New podcast series: Newton Talks

Dr James Newton, Lecturer in the Department of Media Studies, has just launched a new podcast series, Newton Talks.

In the series, James discusses topics (mostly) related to cinema, television, and culture. His guests will be from the world of academia, as well as filmmakers and other artists, and each podcast will take the form of an unscripted discussion.

Two instalments have been released to launch the series. In the first episode James chats to Dr Nigel Mather about his upcoming book on British comedy drama since the turn of the century, and also discuss Stephen Merchant’s new film, Fighting with My Family (2019).

In the second episode, James talks with Dr Chris Deacy in the Department of Religious Studies about his research on religion and film – touching on cinema-going as a quasi-religious practice, redemption in film, and movies about Jesus such as Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004). Chris also discusses how films such as The Exorcist (1973) and Taxi Driver (1976) might tell us something about people’s engagement with religion or theology.

James has also contributed to a forthcoming edition of Chris’s Nostalgia podcast series (yet to be released).

To find out more, and to access the episodes, please see the page here:

James Newton publishes on anarchist cinema

Dr James Newton, Lecturer in the Department of Media Studies, has new published a new book The Anarchist Cinema (Intellect Books, 2019).

This book examines the complex relationships that exist between anarchist theory and film. No longer hidden in obscure corners of cinematic culture, anarchy is a theme that has traversed arthouse, underground and popular film.

In the book, James explores the notion that cinema is an inherently subversive space, establishes criteria for deeming a film anarchic, and examines the place of underground and DIY filmmaking within the wider context of the category. He identifies subversive undercurrents in cinema and uses anarchist political theory as an interpretive framework to analyse filmmakers, genres, and the notion of cinema as an anarchic space.

For more details, please see the publisher’s page here:

Nostalgia podcast with Helen Brooks

Dr Helen Brooks, Reader in Theatre and Cultural History in the Department of Drama and Director of Research in the School of Arts, is the subject of the latest instalment of ‘Nostalgia’, a podcast project created by Dr Chris Deacy, Department of Religious Studies.

Imagine receiving a birthday card from Doctor Who – this is what happened when Helen Brooks celebrated her thirteenth birthday.

In the podcast, Helen talks about Peter Davison, Samuel Beckett, why her school teachers had tried to dissuade her from taking Drama at A Level, being exposed to an eclectic range of music as a child (from Motown to Handel’s Messiah), why Helen has returned in recent years to writing a diary (and who it is being written for), how her dream was once to be a serious actor on the stage, and why she tries to live in the present.

To listen to the podcast, please visit:

GOLKK Theatre at the Gulbenkian

GOLKK Theatre, one of the Graduate Theatre Companies sponsored by the School of Arts, will be presenting their work ‘rest[less]’ in the Gulbenkian Theatre on Wednesday 15 May 2019.

‘rest[less]’ explores the topic of over-working and the phenomenon of burnout through the lens of beehives using GOLKK’s unique movement language. The piece premiered as a work-in-progress at The Place, London, earlier this year.

The performance will include a curtain-raiser from students from Herne Bay High School, developed as part of nine-week project where GOLKK worked with a Year 9 Drama class, giving students experience of physical theatre and ensemble work. The curtain-raiser will explore the theme of stress, and incorporate playful devising with poignant discussions surrounding school-related stress and how to cope.

GOLKK have also facilitated workshops with Girls’ Dance Company, an after-school programme for female students at Herne Bay High School.

Tickets for the performance cost £5/£10. To book, please see the page here:

The fourth Funny Rabbit

Funny Rabbit, the comedy club created by Dr Oliver Double, Reader in Drama in the School of Arts, returns this Friday 10 May 2019 in the Gulbenkian café.

Funny Rabbit is a new kind of comedy club – radical and exciting, but also warm and snuggly as a bunny rabbit. Whether you’ve never seen live comedy before or you’ve been watching it for decades, Funny Rabbit is for you.

Friday’s star acts will be the amazing Bec Hill and the upcoming George Rigden.

Bec Hill has gained a cult following in Australia, the UK and Ireland thanks to her award-winning solo shows, Twitter presence and popular YouTube videos. She has a talent for incorporating arts and crafts into her stand-up routines, creating a unique and unforgettable comedy style that she calls ‘paper-puppetry’. George Rigden is one of the most exciting, hotly-tipped and sought after new acts on the UK comedy circuit.

As always, two students will be performing from the School of Arts are Victor Pang and Adam Glen, who are both studying on the BA (Hons) in Drama and Theatre.

Tickets cost £5/7. To book, please see the page here:

New Studio 3 exhibition: ‘The Female Nude: Ways of Seeing’

Students from the History of Art have put together a new exhibition ‘The Female Nude: Ways of Seeing’, which offers a challenging appraisal of the female nude, and will open Studio 3 Gallery this week, on 10 May 2019.

‘The Female Nude: Ways of Seeing’ will focus on the representation of the female nude throughout art history, rethinking how the nude reinforces gender stereotypes. The exhibition will raise questions of contemporary debate such as feminism, body image and identity.

The exhibition will run throughout the month until 26 May 2019, from Monday until Friday 10am to 5pm. It will display work from Honoré Daumier, Jim Dine, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Guerilla Girls, Marilene Oliver, Julian Opie, Pablo Picasso, John Piper, and Ellen von Wiegand.

Co-author and curator of ‘The Female Nude: Ways of Seeing’, Carola D’Ambrosio said: ‘The exhibition will stand as a visual statement of the progression taking place within the world of art but also as reflective of wider cultural attitudes. Movements such as  #MeToo and Time’s Up have spread widely in the last year, and there is a constant attention reserved for the narrative of the female body which is not yet fully explored in the medium of print. In highlighting these outlooks we aim to rethink the female nude and encourage viewers to experience the subject from a range of different perspectives.’

‘The Female Nude: Ways of Seeing’ will be the eighth exhibition to run as part of the School of Art’s award-winning module ‘Print Collecting and Curating’, organised solely by undergraduate students. It will also exhibit works from the Kent Print Collection, established in 2005.

As part of the exhibition, the gallery will host a series of events including talk by Polish artist Iwona Abrams on 16 May, and a further talk British art historian and writer Frances Borzello on 23 May. There will be session on Mindfulness, to aid concentration and relaxation surrounded by art, on 17 May, as well as two life workshops held on 20 May and 24 May.

The exhibition has already come to the attention of the press, featuring in Print Quarterly magazine.

For more details about the Studio 3 Gallery, please see the page here:

Kaitlyn Regeher hosts podcast series on the benefits of research

Dr Kaitlyn Regehr, Lecturer in Media Studies, will be hosting a new podcast series entitled How Researchers Change the World, launching today, 7 May 2019.

The series, which is supported by the publisher Taylor & Francis, will release a new episode every two weeks, and will cover topics as diverse as new technology, the impact of social media, virtual reality, climate change, artificial intelligence, and gender studies.

Every episode will follow the story of one passionate researcher and their journey from the initial spark of an idea through to world-changing findings.

The first instalment tells the story of Dr Orii McDermott, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, whose work as a music therapist gave her an awareness of the research needed to enhance her own practice and to improve the lives of her patients, people living with dementia.

Speaking of the series, Kaitlyn said: ‘I am thrilled to be working on this innovative project with the amazing team at Monchu and WBBC as well as with Taylor & Francis, a publisher dedicated to supporting researchers  at all stages of their careers.’

The podcasts will be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Sticher. To read more, please see the dedicated site here:

Film staff publish on cinema’s Gothic heroines

Dr Tamar Jeffers-McDonald, Reader in Film, together with Dr Frances A. Kamm, Associate Lecturer in Film, have just edited a collection entitled Gothic Heroines on Screen (Routledge, 2019), which will be published in May.

Gothic Heroines on Screen explores the translation of the literary Gothic heroine on screen, the potential consequences of these adaptations, and contemporary interpretations of the form.

Each chapter illuminates the significance of this moving image mediation, relating its screen topics to their various historical, social, and geographical moments of production, while maintaining a focus on the key figure of the investigating woman. Many chapters – perhaps inescapably – delve into the point of adaptation: the Bluebeard story and du Maurier’s Rebecca as two key examples. Moving beyond the Old Dark House that frequently forms both the Gothic heroine’s backdrop and her area of investigation, some chapters examine alternative locations and their impact on the Gothic heroine, some leave behind the marital thriller to explore what happens when the Gothic meets other genres, such as comedy, while others travel away from the usual Anglo-American contexts to European ones.

Throughout the collection, the Gothic heroine’s representation is explored within the medium, which brings together image, movement, and sound, and this technological fact takes on varied significance. What does remain constant, however, is the emphasis on the longevity, significance, and distinctiveness of the Gothic heroine in screen culture.

As well as their introduction, Tamar has contributed a chapter entitled ‘Blueprints from Bluebeard: Charting the Gothic in contemporary film’ and Frances has contributed another entitled ‘The Gothic in Space: Genre, Motherhood and Aliens (1986)’. Lawrence Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Film and Head of Film Practice, has also contributed a chapter entitled ‘Bluebeard in the Cities: The Use of an Urban Setting in Two 21st Century Films’.

The book will be available in May, and you can read further details about it here:


Olly Double on BBC South East Today

Dr Olly Double, Reader in Drama in the School of Arts, appeared on BBC South East Today last night (2 May 2019), interviewed along with comedian Alexei Sayle regarding the Alternative Comedy Now Festival, which is currently ongoing at Kent.

‘Alternative comedy completely changed British stand-up comedy,’ explains Olly in the interview. ‘Before that there were a few people doing interesting things on the folk circuit, like Billy Connelly, but most stand-up comedy at that point was taking place in working men’s clubs and was based on unoriginal packaged jokes.’

Olly’s interview is followed in an interview with Alexei Sayle, which was recorded in the Gulbenkian Theatre on campus, prior to a show yesterday evening.

The piece is currently available on iPlayer, although expires at 7pm tonight, and begins at 15’11”:

KTV celebrated at the NaSTA awards

Last week, KTV, Kent Union’s television station, was celebrated at the National Student Television Association (NaSTA) awards.

NaSTA comprises over forty affiliated student TV stations from all over the UK. Each year, the organisation runs an awards ceremony in which stations submit examples of their programming for appraisal by judges drawn from the wider broadcast industry. This this there were 465 award entries, and the awards were hosted at the University of Nottingham on 26 April.

KTV won the Jisc Special Recognition Award for their innovative training schemes, and Madeleine Bolton won the Best Dramatic Performance award for the KTV produced film, Sweet Child of Mine.

Sweet Child of Mine was written and directed by student Tyler Hamblin, who is completing his BA (Hons) in Film in the Department of Film. The drama was produced as part of the KTV Film Festival, and was also Highly Commended in Best Drama category, and shortlisted for Best Writing and Best Cinematography.

The station was also shortlisted in the Highly Commended in Light Entertainment category, shortlisted for the Mars El Brogy Multimedia Award (for working with Inquire and CSR), and also won Best Sports Coverage.

To see a segment of Sweet Child of Mine, please see KTV’s YouTube channel here: