both within the water jet industry and through the manufacturing sector.

Stories behind the screen: the rise of Screenwriting Studies

‌‌ Dr Ian Mcdonald, University of Leeds

Research group:  Centre for Film, Media, Discourse and Culture

Date: Wednesday 28 February

Venue: MK045, 6-7.30pm

Did you hear the one about the highly respected writer who throws all his best work away? Or the author of an acclaimed drama, who didn’t write it? Or, astonishingly, there’s the creative practice on which the world’s film industries have been based for over a century, but which has been entirely ignored by perhaps 90% of Film Studies academics? No? Screenwriting Studies has become established as an academic focus only within the last decade. Suddenly we’re seeing how much we need to do to redress this startling omission from our field, and how significant this focus seems to be in the changing world of screen storytelling.

Deconstructing Kathak

‌‌ Sonia Sabri

Research group:  Centre for Creativity, History and Identity in Performance

Date: Thursday 8 March

Venue: WH027, 6-7.30pm

The intention of this dialogue is to examine the significance and role that my work as a choreographer and dancer has on the postmodern subject and climate of the twenty-first century. The discussion begins with a brief overview of the company’s philosophies. These focus on how the rudiments of the North Indian classical form of Kathak provide the basis for many of my postmodern constructions.

The discussion is then extended further to demonstrate how I create compositions by deconstructing the “fixed” and regimented language of Kathak. The intention of this is to illustrate that a “positive” space can exist when teasing apart threads of a highly structured and stylized art form. This is to say that from this form of experimentation emerges a “new” rhetoric and further possibilities for the dancing body.

My argument concludes with a focus on how I see my vocabulary and work evolve within the contemporary dance/arts world. This includes allowing audiences to think differently about the language of dance, the transference of those skills of deconstruction and the rich possibilities that lay in the emergence of hybridity.

Game of Thrones, George Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and (Neo)Medievalism

‌‌ Professor Carolyne Larrington, University of Oxford

Research group:  Centre for Transnational and Transcultural Research

Date: Tuesday 13 March 

Venue: MK045, 6-7.30pm

In this lecture Prof Carolyne Larrington considers the world's most popular TV show, Game of Thrones, the book series on which it is based and the ways in which medievalist and neomedievalist perspectives illuminate the achievements – and the failures – in the series as realised across the different media. From Beyond the Wall to the eastern wastes of Qarth, this lecture explores and expands upon the medieval world of Game of Thrones.

Tracing Where We Art Not

‌‌ Robert Luzar, Bath Spa University

Research group:  Centre for Film, Media, Discourse and Culture

Date: Tuesday 20 March 

Venue: MK045, 6-7.30pm

A trace is something more than what gets left behind. There is a ‘trace’ that can be engaged through forms of image, gravity, bodily obstruction, irreducible points, and dislocated gestures. Throughout this talk, these idioms will be taken from the artist’s so-called subjective experience. The trace will be approached using reflections made – or read out – from his writings on works where he uses performance and digital video in certain traceless actions. The reading circulates on this question: how are works to be viewed, or ‘traced’, that show not where One – the so-called individual as ‘me’ – virtually is but, rather, open from where we are not? This question interrogates experiences of an event engaged through gravity, of undergoing times where the performance experientially stretches out, of a shared intimacy of space, of dislocating gestures presented to audiences live while also recorded for video. ‘Not’ is the counter-expression this ongoing event traces. In method, these reflections will occur by reading rather than writing, neither privileging (drawn, recorded) mark nor inscription; the trace will instead be read in ways that, as philosophers Jean-Luc Nancy and Catherine Malabou say, ‘exscribe’ changes of form, or ‘plasticity’. The talk concludes by rethinking ‘spaces’ that artist and audience perceptually trace in an explosive imaginary. That is to say an image and openness of self-becoming other – there where we are not, not individually substantive, not purely ‘me’. Tracing this instead: the image of where we co-appear and co-exist.