Anthropology, Media and Performance PhD
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The programme will be jointly managed by Drama in the School of Arts Histories and Cultures, and the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology/Social Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences. It is a practice-based programme, governed by the principles laid down for the presentation of practice-based theses in the guidelines approved by the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures.
After a year of academic formation and preliminary training in research methods and relevant craft techniques, students will be expected to carry out their projects on the basis of field research of a up to a year's duration. In the third year, students will be expected to return to Manchester and prepare the presentation of their results in textual or other media as appropriate.
To introduce students to potential interdisciplinary combinations of Anthropology, Applied Theatre/Performance Studies and Media Production so that they can produce original knowledge in one or more of these academic fields.
To introduce students to cutting-edge theories and self-reflexive, critical research practice in all these fields
To train students in a range of practical field research methods and media production skills sufficient to enable them to carry out the year-long fieldwork that is an integral and necessary aspect of the second year of the programme and to produce a combination of written dissertation and media and/or performance practice thereafter.
To make students aware of the legal and ethical implications of their work and of the appropriate procedures for ensuring ethical clearance of their research.
To encourage students in the development of a range of transferable skills in areas such as IT and AV media, as well as presentational, writing, team-working and foreign language skills
Although there are a number of existing performance or film-making genres that draw on various mixes of anthropological and/or applied theatre expertise, there is no doctoral programme, nationally or internationally, that offers an effective combination of academic and technical training necessary to bring them together. The University of Manchester is uniquely equipped to offer this training, having both the professional academic expertise and the provision of AV facilities by the University's Media Centre and the technicians in Drama. Our intention with this programme is to provide students with a more systematic, one-stop opportunity to acquire this range of skills.
The programme will employ a pedagogical approach featuring a high degree of peer-group formative assessment and enquiry-based learning. This approach fits particularly well with the reflective, action- and practice-based research typically carried out by film-makers and performers in professional contexts. Face-to-face training and supervision will be supported by a dedicated Blackboard presence.
Both applied theatre practitioners and anthropologists typically engage with deprived and marginalised populations across a diverse range of social contexts, thereby contributing to the development of social and cultural capital in those contexts, and thus to the remit of the university's 2015 agenda to support the development of a secure, humane, prosperous and sustainable future for human society.
In this first, pre-fieldwork coursework year, the precise modules that students will be recommended to take will vary, in accordance with the results of the skills audit that will be carried out immediately following enrolment. In order to carry out the fieldwork and media production of the second year, students will require intellectual and theoretical preparation, both in anthropology and in applied theatre and/or screen and performance studies, in combination with training in particular field research skills and technical competences in applied theatre and/or media production. Some of these skills they will already have prior to enrolment, as one of the conditions of acceptance onto the programme is that students have an MA level qualification in one or more of the following fields: Applied Theatre, Social Anthropology and Media Production. On the basis of the skills audit, students will be directed towards modules providing the intellectual formation or skills training that they will require in order to carry out their field projects.
During the first year of the doctoral programme, students will be typically engaged in coursework on a week-by-week basis, supplemented by supervisorial meetings on a fortnightly basis during teaching weeks and attendance at the programme-specific Master Classes by professional practitioners in film-making and applied theatre. These sessions will be `anchored' by the programme director or one of the other principal teachers on the programme, to provide continuity over the series. Master Class givers will be invited by the programme director, taking into account the particular interests of the students enrolled on the programme in any given year. The aim of these sessions will be to give students exposure to professional standards of performance and media production outside academic life and they will not be formally assessed.