Filmic Visions and Pushing Boundaries

   School of Art and Design

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  Dr Marco Bohr  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The proposed project will involve an investigation into filmic forms that push against, cross and/or transgress boundaries between fiction, ethnographic, essayistic or documentary cinema. We are particularly interested in PhD projects that view this transgression of cinematic genres as a metaphor for other forms of transgression in relation to questions around identity, cultural belonging, migration, gender and sexuality. Over the last two decades there has been a great influx of transnational art house cinema which has consistently undermined preconceived cinematic orthodoxies. This PhD opportunity provides the opportunity to analyse emerging visual forms that are yet under researched or have received little scholarly attention. We are particularly interested in the role of transglobal communities that shape these forms of expression.

Applicants should have a strong understanding of the histories and contexts of any given cinematic form that they are primarily concerned with though ultimately we believe that the project is best addressed through transdisciplinary methods which we are keen to support. We support PhD projects via the traditional research degree consisting of an original written thesis, or, for those with a practice-based background, an original written thesis with a significant body of creative work. Additionally we also welcome applications that seek to experiment with practice-based research and finding ways, through rigorous PhD research, how to incorporate filmic texts into academic writing (or vice versa). Routes that are open to students includes the essay film, video diaries/essays, and video installations.

The successful applicant would join one of the country’s leading art and design schools which has been influencing, inspiring and innovating for over 175 years. The school has a vibrant, forward-looking and expanding research community where collaboration and interdisciplinarity are embraced and encouraged. PhD candidates would have access to a number of highly relevant research groups based within the Artistic Research Centre, or, in the School of Arts and Humanities, The Centre for the Study of Inequality, Culture and Difference. Additionally, successful applicants would have access to world-class technical facilities and technical expertise in relation to filmmaking, photography and visual communication if this is appropriate for the project. As UNESCO City of Literature, Nottingham is a vibrant and exciting city considered to be one of the leading centres of the Creative Industries in the UK.

The successful applicant would be principally supervised by Dr. Marco Bohr, Associate Professor in Visual Communication in the School of Art and Design, and Dr. Cüneyt Çakırlar, Senior Lecturer in Communication, Culture and Media in the School of Arts and Humanities. Potential applicants are welcome to contact Dr. Bohr at [Email Address Removed] and Dr Çakırlar at [Email Address Removed] for any enquiries.

As part of the application process, applicants are asked to produce an original 1,000 – 2,000 word research proposal which outlines their research project. Under clear headings or subheadings, the research proposal needs to contain the following information: provisional title, the topic or area to be investigated, the problem or hypothesis to be tested, the methods and techniques to be used in the research, a provisional timetable for the project indicating anticipated activities, the relationship of the proposed research to the published literature and to current research in the field, an indication of the contribution to knowledge that the thesis is anticipated to make, details of previous work in the proposed field, and a bibliography of sources already consulted or identified as of relevance to your proposal.

This opportunity is for self-funded PhD students. Applicants are encouraged to apply for external funding and we will support this process if appropriate and when required.

Entry requirements

Entrants must have a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in a subject area relevant to the PhD research. 

How to apply

There is no application deadline for this project. For a step-by-step guide and to make an application, please visit NTU's how to apply page.

Fees and funding

This opportunity is for self-funded PhD students. Applicants are encouraged to apply for external funding and we will support this process if appropriate and when required.

Anthropology (2) Communication & Media Studies (7) Creative Arts & Design (9) Philosophy (28) Politics & Government (30) Sociology (32)


Bohr, M. 2019. “No Man’s Zone: The Essay Film in the Aftermath of the Tsunami in Japan”. Hollweg, Brenda and Krstić, Igor (eds), World Cinema and the Essay Film: Transnational Perspectives on a Global Practice. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Bohr, M. 2012. “The Collapse of Ideology in Peter Kahane’s The Architects”. Hannu Salmi (ed.), Frontiers of Screen History: Imagining European Borders in Cinema, 1945–2010. London: Intellect.
Çakırlar, C. 2017. “Transnational Pride, Global Closets and Regional Formations of Screen Activism: Documentary LGBTQ Narratives from Turkey”, Critical Arts 31(2): 44-60.
Çakırlar, C. & Akçalı, E. 2016. “A Form of Proto-Cinema: Werner Herzog’s Aesthetics of Documentary Essayism”, Cineaction 97: 50-59.

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