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The University of Southampton
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Dr Shelley Cobb 

Associate Professor of Film

Dr Shelley Cobb's photo

Dr Shelley Cobb is an Associate Professor of Film at the University of Southampton.

I am a feminist film and media studies scholar with particular interests in: women filmmakers; equality and diversity in the film and television industries; feminism, postfeminism and popular feminism in media; celebrity culture; adaptation; and reception discourses.

I am the principal investigator for the large AHRC-funded ‘Calling the Shots: Women and Contemporary Film Culture in the UK’. The primary research (completed in 2018) included data collection of women working in key roles on film sets and a set of recorded interviews with women working in those positions. The research is the basis for published individual articles and some co-authored with my research partners Linda Ruth Wililams and Natalie Wreyford in The Journal of British Cinema and Television, Feminist Media Histories, and Women’s History Review. The website for the project – – houses our publicly available reports on the numbers of women working in the British film industry from 2003-2015, as well as information about our team and public impact. The research for Calling the Shots has had wide public awareness with stories in UK newspapers and continues to have impact on the continuing push for equality and diversity in the film and TV industries.

My monograph, Adaptation, Authorship and Contemporary Women Filmmakers (Palgrave-Macmillan, November 2014) considers film adaptations directed by women that foreground the figure of the female author, through analysis of the films themselves, their reception, and discussion of the cultural and industrial contexts in which these films were released.

I am also co-editor, with Neil Ewen (University of Winchester) of First Comes Love: Power Couples, Celebrity Kinship and Cultural Politics (September 2015) and have published articles and chapters on women’s film authorship; black women filmmakers’ rom coms; gender, sexuality and celebrity; adaptation theory; chick flicks; and race in the sitcom Friends.


BA, Creative Writing & English, University of Southern California 1994

MA, English & Comparative Literature, Chapman University 2002

MFA, Creative Writing, Chapman University 2002

PhD, Film & Television Studies, University of East Anglia 2008

Research interests

My research interests are gender and popular culture with particular focus on feminist film theory; women’s work in the film and TV industries; women’s film genres; celebrity culture; postfeminist media culture and representations of feminism; and literary adaptations to film and TV.

I have supervised PhD students researching the following topics: contemporary gothic fiction for adolescents, adaptation of contemporary children’s literature, British women filmmakers and theories of space, British women documentarians, Black stars and women’s genres in Hollywood, documentary and Al-Jazeera, and British genre films and regionalism.


Affiliate research group

Women’s Film and Television History Network – UK/Ireland

  • Director of Programmes for Film
  • Impact Case Study
  • TEF Lead
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Book Chapters


For the undergraduate programme in Film I convene the modules Women and Hollywood and Film Adaptation: Culture and Context. I also contribute to Intro to Hollywood, American Cinema and Intro to European Cinema. I also supervise Masters dissertations in Film and Film and Cultural Management.

Dr Shelley Cobb
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Southampton
Avenue Campus
SO17 1BF

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