Welcome to Screen History South West
CALL FOR PAPERS: INSTRUCTION, AMUSEMENT AND SPECTACLE: POPULAR SHOWS AND EXHIBITIONS 1800-1914, 16-18 APRIL 2009. Click for further details.
Dr John Plunkett and Dr Joe Kember of the Department of English have been awarded funding of £197,000 from the AHRC for a three-year project, which began in October 2007, on the exhibition of moving and projected-image entertainment in the South-West from 1820-1914.
Prior to the advent of film, panoramas, dioramas, peepshows, and the magic lantern, played a key role in popular entertainment. Their influence has been underestimated though because there has been little systematic study of the exhibition of these entertainments outside London. Through a regional study, the project aims to demonstrate the extensive national distribution of moving and projected images between 1820 and 1914. As a whole, the project aims to broaden our understanding of their influence upon the visual and performance culture of the period, and in particular the development of film.
The importance of the provincial exhibition of moving and projected-image entertainment will be demonstrated through a series of case studies of South-West locations (Exeter, Bristol, Plymouth, and selected north and south Devon sea-side resorts), which will be conducted by the research team. To disseminate the research from the project, a conference and temporary exhibition at the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture will take place in summer of 2009, while a co-authored book presenting the research findings will be published after the project has finished.
More details about the project's research aims can be found here. An Image Gallery illustrates some examples of early optical shows in the south-west.
Anybody wishing to find out more about the project, or to contribute information in any way, is encouraged to contact John Plunkett (
) or Joe Kember (