Today’s research seminar featured three speakers: Dr. Galina Miazhevich (University of Leicester), Lesley Gabriel and Tim Abbott (both BCU), as Body Genres month continued. 

Galina’s paper was titled Branding ‘sexual excess’ at Eurovision: the case of post-Soviet participating states.  Her research is focusing on the idea of ‘kitsch’ and ‘camp’ in Eurovision and ideas of taste, and also sexuality and sexual excess in the competition. She presented case studies such as Russian duo T.A.T.U’s performance in 2003 as an example of packaged ‘subversion’ which was actually quite conventional, and Bilan’s 2008 performance as further evidence of the artificial and staged presentation of the ‘other’. She also looked at Ukranian entry Serduchka as an example of ‘self-ironic homosexual eroticism’ to talk to both the western and post-communist counterparts to secure votes.

Lesley’s paper was titled “We don’t have that here!” Planning an ethnographic study of the BDSM scene in Birmingham and West Midlands area. She highlighted Birmingham’s undocumented BDSM scene, including clubs, fetish markets and parties. Her PhD research involves interviews and observation of the scene, and an investigation of the history of BDSM in Birmingham. She discussed some of the methodological considerations around this research, such as access, the position of the researcher, and gender (at the moment, all of her participants are male). She is hoping to go to San Fransisco to present at a conference and also view key BDSM locations. She is crowdfunding her trip here.

Tim’s paper was titled What’s the story? His practice-led PhD research is looking at converged narrative storytelling through mobile phone apps, what he termed ‘appumentary’. He has many years of experience in the music industry and has produced documentaries, and is now investigating interactive documentaries and polymediation (multiple/trans media). A particular motivation for him is the difficulty with film distribution and traditional funding models, so he is aiming to develop a new delivery system for interactive narrative storytelling. Like Lesley, he is at the beginning of his research and has started formulating his methodology.

It was a very interesting afternoon which showcases the diversity of research not only in the area of Body Genres, but also among our PhD students.

Next week (2 March) we are delighted to welcome Dr Rebecca Fiebrink from Goldsmiths University on machine learning in digital music creation, and Rob St John from Glasgow University on sounding landscape. All are welcome, book your place on our Eventbrite page.

 

Birmingham Centre For Media And Cultural Research

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