Research at Central
Research at Central
As a constituent College of the University of London, Central supports a dynamic research community of staff and postgraduate research students (PGRs). Because of the institution’s history in theatre and performance training, it is appropriate that much of the research undertaken at Central is based in practices. Indeed, Central’s research activity is located in a Practitioner-Researcher Network with nodes in: acting, movement & voice; applied theatre; concepts & contexts; contemporary dramaturgies; intermediality; music theatre & sound; puppetry & object theatre. Some thirty members of the teaching staff are research active and there is an MPhil/PhD community numbering almost forty, in addition to the 230 students undertaking one of a range of taught Masters programmes preparing postgraduates for higher research. Much of the work undertaken is interdisciplinary and staff researchers may be located at more than one of the network nodes, operating on a project basis rather than confined within a domain. However, the nodes afford points around which colleagues with shared interests can gravitate and where they can find practical support for their work.
Professor Robin Nelson has been Director of Research since July 2011 (following Professor Andrew Lavender) with Dr Tony Fisher over-seeing the PGR community as Research Degrees Programme Course Convenor. Central’s research activities are supported by the Research Office. Broadly, the office manages staff research (including external funding bids and post-award budgets) and the PGR community. The Research Office manages a range of Research Events (seminars, guest lectures, PaR showings, workshops) and also oversees internal funding support schemes for research development, including sabbaticals. The Research and Ethics Committee and Research Degrees Committees are supported by Academic Administration.
Where intensive research activity engages at a specific node, a Research Centre is formed to foreground and support the work. Currently Central has Research Centres as follows:
‘THEATRE APPLIED’: Centre for Research in Performance & Social Practice.
Comprising an eclectic field of theatre practice, this Centre privileges work where drama is used for, with and by people in a range of different settings, frequently outside theatres.
‘CROPP’ The Centre for Research into Objects and Puppets in Performance.
CROPP brings together research-based practitioners and more traditional scholars to develop both written and practical research into puppetry, object theatre and related forms. Through laboratory-based experiment and applied practice, and through engagement with research into historical approaches, forms and perspectives, CROPP aims to enhance understanding of contemporary puppetry and object theatre nationally and internationally.
The Centre for Research for Intermediality in Performance.
This Centre currently focuses on digital technologies and their applications in theatre and performance in the light of the increasing number of modes of performance mixing the actual and the virtual and disseminated through networked and streamed interactions. The broader context of Intermediality in Performance, however, is work that operates across the boundaries of different media and disciplines, including theatre/dance, /music, /installation, /video, /photography, /digital arts, /large-scale event, /architecture, /written text.
ICV is a membership organisation that facilitates continuing professional development, acts as a hub for information and activities, and increasingly undertakes research at the “acting, movement & voice” node.