Surrey Documentary Group

The research focus of the film studies programme is in documentary, looking particularly at the embodiment of private and social life, animated documentary, and activist documentary. Staff in film studies have formed the Surrey Documentary Group, which meets regularly to discuss ideas and ongoing writing projects.

Part of the research undertaken in the group engages with debates on the indexical sign, re-examining Pierce's original definition. One strand of the group's research is concerned with the blurring of genres of representation, through techniques such as animation. Another is concerned with the nature of environmental documentary film and theatre. Colleagues are also engaged in documentary practice, including archiving and the tracking of cultural change.

Members of the group are each engaged individually with documentary and meet on a regular basis for discussion focussed on selected texts. Colleagues who wish to join these are cordially invited to contact us.

As a group we organise an annual symposium entitled Documentary and ... which takes place in September. In 2010 the symposium was on Documentary Film and Intimacy. In 2011 the subject was Documentary and Performance. The subject in 2012 will be Documentary and the Environment.

The members of the group are

For more information on the group and its activities please contact Dr Helen Hughes.

We have begun an interesting new documentary film practice module this year working with clients ranging from bionic vet Noel Fitzpatrick to dance notation specialist Dr Jean Johnson Jones on commissions to make short information films about their work. This has given students some experience of working in a real life environment to a specific client brief. The module has also seen the introduction of innovative on-line teaching and assessment methods designed to facilitate group project work. We intend to develop this module to make it adaptable for project work in the sciences and engineering as well as in the arts.

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of Surrey