I attended an interesting event last night at The British Library focused on PhDs that consisted of a variety of multimedia outputs and not just a standard 10,000 word thesis, and the issues this raised when submitting them as research.
All 3 PhDs discussed had very creative elements to them.
Craig Hamilton’s Harkive music focused on the experience of popular music.
Imogen Lesser covered the architectural make up and language of Gormenghast and other Mervyn Peake work.
Tara Copplestone focused on games as an output of archeological work.
Below are the live streams of the session.
One thing I thought of during the session was… even if the researchers can’t submit all the multimedia aspects of their research as part of their PhDs there’s still a huge opportunity to share these outputs with the wider population. All 3 of these research projects have such a wide popular fan base appeal – down to the nature of the subjects they are focused on – that it seems they could have a life beyond their original remit. For example, Imogen Lesser had already created an exhibition of her research including grand scale architect drawings and maps of Mervyn Peake’s world that fans of his work could enjoy too.
Can’t these outputs be made use of and spread the word about this research in a way that will get each of the thesis discovered by more than a handful of academics? I personally found each of these research projects so interesting and creative that they deserve a wider audience.