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Past Projects

Past Projects

HARI has hosted a wide range of collaborative projects and events in central London locations and on Royal Holloway’s campus at Egham. This section offers an introduction to some of the HARI-funded projects and research topics of previous years.

Wednesday 15 May, 12-5pm

Events Space, Davison Library, Royal Holloway, University of London


12-1:20pm – Constructing Gender in the Nineteenth Century: Histories and Legacies

Dr Laura Eastlake (Edge Hill) - Ancient Rome and Victorian Masculinity in the Age of Reform

Professor Mandy Merck (RHUL) - Sarah Bernhardt’s Feminist Following – Then and Now


1:20-2pm – Lunch


2-3:20pm – Radicalism and Reform in the Kitchen

Dr Rachel Williams (Hull) - Enacting Dietary Reform in Civil War Hospital Kitchens

Dr Laura Newman (RHUL) - Putting Women Back in the Kitchen: (Re)Visiting Gendered Histories of Food Production in Britain


3:20-3:45 – Tea and Coffee


3:45- 5pm – Student Panel: Reforming Gender and (En)gendering Radicals

Natalie Reeve (RHUL) - ‘Arrang[ing] Themselves’: Forming and Reforming ‘our Body’ in the Personal Sketches of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Gursimran Oberoi (Surrey/Watts Gallery) - She Shall Be Called Woman: The Legacy and Controversy Surrounding G. F. Watts’s Art and the Women’s Suffrage Campaign

Tim Moore (RHUL) - 'Blooming Girls' and 'Silly Lads': Gendering Youth in Nineteenth-Century Conduct Manuals

Eminent Speaker event

Day with Rosi Braidotti

18 June 2019, Senate House, London

A Day with Rosi Braidotti will bring together Royal Holloway researchers, both established and junior, who engage with Braidotti's work, followed by response by Braidotti herself. 

Rosi Braidotti emerged in the early 1980s as one of the strongest voices in feminism, philosophy, cultural politics, epistemology and ethics. Her book Nomadic Subjects established the project of nomadism that reformulated the notions of identity and subjectivity and engaged with transformative politics. Feminist nomadism critiqued the unitary subject, Euro-centrism, and acted to reactivate the dynamics between empowerment and entrapment through engaging with different levels of power and desire. The philosophical project of nomadism, further developed in Metamorphoses and Transpositions to engage with cultural politics and ethics connected to further work in eco-feminism and science and technology studies throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Her cartography of the human condition in the times of advanced capitalism evolved into her contribution to the development of the posthumanities, where The Posthuman continued to unfold the transversal and relational vision of the subject, while affirming an empirical project of transformative ethics based on such ontological relationality. Posthuman ethical subjects suggest a transformation for the human sciences - humanities today. Offering a political - and an institutional - programme, the new humanities emphasise the potential of the posthuman. Braidotti’s work has reactivated disciplines, arguing for a new form of knowledge and ethics and has had lasting influence on generations of researchers in numerous fields of study. 


Wild Geographies - Anna May

Image by Anna May

This project is a cross-disciplinary encounter with Britain’s ‘wild geographies’. Our focus is a creative exploration of time-dependent elements of habitat change in the context of rewilding initiatives. By engaging various publics in an enhanced scientific understanding of environmental change in urban and rural environments, we will host a series of events that prompt participants towards performative interventions in the British landscape. This collaboration brings artistic and scientific research together to reshape the imaginaries of conservation. It considers the efficacy of Performing Arts in enhancing public engagement with Quaternary Science, and applies specialist scientific knowledge to the development of site-based performance practice. Our proposal is that an enhanced understanding of Quaternary history (the last 2.6 million years), along with a creative sensibility to possible futures in wildlife conservation, can have a significant impact on the way that present publics engage with concepts of wildness and wilderness.

The project is led by Dr David Overend and Professor Danielle Schreve.

Making Space Symposium

For as long as art has existed, so too has the question of where and how it is experienced.

Art institutions, from the major national collections to regional museums, and university galleries, play an important role in reflecting, and in shaping, cultural identity. The practice and the reception of art are constantly evolving, and so the role of curating has diversified to engage with the changing nature and growing diversity of artistic practices.

This seminar series, now in its fourth year, explores the relationship between curating, display, and space, and examines the ways in which different practices of curating can shape our understanding of physical as well as cultural environments. The invited speakers represent a wide cross-section of different types of art space with contrasting imperatives, objectives and priorities. Our aim and hope is that engaging in dialogue will help to generate debate on the myriad ways of shaping our encounters with art.

North 3 OB - 1

The research project, ADAPT TV History researches and documents the history of British Broadcast Television technology between 1960 and the near present. It’s primary research method is to reunite veteran TV crew with TV kit they once worked with and to film that reunion, and indeed the veteran crew ‘re-using’ the old kit in order to learn more about why and how TV was made the way it was in the past.

Led by ADAPT Digital Producer Amanda Murphy and co-funded by HARI and the Being Human Festival 2017, ADAPT is presenting a series of events offering the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in how television was made in the early days. ADAPT Live brings together some of the most extraordinary television pioneers and veteran TV crews, demonstrating the great skills that brought us the first colour TV shows and the first documentaries shot on film and on location in the 1960s/70s.

OB monitors

You’ll have the chance to get hands-on with some of the original kit and view unique footage filmed by the ADAPT team at RHUL. Q&A sessions will give you the opportunity to find out exactly what making early TV was like, and our Memory Booth is your chance to tell us what television in the early days meant to you!

Event details are below, please visit the Being Human website for further information or contact HARI Project Lead Amanda Murphy

Thursday 23rd November 4pm - LateFriday 24th November 10am – 12noon

The National Science and Media Museum, Bradford BD1 1NQ    


Being Human Logo

v for vendtta mask

Alan Moore is a major UK contemporary writer: perhaps the world’s leading writer of graphic novels credited with revolutionising the medium; the ‘original writer’ for several major science fiction or historical (or, in one case, both) films, the author of a novel, Jerusalem (2016) and a major (counter-)cultural figure.

The aim of this academic conference is to attend to his writing as writing: to examine what core ideas influence him; what tropes reoccur and why; his influences and antecedents; questions of form, mode and genre; and about his wider role as writer.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Adam Roberts, award-winning science fiction author, RHUL academic.
  • Journalist and critic Andrew Harrison
  • Dr Harriet Earle
  • Dr Matt Green
  • Dr Maggie Gray
  • Dr Tony Venezia
  • Professor Robert Eaglestone

In collaboration with Professor Juliet John in the Department of English, HARI Project Lead Adam Ganz coordinates a series of events at the British Library looking at screenwriters who have worked in other fields, with screenwriters or filmmakers talking about the work of their peers who are now in the British Library archives.

This builds on a very successful event during the Screenwriting Research Network Conference at the Library where Oscar Winning screenwriter Sir Ronald Harwood (whose work is in the Special Collections) was interviewed by Christine Geraghty about his career.

In the last decade Screenwriting has increasingly become an academic discipline, with the launch of the Screenwriting Research Network in 2008, the Journal of Screenwriting in 2010 and the Palgrave “Studies in Screenwriting series in 2012. Theorists like Stephen Price and Steven Maras have looked at the historical development and purpose of the screenplay whilst Ian W. MacDonald’s formulation of the Screen Idea Work Group explored how the various iterations of the screenplay are developed through exchange between writer, director and producer and the demands of funders. Kathryn Millard’s work has considered the screenplay as part of a tradition of visual writing and looked at new forms of writing and collaboration in the digital era.

But the new discipline of Screenwriting Studies has looked at screenwriting as a distinct practice and screenwriters as a distinct species- perhaps unsurprising given that the practice had been neglected as a subject for academic study. In practice, though, both texts and writers migrate between forms and roles. Books and plays become films, but screenplays also become plays and novels. And most of the writers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have written for the screen as part of their practice.

The best evidence for this is the British Library archives. Although collecting screenplays has not been directly part of their remit, in collecting the archives of novelists, journalists, poets, playwrights agents and actors they have probably the finest collection of screenwriter’s working papers in the United Kingdom- ranging from work on mainstream Hollywood productions of Keith Waterhouse, Tom Stoppard or Terence Rattigan to the work of John Berger, Hanif Kureishi, Angela Carter or BS Johnson.

This series of talks explores the interrelationship between screenwriting, fiction, and playwriting as literary form and creative practice - and as one of the activities a professional writer of the twentieth and twenty-first century explored in their quest to earn a living. They focus on screenwriting as an important and neglected form of literary practice, create new links between scholars of Literature, Drama, Film and TV Studies and develop a holistic approach to texts and writers where the focus is fundamentally interdisciplinary. These events concentrate on the screenplay as a tool whose aim, as Professor Jonathan Powell has said is “to create as vivid a memory as possible of something which does not yet exist”.



This project is led by Dr Joseph Harris (School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures) and Dr Deana Rankin (English).

Somewhere c.1590, Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus experimented with Senecan violence – mutilation and rape, cannibalism and filicide. In 2006 (and again in 2014), Lucy Bailey’s ‘grotesquely violent’ revival at the Globe delighted critics with its casualties: five fainters, over ‘100 taken out’ including one reviewer.

This aesthetic impact testifies to violence’s intense power to reach out across not only the centuries but also the boundary between stage and audience – to shock, horrify, titillate or invite complicity. Indeed, the very representation of violence can effect a violence of its own against people, tastes, concepts, cultures and values. Yet reviewers barely noticed the political dimensions of the production, suggesting how violence’s visceral, visual qualities can mask and naturalise its embeddedness within complex cultural practices.

The project

This project will establish a network of academics and practitioners from a wide range of practice-based, critical and theoretical backgrounds. Its participants will explore the complex aesthetic, political, ethical and psychological questions raised by violence on the early modern stage. We will revisit the received ideas that French drama ‘tells’ of violence while English ‘shows’ it; that the latter pushes the boundaries of the spectacular, while the former reinforces neoclassical decorum.

Both contextualising and challenging these assumptions, this project will investigate the particular qualities of ‘liveness’, rehearsal and representation both in the early modern period and in contemporary stagings. This project takes as its primary focus a clear and familiar canon of work stretching from Marlowe through Shakespeare and Webster to Congreve and from Garnier through Hardy and Corneille to Racine.

The network will combine close textual and historical analysis with workshops exploring theatre practice and technologies, old and new. Through an investigation at once philosophical and practical of theories of response (from catharsis to mirror neurons), this project will re-examine the journey from page to stage, and from stage to audience.

We intend to pay particular attention to two main thematic clusters:

  • Political and social violence: regicide and tyrannicide; war, revolution, and popular uprisings; engagement with offstage political or military history (the Wars of Religion; civil wars); violence and colonialism; terror and terrorism; domination and social power structures (gender, race).
  • The poetics, aesthetics and stagecraft of violence: violence enacted, reported and threatened; comic violence; deadly denouements and poetic justice; choreography of battles and swordfights; theatre and other bloody spectacles (bullfights, public executions).

It is a timely investigation: our cultural moment is – once again -- preoccupied with complex questions surrounding the production, control and dissemination of what Girard and Bataille have termed spectacular violence. These intersect with a renewed interest in symbolic violence as defined by Bourdieu and recently vigorously re-examined by thinkers as diverse as Butler, Žižek and Piketty with respect to gender, property, religion and the public sphere.

All these questions, already live in the early modern period and debated on the early modern stage, demand our critical and creative attention.

Professor Daniela Berghahn (Media Arts)

Daniela Berghahn is Professor of Film Studies in the Media Arts Department and Director of the Humanities and Arts Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has widely published on migrant and diasporic cinema, the relationship between film, history and cultural memory and post-war German film.

Professor Harriet Hawkins (Geography)

Harriet is interested in the Geographies of art works and art worlds. She works with artists to imagine and bring about new socio-ecological futures.

Dr David Overend (Drama, Theatre & Dance)

Professor Danielle Schreve (Geography)

Professor Robert Eaglestone
Amanda Murphy
Adam Ganz
Gillian Gordon
Professor Juliet John
Professor Katie Normington, Senior Vice Principal (Academic)

Professor Giuliana Pieri, (SMLLC)
Professor Giuliana Pieri has published widely on 19th and 20th century visual culture, cultural history and popular literature. Her research interests are firmly in the area of comparative and interdisciplinary studies, especially the intersection of the verbal and the visual, and the role of Italian visual culture in the construction of Italian identity both in Italy and abroad.

Professor Eric Robertson, Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Eric has published extensively on the French and European literary and artistic avant-gardes, particularly Dada and Surrealism. His work on the artist, poet and sculptor Hans Jean Arp has most recently led him to co-curate the international exhibition and co-author the accompanying book, Arp: the Poetry of Forms (Kröller-Müller Museum and Turner Contemporary, 2017). Eric has been a co-organiser of the HARI Making Space for Art series since it began in 2014.

Harriet O'Neill, Exhibitions Curator

Dr. Harriet O’Neill is currently Exhibitions Curator at RHUL, having previously served as College Curator. Prior to this she was the Vivmar Curatorial Assistant at the National Gallery where she co-curated Frames in Focus: The Sansovino Frame, and assisted with Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art and Painters’ Paintings. Between 2010 and 2014 Harriet undertook a collaborative PhD between UCL and the National Gallery entitled ‘Re-framing the Italian Renaissance at the National Gallery’. Harriet began her career in the commercial art world, working first at Christie’s and then Bonhams auctioneers.  Harriet has a BA in Modern History from the University of Oxford and MAs in Art History (UCL) and Art Museum and Gallery Studies (Newcastle University). Her research focuses on frames as actual objects and conceptual devices and nineteenth-century museum history and display.

Professor James Williams, Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

James works in the general areas of French/Francophone and European cinema, with a particular interest in questions of gender, ethics and aesthetics. His current research entitled The Battle Lines of Beauty explores the relations between politics, aesthetics and eroticism in contemporary West African film and considers new transmigratory forms of aesthetic resistance.

Here is a selection of podcasts and videos from events held within the Arts Faculty as well as HARI events and conferences. Our video and audio archives of HARI events and conferences from 2008-2010 are available from the Backdoor Broadcasting Company.

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