The Leeds School of Arts provides a supportive and stimulating environment for research projects across the contemporary creative arts. As well as offering supervision for research students investigating cultural history or exploring theoretical approaches to the arts, we specialise in research by practice. Many or our staff are leading practitioners across the contemporary arts field and supervise students who are creating new and innovate practice work as a means of investigating key research questions.
Our research covers four areas:
In the Northern Film School we support PhDs which examine the history, culture and impact of the moving image. Two of our current projects are a study of film adaptations of Bronte novels with a focus on the depiction of childhood, and another looking at representations of older women in recent British cinema. In the practice field we have PhDs that cover cinematography, sound recording, and online transmedia scriptwriting.
The second area we support is Music. This includes ethnomusicology with an emphasis on the study of historic forms of popular music, as well as experimental music composition, field-based work, and music for films and games. PhDs take traditional routes of investigation but also include practice-based work which pioneers the creation of new musical works and experimentation with the latest audio technology.
In Dance the focus has been on ideas around embodiment and movement as thinking, with both conventional written PhDs and practice-based work. The relationship between audiences and performers, as well as the role of choreography, are other key interests. Similar concerns underpin our research work in Performing Arts where the body as archive and the role of children in performance studies have been recent areas of focus. Our close working relationship with the Richard Demarco Archive provides opportunities to explore the legacy of postwar performance work.
Practice-based research benefits from the exceptional facilities available across the School which include professional film studios, advanced postproduction and editing software, spaces for dance and performance, and state of the art recording facilities. We have recently moved into a new purpose built £80 million Arts Building with all new facilities which include a theatre, cinema, recording studios and dance spaces, an indication of the University's continuing commitment to the creative arts.
The Leeds School of Arts also partners with the School of Art, Architecture and Design in the Leeds Arts Research Centre (LARC). Please visit the LARC website to see examples of our staff and student work, as well as the exceptional research environment which we offer.
To discuss your research ideas further please contact Professor Robert Shail, Director of Research for Film, Music and Performing Arts.