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[Commlist] CDA - The Political Economy of Screen Archives: Innovation, Sustainability and the Value of Screen Heritage.

Fri Nov 29 14:14:44 GMT 2019

The AHRC-funded Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership <>(M4C) brings together eight leading universities across the Midlands to support the professional and personal development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers. M4C is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University of Warwick, Coventry University, University of Leicester, De Montfort University, Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham.

 M4C is awarding up to 94 doctoral studentships for UK/EU applicants for 2020 through an open competition and 15 Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) through a linked competition with a range of partner organisations in the cultural, creative and heritage sector.


*The Birmingham School of Media at Birmingham City University in collaboration with the University of Nottingham and the **Media Archive for Central England* <>**is inviting applications to a CDA titled /The Political Economy of Screen Archives: Innovation, Sustainability and the Value of Screen Heritage/.

This research project is concerned with the archival institution and questions of cultural value and sustainability. It is grounded in theoretical, historical and practical interest in the film and television archive – a subject rarely touched upon in contemporary accounts of policy (e.g. Doyle,2015). The researcher will aim to identify meaningful solutions in policy and practice for preservation and sustainability in the sector. Based at MACE yet outside of the everyday determinants and demands on the space of its personnel, the doctoral student will pursue lines of enquiry and provide a model of reflexive research and development in order to produce impactful insights for policymakers, intermediaries as well as those who make use of film and television repositories.

The doctoral researcher will thus devise a project that addresses, extends and adapts the following indicative research questions that seek to direct the research:

  * What is the cultural value and purpose of a publicly funded film
  * What is the role of the archivist in meeting contemporary policy
expectations, securing funding and managing the business of the archive?
  * How might the proposed research understand tensions and trade-offs
    between the ideals and ambitions of professional cultural workers
    and the pressures of economic expediency in order to assess and
    model new opportunities for institutional identities and
    sustainability in the screen archive?

The research will examine the nature of past and current film archive policy, of its promises, expectations and obligations for the sector, paying particular attention to the relationship between national and regional priorities. It will explore financing for the sector – of the rationale and mechanics in how funding is apportioned and income generated – and will explore specific case studies at MACE that enable an examination of business models and ideas for innovation. It will also work with concepts of cultural labour, expertise and value in assessing the role of the archivist and indeed, the constitution of user-audiences.

The doctoral researcher will engage with archivists and practices across the sector. The research project will be empirically focussed on the role of MACE as a regional screen archive, and engage with its partners as part of a wider landscape through its relationship with BFI and national policy objectives alongside the role of MACE’s Director as Chair of the national representative organisation for the sector, Film Archives UK. Research will commence in September 2020. It is envisaged that the researcher will be on site at MACE for up to 50% of the four years of study with the opportunity for activity articulated in blocks as month-long work placements and/or on a day/week basis. Research methods will include policy analysis, organisational ethnography, interviews with cultural workers and audiences. There is potential for practice-based work and innovation will take place in the approach to secondary research in scoping out and synthesising grey literature, archival theory and current work across several disciplinary fields that is concerned with cultural organisations, policy and economics.

To find out more:

Go to the *Midlands4Cities website.* <>

Contact Dr Oliver Carter: *(_oliver.carter /at/*

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