Hands artwork

Centre for Textual and Cultural Analysis

The Centre for Textual and Cultural Analysis (TCA) was created following the 2014 Research Excellence Framework as the more integrated home of what were perhaps the longest-established research strands within the individual subject areas of the school. These strands include musicology; score and performance analysis; historical and cultural approaches to text, score and performance; theatre and film scriptwriting; and transnational and transcultural analyses of performance (including established international work in the migration of artists and arts diaspora studies).

Steering Group Members

Dr Christian M. Billing

Dr Alexander Binns

Dr Laura Mayne

Dr James Zborowski



The Challenge

Whilst the centre has been created as a home for the ongoing development of numerous forms of critical analysis that belonged historically within particular disciplines (musicology, literary and performance criticism, film studies and so on) the new centre was created to be much more interdisciplinary in scope. Work within this centre, therefore, reaches as frequently as possible across subject-specific disciplines.

The Approach

Researchers in the centre analyse cultural artefacts considered in some way to be textual or to exist as reference points within sets of established or emergent cultural discourses. Works produced in recent years include studies of individual or collected films, music scores, music performances and recordings; as well as play texts and performances. More recent additions to the publication portfolio of this centre include critical accounts of the ways in which new media (including many digital media) function as agents of cultural change or transformation, and also accounts of the ways in which ephemeral digital interactions can and do exist as arts artefacts in their own right.


Vintage media
Drama Production Philomela gulbenkian theatre
  • Projects

    The Music and Music Theory of Paul Hindemith (Debruslais)

    A critical engagement with Hindemith's Unterweisung music theory in relationship to existing acoustic music theories. and charting the evolution of Hindemith's development of the language surrounding polytonality, atonality, Fuxian species counterpoint, and Hindemith’s avoidance of existing music in his examples.

    Adapting and Translating for the Stage (Drábek)

    An ongoing research project leading to an eponymous monograph, combining a variety of performance modes and genres, from interlingual drama translation (in history and in the present), through performance as translation (Antoine Vitez's concept), to adaptations of non-narrative material for the stage and adaptations for various performance forms (music theatre and opera, radio, installations).

    Transnational Connections in Early Modern Theatre (Drábek)

    A recent volume, co-edited with M. A. Katritzky (Open University), exploring themes of intercultural theatre history, circulation, cultural exchange, travelling performers and early modern performance genres. The investigations that underpinned this publication combined international archival research and practice-as-research performance projects at the university.

    Theatrical Reality: Space, Embodiment and Empathy in Performance (Edinborough)

    A recent monograph using sociological theory, cognitive psychology, and embodiment studies, to examine the interconnectivity of performance, dramaturgy, and scenography connectedness in order to investigate how the experience of theatrical reality is constructed and understood during performance.

    Watching Jazz (Elsdon, Heile, and Doctor (eds.))

    This edited book was the result of an AHRC-funded research project investigating the significance of audiovisual resources for understandings of jazz history. It brings together a range of contributions that shape new approaches to understandings jazz through the visual medium of film and television.

    Victorians on Screen: The Nineteenth Century on British Television, 1994–2005 (Kleinecke-Bates)

    A monograph that investigates the representation of the Victorian age on British television from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. Structured around key areas of enquiry specific to British television, it avoids a narrow focus on genre by instead taking a thematic approach and exploring notions of authenticity, realism and identity.

    Meyerhold and the Cubists: Perspectives on Painting and Performance (Skinner)

    A monograph exploring the relationship between theatre and visual art in the early twentieth century, focusing on the practice of Russian theatre director V. E. Meyerhold. Long-listed for the 2019 Prague Quadrennial Best Performance Design and Scenography Publication award.

    Classical Hollywood Cinema: Point of View and Communication (Zborowski)

    A monograph offering a new approach to filmic ‘point of view’ that combines close-reading analyses of key Hollywood films, informed by the tools of narratology and philosophy and concepts derived from communication studies.



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