- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thesis title: Representing Down’s syndrome in Documentary: exploring independence, relationships, and right to life in the documentary genre
- Supervisor: Professor Angharad Beckett FRSA, Dr Clare Barker
I completed my undergraduate degree in English Language and Special Educational Needs and my Masters in Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University. During my time at Liverpool Hope, I worked closely with The Centre for Culture & Disability Studies. In 2019 I received ESRC 1+3 funding at the University of Leeds to work within the School of Sociology and Social Policy. As part of this funding, I completed my Master’s in Social Research (Interdisciplinary) in 2020 and began my PhD research.
I worked as an hourly paid tutor at Liverpool Hope University during the academic year 2020/21 and was involved with undergraduate teaching within the School of Social Sciences. I taught a module in 'Health and Wellbeing' and a module in ‘Social Care’ and also prepared a two-week module for second-year Social Care students on Disability and Social Care.
Using arts-based research methods and working in collaboration with individuals with Down's syndrome, my research seeks to investigate how Down's syndrome is represented within the documentary genre, specifically in relation to the concepts of independence, relationships and right to life. Disability and documentary have a complicated history, with disabled bodies and minds often represented as cultural ‘spectacles’. Documentary serves as a powerful vehicle of representation and has the potential to disrupt and challenge normative notions of a life with Down's syndrome. As part of this research, film clubs will be hosted whereby individuals with Down's syndrome will analyse extracts from the following documentaries: The Specials (2009-2014), The Undateables (2012-) and A World Without Down’s Syndrome? (2016). The themes within these documentaries relate to notions of independence and independent living; relationships and sexuality; and the ethics of prenatal screening and right to life. These particular documentaries have been selected as they involve some of the central problematical representations of Down's syndrome: independence and assumed incompetence; relationships and assumed vulnerability; and bioethical debates over right to life. Participants will be asked to explore these themes in relation to the documentaries and imagine how they would imagine an even better documentary about their lives. Participants will storyboard their ideas and create a blueprint for their own documentary. A short trailer for the imagined documentary will be directed and produced by the participants, with the support of the researcher.
- MA in Social Research (Distinction)
- MA in Disability Studies (Distinction)
- BA with Honours in English Language and Special Educational Needs (First Class)