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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Anat Pick, MA D.Phil


Reader in Film Studies

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8290
Room Number: Arts One 1.41a


My research centres on animals, the natural world, and moving images. I publish widely on animal cinema, vegan approaches to film, and non-anthropocentric film philosophy. I welcome PhD applications in any of these areas.

My teaching and research range across image and text, addressing questions about the more-than-human dimensions of ethics, defined as an openness to the living world. My book Creaturely Poetics: Animality and Vulnerability in Literature and Film (Columbia University Press, 2011) develops a “creaturely” approach to literature and film based on the shared bodily vulnerability of human and nonhuman beings. The book’s theoretical backbone is the thought of the philosopher and mystic Simone Weil (1909-1943), whose idiosyncratic body of work informs much of my current research. The coedited volume Screening Nature: Cinema Beyond the Human (Berghahn, 2013) intersects film studies and the fields of ecocriticism and critical animal studies.

I am working on a book on Simone Weil and cinema. The book argues for cinema’s capacity to both consume and let go of the objects it captures, frames, and records—a mode of looking that refrains from devouring the objects of sight. This nonviolent gaze is conservationist in that it acknowledges the autonomous existence of beings and things, and lets them be. The gaze that lets be offers a corrective to conceptions of cinema as a predatory medium, and contributes to an eco-centric theory of film at a time of environmental crisis. 

Anat is a member of Queen Mary’s Centre for Film and Ethics.


FLM4204 US Cinema: Key Concepts (First year module)

FLM511 The Visual Essay (Second year module)

FLM609 Ecocinemas: Nature, Animals, and the Moving Image (Final year module; MA)

MA in Film Studies Core Course

MA in Documentary Practice



Research Interests:

  • early film
  • documentary
  • experimental cinema
  • the visual essay
  • critical animal studies
  • ecocinema
  • post-humanist theory
  • continental philosophy (especially the philosophy of Simone Weil)


Books and edited works

Simone Weil and Cinema: Looking, Eating, Letting Be (forthcoming)

Religion in Contemporary Thought and Cinema (Edinburgh, 2019)

Screening Nature: Cinema Beyond the Human, co-edited with Guinevere Narraway (Berghahn, 2013)

Creaturely Poetics: Animality and Vulnerability in Literature and Film (Columbia University Press, 2011)

Selected articles and book chapters

“Permacinema.” Philosophies, vol. 7, no. 6, Oct. 2022, p. 122,

“Animals Inside: Creatureliness in Dezs┼Ĺ Kosztolányi’s Skylark and Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, Susan McHugh, Robert McKay, and John Miller eds., The Palgrave Handbook of Animals and Literature. (London: Palgrave, 2021), pp. 437-456.

“Cinema as Metaxu,” The Jugaad Project: Material Religion in Context, 8 September, (2020),

“Film’s Religious Algorithm,” Paragraph 42.3, pp. 387-402.

“Vegan Cinema,” Thinking Veganism in Literature and Culture, ed. by Emelia Quinn and Benjamin Westwood. Oxford: Palgrave, 2018, pp. 125-146.

“Vulnerability,” Critical Terms for Animal Studies, ed. by Lori Gruen. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018, pp. 410-423.

'"Nothing now but kestrel": Simone Weil, Iris Murdoch and the Cinema of Letting Be,' Iris Murdoch Review (2017), pp. 41-49.  

"Sparks Would Fly": Electricity and the Spectacle of Animality', Animalities: Literary and Cultural Studies Beyond the Human, ed. by Michael Lundblad Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018, pp. 104-126.

“Animal Rights Films, Organized Violence and the Politics of Sight,” The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Politics, ed. by Claire Molloy and Yannis Tzioumakis London: Routledge, 2017, pp. 91-102.

“Animal Life in the Cinematic Umwelt,” Animal Life and the Moving Image, ed. by Laura McMahon and Michael Lawrence, London: BFI, 2015, pp. 221-237.

“Reflexive Realism in René Clément's Forbidden Games,” Yale French Studies 127, special issue Animots: Post-Animality in French Thought (2015), pp. 205-220.

'Why Not Look at Animals?', NECSUS, 2015

“Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi’s Criminal Animals,” Screen, 56.1 (2015), pp. 95-101.

“Executing Species: Animal Attractions in Thomas Edison and Douglas Gordon,” The Palgrave Handbook of Posthuman Film and Television, ed. by Michael Hauskeller New York: Palgrave, 2015, pp. 311-320.

'"Some Small Discrepancy": Jean-Christophe Bailly's Creaturely Ontology', Journal of Animal Ethics, 3.2 (2013), pp. 176-187.

“Turning to Animals Between Love and Law,” New Formations, 76, 2012, pp. 68-85.

'Simone Weil: Notes on a Timid Cinema', Vertigo 3:6 (2007)


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