Beneath the surface

Actor in suit sat on chair on stage with wine glass in hand.

This Research & Innovation Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Intangible cultural heritage and audio-visual archives: beneath the surface .

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

A key challenge for minority autochthonous groups in maintaining identity and community is the preservation and revitalisation of their intangible cultural heritage (ICH).

Historically (and by definition) lacking infrastructure and resource, minoritized groups often rely on informal, ad hoc structures and processes to maintain a sustainable critical mass of manifestations of ICH, whether language, festival, dance, music, costume etc, and their encapsulation in audio-visual artefacts. Often, it is individuals and gatekeepers within the community, working within macro economic, political, and legal contexts, where continuation of the ICH may lie.

This project is designed to dovetail with the current Re:voice project, which amongst other things is undertaking research to identify, collect, and share previously lost or disparate audio-visual artefacts relating to the project's case studies of Cornish festivals (Obby Oss, Mazey Day, and Redruth International Pasty and Mining Festival). This doctoral project should engage and build on this work to focus on the locations, identities, and motivations of the individuals or organisations who hold the 'lost' material before it is 'found', with the purpose of better understanding how marginalised ICH can play an active and vital part in building and forming identity.

It might address questions such as:

  • Who generally possesses the artefacts?
  • What is their motivation or stake in relation to the ICH and the community?
  • What are the conditions of their ownership?
  • How accessible are they to the communities of their origin?
  • Can this information be mapped, and (how) can it be used to inform minoritized communities in Cornwall, Europe, and globally to better find, capture, preserve, and share their ICH?

Study design should build on the findings of the Re:voice project, and methodology might include qualitative data collection via 1:1 interviews with individuals in Cornwall relating to the case study festivals (some of whom will already have been identified), cultural mapping, analysis of archives more broadly, and could potentially include comparisons with other marginalised identities in the UK or beyond.

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the following Research & Innovation programme and department:

ProgrammeInequality & Storytelling
DepartmentSchool of Film & Television

As successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and one or more of our Research & Innovation programmes, we recommend that you review details of the programme aligned to this brief before you complete the application process.

Project brief lead

Dr Laura Hodsdon

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Laura Hodsdon is a Senior Research Fellow focusing on identity and culture from a perspective of ...

Dr Laura Hodsdon
Denzil Monk staff picture

Denzil Monk

Lecturer in Film

Denzil is a lecturer in Film specialising in producing at the School of Film & Television at Fal...

Denzil Monk

How to apply

Apply for a Research MPhil or PhD

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief.​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process view:

Apply for a Research Degree
MA Graphic Design students chatting around a table


Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr Laura Hodsdon.


Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.


T: 01326 255831

Additional resources

Two women and a man seated at a desk with a laptop and print outs
Falmouth staff at table

Fund your Research Degree

See the options available to help you fund your research degree.

Fund your Research Degree
Students sat around a table in the AIR building
Students sat around table in AIR

Falmouth Doctoral Studentships

You can apply for a fully-funded Falmouth Doctoral Studentship as part of your research degree appli...

Falmouth Doctoral Studentships
Research & Innovation
R&I Homepage Lead

Research & Innovation

By stepping beyond disciplinary lines, harnessing creativity and working with communities, we delive...

Research & Innovation
News_Make a Difference in Research: Workshop Success
Impact Training Workshop October 2013. Image courtesy of CommsConsult.

Doctoral Project Briefs

We invite MPhil and PhD project proposals that respond to a doctoral project brief.

Doctoral Project Briefs