Founded in 1998, the Animation Research Centre at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham is a centre for innovation; doctoral study; debate and dialogue; interdisciplinary, historic, theoretical and practice-based research into animation in all its most expanded forms. Our current work ranges from archival research, conference organization, exhibition curation and academic publication to investigations in immersive technology, block chain and movement capture.The centre benefits from UCA’s archives of post-1960s animation, such as the Bob Godfrey collection and the ARC Video Collection with works by the internationally acclaimed alumni and staff.
The Animation Research Centre at UCA was founded by Jill McGreal in 1998, as a centre for academic scholarship in Animation Studies. It complemented the Animation department at Farnham, which was established by Oscar-winning animator Bob Godfrey in 1969 and was the first Higher Education course in the subject in the UK. From 2000-2012, it was subsequently further developed under the leadership of Professor Suzanne Buchan, who founded the animation: an interdisciplinary journal and was responsible for a number of seminal international exhibitions, conferences and publications that served an important role in establishing Animation Studies as an academic discipline. Teaching Fellows and researchers involved with ARC include Jim Walker, Kerry Drumm, Aaron Woods, Gemma Riggs and Katie Steed.
From 2012-2016, ARC was managed by archivist Rebekah Taylor as part of UCA’s Archives and Special Collections. Since 2018, animation research at UCA has been led by Reader in Moving Image, Dr Birgitta Hosea. The Animation Research Centre was re-branded and officially re-launched in February 2020 with a conference on Cartoon Animation: Satire and Subversion. The work of Bob Godfrey served as an inspiration to inform the themes of this conference and co-organisers, Hosea and Walker, intend it as a tribute to him that celebrates the Golden Jubilee of his foundation of the Animation course at UCA. The conference is complemented by Bob Godfrey a Collaborative Act, an exhibition of archival materials in the James Hockey Gallery curated by Jim Walker.
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