Image Sound & Performance Banner

Image, Sound, Performance

With particular expertise in embodied performance, visual studies and soundscapes, this research group has been pioneering in developing a translational understanding of cultural studies of film and literature, developing projects that trial co-creation and co-curation practices with communities.

Our vision is to approach the themes of this group through their ability to challenge borders and create new spaces where new subjectivities might be imagined.

One aspect of this is the ways in which Image, Sound and Performance might work to overturn established cultural hierarchies and interrogate cultural value, particularly through popular cultures and the ways in which taste is expressed by those who have policed the borders of performance and artistic practice.

This innovative approach to our research also emphasises the social contributions of our research projects, for example:

  • Lisa Shaw’s work on how the sounds and sights of popular stage performance in 1920 Brazil engaged with and informed the racial dimension of debates around national identity.
  • Diana Cullell’s work on performance poetry in contemporary Spain examines it as a social movement capable of articulating social concerns and reformulating poetry in the public sphere during a period of economic crisis.
  • Alison Smith’s work on multilingual cinema examines the ways in which screen media have taken advantage of their unique linguistic possibilities to interrogate cultural meetings.
  • Marco Paoli is working on an Italian noir cues framework to test the manipulations and measurements of the viewer’s identification process with narrative characters.
  • Abigail Loxham’s research on gender and popular Spanish film and television works to critically explore the way in which popular culture is pivotal in shaping ideas of femininity in Spain and beyond.
  • Niamh Thornton’s work focuses on curatorship and taste formation through her work on film, digital culture and the commemorative activities of large institutions in Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border. Niamh’s recent work examines identity formation and the curation and performance of a self through her research project Brews & Brows.

As a group, we are keen to emphasise our engagement across languages and across different geographical areas with various types of performance. We also work closely with the University of Liverpool's Institute of Popular Music.


We actively pursue collaboration, within and beyond the University of Liverpool, to strengthen the potential for networked research projects.

As evidence of this, we are collaborating with ¡Viva!, a Hispanic visual arts festival which has a strong emphasis on performance. Prior to the festival, we will host a symposium on the themes of the festival and our annual film lecture will be delivered by Paul Julian Smith.

Diana Cullell was recently awarded a Hispanex grant, and will be directly involved in the visit of three performance poets from Spain in the UK (Liverpool, Manchester and London, April-May 2019).

Niamh Thornton’s project Brews and Brows has already attracted media attention and curated a series of successful impact and engagement events.

In June 2019 we are co-hosting the conference “Gender, ‘Race’ and Performance: re-visiting the Black Atlantic”, to mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of Paul Gilroy’s pioneering The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge University Press).


Mother and son hugging

Liverpool Annual Film Lecture 2019 — Mexican Multiplatform Media

Fri, 29 March 2019, 09:30am – 4:30pm

Back to: Department of Languages, Cultures and Film