Dr Lavinia Brydon joined the University of Kent as an Associate Lecturer in 2012 and began a full-time lectureship in September 2013. She has also taught at Queen Mary and Birkbeck, University of London as well as Queen’s University Belfast.
Lavinia received her PhD in Film Studies from Queen Mary, University of London for a thesis that explored the space of the garden within British cinema. She also holds an MA in Film and Visual Studies from Queen’s University Belfast and a BA (Hons) in Drama and English Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Between her degrees she worked in the arts sector.
Lavinia’s interests centre on the issues of place within film and the wider arts. These extend from questions of representation to current debates regarding exhibition/performance sites, location filming and screen media tourism. Her work is often collaborative and interdisciplinary. Currently, she is engaged in two UK-South Africa collaborations for research related to urban lives.
In 2019 Lavinia was appointed the Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Athena SWAN lead for the School of Arts. Previous roles in Arts include Deputy Director of Education and Director of the Film, Media and Culture Research Centre.
Beyond Kent, Lavinia is the book reviews editor for the journal NECSUS.
Much of Lavinia’s recent work is community-focussed and positions her film expertise within the wider arts and culture domain. This includes an on-going project on regional location shooting with Dr Lisa Stead (Exeter) where they consider the impact of filming on a place in both real and imagined terms. It also includes the AHRC-funded project entitled The People’s Pier (2015-16) whereby an academic team of five plus two community partners investigated how the popular cultural heritage of British pleasure piers can be utilised to build positive relationships across different groups and empower the local population.
Lavinia’s interest in how arts initiatives contribute to ‘place-making’ including issues of regeneration, gentrification and community cohesion inform her current UK-South Africa collaborations. These are the pilot project ‘Imagineering the South African City’ with Dr Bibi Burger (Pretoria) and Dr Louis Rice (UWE, Bristol) and the network ‘Fictional Urban Lives’. Both are supported by the British Academy.
Lavinia’s continued fascination with intersections between geography, identity and the arts can also be seen in her 2020 co-edited special issue on ‘Difficult Women’ for the journal Film Studies.
Lavinia is a committed and enthusiastic teacher, receiving Kent Union ‘Above and Beyond’ awards from her students and a 2016 Faculty Teaching Prize. She also gained a Teaching Enhancement Small Support Award (TESSA) in 2018 which supported two cohorts of third-year film students to deliver ‘live cinema’ screenings on campus. Lavinia completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in 2014 and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In 2020-21, Lavinia will teach on FI313 Film Style and FI633 Film Programming as well as convening the following two modules.
FI632: TV: From Soap Opera to Sitcoms
Television is the most pervasive media form in daily life. In this introductory module students will look at the various historical, institutional and cultural factors that influence television production and programming. The module will examine a range of formats and genres (such as soap operas, sitcoms and ‘reality TV’) and students will gain critical understanding of the theoretical frameworks developed for their study. In addition, questions of target audiences (for example, children’s programmes) and key debates (such as the role of a public service broadcaster) will be addressed. The course will be taught through a series of case-studies using a wide range of television texts from Britain and beyond
FI315: Film Theory
This module approaches the ‘big questions’ that have surrounded film and the moving image and puts them into historical context. Although specific topics will vary, representative topics may address competing definitions of film and its constitutive elements, the effects that cinema has on spectators, the social, cultural and political implications that moving images reproduce, and the status of the medium between art and entertainment. Students will debate seminal writings on the nature of film and bring their arguments to bear on exemplary film productions.
Lavinia is happy to supervise students in projects that connect with her research and welcomes informal inquiries. Key areas of interest include:
Lavinia is currently first supervisor to Liam Creighton for a practice-as-research project examining the representation of Britain’s forgotten towns.