The University of Southampton
HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Dan Varndell PhD Film and English

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Hi, I'm Dan Varndell and I studied PhD Film and English within Humanities at the University of Southampton.

This is the best place for me, working alongside inspirational staff. I’m not saying I’ll never leave, but another university would have to be pretty special to beat Southampton.

Many film fans are appalled at the very thought of modern directors re-making their favourite movies. By contrast, Dan is fascinated by the process and is investigating for his PhD how classic stories change as they are retold across different times and cultures.

He explains: "We all know the Hitchcock film Psycho which was re-made in 1978 by John Carpenter as Halloween and inspired a series of slasher movies. I am examining the parallels and differences between these films and later works."

Reading-born Dan moved to Southampton for his BA in English and stayed on to study his masters and PhD. He says: "I knew the University had a good reputation for the subject and relished the chance to work in an interdisciplinary way across the areas of both English and film." Initially, Dan was interested in the development of film noir then moved on to examine re-makes.

He is now working on his PhD full-time and has funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) but also took a succession of part-time jobs earlier in his studies to make ends meet. He says: "I have also undertaken some seminar teaching at the University and it was interesting to work with other students."

Even after several years at Humanities, Dan is in no rush to move on. "This is the best place for me, working alongside inspirational staff. I’m not saying I’ll never leave, but another university would have to be pretty special to beat Southampton."

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