Programme: Design - MPhil/PhD

Start date: September 2020

Mode of study: Full time

Research title: Shimmers of Silence: Inequalities, Illness and Affect

Emily is a practice-based PhD candidate based in the School of Design at ECA. 

Her research question explores: Can a phenomenology of affect in experimental documentary practice translate women’s embodied knowledge of long-term illness? 

Using experimental documentary practice, this research project seeks to translate women’s embodied knowledge of long-term illness. Centring upon the body, the collaborative project works with women in Scotland to reveal new ways of representing sensations relating to illness experience. Moving beyond the five senses, the research process uses making, metaphor and film to translate the affective qualities of illness that may be difficult to articulate. Resulting in a series of five short documentaries exploring endometriosis, psoriasis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and bi-polar disorder, the films aim to address issues of stigma and gender-based health inequalities in Scotland by foregrounding women’s lived experiences. 

Emily is currently developing a film exploring women’s experiences of endometriosis, working with Scotland’s specialist endometriosis team EXPECTT and Edinburgh’s Endometriosis UK support group.

Emily holds an MScR in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices (Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh and a BA (Hons) in Performance Costume Design, also from ECA. She has presented her practice-based research at festivals, conferences and as part of a Q & A panel. Previously, the British Council and Creative Scotland have funded collaborative residencies in Brazil exploring feminist practices of embodiment and rhythm. Stellar Quines and Birds of Paradise theatre companies have also commissioned projects exploring the representation of disabled narratives and creatively embedded access. 

Emily teaches on the postgraduate elective FilmMedicine.

Research Interests:

  • Experimental and expanded documentary practices
  • Sensory perception
  • The body
  • Health inequalities 
  • Feminism
  • Accessibility 
  • Human / animal shared experiences in health