Antonina Anisimovich

Antonina Anisimovich holds a PhD in Media from Edge Hill University and continues to collaborate with her former colleagues. Tonya is a media and communications scholar with a particular interest in the role of culture and cinema in negotiating traumatic memories. Her broader scope of research interests includes arts in health and wellbeing, media memory, cinema-going, and nostalgia. Recently, she has published on the role of cinemas in encouraging diversity and inclusivity, as well as on the role of arts and culture in mental health and wellbeing.

Deborah Chirrey

Deborah Chirrey’s research explores how language represents and constructs minority sexual and gender identities. Deborah’s research is informed by Queer Linguistics (e.g., Motschenbacher 2011) and takes a critical discourse analysis perspective. Deborah has mainly published on the linguistic representation of coming out in advice literature aimed at nascent lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. Most recently she has used conceptual metaphor theory to explore the dominant conceptual metaphors in online coming-out advice and critique hetero- and homonormativity in the texts. Find out more about Deborah’s research and academic roles here: Dr Deborah Chirrey – Edge Hill University

Jennifer Daniel

Jenny held an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award, between the University of Leeds and Opera North, completing her PhD in 2016 with the thesis Democratising Opera: Opera North and the access agenda in action. – White Rose eTheses Online. Following a previous career as music teacher and Head of Department in Secondary and Further Education, she has since held positions at the Universities of Leeds, Salford and Liverpool. Jenny has published widely on music, theatre, arts education, access and outreach. Recent research projects include ‘Issues in the Assessment of Creative (Musical) Theatre and (Digital) DiY: UK Lockdown vs. Constructive Alignment’, which considers the assessment of collaborative, creative student theatre in Higher Education, or ‘simulated professional practice’ (Dacre 2019), mapping the arguments for a ‘DiY’ theatre aesthetic (Daniels 2014) and against closed, outcomes-based education, onto assessment practice during lockdown. Current and upcoming research projects include an ethnography of new, accessible opera, Disunited Jukebox by Company Carpi (Contemporary Dance Company) and Singing as Response and Refuge   – The Knowledge (, an investigation of a programme of individual singing as social intervention, in partnership with Manchester Communication Academy. More generally Jenny’s interests lie in the cultural and educational work that is done by music and organised arts; concepts of industry, labour and leisure; coaching, value alignment and human flourishing; possibility; everyday creativity; and contributions to pedagogy, wellbeing and social justice. Read more about Jenny’s research here: Jenny Daniel — Edge Hill University

Owen Evans

Owen Evans has published on GDR literature, German film, and European Cinema. He has written monographs on Günter de Bruyn, and German literary autobiography, and his chapters and articles include studies of The Lives of Others, Sophie Scholl: The Last Days, the Hungarian film Kontroll, European Film Festivals and the films of Fatih Akin, Maren Ade, Valeska Grisebach and Małgorzata Szumowska. He is co-founding editor of the international journals Studies in European Cinema and the Journal of European Popular Culture, and co-founding director of the European Cinema Research Forum (ECRF), all with Graeme Harper. His current research also explores the field of arts, health, and wellbeing. He conducted an evaluation of Wakefield Council’s ‘Culture Cures’ programme in 2017-18, published on the wellbeing benefits of community arts festivals in Health and Place in November 2019 and is co-investigator of an AHRC-funded research network on everyday creativity (2022-24). Find out more about Owen’s research here: Professor Owen Evans – Edge Hill University

Chris Green

Chris is an artist and researcher, who works collaboratively with Kathern Owens as ‘greenandowens’. Their practice is multidisciplinary and includes performance writing, sound, zines, craft, scores, walking, and objects. The pair have recently completed a co-authored practice research PhD that examined the socio-political aspects of millennial precarity through their arts practice. They have had work published in Studies in Theatre and Performance, Performance Research, and a book chapter in Rethinking Roland Barthes Through Performance (Bloomsbury, 2023). They are currently developing ideas for several possible book projects on performance writing, millennial aesthetics, and friendship. Chris’ research areas include performance writing, co-authorship, millennial precarity and aesthetics, labour and economics, site-based and social practices. Chris is currently working on developing a new research project that looks at alternative models of structures that can be developed in relation to contemporary art and performance that resist neoliberal structures; this is being explored through theories of post-work and free time both through practice and scholarship with two forthcoming articles, one titled ‘After Work’ and the second ‘Queer Economics of Contemporary Art’. Chris’ artist website can be accessed here: greenandowens – Twitter / Instagram @greenandowens You can also find out more about his research at: Chris GREEN — Edge Hill University

Sammy Holden

Sammy Holden’s current PhD practice-as-research media project explores representations of and support for transgender and non-binary people in film. They have recently published a video essay on transgender readings of network and cable television characters with CST Online | Television Studies Blog. Watch it here: ‘I’M JUST MY DADDY’S CHILD’: JUSTIFIED & TRANSGENDER READINGS OF NETWORK AND CABLE TV CHARACTERS by Sammy Holden | CST Online. Their MA Film Studies practice-as-research dissertation was a hybrid video essay looking at non-binary audience responses to transgender and non-binary film representations; it is currently available through the Otherness Archive In Their View ( Additional to filmmaking interests, Sammy also co-founded Wigan Autistic Theatre Company in 2019 – Home

Ekwutosi Sanita Nwakpu

Ekwutosi Sanita Nwakpu’s PhD study looks at how different audiences in Nigeria and the United Kingdom respond to both proximal and distant images of suffering. In particular, the study looks at how cultural differences and the way responsibility is perceived by these ethnically diverse audiences can shape different responses. Ekwutosi has authored and co-authored studies About Nigerian media and Nigerian media audiences. Her most recent published work is entitled ‘BBC Africa Eye and changing perceptions of Western media among Nigerian audiences’ (2022). She is the ECREA – YECREA representative (Young Scholars Network of ECREA, the European Communication Research and Education Association) working on the ethics of mediated suffering.

Claire Parkinson

Claire Parkinson writes about culture, communication, and social and cultural history. Her main research interests focus primarily on socio-cultural and political-economic aspects of animal/human relationships. She is interested in how social norms, economics, politics, and cultural texts shape ideas and values and impact the lives and experiences of humans and animals. Claire is Co-Director of the Centre for Human Animal Studies and Associate Head of the English and Creative Arts Department. Her publications include the monographs Popular Media and Animals (2011) and Animals, Anthropomorphism and Mediated Encounters (2020) and the co-edited collections Beyond Human: from animality to transhumanism (2012) and Animal Activism On and Off Screen (2024). As a main project investigator, her recent work has included two AHRC-funded projects on multispecies methodologies and landscape, and QR-SPF-funded research on public perceptions of dangerous dogs. She has also led funded research projects on public responses to pro-vegan messaging, and worked on the multi-council funded UK National Ecosystem Assessment: shared, plural and cultural values of ecosystems. Find out more about Claire’s research here: Professor Claire Parkinson – Edge Hill University

David Peimer

David’s research expertise includes South African theatre and performance, postcolonial notions of identity and culture, the psychology of domination and autonomy, musical theatre, contemporary British and American theatre, creative writing and aesthetics. David has just completed a book chapter on Reza de Wet, the most performed white Afrikaans playwright during and after apartheid, which explores notions of postcolonial identity and sexuality. He has also recently wrote a book chapter exploring South African and Australian musicals in the context of postcolonial notions of identity production. David is now writing a new play about Albert Einstein‘s friendship with Fritz Haber and Walter Rathenau, to explore how in the interplay of identity and the yearning for cultural attachment/belonging, lies the classic fault lines of many cultures globally. He is also researching for a project about the life of Johnny Clegg, a white South African anthropologist who gave up academia to follow his vision of living with Zulu people in rural Zululand, and in the harsh, brutal migrant hostels of the gold mines around Johannesburg. His band Juluka (Sweat) became world renowned, fusing Zulu and Celtic/Irish ancient musical structures. The project investigates notions of identity production through artistic endeavours, together with Zulu rituals of gaining adulthood, without the simple lure of exotic ‘Otherness’. Find out more about David’s work here: DAVID PEIMER — Edge Hill University

Roger Shannon

Roger Shannon is a film industry professional and a published academic of over 40 years standing. Following post graduate study at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham, he has worked in the UK film and TV industry as a producer, film funder, film festival director, executive producer, film consultant and policy advisor. He has headed up film production funds at both regional and national level, including at the British Film Institute, the UK Film Council, Scottish Screen and the Moving Image Development Agency in Liverpool. Amongst many films he is associated with there have been major awards at international film festivals at Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, Locarno, New York, Edinburgh inter alia. His academic roles include Visiting Professor of International Film Business at Glasgow Caledonian University, International Film Professor at the Cuban Film School, and Professor of Film and Television at Edge Hill University, where as Director he established the Research Institute for Creative Enterprise. He is currently a Visiting Professor at Birmingham City University, Visiting Exec Producer at the Screen and Film University in Birmingham and Associate Director of the Institute for Creative Enterprise. His recent research include a re-evaluation of Lancashire-born surrealist artist Eleonora Carrington and an analysis of the emergence of ‘third eye’ diasporic optic in the work of migrant filmmakers.

Lena Šimić

Lena Šimić is a Reader in Drama at Edge Hill University, originally from Dubrovnik, Croatia, now resident in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Her research areas include contemporary performance practice, live art, art activism, feminist theatre and performance, and critical arts practice in relation to climate crisis, ecology and environment. Lena has presented her arts practice and research in a variety of academic journals (Performance Research, Contemporary Theatre Review, n.paradoxa, RiDE, Feminist Review, Studies in the Maternal, Journal of the Motherhood Initiative) and in various arts venues and festivals in the United Kingdom and internationally. She has recently collaborated with Platform London on an audio play Three Sisters: A Story from the Climate Future (Big Light, 2023). Her short play, Three Conversations in collaboration with her sons, Neal and Sid, was commissioned for Climate Change Theatre Action in 2019. Together with Underwood-Lee, she ran the AHRC funded Performance and the Maternal project (2019–2022) with a number of outputs including mother/artist interviews and a policy briefing. Their recent co-authored and co-edited academic publications include “On the Maternal” (2017) Performance Research (22:4), Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art) 2016! (2017), Maternal Performance: Feminist Relations Palgrave (2021) and Mothering Performance: Maternal Action Routledge (2023). Lena is currently developing a research project on menopause performance aesthetics. Read more about Lena’s projects here: Dr Lena Simic – Edge Hill University

Matt Smith

Matt’s research explores the representations of children onscreen and, particularly, the ideological, social and political implications of depictions of children in cinema. His monograph, The Child in British Cinema (2022), was published by Palgrave Macmillan and he has subsequently contributed work to The Journal of Punk and Post-Punk, The Film Education Journal and the Oxford Handbook of Children’s Film. Increasingly, Matt is interested in the role children and young people play in the production of media content as ‘prosumers’ and the way historically marginalised or under-represented children might choose to depict themselves on screen. Matt is currently developing ideas for book length projects concerned with representations of trauma, time and memory in cinemas that deal with ‘growing-up’. Find out more here: MATTHEW SMITH — Edge Hill University

Ruxandra Trandafoiu

Ruxandra Trandafoiu’s research analyses the use of arts and social media for political engagement and activism by migrants and diasporas. Ruxandra is currently working on two projects. With CPI partner organization SOLA Arts and colleagues at the University of Liverpool she is exploring how arts-based activities address the mental health needs of displaced and vulnerable groups in the Liverpool City Region. In collaboration with CPI partner organization Europia and colleagues at the University of Liverpool and West University of Timișoara she is also developing a project aiming to increase the communicative potential and advocacy of Romanian, Bulgarian and Roma communities in the UK. She has recently completed a project on the importance of dislocation in the work of Egyptian-British filmmaker Khaled El Hagar, on which she worked with CPI fellow colleague Roger Shannon. Find out more about Ruxandra’s publications here: Dr Ruxandra Trandafoiu – Edge Hill University