MPhil/ PhD

bookRoom supports and contributes to MFA and BA Photography courses as well as PHD projects across Fine Art, Photography, Graphic Design and Time based Media.

bookRoom welcomes application for research degrees on the following themes: Photography and the book –  Publishing as a critical practice – The contemporary dialogue between electronic and print culture – Political and social history of independent publishing and artist books – The interplay between the page and other time based medium; photography, writing, moving images, music, performance art.

MPhil/PhD projects currently affiliated to bookRoom

Danny Aldred (3rd year P/T)  / Self-publishing as a mode of disruption from the Avant-Garde to the Post Digital (working title) – supervised by Emmanuelle Waeckerlé and James Trafford

History has told us that self-publishing can be an agent for persuasion, an intervention, and a form of disruption, it can be politically motivated and deliver a counter-institutional alternative. The artist book is seen as the central form of 20th century self-publishing that disturbs existing practices, embodies thematic or aesthetic concerns and amplifies a message or story. But what can the artist book communicate today when we are submerged within culture of publishing? Can self-publishing still be radical and disruptive? Disruption is always wedded to some form of political and social background; this context is central in understanding what the disruption is and how and why it is amplified through publishing. This research explores the socio-economic context and socio-historical situations to see how disruption is manifested, the forms it takes, the modes of dissemination and communication, in turn allowing for a detailed study of the aesthetics and understanding of how and why it looks a certain way.

Danny is a visual artist and graphic designer. He teaches graphic arts at Winchester School of Art. His practice centres on publishing as creative practice with a focus on artist book projects. His work has been chosen for numerous international exhibitions and publishing projects within the UK, Germany and the USA.


Delphine Bedel (2nd year P/T) / COUNTERIMAGE: WOMEN IN PHOTOBOOKS    – on becoming a feminist publisher (working title) – supervised by Emmanuelle Waeckerlé and James Trafford

Although the history of photography and the history of photo and artists’ books is widely documented, collected, exhibited, and discussed, there is not a single publication dedicated to the history of women artists’ and photo books. 2017 was the Year of Feminism: the Women’s March brought millions of women on the streets around the world, its emblem–a hand-stricken pink ‘Pussy Hat’–made the cover of majors magazines, and on social media, the hashtags #MeToo, #NotSurprised, #IWontKeepQuiet and #TimesUp took the world by storm. This research aims to retrace, from a critical and feminist perspective, a different legacy of women photographers, to unravel some of the mechanisms that made this erasure possible and to highlight their contribution to the field. ‘Feminist publishing’, seems to barely exist in the photobook world. Maybe the real question is, in 2018, how to become a feminist publisher? And how to bring forward a new wave of active yet unspoken feminism / feminist practices? We need counter-images and counter narratives.

Delphine is a photographer, curator and publisher, specialised in emerging practices in photography, art and publishing. Founder of Meta/Books and Amsterdam Art/Book Fair. She is currently MA Thesis Supervisor at Dirty Art Department – Sandberg Instituut. Her work is exhibited internationally. She regularly contributes to books and magazines and international conferences. Delphine is also a food blogger under the name Rawfoodista.


Matt Johnston (4th year P/T) / PHOTO / BOOK CLUB; Connections (made and missed, digital and other) between the photobook and its reader – supervised by Emmanuelle Waeckerlé and Jean Wainwright

In contemporary photography the photobook has become a premier output and means of project resolution which is accompanied by new audiences, spaces of discussion and expanded possibilities for the reach and experience of photographic works. Situated firmly in a post-digital landscape, this research scrutinises the photobook in a manner which seeks not to romanticise or fetishise the artefact, nor to create binaries of digital and analogue discourse but to assess the interplay herein. It adopts a holistic approach requiring a multi-faceted investigation which will challenge presupposed traditional, epistemological and ontological thinking about the photobook and ultimately posit the photobook’s future with new knowledge for the maker and reader. As a result of the research undertaken and findings articulated, this thesis represents the first critical consideration of the photobook in the postdigital age and as such is a necessary body of research which has responded to, and will inform, the medium in the 21st century.

Matt is a UK based photographer, educator (course leader at Coventry University), researcher and founder of The Photobook Club. 

The Photobook club, created in 2011 as a space for conversations around the photobook, has developed into an international network generating events, publications and critical discussions, bringing together a variety of voices connected with the photobook with those who are new to the format. To date there are over 45 clubs around the world from Auckland to Bangalore connected by a series of postal projects spanning over 50,000 miles.


Manuel Vason  (PhD by publication) –

The PhotoPerformer – The Performance of Photography as a collaborative inter-dependency with the ‘Other’ (working title)

supervised by Emmanuelle Waeckerlé and Jean Wainwright

If for many years Photography has been compared to painting and analysed through theories of representation, considering Photography in relationship to Performance, has allowed me to understand the art form through theories of differentiation, so not as an act of copying but as a process of alteration. I will demonstrate how this process of alteration is connecting Photography and Performance in a creative interdependency and is bonding the identities of the two art forms in a constant flux and re-definition. I will then formulate how this interdependency can be understood as a reflexive collaboration and can be practiced as an hybrid praxis, which I named The PhotoPerformer.  Finally I will show how the interdependency of Photography and Performance, is propelled and characterized by precariousness, a human quality that I have identified as a creative force of survival and resistance against the constrain of individualism

Manuel is a photographer and artist interested in ” the correspondence between the art of photographing and the art of performing” that have come together in his concept and practice of the photoperformer ” Through this phd by publication I mean to add a significant contribution to the existent discourse around the complex relationship between Photography and Performance Art. I aspire to free Photography from the weight of the photograph and free Performance Art from its dependency on the trace. “