Adelphi Research Network

Communication, Culture and Media
Professor Mark Deuze, visiting from the University of Amsterdam

The Adelphi Research Network meets monthly to connect researchers and would-be researchers inside and alongside the School of Journalism, Media and Performance and the multidisciplinary network of research staff from across the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries to mull over two of the key decisions every researcher has to make:  

  1. What is the question? Deciding on where specifically to focus your research efforts.
  2. How to answer it? Deciding on which research method or methods to employ.

“There’s a lot of learn from hearing about the approaches and processes others take  – and discussing your own studies with those as curious as you,” said Dr François Nel, who coordinates the ARN along with Prof Erik Knudsen, Dr Les Gillon and Dr George Ogola, who sit on the school’s Professors and Readers Committee.  

At each Adelphi meeting, two researchers lift the lid on a study they have done or are doing – and share the lessons they’ve learned as well as the questions they still have. Meetings are strictly analogue. There are no data projectors, or PowerPoint presentations. Just conversations and dialogue around research, or potential, research topics and approaches.

“There are other fora where researchers can share their results; ARN meeting are  opportunities to have serious conversations in a very relaxed setting about how the ‘research sausage’ is made, if you will,” explains Nel. “It’s a great way to hear how others on the frontline of scholarship and to get advice on your own work whether you’re new to academic research or a seasoned professor. And, very importantly, to connect with others who appreciate that undertaking research can be both thrilling and daunting in almost equal measure.”

The network typically meets in the first floor meeting room above The Adelphi pub on Fylde Street at the edge of UCLan’s Preston Campus from 4pm on the last Wednesday of the months during the Autumn and Spring semesters. The formal discussions wrap up at around 5:15pm – but the conversations usually continue for at least another round or two.

The network has hosted a wide range of research activity:

John Mills of the Media Innovation Studio spoke about his cross-institutional, multidisciplinary research group tackled a Google-funded study into the Internet of Things and journalism.

Recent PhD graduate Jude Ogbodo has spoken about how he applied media frames of group identity to his study of the issues in the Niger Delta.

Clare Cook presented the wifi proximity broadcasting project CAST as an alternative village connectivity system in three remote villages in Armenia. We set out to serve alternative news and information in a politically pressured environment. This discussion will share candid experiences around field research across multidisciplinary teams in foreign countries – the methods, highs and lows. It will map the journey from failed H2020 bid to successful HEIF bid, project inception and development, to packaging research as real-world impact. Lessons learned on research questions, methods and more.

Dance artist Lucy Nicholson has a particular interest in the role dance and movement can play in engaging people with their own bodies and the role that plays in moving towards notions of ownership, choice making and self-belief.  Through her work on the BA (Hons) Dance Performance & Teaching and as part of Reading The World, a creative writing and performance project, she observes how both delivery through a Laban-Barteneiff lens and asset-based facilitation choices contribute to these outcomes. This as a practice as research project in its very early stages.

Jim Thompson, Principal Lecturer Games Design, makes live games, playful spaces and objects for play. These allow participants to engage with different experiences, modes of thought and happiness. He told the group about facility of these types of games to provide transformative experiences for players by engaging their curiosity and allowing for creative expression.

PhD candidate in Film, Adeline Cooke, talked through how participatory filmmaking can be developed into a tool for women in Papua, Indonesia, who have experienced war and armed conflict and who have traditionally been excluded from post war reconciliation discourses, to partake and influence decision making and theories around peace and reconciliation

Dr Gary Bratchford (Photography) unpacked how he approached a 9-month socially engaged photography project commissioned by Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Liverpool photography organisation, Open Eye Gallery. The talk focussed on the methods, approaches and problems working with multiple partners to a pre-determined or pre-supposed outcome, and how, as an academic-practitioner, one has to fill a number of roles.

Dr Josh Horsley (Music) talked about cultural pointillism and spaces for duration. He discussed his my artistic practice and its development as practice-based research.  Working across music, sonic art, visual art, and installation, his research begins to question the significance of duration as it relates to the aesthetic issues of form and listening in the context of “cultural pointillism” and the attention economy.

The Adelphi Research Network has also hosted external speakers, the most recent being Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies  at the University of Amsterdam and lead singer of Skinflower. Mark spoke about his new book  Making Media, co-edited with Mirjam Prenger, which seeks to uncover what it means and what it takes to make media (professionally), focusing on the lived experience of media workers within the global media, including rich case studies of the main media industries and professions: television, journalism, social media entertainment, advertising and public relations, digital games, and music.

Adelphi Research Network meetings are open to everyone interested in the topic, whether inside or outside of the school or the university. For questions or suggestions, contact François at fpnel@uclan.ac.uk, Erik at EKnudsen@uclan.ac.uk , Les at LGillon1@uclan.ac.uk or George at GOOgola@uclan.ac.uk

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