Dr Dieter Declercq is Lecturer in Film and Media Studies. He is also Associate Director of the Aesthetics Research Centre and co-lead of the Community and Well-Being theme for the 3i University Network. His transdisciplinary research is situated at the intersection of media studies, health humanities and aesthetics. Dieter frequently collaborates with artists and scholars in diverse fields, including medicine, psychology and architecture. He has recently published a book on Satire, Comedy, and Mental Health (Emerald 2021) and his work has been published in journals including the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, ImageText and Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. He was the lead organizer of the 2020 British Society of Aesthetics Conference: Arts, Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities, and he is currently collaborating on Conversations about Arts, Humanities, and Health and a podcast series that stimulates further interaction between research in humanities and medicine. Dieter is also lead investigator on the British Academy/Leverhulme-funded project Stand-up as recovery: Comedy workshops for eating disorders, which develops and evaluates workshops for eating disorder recovery. He also leads the transdisciplinary Failspace project, which combines play, performance and design to tackle unhealthy perfectionism (funded by Creative Estuary). He has a passion for many media, including video games – a subject which he teaches at Kent. You can listen to Dieter’s thoughts about the value of gaming on The Andrew Pierce Show here (23:26).
Dieter joined Kent in 2013 as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD candidate in Film Studies. During this period, Dieter delivered modules in Film, Media Studies and History of Art. He was appointed as Lecturer in 2019. Prior to arriving at Kent, Dieter completed a BA in Literature and Linguistics, a BA in Philosophy, an MA in Western Literature (all KU Leuven in Belgium), an MA by Research in Film Studies, focusing on TV comedy and the Baby Boom generation (De Montfort University) and an MA in Translation and Interpreting (Erasmus University College Brussels). This diverse and interdisciplinary trajectory continues to shape Dieter's research and teaching.
Dieter's research combines methodologies from film and media studies, medical and health humanities, and aesthetics in the analytic tradition. He especially values interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration. Dieter’s research explores how we can use arts and media as resources to sustain health and wellbeing, including in professional contexts like HR. Dieter has worked extensively on satire, comedy and irony – and has publicized some of his ideas for a general audience in The Philosophers Magazine and Aesthetics for Birds. He also has an interest in graphic media, especially cartoons, and co-curated the 2016 exhibition There is an Alternative! Critical Cartoons and Comics. Dieter is passionate about the value of popular entertainment media to our wellbeing and mental health, and provides expert comments for Kent’s News Centre and BBC Newsround . Currently, Dieter is also developing ways to foster meaningful dialogue between arts & humanities and medicine & healthcare.
Dieter currently teaches a variety of modules across film and media, and also hosts the Careers in Film and Media events with industry professionals. His current and recent modules include Media and Meaning, Video Gaming: Play and Players, Media Ethics, Television Series: Narration, Engagement and Evaluation, Extreme Cinema, Animated Worlds, Film Research Methods, Film Style and Film Theory. He has also taught topics in philosophical aesthetics. Dieter’s approach to teaching has been shaped by outreach and widening participation, including his previous work as a Tutor for The Brilliant Club, delivering short-form courses in film, media, philosophy and art for students at primary and secondary schools in the local area. He has also developed the extra-curricular courses for Study Plus, including Discover Dutch (his native language).
Dieter welcomes enquiries about supervision for BA, MA and PhD dissertations. Topics of specific interest and expertise include, but are not limited to: