School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Lucy Bolton, BA, MA, PhD


Reader in Film Studies

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8916
Room Number: Arts One 1.02


My research focuses on film and philosophy, with particular interest in feminist philosophy and phenomenology. I have recently published a monograph on Iris Murdoch's philosophy and contemporary cinema for Edinburgh University Press. I am on the editorial board of The Iris Murdoch Review and recently guest-edited a special issue on Iris Murdoch and Visual Culture.

I have published widely on the relationship between the work of Luce Irigaray and cinema, and this forms an ongoing part of my research and teaching. I am also interested in the work of Virginia Woolf and Simone Weil, and am researching ways in which these thinkers can be read alongside cinematic works.

I am on the editorial boards of the journals Film-Philosophy, Celebrity Studies and Open Screens and am co-editor of the book series Visionaries: Thinking through Female Filmmakers (Edinburgh University Press).

I also research, teach and publish on film stardom and celebrity. I co-edited a collection entitled Lasting Stars: Images that Fade and Personas that Endure (Palgrave Macmillan, May 2016). This book won the BAFTSS Award for Best Edited Collection in 2017. I have published on Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh, the role of shoes in Marnie, and women in the films of Clint Eastwood. I will soon be writing about what we can learn about screen ethics from Dreams of a Life, and why we should study The Last Temptation of Christ.

I am currently developing a project on the relationship between star studies and film philosophy.

I work mainly in the fields of classical and contemporary Hollywood and British cinema. I am Director of the Living British Cinema forum, which can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

I welcome PhD applications in the fields of film philosophy and phenomenology, film stardom and women's cinema.


FLM6204 Film Philosophy

FLM7205 Feminist Film Philosophy

FLM6202 Film Studies Research Project Supervision 

Current PhD Supervision:

Georgia Brown: ‘Vivien Leigh: a Data Driven Analysis of Vocal Performance’, co-supervised with Dr Julian Hough

Cathy Lomax: ‘The Allure of Screen Makeup and its role in the creation of on - and off-screen female identity’, co-supervised with Professor Janet Harbord

Alice Pember: '"In Her Hips are Revolutions": The Dancing Girl in Cinema', co-supervised with Dr. Libby Saxton

Giulia Rho: ‘“The Jouissance of the Camera”: Women’s Avant Garde Cinema as Cinécriture Féminine’, co-supervised with Dr Anat Pick



Research Interests:

  • philosophy and film
  • feminist philosophy
  • women’s cinema
  • film phenomenology
  • film theory
  • stardom and performance
  • film and religion
  • classical Hollywood
  • new and contemporary Hollywood
  • costume and fashion
  • film and the law
  • British cinema


Forthcoming publications

Screen Ethics and Global Politics: The Politics of Seeing, Feeling, and Acting Anew, co-edited with David Martin-Jones and Robert Sinnerbrink (EUP, 2020)

‘The Sinister Shoe on the Dainty Foot’, in Shoe Reels: the History and Philosophy of Footwear in Film, edited by Elizabeth Ezra and Catherine Wheatley (EUP, 2020)

‘Beautiful penitent whore: the desecrated celebrity of Mary Magdalene’, in Celebrity Studies, Jan 2020

Essays on Jean Seberg, The Last Temptation of Christ and Dreams of a Life

Books and edited works

‘Philosophy and Film Stardom’, special issue guest editor, Film-Philosophy 23:2, June 2019

Contemporary Cinema and the Philosophy of Iris Murdoch (Edinburgh University Press, 2019)

‘Iris Murdoch and Visual Culture’, guest editor of special issue, Iris Murdoch Review, volume 8, September 2017 (introduction and article)

Lasting Stars: Images that Fade and Personas that Endure (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) WINNER OF BAFTSS AWARD FOR BEST EDITED COLLECTION, 2017

‘#Marilyneveryday: the Cultural Persistence of Marilyn Monroe as a Cultural Icon’, guest editor of special issue, Film, Fashion and Consumption, 4:2-3, 2015

Film and Female Consciousness: Irigaray, Cinema and Thinking Women (Palgrave Macmillan 2011)  Shortlisted for BAFTSS prize for Best Monograph 2012. Paperback issue March 2015.

Italy On Screen: National Identity and Italian Imaginary, co-edited with Christina Siggers Manson (Peter Lang 2010)

Framed! Essays in French Studies, co-edited with Ann Lewis, Gerri Kimber and Michael Seabrook (Peter Lang, 2007)

Selected articles and book chapters

‘Margaret and Murdoch: Learning a Moral Life’, Film-Philosophy, 2017 (shortlisted for Film-Philosophy Article Award 2018)

‘Ageing, vulnerable and unstable: My Week with Marilyn and Popular Perceptions of Vivien Leigh', Journal of British Film and Television, 14:2, 2017

‘”You ain’t ugly like me, it’s just we both got scars”: Women in the films of Clint Eastwood’, in Tough Ain’t Enough: New Perspectives on Clint Eastwood’s Films, edited by David Desser and Lester Friedman (Rutgers University Press, 2017)

‘From Starlet to Scarlet, and Blanche to Mrs Stone: the film performances of Vivien Leigh’, in Vivien Leigh: Star, Actress, Icon, edited by Katharine Dorney and Maggie Gale (Manchester University Press, 2017)

‘An Afternoon with Iris’, The Iris Murdoch Review, 7, Summer 2016

‘Mia in Fish Tank: Being a Modern Girl in Modern Britain’, in Global Girlhood and International Cinema, ed. by Fiona Handyside and Kate Taylor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

‘Winslet, Dench, Murdoch and Alzheimer’s Disease: Intertextual Stardom in Iris’, in Feminisms, ed. by Laura Mulvey and Anna Backman Rogers (University of Amsterdam Press, 2015)

'The Phenomenology of James Bond', in James Bond- Fan Phenomenon (Intellect, 2015)

'Solving Suicide: Contemplating The Hours as a Puzzle Film', in Hollywood Puzzle Films, ed. by Warren Buckland (Routledge, 2014)

'Nicholas Ray', in Fifty Hollywood Directors, ed. by Yvonne Tasker and Suzanne Leonard (Routledge, 2014)

‘Solving Suicide: Facing the Complexity of The Hours’, in Hollywood Puzzle Films, ed. by Warren Buckland (London and New York: Routledge, 2014)

‘Little Madnesses: Winnicott, transitional phenomena and cultural experience – a symposium’, Screen 54.3, Autumn 2013

'Desperate Black Female: Race, Sex and Monster's Ball', in Race, Philosophy and Film, ed. by Mary Bloodsworth-Lugo and Dan Flory (Routledge, 2013)

'Remembering Flesh: Morvern Callar as an Irigarayan Alice', in Guilt and Shame: Essays in French Literature, Thought and Visual Culture, ed. by Jenny Chamarette and Jennifer Higgins (Peter Lang, 2009)

'Meg Gets Naked! Exposing the Female Star in Jane Campion's In the Cut', in Feminism and the Body, ed. by Catherin Kevin (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009)

'But what if the object started to speak? Creating a Culture of Two On Screen', in Luce Irigaray, Teaching, ed. by Luce Irigaray (Continuum, 2008)

'The Woman who Watched The Man Who Cried: A Study of Female Consciousness On Screen', Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts, 8.3, December 2007

'The Camera as Speculum: Examining the Representation of Female Consciousness in Lost in Translation, Using the Thought of Luce Irigaray', in Plato's Cave to the Multiplex: Philosophy and Film, ed. by Barbara Gabriella Renzi and Stephen Rainey (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006)

Other Publications

Non-academic writing includes a recent piece for BBC Culture on Marilyn Monroe's 90th birthday

Review Article:  Catherine Fowler, Sally Potter (Contemporary Film Directors) and Sophie Mayer, The Cinema of Sally Potter: A Politics of Love. Screen 53.1, September 2010

'The Blonde: Icon, Stereotype, Concept', Sight and Sound Online, March 2010

Review Article: Authorizing Jane Campion, Senses of Cinema, July 2009

Philosophy Goes to the Movies, Cafe Philosophy (May/June 2008, p.7)

Review Article: Falzon, Christopher, Philosophy Goes to the Movies (Second Edition) (Routledge, 2007), Film Philosophy, 11.3 December 2007

Review Article: Kamir, Orit, Framed: Women in Law and Film, Duke University Press, 2006, and Sjogren, Britta, Into the Vortex: Female Voice and Paradox in Film, University of Illinois Press, April 2006, Scope, 9 October 2007

Media and public engagement

Media appearances include Woman's Hour and The Forum