School of Film, Media and Communication


Creative Writing

The Creative Writing team at Portsmouth are engaged in fiction, travel writing, poetry and screen writing at local, national and international levels. Each of the academics strive to forge a vivid practice as research perspective and thus combine ambitious creative work with and serious critical writing outputs.

Some of the staff are engaged with the editorship of internationally significant literary periodicals such as The London Magazine and the Writing in Practice journal. Others have research projects of a more local resonance in the fields of writing for good mental health (‘Inkwell’) and a Portsmouth magazine (‘Star and Crescent’).

Our commitment to the living utterance of writing ranges from our poetry performance evenings, through assured public discourse in defence of writing as an academic subject, to keynote speeches regarding literature’s power to explore reconciliation.

We have crucial experience of funded, collaborative and interdisciplinary research. Furthermore, our scholars see their own writing as transcending the public/academic divide.

For, as practitioners, each member of the team has a broad and varied publishing profile, and therefore a keen knowledge of the publishing industry.

Together we have a spreading network of  contacts with other writers, publishers and critics of the highest eminence.

Most of our Creative Writing academics are consciously eclectic in their practice and consider themselves to be poets, short fiction authors, novelists, reviewers and non-fiction authors at the same time.

Our outputs continue to offer experimental, challenging and innovative utterances, across all forms genres.

Film and Media

Researchers in the film and media subject areas are extremely active, presenting conference papers across the world, delivering plenary and keynote addresses, publishing quality work eligible for submission to the REF, supervising PhD students, and acting as expert consultants in a number of key research areas of strength.

Many are also members of international research and professional bodies and serve as editorial board members and reviewers for world renowned journals and publishing houses.

Individual and group research projects advance across the cultural and creative industries, applying a wide range of analytic, critical, historical perspectives to the examination of film, media, music, television, animation, comics, journalism, print and online writing, digital technologies, cybercultures and social media, audiences and fan cultures.

As a consequence of this research and subject focus, membership of the research group is largely drawn from the staff and research students located in the School of Film, Media and Communication; however, recognising the interdisciplinary nature of the faculty and potential crossovers in research interests and expertise, some researchers are based in other schools in the faculty: for example, Creative Technologies and Art & Design.

We have had tremendous success in winning external funds for major collaborative research projects and those members who were entered into the 2014 national Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the area of Communication, Cultural & Media Studies, Library and Information Management achieved an excellent result for the university: 100% of the research impact was rated as either as being outstanding (60%) or as having very considerable impacts (40) and 90% of research is internationally recognised and above. The research environment was ranked at 90% as either world-leading (40%) or internationally excellent (50%), and 20% of outputs are ranked as world-leading (4*) and 55% as either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Film Production

IMV4 Exploring and documenting Jewish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) narratives through ritual bricolage

The hetero-normative expectations of much of Jewish cultural and religious life has created a situation where LGBTQI Jews often feel detached from ritual and practice (Schneer & Aviv, 2002; Alpert, 1998) experiencing a sense of cultural loss, whilst also experiencing discrimination in some key ritual settings.

This problem is particularly acute for Trans-Jews who report that they can be confined to a ‘limbo’ situation, even in contexts where lesbian and gay co-religionists are accepted as full members of a congregation (see Dzmura, 2011).

Over the past year the AHRC funded project Ritual Reconstructed: challenges to disconnection, division and exclusion in the Jewish LGBTQI community has been creating a series of films and encouraging members of the Jewish LGBTQI community to engage with ritual bricolage with personally meaningful ritual objects (re)viewed and presented through film, story, music and art.

Drawing on the concepts of ritual and methodological bricolage, this paper discusses the narratives that participants have created and explores how they have used ritual objects (e.g. kippot and yarzheit candles) and material culture and ephemera (e.g. AIDS Quilts, Siddurim inserts from ‘Pride Havurah’) to construct meaning and (re)create faith rituals which reflect the merging of core Jewish and queer identities.

To find out more about the project visit Ritual Reconstructed.


Beyond Slacktivism: Political Participation on Social Media

This project from Dr James Dennis explores the relationship between social media and democratic citizenship in Britain, arguing that Facebook and Twitter create new opportunities for cognitive engagement, discursive participation, and political mobilisation. A monograph from this project is due to be published in 2019 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Analysing BuzzFeed and VICE during #GE2017

This ongoing project examines how the 2017 UK general election was reported to younger audiences by BuzzFeed and VICE. This is a collaborative study by Dr Susana Sampaio-DiasMilan Kreuschitz-Markovič and Dr James Dennis.

Transnational Civil Society

This project seeks to understand the formation of transnational networks, their interaction with governments and international organisations, their effect of their activities on their organisational structure and working practices, and their impact on regional and global politics. This work will analyse how digital campaigning groups – such as 38 Degrees, GetUp! and MoveOn – operate at a regional and global level.