Professor Chris White

Position: Head of Department of Media and Performing Arts

College: College of Arts

Department: Media and Performing Arts

Subject area: Art and Design

Research Centre: D-Marc

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I lead the areas of Media and Performing Arts this includes study from Year Zerto through to Ph.D.  The subjects in Media include several Photography programmes that also can be combined with our Film programmes which have excellent reputations for writing, and production skills;Media production covering a range of skills and a specialist courses such as Radio Production.  For the Performing Arts: Drama, Dance and Music with a range of programmes which offer practical and production skills alongside research and contextual study in these fields.  All of the programmes are linked to the Creative and Cultural Industries within city and region, linked to festivals and events.

I currently lead research projects and activity in the College.

Director of Digital & Material Arts Centre.

Leader of UoA 34 for Research Excellence Framework 2014 and preparing 2017 mini-REF Audit.

Teaching responsibilities

I supervise Ph.D. students with really interesting studies across the Arts ranging from Fine Art, Photography, Forensic Costume, Sculpture, Lighting, Creative Ecologies and Nature Connections.

Research interests

  • Creative & Cultural Industries - design and arts practices: sustainability through design
  • Social Policy and the Arts - Cultural Value: musuems, archives, collections and society
  • Arts, Health & Wellbeing: empirical evidence of the benefits for the individual
  • Light - exploration of light in urban and designed environments, for stage and screens and visualisations

Membership of professional bodies

I am the Aurora Champion and Role Model for the University at the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education

Consultancy and Advisory Boards

  • 2014 – present: Member of London School of Economics, Light Research project (ESRC).
  • 2013 – present: Member of the Board of Trustees DerwentWISE.
  • 2011 - present: Member of the Board of Trustees Déda, the Dance Centre for Derby and the East Midlands.
  • 2005 - present: Reviewer for the following publishers: Palgrave, Intellect; Taylor & Francis; Routledge; Focal Press.
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Fashion Technology & Textile Engineering, SciTechnol International Publisher of Science, Technology and Medicine,
  • Reviewer for AHRC, Digital Transformations bids 2012.
  • Consultant for Skillset Foundation Internship degrees in media related subjects.
  • Reviewer for Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Routledge, 2011 – present.
  • Reviewer for Medical Research Council bids 2010 – present.
  • Reviewer for Scottish Health Council bids 2010 – present.
  • 2003 – 2014: Member of AHRC Peer Review College for Scenography, New Media, Multi-media and Performance, 20th Century Contemporary, UK, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Mediterranean, North America.


Education and Professional Affiliations

  • Ph.D. British Theatre Scenography: The Reification Of Spectacle, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, 1998. (Part-time Ph.D. sponsored by Strand Lighting)   
  • BA Single Honours Drama 2:1, University of Kent, 1984.                                       
  • City & Guilds Television Production, Fosse Studios Television Production, 1992.
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2006 - present
  • Associate Designer, the Society of British Theatre Designers.
  • Member of the International Federation for Theatre Research.
  • E-moderating Online, Anglia Ruskin University, 2006.
  • Member of the AHRC Peer Review College 2003 – present.

Recent publications

Research Publications: books and major refereed publications



  • White, C.A., 2014, ‘Humming the sets’, The Oxford Handbook of the British Musical, Gordon, R. & Jubin, O., Oxford University Press.

Journal Editor

  • White, C.A., 2014, Co-Editor, Scene, Volumes 1 - 4 with several issues per year, Intellect.

Published Works


  • White, C.A., editor, 2013, 2014, Emmanuel Cooper Retrospective, ISBN 978-1-905865-25-3
  • White, C.A., 2009, Directors and Designers, Intellect Books.
  • White, C.A., & Oddey, A., co-editors, 2009, Modes of Spectating, Intellect Books.
  • White, C.A., & Oddey, A., co-editors, 2006, The Potentials of Spaces: International Scenography and Performance for the 21st Century, Intellect Books.
  • White, C.A., & Carver, G.P., 2003, Computer Visualisations: 3D Modelling for Theatre Designers, Focal Press.
  • White, C.A., 2001, Technical Theatre, Arnold Press.


  • White, C.A., (2013), Co-Editor, Scene, Volume 1, Issue 3, Intellect. ISSN2044-3714,
  • Co-author with Di Benedetto, S., Oddey, A., ‘Linking Languages: Re-aligning design vocabularies’. Editorial.
  • White, C., (2012), Co-Editor, Scene, Volume 1, Issue 2, Intellect. ISSN2044-3714,
  • - Co-author with Di Benedetto, S., Oddey, A., ‘Capturing Attention in the Epoch of the Media Savvy’. Editorial.
  • White, C., (2013), Co-Editor, Scene, Volume 1, Issue 1, Intellect. ISSN2044-3714, pp.154.
  • - Co-author with Oddey, A., ‘A Poetics of Imagineering: scene to screen, designing for edutainment and entertainment’. Editorial.
  • White, C.A., Founding Editor, 2012, Scene, Intellect.
  • White, C.A., Editor of Scenography International, ISSN 1743-6117 (Online), 1999-2009.


  • White, C.A., 2013, 2014, ‘The Thinking Potter and the Politics of Pots’, Emmanuel Cooper Retrospective,Ruthin Craft Centre, ISBN 978-1-905865-25-3

Journal Papers – Peer reviewed

  • White, C.A., 2013, ‘Lighting – a part of a changing aesthetic and text for The Stage is Set – or is it?’ – Production of performed research by Chris White, Derby Theatre, 20 March 2013, Scene, Volume 1.2, Intellect.
  • White, C.A., International Conference Cinema – Art, Technology, Communication, ‘Changing Cinematic Spaces’, Portugal, 20th-24th July, 2011 in conference proceedings, 2012.

Recent conferences

Conference presentations for National & International Conferences & Exhibitions

  • White, C.A., Fourth International Conference on Health, Wellness & Society, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, ‘Creativity Cure’, 14-15 March 2014.
  • White, C.A., Convenor, Contemporary Ceramics Conference, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Royal Crown Derby, University of Derby, February 21st 2014.
  • White, C.A., curator, ‘Emmanuel Cooper Retrospective’, in collaboration with Ruthin Craft Centre, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Royal Crown Derby and the University of Derby, February 20th-March 28th 2014.
  • White, C.A., ‘The Stage is Set’, an exhibition of theatre stage lighting, by Chris White Markeaton Gallery, University of Derby, November 2013 –January 2014

Additional interests and activities

Would like to hear from you if you have work to publish in Scene.  This is a peer-reviewed journal explores all aspects of design contexts for live and recorded performance, giving special attention to the shaping of artistic vision, aesthetic sophistication, critical thinking and craft.  The journal covers the following: Cinema, Television, Commercials, Theatre, Opera, Musical, Interior Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design, Theme Parks, Scenography, Architecture, Visual Special Effects, Visual Arts, Virtual Sets, Multivision, Location sets, Games Design and Virtual Environments, Modes of Spectating. Published by Intellect. Download a free copy of issue one: www.intellect/scene

Experience in industry

I have worked as a designer for the creative and cultural industries in live and recorded environments.

I have been a Business Fellow for the London Technology Network and works with government and non-government orgnaisations, SMEs, charities and Trusts.

International experience

I have published on creative arts in China:

  • White, C.A., Oddey, A., Fan Xia, Lu Ping, Sarah McNicoll, ‘Entrepreneurship for the Creative and Media Arts’, in Employability: Insights from Chinese and UK Universities, edited by Troy Heffernan, China Agricultural University Press, 2011.
  • Has worked with colleagues on topics for international collaboration:
  • £25,000 Prime Ministers Initiative - Employability and Entrepreneurship project with Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, Fudan University, Shanghai, - January 2010-Jaunary 2011.
  • £17,000 Continuation funding Prime Ministers Initiative January 2011-December 2011, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, Fudan University, Shanghai.
  • She has been an external examiner in India and China and regularly works with research colleagues in Qatar, Canada and Europe.

In the media

I am happy to give interviews for radio, television and print.

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