AHRC-FAPESP collaborative project 'Towards an Intermedial History of Brazilian Cinema: Exploring Intermediality as a Historiographic Method'

Institutions: Department of Film, Theatre & Television, University of Reading (UK); Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (Brazil).

AHRC PI: Lúcia Nagib, Co-Is: John Gibbs, Lisa Purse, Alison Butler.

FAPESP PI: Luciana Araújo, Co-Is: Samuel Paiva, Flávia Cesarino Costa, Suzana Reck Miranda.

AHRC award: £718,139.65, including 2 PDRAs and a 0.4 Administrator.

FAPESP award: R$ 266,591.31, plus additional salary for a PDRA and other costs.

Project partners: Tate Modern; Reading Film Theatre; Cinemateca Brasileira.

Start date: 1st October 2015, for 42 months.

Project Summary:


This project focuses on cinema's nature as a mixture of arts and media in order to produce the first, groundbreaking intermedial history of Brazilian cinema. It will also explore the uses of intermediality as a historiographic method applicable to cinema as a whole. To that end, it will bring together scholars from the University of Reading and the Federal University of São Carlos, as well as three postdoctoral researchers, combining expertise in cinematic intermediality, Brazilian cinema, film history and film theory. Intermediality has never been applied to cinema as a historiographic method, which is being proposed in this project as an entirely original and promising avenue. Broadly speaking, 'intermediality' refers to the interbreeding of artistic and technical medial forms. In this project, it will be used both to indicate film's mixed nature and to give pride of place to those film phenomena in which hybridity is particularly notable. The main focus will be Brazilian cinema, which from its early days has combined extra-filmic artistic and cultural forms, resulting in an original aesthetic blend. Artists coming from theatre, opera, dance, music, circus, radio, television and the plastic arts left a distinctive mark on film production in the country, apparent in practices from the 1920s movie prologues to the contemporary wave of music films. Rather than privileging some forms over others, intermediality will allow us to place a variety of styles and genres on an equal footing, resulting in a kaleidoscope that accurately reflects a national cinema's cultural richness and political complexity. The project will benefit academics and researchers willing to find new ways of understanding film history away from evolutionary and hierarchical schemes. Two edited books will ensue from the conferences 'Towards an Intermedial History of Brazilian Cinema' and 'The Moving Form of Film: Exploring Intermediality as a Historiographic Method'. Other outputs will include 12 book chapters and more than 30 journal articles. The project will also benefit the general public through impact events coordinated by the postdoctoral researchers and accompanied by comprehensive catalogues: a Tropicália Film Season at Tate Modern; re-stagings of the Movie Prologues at the Cinemateca Brasileira and the Reading Film Theatre; and a Brazilian Music Film Season at the Reading Film Theatre.

Click here to visit the project's dedicated webpage.


Researchers and Staffmckay2

IntermIdia Grant Administrator Richard McKay

After graduating with an undergraduate in Sociology and a post-graduate in Social Policy and Social Research, Richard has worked for two of the UK Research Councils; helping to fund research and manage research funding calls over a large range of academic disciplines.




IntermIdia Postdoctoral Researcher in Film Stefan Solomonsolomon2

My research is concerned with the intermedial aspects of film history. I am currently analysing the interplay of cinema and the visual arts in the Tropicália movement in Brazil, and considering how the combinations of different media contributed to ideas about cultural spectatorship and participation over several decades. I also maintain an interest in the various relationships between cinema and literature, and have recently completed a monograph on William Faulkner's career as a Hollywood screenwriter.




IntermIdia Postdoctoral Researcher in Brazilian Cinema Albert Elduque albert2

Albert Elduque holds a PhD on Social Communication (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 2014) and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the project "Towards and Intermedial History of Brazilian Cinema: Exploring Intermediality as a Historiographic Method" at the Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures of the University of Reading. His doctoral dissertation addressed the concepts of hunger, consumption and vomit in political modern cinema, focusing on the cases of Europe and Brazil, and he has presented papers and articles on filmmakers such as Werner Herzog, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Marco Ferreri, Glauber Rocha, Ruy Guerra and Joaquim Pedro de Andrade. His lines of investigation are the aesthetics of political cinema and Latin American cinema (especially Brazilian film), which he has studied during research stays in the Universidade de São Paulo (2011), the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2014) and the Universidade Federal Fluminense (2015).


CFAC Continuing Researchers

PhD student Camilo Martin-Florez - funded by Colfuturo/Colciencias (Colombia). Camilo has recently started his PhD on 'The Colombian Film and Audiovisual Heritage' with us, under the supervision of Lúcia Nagib and Alison Butler.

PhD student Sílvia Macedo - funded by CAPES (Brazil). Silvia will be arriving between July and August 2015, to conduct her research on 'New Directions in Production Design: the case of the new Pernambucan cinema', under the supervision of Lúcia Nagib and John Gibbs.

Senior Researcher, Dr Alexandre Figueirôa - funded by CAPES (Brazil). Alexandre will be arriving in August 2015 and will stay with us for a year to conduct research on 'The Reception of Brazilian Cinema in the UK Since the 1990s', under the supervision of Lúcia Nagib.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Maria do Carmo Piçarra - funded by FCT (Portugal). Maria do Carmo will be arriving in September 2015 and will stay with us for six months to conduct research on 'Cinematic Representations of the Empire in Portugal, France and the UK', under the supervision of Lúcia Nagib.

DAAD-funded Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Igor Krstic is continuing his research on 'The Accented Essay Film', and will stay with us until May 2016. One of his outstanding achievements during his stay at CFAC is the hugely successful conference 'World Cinema and the Essay Film', which took place on 30 April-2 May 2015.

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