The University of Newcastle, Australia

Dr Arrighi’s research and journal receive top accolades

Monday, 13 August 2018

Creative and performing arts researcher with the Centre for 21stCentury Humanities and the School of Creative Industries, Dr Gillian Arrighi, has received two prestigious awards for her research into the role of children in the entertainment industry and popular entertainment.

Gillian Arrighi

At the recent Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA) conference, Dr Arrighi was presented with the Marlis Thiersch Prize. Awarded by a panel of judges in recognition of research excellence in English-language articles published anywhere in the world in the field of drama, theatre and performance studies, Dr Arrighi won the prize for her article “The Controversial ‘Case of the Opera Children in the East’: political conflict between popular demand for child actors and modernizing cultural policy on the child,” published in the US-based Theatre Journal.  The judges said the article was “a compelling and meticulous work of scholarship... Arrighi skilfully intertwines theatrical and social history, and tells us a great story in the process.”

The second accolade is the Joanne Tompkins prize for excellence in journal editing, awarded to Dr Arrighi and her colleague, the late Victor Emeljanow, for their work on their journal Popular Entertainment Studies. Dr Arrighi described it is a peer-reviewed, inter-disciplinary eJournal dedicated to the exploration of all aspects of popular entertainment.

“Its aim is to stimulate international debate and the exchange of ideas in a field whose meaning and definition remain widely contested. It is published by the School of Creative Industries and was launched in 2010 with ongoing assistance from staff of the UoN Library and IT,” Dr Arrighi said.

“I’m thrilled to have received these awards because they recognise Australian research as world-class and validate Australian researchers’ and editors’ capacity to make meaningful interventions in the international field of publishing.”

The judges said “the work Victor and Gillian have done in establishing a contributing readership, and a conceptual throughline emphasising the value of scholarship of entertainments once marginalised, has allowed Popular Entertainments to become a distinctive contributor to the field globally.”

Dr Arrighi recently attended the IFTR (International Federation for Theatre Research) conference in Belgrade where she led the international working group on Popular Entertainments, a role she has undertaken for the past three years.

“The lively and critical discussions of this working group provide researchers with a forum to refine and develop their research writing towards publication. The high quality of the group’s deliberations this year have enabled me to strengthen my current book project.”

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