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Damian O'Byrne

Programme Director - Production & Design

About Research

Damian O’Byrne began working in the Media Arts department as a Technical and Learning Support Officer during which time he completed an MA at Goldsmiths, University of London and has since graduated to a lecturing role.

Damian’s background is in page layout and design and he convenes and teaches on a wide range of modules that develop students’ practical skills in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. He supervises dissertations in these disciplines with a particular interest and focus on students who choose to create magazine projects.


Research

Damian’s most recent research and practice has been writing, editing, designing and launching his own independent title, SBG Magazine. The magazine focuses on wargaming in the world’s of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and is now on its fifth issue. The magazine has sold over 2000 copies in over twenty-five countries and has received high praise in the relevant press. The magazine both directly informs and is informed by Damian’s teaching in a mutually beneficial process that enhances the student experience.

Having completed his undergraduate degree in English and Media Arts, Damian completed an MA in Digital Media in 2010. During this time his research interests focussed on the techniques and practices of live television news and his dissertation explored the coverage of Michael Jackson’s death as a baudrillardrian pseudo-event. His research into themes of Immediacy and Hyper-mediacy have led to Damian’s first publication “The Mosasaurus and Immediacy in Jurassic World” which examines the techniques used by the production team to develop the verisimilitude of the Jurassic Park franchise. The chapter will appear in the forthcoming book Beasts of the Deep which is due for publication in January. Having just given a paper at the follow up conference Beasts of the Forest, Damian is now working on the corresponding chapter which will be published in the accompanying collection in 2019.

Damian’s recent research has been into fan cultures with a focus on wargaming in the worlds of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He is about to begin a PhD examining the position of wargaming in society and the transient nature of a wargamer’s cultural capital.