St Noel of the Cameras

St Noel of the Cameras

News from Felix Driver of a fully-funded PhD studentship on the history of expeditionary film, directed by Felix and Catherine Souch, in conjunction with the RGS-IBG, the Royal Society and the British Film Institute:

Applications are welcome for a fully-funded AHRC PhD studentship on the history of expeditionary film, geographical science and media culture, available from September 2013 on a full-time or part-time basis. 
The project will investigate the production, distribution and presentation of films made on successive Everest expeditions between 1922 and 1953. Drawing on unique archival film collections held by the BFI, the Everest expedition archives and related collections such as The Times archives, the research will consider the logistical and technical requirements of expeditionary film, including the role of Sherpa porters in film-making; the role of media sponsorship in shaping the presentation of expedition work; and how film was shown, and to what audiences, within the context of popular and scientific understandings of mountaineering in the period. The research will also consider the wider significance and potential uses of the Everest film archive. This involves consideration of the role of key organizations, including the RGS and the BFI, in developing a community of interest around geographical film in the first half of the twentieth century. In addition to research in the unique Everest archives and in the associated BFI collection, the project will examine the potential of digital film in the context of public engagement and public memory.
Further details of the project, eligibility and applications process are available here and here.  The closing date for applications is 8 May 2013.
More information from Felix at
The image at the top (where else?!) shows Captain J.B. Noel, who was referred to as ‘St. Noel of the Cameras‘ by General Bruce, leader of the 1922 Everest Expedition. Noel photographed and filmed the 1922 and 1924 Everest Expeditions and can be seen here kinematographing the ascent of Mt Everest from the Chang La in 1922. I do hope somebody from Geography at Manchester reads the small print….