Media and Music Undergraduate Showcase

Date & Time:

17th April, 16:00


Parkside P131; Online

This pilot event will showcase short presentations of undergraduate final year Major Project work by students from the Media and Communications and Music Industries courses, covering a range of topics: D&D and music, K-Pop and authenticity, the evolution of Barbie dolls, US TV crime drama representations, and gender dynamics within Red Pill communities. The BCMCR Events team hope that this first-of-a-kind showcase will set up the scene for future ones to follow and highlight more excellent work coming out from across the full range of media degrees at the College of English and Media, so please come along and support five of our final year students and their work! 

This event is open to all Birmingham City University Staff and Students.



Bardic Inspiration: How do Dungeons & Dragons players construct imagined spaces through music and sound? 

Harry Gambrill 

This research project seeks to contribute to understanding the impact of music and sound in the gameplay experiences within the Dungeons & Dragons TTRPG, and the ways in which auditory elements become architects for fantastical landscapes and the characters that inhabit them. This paper will be drawing upon themes of music, space and place, transmedia storytelling, identity, performativity, and play. It will present preliminary findings and address how the ethnographic research has informed the creation of new music.  


Exploring K-pop’s Metaverse “KWANGYA”: A Study on K-pop Fandom’s Perception Towards Authenticity in the Culture 

Clementine Vania 

In 2020, K-pop introduced KWANGYA, a parallel universe where AI idols resides. KWANGYA pushed the narrative of the “perfect-self”, where virtuality reflects the imagined perfect reality; but what is reality when human K-pop idols is known to be mass trained and produced, and is expected to only present their “perfect-self”? This piece is inspired by this parallel and aims to study the layers of authenticity in K-pop through the eyes of the fandom, in the era of AI advancement. 


Reinventing Barbie – How has the marketing of Mattel’s Barbie evolved between 1959 and 2023?  

Kerry Hanson 

This research explores how the marketing of the dolls have evolved through a semiotic analysis of the tv commercials between the years of 1959 and 2023 and discusses the signs and symbols and the discourses especially of representation and inclusivity, have on the audience and society. As a hybrid project, the accompanying artefact focusses on creating a strategy for a new doll, which entails creating an avatar of yourself on a platform where you can create your own Barbie doll from scratch. I also consider how I aim to market the new doll, with a spoken presentation as a pitch. 


How has the representation of women in US TV crime drama changed over time?: 1980s vs 2020s  

Liwia Ledwon 

This project focuses on the representation of women in American TV crime dramas during the 1980s vs the 2020s. It explores 2 series as case studies for the previously stated years: ‘Only Murders in the Building’ for the 2020 case study and ‘Cagney and Lacey’ for the 1980s case study. I then created a podcast series on the topic of representation of women in crime dramas which included guests such as academic experts, media and criminology undergraduates as well as fans of the genre. This podcast was then published on a website which also further explained the purpose of the podcast. 


How are gender dynamics explored by female influencers within Red Pill communities on YouTube, and how does this contribute toward reshaping audiences’ perceptions of gender? A case study: @justpearlythings  

Macy Mellor 

This is a hybrid project which analyses gender discourses perpetuated by renowned Red Pill influencer – Pearl. Within this essay & audio-visual podcast, I explore audiences’ perceptions of gender using virtual ethnography, & explain how gender dynamics are informed by Pearl & the Manosphere. My audio-visual podcast replicates her video-style, using feminist literature as a framework for my discussion. 



Biographical notes

Harry Gamrill  

My name is Harry Gambrill. I’m a 3rd and final year Music Industries BA(Hons) student here at BCU. I’ve had a passion for soundtracks and videogames for as long as I can remember. That passion for gaming has expanded to the tabletop where I can be found playing Dungeons & Dragons at least once a week. 

Clementine Vania  

Hello! My name is Vania, and I am now a final-year BA (Hons) Music Industries student at BCU. Over the years, my interest in K-pop has evolved from being a fan of the idols and music to an insatiable curiosity in the industry’s inner workings. This is why majority of my work thus far has revolved around K-pop. I also used to be a K-pop dancer, which gives me additional access and a platform to practice my studies on the issue. Other than K-pop: I may have a slight obsession over true crime podcasts- and I love open-ended movies! 

Kerry Hanson 

I’m Kerry Hanson, I study Media and Communications. I prefer the Public Relations and marketing element to this course and have focussed most of my work throughout my course to build a portfolio of work to do with these sectors. I currently do social media marketing for family-owned companies, including content creation and content curation, website designing and editing and I really enjoy the brainstorming of ideas and proposing them to these companies for new ideas for their social media content! 

Liwia Ledwon 

My name is Liwia Ledwon and I am a third-year Media and Communication student at BCU. I enjoyed exploring the representation of women in various movies and series during my studies, hence the topic for my major project. I have also enjoyed website creation in the past, so I thought to join the 2 things I enjoyed most into my major project. 

Macy Mellor 

I’m Macy Mellor, a 3rd year student studying Media and Communications & a proud feminist who’s passionate about social media, television & social justice movements. I’m originally from Birmingham but hope to gain a prosperous and dynamic career in television in London or Manchester.