I completed my Masters and PhD at the University of Cambridge. I taught there and at the University of Leicester before coming to Queen Mary in 2012.
I’m best known for my work on film-phenomenology and embodiment, which has become a popular sub-field of film theory and philosophy. My first monograph, Phenomenology and the Future of Film (2012), was on this topic. I continue to write on film, temporality, gesture, embodiment and the senses in relation to feminist and queer phenomenologies, and phenomenologies of race and disability.
Most of my research is on non-Anglophone film and moving image. My initial training was in French-speaking philosophy, literature and visual cultures with an emphasis on subjectivity, and my first edited collection Guilt and Shame (2010), arose out of these interests. I have written extensively on filmmakers such as Agnès Varda and Chantal Akerman, and have since expanded my work on intermediality and transcultural moving images, including Middle Eastern artists such as Abbas Kiarostami, Elia Suleiman and Shirin Neshat, Senegalese filmmakers like Ousmane Sembène and Safi Faye, and video and performance artists like Marina Abramović and Gillian Wearing.
I’m currently working on a monograph about Cinema and the Museum, and the lines of cultural politics that connect the two, especially through ethnography, performance and live art, and moving image installation.
Art writing and creative non-fiction are ongoing interests of mine, and they go hand in hand with my work as a curator and programmer, where I have collaborated at the Southbank Centre, King’s College London, and the Whitechapel Gallery. I have an ongoing collaboration with the audio-visual artist, Anna Cady, and am a writer of short fiction.
Between 2015 and 2017 I was a member of the AHRC-funded International Research Network on Film and the Other Arts: Intermediality, Medium-Specificity, Creativity.
Between 2018 and 2021, I am Co-Investigator on a large AHRC grant, ‘The Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin’s Personal Cinema’, a collaborative project with academics at the Universities of Reading, Glasgow and Sheffield, incorporating film history, embodiment and disability studies, fine art practice and the digital humanities. Dwoskin was a multidisciplinary artist who was both one of the founders of the London Filmmaker’s Co-Operative (now the LUX), and an early adopter of digital film.
I welcome applications for PhD proposals in any of the above areas, and am particularly interested to hear from prospective students with interests in film-phenomenology and embodiment, artist's moving image, European and non-Western cinemas, transcultural and intermedial cinema, practice-based research, and archives/museums/galleries.
FLM511 The Visual Essay
FLM509 Research Methods (Film)
FLM5205 Film Curation
FLM610 Cinemuseology: Theorising Cinema and the Museum
FLM6202 Film Research Project
MA Film Studies
Current PhD supervision:
Vicki Thornton: ‘Pre-mediated, Mediated, Remediated: Site, Cinematic Memory and Reenactment in Artist’s Moving Image’, co-supervised with Steven Eastwood
Maia Conran: ‘Offline-Site: site in expanded cinema after the Internet’, co-supervised with Steven Eastwood
- transcultural art cinema and artist's moving image
- affect and embodiment
- curatorial practice
- installation art
- cultural institutions
‘Ageless: Akerman’s Avatars’ in Chantal Akerman: Afterlives, edited by Marion Schmid and Emma Wilson (Legenda, forthcoming in 2019)
‘Overturning Feminist Phenomenologies: Disability, Complex Embodiment, Intersectionality, and Film’ in Feminist Phenomenology, edited by Christy Landry and Sara Cohen Shabot (Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming in 2018)
Books and edited works
Phenomenology and the Future of Film: Rethinking Subjectivity beyond Contemporary French Cinema (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
Guilt and Shame: Essays in French Literature, Thought and Visual Culture, co-edited with Jennifer Higgins (Peter Lang, 2010)
Selected articles and book chapters
‘Embodying Spectatorship: From Phenomenology to Sensation’, in The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender, ed. by E. Ann Kaplan, Patrice Petro, Dijana Jelača, and Kristin Hole (Routledge, 2017)
‘Letting go and finding voice: AIR’, Cine-Files: A Scholarly Journal of Film Studies, 10, Spring 2016
'Visible and Invisible Institutions: Cinema in the (French) Museum of the 21st Century' in International Handbook of Museum Studies. Volume 5: Museum and Media, ed. Michelle Henning (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015)
'The New Experimentalism? Women and/in/on experimental film' in Feminisms: The Key Debates, ed. by Laura Mulvey and Anna Backman Rogers (Amsterdam University Press: 2015)
'Embodied Worlds and Situated Bodies: Feminism, Phenomenology, Film Theory’, Signs: Journal of Women and Society, 40:2, 2014
'Absurd avatars, transcultural relations: Elia Suleiman, Franco-Palestinian filmmaking, and beyond', Modern and Contemporary France, 22:1, 2014
'Transitional borders and intermedial spectacle: Kiarostami and Opera, between France and Iran', Studies in French Cinema, 13:3, 2013
'Between women: gesture, intermediality and intersubjectivity in the installations of Agnès Varda and Chantal Akerman', Studies in European Cinema, 10:3, 2013
'Cinémathèque Annotations on Film: Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles', Senses of Cinema, 67, 2013 (http://sensesofcinema.com/2013/cteq/jeanne-dielman-23-quai-du-commerce-1080-bruxelles/)
'The Disappearing Work: Chantal Akerman's Installations and Phenomenologies of the Ephemeral', Contemporary French and Francophone Studies: SITES, 17:3, 2013
'Shadows of Being in Sombre: Archétypes, Wolf-men and Bare life' in The New Extremism in Cinema: From France to Europe, ed. by Tanya Horeck and Tina Kendall (Edinburgh University Press, 2011)
'Spectral Bodies, Temporalised Spaces: Agnès Varda's Motile Gestures of Mourning and Memorial', Image (&) Narrative: Issue on 'Memory Screens', 12:2, 2011 http://www.imageandnarrative. be/index.php/imagenarrative/issue/view/11
'Threatened corpo-reality: decentring and dissolving subjectivities in Philippe Grandrieux's La Vie nouvelle', in Threat: Essays in French Literature, Thought and Visual Culture, ed. by G. Evans and A. Kay (Peter Lang: 2010)
'Cinémathèque Annotations on Film: Les Statues meurent aussi', Senses of Cinema, 52 (Oct-Dec 2009), http://www.sensesofcinema.com/les-statues-meurent-aussi
'Memory, Representation of Time and the Cinema' in Anamnesia: Private and Public Memory in Modern French Culture, ed. by A. Elsner, O. Smith and P. Collier (Peter Lang: 2009)
'A Short Film About Time: Dynamism and Stillness in Chris Marker's La Jetée' in Rhythm, ed. by L. McMahon and E. Lindley (Peter Lang, 2008)
'Flesh, Folds and Texturality: Thinking Visual Ellipsis via Merleau-Ponty, Hélène Cixous and Robert Frank', Paragraph, 30:2 (July 2007)
Review Article: Jean-Pierre Boulé and Ursula Tidd (eds.), Existentialism and Contemporary Cinema: A Beauvoirian Perspective (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2012), in French Studies 69:2, 2015
Review Article: Isabelle McNeill, Memory and the Moving Image (Edinburgh: EUP, 2010), in Journal of European Studies 43:4, 2013
Review Article: Martine Beugnet, Cinema and Sensation (Edinburgh: EUP, 2012), in French Studies, 67:4, 2013
Review Article: David Martin-Jones, Deleuze and World Cinemas (London: Continuum, 2010), in Journal of European Studies, 42:3, 2012
'"Art Which Speaks for Us" - Anna Cady and Louisa Makolski's It Works Both Ways project' published in catalogue accompanying Kunstfilmtag, (Düsseldorf, November 2012, pp.59-61), also available online
Media and engagement
Embodied Interpretations, collaborative project with visual artist Anna Cady (ongoing)
Translation Games, multi-disciplinary project at the Old Anatomy Museum, King's College London, 31 July-2 August 2013. See also our website: www.translationgames.org
Water, Love Runs Down, programme curated as part of Five by Five season, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, 29 October-2 November 2012
Light Up! Short Film Festival, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, 23-24 October 2009
Art text contributions to collaborative exhibition at 'Scratch Night' as part of 'Collaborative Acts', hosted by Contemporary Visual Arts Network East and South East, Thursday 14th March 2013, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes