School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Anat Pick, MA D.Phil

Anat

Reader in Film Studies

Email: a.pick@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8290
Room Number: Arts One 1.41a

Profile

Since completing my DPhil in English Literature on Henry James and Emmanuel Levinas (University of Oxford), I’ve extended my interest in the relationship between ethics, literature, and film beyond the human. 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 collection Screening Nature: Cinema Beyond the Human (Berghahn, 2013) intersects film studies and the emergent fields of ecocriticism and critical animal studies. I publish widely in the areas of animals in film, and non-anthropocentric film philosophy.

My new book project is 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.

Teaching

FLM4200 Concepts and History

FLM511 The Visual Essay

FLM609 Ecocinemas: Nature, Animals, and the Moving Image

MA in Film Studies Core Course

MA in Documentary Practice

 

Research

Research Interests:

  • early film
  • documentary
  • experimental cinema
  • the visual essay
  • critical animal studies
  • ecocinema
  • post-humanist theory
  • continental philosophy

Publications

Books and edited works

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

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

‘War on the World: Ecological Inflections in the Films of Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi’, Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi at Work: The Politics and Aesthetics of Archives. ed. by Alo Paistik and Jonathan Larcher. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019. (in press)

‘Ghosts at a Glance: Four Animal Fragments’, with Illustrations by Shira Weisz, Host to Ghosts: Feeling Animal Death, ed. by Brianne Donaldson and Ashley King. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019. (in press)

'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 http://www.necsus-ejms.org/portfolio/spring-2015_animals/

'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.

'Three Worlds', in Screening Nature: Cinema Beyond the Human, ed. by Anat Pick and Guinevere Narraway (Berghahn, 2013).

'Intersecting Ecology and Film', in Screening Nature, ed. by Anat Pick and Guinevere Narraway (Berghahn, 2013).

'"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) https://www.closeupfilmcentre.com/vertigo_magazine/volume-3-issue-6-summer-2007/simone-weil-notes-on-a-timid-cinema/