TFTS recognised for world-leading research

According to the results of the 2008 RAE, 30% of the research conducted in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies is ‘world-leading’ (4*). A further 30% is rated as meeting the standards of ‘international excellence’ (3*).

Professor Adrian Kear, Head of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, welcomed the acknowledgement of the Department’s achievements:

‘We are rightfully very proud of our performance in the 2008 RAE. To have 30% of our research rated as world-leading (4*) and a further 30% as internationally excellent (3*) places us firmly at the top table of UK Universities in our subject area. By one of the most widely respected ranking methodologies, Research Fortnight’s ‘Power’ league table, we rank 3rd in the UK. This is testimony to the fact that Aberystwyth University is an international powerhouse in Theatre, Film and Television Studies, with over 5% of the UK’s total graded research being conducted by staff within the Department.’

TFTS – 1st in Wales, 3rd in the UK for research quality and capacity.

For the full set of results, see the web pages of the RAE.

To download the research league tables, please see the Research Fortnight pages.

World Premiere of David Rudkin’s Merlin Unchained, 23-27 January, Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth University Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies proudly present the world premiere performances of a new play by its Honorary Professor, David Rudkin: Merlin Unchained.

‘The aged magician has repudiated human society and lost all memory of his wondrous and tragic past. He lives like a beast in the wild wood, with only a wolf and the stars for company. But now the bitter winter is passing; his memories and powers begin painfully to re-awake: mysterious forces are summoning him to one last mission in the world, necessitating a purposeful and ferocious confrontation with the configurations of power, and obedience to power, which characterise our own present-day political and ecological dystopia.’

This remarkable new play blends the epic, the tragic and the savagely comic with a Shakespearean ambition and force.

To book tickets please visit the TFTS ticket booking page

7:30 pm, 23 – 27 January 2009

Theatr y Castell/Castle Theatre, Aberystwyth

Tickets £5 - £7

For further information please contact the Marketing and Management Team at merlin_unchained@hotmail.co.uk

Postgraduate Funding Opportunities at TFTS: Competition Now Open!

Firmly located in Wales, and with an established international profile across its constituent disciplines, the 2008 RAE 4* rated Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies provides a vibrant research environment for postgraduate study.

MA Funding Opportunities

We offer an exciting suite of MA programmes designed to prepare you for professional practice and/or doctoral research: MA Film Studies, MA Practising Performance, and MA Scriptwriting (Screen and Radio).

Outstanding applicants to any of the above schemes with a clear intention to pursue doctoral study within the Department will be considered for a TFTS research preparation bursary designed to cover a year’s fulltime fees and maintenance benchmarked to ensure equivalence with the AHRC (currently £8, 800). MA students in the Department also benefit from eligibility for a number of funded bursaries, notably from the Thomson Foundation for Welsh medium MA studies.

Application for nomination for an AHRC Research Preparation Masters award (RPM) and consideration for a TFTS Research Preparation Bursary

Application for nomination for an AHRC Professional Preparation Masters (PPM) award

PhD Funding Opportunities

The Department’s established reputation for conducting leading-edge, international quality research makes TFTS an ideal place to pursue doctoral study. We offer supervision and research training in both English and Welsh, focussing on topics such as: Landscape, environment and site-specific performance; Welsh and minority-language theatre, film and television; National and trans-national processes of production and contexts of reception; Broadcasting structures; histories and regulatory policies; Alternative and experimental theatre; and film and television drama.

PhD research may be practice-led, or through written thesis. PhD students in the Department receive funding from a number of sources: AHRC, Aberystwyth University, independent charities, employers and overseas providing bodies. We offer support and guidance in making applications to such organisations, and augment the opportunities they provide through a number of TFTS doctoral studentships awarded to outstanding students who have made excellent applications to other funding sources. The TFTS studentships are designed to cover three years fulltime fees and maintenance, benchmarked to ensure equivalence with the AHRC (currently £12,600).

For further information and application forms please contact Ceris Medhurst-Jones, Departmental Research Administrator, on 01970 628648 or ekj@aber.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Potential applicants are invited to contact the Department as soon as possible and no later than 31st January 2009

Aberystwyth in Flux 1968-2008 - Fluxconcert by and for Fluxus

29 November 2008: 8pm, Castle Theatre, Aberystwyth (featuring a Fluxclinic 4-6pm and from 7pm)

Admission is free. To book tickets visit www.performance-wales.org or ring 01970-621911

“The Fluxus Concert was a real success… Slides of cowboy drawings. We pull crackers, burst bags, howl. Somebody chases his mate around the parish hall to hit him. Flux-Pin-Up No. 1 showers down. It is a picture of Brian. … People howl and throw streamers, and stick coloured papers on their faces, and somehow behind the light Brian throws us another set of instructions. Caution, Art Corrupts.”

(John Hall, ‘A State of Flux – John Hall at the Aberystwyth Festival’, The Guardian 30 November 1968)

From the 27th to the 29th November 1968, artist Brian Lane came to Aberystwyth with his collaborators, the First Dream Machine, to organize a 3-day Fluxus event. He had been invited by the annual Aberystwyth Arts Festival, a committee that was made up of students from University College Aberystwyth. The participatory and imaginative nature of Fluxus appealed to the organisers who, as they stated in their invitation to Lane, were looking to “reach a wide enough audience” and were “attempting to revitalize the Festival by pushing the idea of Art as Fun, Art as something to be enjoyed”.

In response, Brian Lane devised an ambitious programme for Aberystwyth: a 12 hour concert of electronic music (which featured pieces by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Henry and Adrian Nutbeem), one of the first Fluxclinics in the country, an international graphics exhibition and a session of Total Theatre. At the heart of the festival was a Flux Concert, featuring performances of now classic Fluxus scores by artists such as George Maciunas, Ben Vautier, George Brecht and Chieko Shiomi.

Aberystwyth-based artists will pay tribute to this seminal example of experimental art practice exactly 40 years after it first occurred by performing their interpretation of the original Fluxus scores used in 1968.

...if you don't know what a Fluxconcert is you must come and see for yourself... [Brian Lane, 1968]

The restaging is part of What’s Welsh for Performance? Beth yw 'performance’ yn Gymraeg? - A major research project aiming to uncover and archive the history of performance art in Wales.

Project Director: Dr Heike Roms, Performance Studies, Aberystwyth University

With the support of the Sir David Hughes Parry Awards 2008.

Argentinian composer Oscar Edelstein to give talk at Parry-Williams

“Music in the Universe of the Imagination”

Monday 24th November at 5pm - The Foundry Studio, Parry-Williams Building

Oscar Edelstein is known for his individuality and inventiveness, frequently being described as leading the avant-garde from Latin America. He is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic works and has - alongside his orchestral and ensemble works - made over forty works for theatre and dance, and over fourteen operas (or as he prefers to call them - "Acoustic Theatre"). His musical universe has been compared to that of composers such as Ives, Stockhausen, Varèse or Cage. His ensemble, the ENS (Ensamble Nacional del Sur), was compared to the work of popular musicians Hermeto Pascoal, Frank Zappa, and King Crimson. Partly inspired by Arnold Schoenberg and the Second Vienna School, Edelstein has taken this vision in his own uniquely Latin American direction. As a senior professor and research director of a centre of composers, musicians, mathematicians, physicists and acoustic engineers at Quilmes University (Buenos Aires), he has developed a new system of control and notation of the acoustic space, which he calls The Acoustic Grid. It incorporates an entirely acoustic (non-electronic) system of amplification utilizing the scientific principle of Sonic Crystals. The project represents new ways of thinking about aesthetics, composition, pitch and harmony.

Professor Edelstein will talk about his musical universe and the philosophy that has influenced it. He will address concepts of aesthetics, time, space, technology, and memory with reference to figures such as Nietzsche, Wagner, Cage, Stockhausen, Debussy, and Schumann.

Aberystwyth University and Boomerang launch strategic partnership

Talented young film makers and aspiring television producers will be able to showcase their work on a new web video portal following the announcement of a major new strategic partnership between the University and one of Wales’s leading independent television production companies, Boomerang TV.  Sesh TV, a project supported by S4C, is being developed in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies with Cube Interactive, and promises to have a major impact on the sector.  It is the first in a series of innovations to come out of this major joint initiative.

Professor Noel Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, and Mr Huw Eurig Davies, Managing Director of Boomerang TV, will formally launch the three year strategic partnership at 12.00 noon on Tuesday 28 October at the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies.

Some of the important features of the partnership include office facilities and a full-time researcher at the University to explore further opportunities for knowledge transfer and enterprise activity and to co-ordinate the development of Sesh TV. Work experience opportunities for students also form an important part of the agreement.

Professor Noel Lloyd has welcomed the development. “This is a significant opportunity for the University to work with a major player in the broadcasting industry in Wales in the development of innovative and exciting new content and forms of television production.  This underlines the importance of the University’s work in the creative and cultural sector.”

Professor Adrian Kear, Head of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies said: “This partnership provides a great opportunity to develop ways of sharing insights, creating new knowledge and fostering innovation.  This will bring benefits to students, research staff, and film and television producers. Increased interaction between them is supported in the creative and intellectual environment of the Department.” 

The Cardiff based Boomerang group has built a nation-wide reputation for entertainment, extreme sports, factual, musical and radio programming. Over the past 4 years it has invested over £1m in new post-production and studio facilities, and recently attracted a £1m Venture Capital investment. Last year it was awarded significant development support from both S4C in Wales and Network development contracts from BBC and Channel 4, and qualified for the European Union's MEDIA Slate Development programme. Internationally it is best known for its extreme sports brand '360° Surfing'.

Boomerang’s presence in the Department, alongside their offices in Aberaeron will also provide a much needed boost to the media in Mid-Wales.