Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies



Image of Sarah Martindale

Sarah Martindale

Nottingham Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts



I've been a Research Fellow at Horizon Digital Economy Research since January 2012, exploring the ways people attach meaning and value to digital interactions and new media, as part of interdisciplinary projects investigating digital transformations and their potential future implications.

For my PhD at Aberystwyth University I studied Shakespearean film audiences, under the supervision of Professor Martin Barker. My PhD was supported by a postgraduate award from the AHRC, as was my MA in Film and Communication Studies from Queen Mary, University of London, which I passed with Distinction. Prior to this I gained a First Class BA(Hons) in English at Queen Mary and was awarded the Westfield Trust Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement.

Expertise Summary

I study cultural engagement as part of everyday lived experience.

Teaching Summary

I'm Training Programme Manager at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in My Life in Data, working closely with the cohort during Year 1 on research methods, practice-led projects, the global… read more

Recent Publications

I'm Training Programme Manager at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in My Life in Data, working closely with the cohort during Year 1 on research methods, practice-led projects, the global impacts of digital technologies, public engagement and professional skills. I also supervise postgraduate projects and internships.

Before coming to Nottingham I previously taught for six years at Aberystwyth University. There I had a wide variety of responsibilities on many modules: marking, seminar leading, lecturing, dissertation supervision and module coordination. Working with diverse students at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate levels on different topics gave me broad-based teaching experience.

Past Research

Charting the Digital Lifespan

We have yet to experience a complete lifespan in the Digital Age, from conception to death in old age. Those who have grown up interacting with digital technology from a very early age are still young, whilst older technology adopters have identities that pre-date the Digital Age, populated with paper trails of memories. The paths of our digital and physical lives run in parallel, converge and diverge as they mediate personhood in social and cultural life. In this research, we chart the unmapped territory of the digital lifespan as it is now in the UK, and envision what this territory may look like in the future - framed against an extant understanding of physical UK lifespans.

More information about this project can be found here.

Understanding the Multi-Screen Household

As domestic screen technologies multiply (the traditional television set joined by games consoles, laptops, tablets and smartphones) so people's relationships with visual media become increasingly dispersed and consequently harder to access and explore. This project sets out to capture and map the complexity of the interactions between individuals, technologies and content which take place in multi-screen environments. A combination of innovative digital observation techniques and audience research methods will be used to collect data about devices, routines and attitudes from households, with the ultimate aim of producing a toolkit for monitoring and making sense of changes in patterns of everyday cultural consumption.

More information about this project can be found here.


This project is exploring the potential for integrating biomedical data into television formats in order to provide the viewer with additional information about how onscreen protagonists are feeling and therefore enhance engagement with that experience. My role involves examining television genres, production processes, ethics and aesthetics alongside audience interpretations of and responses to biomedical data.

More information about this project can be found here.

As part of my general interest in the impact of digital technologies on cultural experiences, especially in regard to audiences, I have also been involved in studying participation in new forms of narrative: Alternate Reality Game The Malthusian Paradox and pervasive drama The Memory Dealer.

PhD: An investigation of the status of 'Shakespeare', and the ways in which this is manifested in audience responses, with specific reference to three late-1990s Shakespearean films.

My doctoral project stemmed from my interest in different types of texts and their interrelationships, enabling me to study Shakespeare as a cultural phenomenon. Working within the cultural studies tradition of investigating the role of media in everyday life, the aim was to access and examine people's attitudes towards and experiences of Shakespeare by undertaking audience research. This took the form of two online questionnaires, one for secondary school teachers of Shakespeare and the other for English and/or media undergraduates. The purpose of eliciting information from these particular groups was to investigate education as a point of potential tension in the cultural transmission of Shakespeare, accessing both sides of the pedagogic experience. The findings produced insights into the ways in which the cultural currency of Shakespeare is transformed by contemporary media, creating a disjunction with conventional evaluative criteria.

Further information about this project can be found here.

Building on my doctoral examination of cinematic representations of British heritage in Shakespearean cinema, I have developed a broader interest in the construction of cultural identity within the international contexts of film production and reception, researching Irish national cinema in relation to ​In Bruges (Martin McDonagh, 2008) and The Guard (John Michael McDonagh, 2011).

Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies

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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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