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Teaching

I am joint programme director of the MPhil/PhD Arts and Humanities and former programme director of the MA Film, Television and Screen Media (on which I still deliver the module 'Contemporary American Cinema'). I am also involved in teaching on the BA Film and Media, BA Arts and Humanities, MA World Cinema and MA Psychoanalytic Studies.

My main teaching interest at the moment is in joining up film/media studies, cultural studies, and psychoanalytic theory and practice in an approachable and enlivening manner. The result of that interest is a new module (introduced in 2016), housed in the School of Arts, entitled 'Aliveness and the Arts'. The module description is below.

In what sense might certain works of art not only speak about the various ways in which human beings can be said to be alive, but might also themselves be said to be somehow alive? And how might our filmic, literary and theatrical experiences of these art-works' diverse representations of 'aliveness' help to generate aliveness in us, the actual readers and audiences? Using contemporary psychoanalytic and psycho-social theoretical perspectives in combination with a wide array of films (as well as fiction, television and a graphic novel), this module sets out to examine the aliveness of cultural objects and the aliveness (in aesthetic, emotional, psychical and political terms) of the human beings who interact with those objects. Focusing in particular on the ways in which art-works can symbolise and facilitate the processes of feeling, thinking,remembering and relating that are sometimes inaccessible to scientific or sociological discourses, the module returns periodically to the liminal automaton/zombie figures that are depicted in the arts with an ever increasing frequency, in order to reflect on just what can be properly said to distinguish a living being from the living dead. Each week there will be a 70-minute class inspired by the set theoretical text(s), followed by a 20-minute break, and then a 90-minute discussion (often in smaller groups) of the filmic, literary or televisual case study, focusing both on the art-work’s representation of aliveness, but also, crucially, on ways in which we might think about using the art-work in the context of generating our own forms of aliveness. It is imperative that you come to each class having read the set theoretical material and also having read or watched the case study, as you will be expected to contribute to discussions in an ‘alive’ way!

I hold a postgraduate certificate in Teaching in Lifelong Learning (Birkbeck), a postgraduate certificate in Counselling and Counselling Skills (Birkbeck), and am a qualified psychodynamic psychotherapist (Tavistock - British Psychoanalytic Council).