Dr Lisa Stead

Active research-led learning

Name Dr Lisa Stead
Email L.R.Stead@exeter.ac.uk
Position Lecturer in Film Studies
College College of Humanities

Active and participatory research

Dr Lisa Stead’s work and research crosses between English and Film studies, with a focus on the intermediality between film and literature, fan cultures and archiving. “In terms of my research I really look at the relationships between different media; primarily how print cultures and cinema cultures have intersected through the lens of gender. So, I would describe myself as a feminist film historian. I’m interested in cultural memories of cinema-going as a practice and how that ends up in different types of literary form… What it means to be a woman in the interwar period and how that’s configured through what you do with your leisure time; reading and going to the cinema.”

Lisa’s work often involves collaboration and outreach projects, such as with the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, a project with Deaf communities in Bristol, Widening Participation with local secondary schools, and the Exeter Progression Scheme. “Humanities and impact; sometimes those two things seem like a difficult fit… It’s about reconfiguring the way we think about research and the way we think about the value of what we do.” Lisa is passionate about outreach work, how it challenges academics and modifies the research questions she asks. “This project that I’m working on with Deaf cultures and Deaf spaces is extremely community-led… My role as an academic is to facilitate that and then produce academic work that reflects… It’s not about me going in and imposing myself on that community.” Lisa is invested in Widening Participation, believing that this outreach work will help gain a more diverse student body at the University. “[Outreach] is a really important way of saying this is not an elitist narrow sphere, this welcomes people in from all sorts of walks of life, and equally what we do here in Humanities has value that goes beyond…”

Multi-disciplinary work

“The value of working across disciplines is widening the pool of ideas and approaches and methodologies that you have available.” Within her own research, Lisa draws on multiple approaches such as social history and literary theory, as well as film studies. “Obviously there’s great value in working in specific research cultures, but I think you are always missing the multiple sides of any discussion or any cultural moment or any kind of text if you don’t open yourself up to different lenses and ways of thinking about it.”

“For students, the benefit of thinking across disciplines is… broadening your toolkit… It allows you greater exposure to the kinds of resources you have at your institution.” Opportunities such as taking a module outside of a degree or merging multiple approaches within third year modules encourages students to think differently. For example, Lisa teaches on a module, 'Adaptation', which involves students from multiple disciplines; “their way of thinking is massively beneficial to generating different kinds of debates and discussions in that space.”

Engaging students with Peer Support

Lisa is the organiser for the English PASS Peer Support programme. The programme is set up to help first year English students with the core critical theory module ‘Approaches to criticism’. Second and third year students meet with the first years to offer advice, guidance and support within discussions in study groups. “I’ve seen students go from being mentored to becoming mentors, who have gone from the quietest person in the class to being confident enough to take a whole group of level ones, arrange meetings on their own, and lead them through mini-seminars, which is really impressive and… really inspiring.”

Aim 3: Research-inspired, inquiry-led learning
To extend the opportunities for students to learn in innovative ways through their own research and inquiry

Encouraging active research-led learning

"[Students] are engaged in an active research culture… I learn from them as much as they learn from me…"

Multi-disciplinary work to tackle global challenges

"It’s about pooling the best minds and the best ideas that can tackle problems or issues in unexpected ways…"

The advantages of getting involved with Peer Support

"It really builds their communication skills, their sense of interaction with the department…"