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

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  • Escaping to the desert: the case of Gertrude Bell

    Witwit, May; University of Bedfordshire (2011-05)
  • Review: Dean Baldwin: Art and commerce in the British short story, 1880-1950.

    Witwit, May (Oxford University Press, 2013-11-30)
    Review of Baldwin, D. (2013) 'Art and commerce in the British short story, 1880-1950' London: Pickering & Chatto.
  • Biblical proximity and women: the image of Arabs in Victorian works of religious nature

    Witwit, May; University of Bedfordshire (Arab World English Journal, 2015-10)
    Abstract The pro-suffrage campaign to elevate the Oriental female did not give emphasis to Arab women; however, they were vividly presented in religious literature and romances of a religious nature. The inferior position and the victimisation of Arab women, attributed to Islam, delivered a political and a religious message that helped steer the Victorian reader’s opinion towards a desired effect. The paper will focus on the image of the Arab woman in some of these publications to highlight that the use of the biblical element of the Middle East was employed to reinforce Christianity and combat Ottomans. The image of the victimised Arab woman also prepared the public for a future military involvement in the Middle East. The paper suggests that the Victorian depiction of the Arab female may well be the precursor of present-day use of Islam-phobic slogans that trigger sorrow easily transformed into anger at the men, culture and the religion that victimise women.
  • False freedoms

    Witwit, May; University of Bedfordshire (Sage Journals, 2012-09)
    It is hard to appreciate freedom until you experience losing it. It may be difficult for someone born in a democracy to understand, but it’s somewhat like comparing what a wild bird feels when locked in a cage, as opposed to a bird born in captivity that regards a cage as its natural environment. When I am asked about academic freedom in Iraq, it is this parallel that leaps to mind. As a former lecturer at the University of Baghdad who has recently completed a PhD in the UK, I have felt the difference acutely.
  • CARA changed my life

    Witwit, May; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2013-04)
  • Photo filter apps: understanding analogue nostalgia in the new media ecology

    Caoduro, Elena; University of Southampton (2014)
    As digital media have become more pervasive and entrenched in our daily routines, a nostalgic countertrend has increasingly valued the physical and tactile nature of the analogue image. In the past few years, technologically obsolete devices, such as lo-fi cameras and vinyl records, have not faded out of sight completely but are instead experiencing a comeback. At the same time, digital media capitalise on the nostalgia for the analogue and fetishise the retro aesthetics of old technologies. This article explores the emergence of photo filter and effect applications which allow users to modify digital photos, adding signifiers of age such as washed-out colours, scratches and torn borders. It is argued that these new technologies, with programs such as Instagram, Hipstamatic and Camera 360, bring back the illusory physicality of picture-taking through digital skeuomorphism. Drawing on media archaeology practice, this article interrogates the limits of the retro sensibility and the fetishisation of the past in the context of digital media, in particular by focusing on the case study of the start-up Instagram. This photo filter application neither merely stresses the twilight nature of photography nor represents the straightforward digital evolution of previous analogue features. Rather, it responds to the necessity to feel connected to the past by clear and valued signs of age, mimicking a perceived sense of loss. Faced with the persistent hipster culture and the newness of digital media, photo filter apps create comfortable memories, ageing pictures and adding personal value. As such, it will be argued that this phenomenon of nostalgia for analogue photography can be linked to the concepts of ritual and totem. By providing a critical history of Instagram as a photo-sharing social network, this article aims to explain new directions in the rapidly changing system of connective media.
  • Nostalgia in Iraq's Post 2003 Drama

    Witwit, May (2014-06-20)
    Abstract Past and present docu-drama are mostly favoured by Iraqis, yet those tackling topics that were tabooed since Iraq became a republic in July 1958; such as the assassination of the Iraqi royal family, the immigration of Arab Jews and British and German espionage and competition over Iraq, are most popular. These themes are presented through depicting the life-stories of famous singers such as the Iraqi Jewish singer Salima Murad, who refused to immigrate to Israel and remained in the country, and the Iraqi Christian singer Afifa Iskander, who was involved in espionage because of her love story with General Bakr Sidqi, an Iraqi general who in 1936 led a coup d’etat. Both soaps are not much concerned with the social and artistic lives of the singers as they are with the political details. The singers are exploited one way or another and the audience are amazed to watch these previously banned details on TV and at their leisure. The nostalgia for the “good old days” when Iraq enjoyed a nationalist Arab spirit is revived together with the rejection of the colonialist powers, mixing past and present. The romantic atmosphere is also revived, reminding older generations of the times when singers sang of pure love and yearning for the beloved and the difficulty to meet freely. The difficulty to meet in the past can also trigger similar feelings in the younger generations, who are mostly prevented from meeting their loved ones by the daily explosions all over Iraq. This paper explores Nostalgia, as diversely understood and interpreted, both in its relationship to the present and in its political implications. The paper constructs Iraq’s post 2003 drama and its argument, through the discussion of the temporalities of discourse, nostalgia and memory pointed out in Susannah Radstone’s The Sexual Politics of Time (2007) and in Birgite Beumers’ Nikita Mikhalkov: Between Nostalgia and Nationalism (2005).
  • Market suitability: the case of Eliza Lynn Linton

    Witwit, May (2015-07-07)
    Market Suitability: The Case of Eliza Lynn Linton At the beginning of her career Linton wrote ‘bold’ novels and articles supporting women’s emancipation but later insisted that the emancipation of women was a “giant mistake.” This paper argues that she changed from a vanguard of modern womanhood into an anti-suffrage misogynist to suit the anti-suffrage press backed by the ruling aristocrats. Her attacks on women began with the women’s emancipation movements and her sensational article ‘The Girl of the Period’ and similar essays criticized the New Woman and highlighted women’s points of weakness. Through chronologically setting the change in her public attitude against real life events, taken from her letters and her barely concealed autobiographic works, this paper attempts to show that Linton’s conversion to anti-feminism in the later part of the 1860s was a change in tactics rather than conviction and a part of her literary industry to achieve fame and keep a reasonable flow of income.
  • Teaching rule‐based algorithmic composition: the PWGL library cluster rules

    Anders, Torsten; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2016)
    This paper presents software suitable for undergraduate students to implement computer programs that compose music. The software offers a low floor (students easily get started) but also a high ceiling (complex compositional theories can be modelled). Our students are particularly interested in tonal music: such aesthetic preferences are supported, without stylistically restricting users of the software. We use a rule‐based approach (constraint programming) to allow for great flexibility. Our software Cluster Rules implements a collection of compositional rules on rhythm, harmony, melody, and counterpoint for the new music constraint system Cluster Engine by Örjan Sandred. The software offers a low floor by observing several guidelines. The programming environment uses visual programming (Cluster Rules and Cluster Engine extend the algorithmic composition system PWGL). Further, music theory definitions follow a template, so students can learn from examples how to create their own definitions. Finally, students are offered a collection of predefined rules, which they can freely combine in their own definitions. Music Technology students, including students without any prior computer programming experience, have successfully used the software. Students used the musical results of their computer programs to create original compositions. The software is also interesting for postgraduate students, composers and researchers. Complex polyphonic constraint problems are supported (high ceiling). Users can freely define their own rules and combine them with predefined rules. Also, Cluster Engine’s efficient search algorithm makes advanced problems solvable in practice.
  • The suitcase

    Piotrowska, Agnieszka (2015)
  • Forbidden love

    Piotrowska, Agnieszka (2015)
  • Buster Keaton and the sunshine players

    Randell, Karen; Southhampton Solent University (2014)
  • Duty over love: WWI nurses on film

    Randell, Karen; Southhampton Solent University (2014)
  • Agboluaje: Plays One: introduction

    Ukaegbu, Victor (Oberon Books, 2013)

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