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The University of Southampton
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Professor Kevin Donnelly 

Postgraduate Taught Convenor, MA Film and Cultural Managment Convenor (Semester 1),Head of Research

Professor Kevin Donnelly's photo

Professor Kevin Donnelly is Professor of Film and Film Music at the University of Southampton.

I am primarily a theorist and historian of film music and film sound, but with a strong interest in aesthetics and culture beyond film.

I attended the University of East Anglia and the University of Cardiff, where I was taught by film theorist Thomas Elsaesser, film historians Charles Barr and Andrew Higson, novelist W.G. Sebald, composer Denis Smalley and parapsychologist David Fontana.  As a  research student I was teaching assistant to Laura Mulvey and Pam Cook.  I have taught at the University of Wales, Aberystwtyth, Staffordshire University and the University of East Anglia before I came to the University of Southampton as Reader in Film Studies in 2007.

I am author of Magical Musical Tour: Rock and Pop in Film Soundtracks (New York: Bloomsbury, 2015), Occult Aesthetics: Sound and Image Synchronization (Oxford University Press, 2013), British Film Music and Film Musicals (Palgrave, 2007), The Spectre of Sound (British Film Institute, 2005) and Pop Music in British Cinema (British Film Institute, 2001); and editor of Film Music: Critical Approaches (Edinburgh University Press, 2001), co-editor (with Phil Hayward) of Music in Science Fiction Television: Tuning to the Future (Routledge, 2012) and co-editor (with Will Gibbons and Neil Lerner) of Music in Video Games: Studying Play (London: Routledge, 2014). I am currently co-editing a book on new music for silent films (with Ann-Kristin Wallengren for Palgrave) and co-editing a collection (with Steve Rawle) on Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann (for Manchester University Press).

I am the editor of the 'Music and the Moving Image' book series for Edinburgh University Press and 'Palgrave Studies in Audio-Visual Culture' for Pagrave-Macmillan. I am on the editorial board of the journals including Music and the Moving Image, the Journal of Film Music, Music, Sound and the Moving Image, and The New Soundtrack and have published on subjects as divers as urban wildlife and 'troubles tourism' in Northern Ireland.


by Kevin Donnelly (2007)
British Film Music and Film Musical
by Kevin Donnelly
Film Music
by Kevin Donnelly
The Spectre of Sound

Research interests

As well as my work on film music and film sound, I also have significant interests in British and Irish cinema, film theory, aesthetics, critical and cultural theory, horror and science fiction films, cult films and TV; and rock, electronic and experimental music.  My doctoral thesis concerned the relationship of popular music and British cinema since 1960.

I have supervised PhD theses on film music, songs in films, musicals, music video, film sound, political communication, new technologies, audiences, Mandopop, Indian horror and science fiction films, teen films and television drama.  Apart from my research interests  listed above, I would welcome PhD supervision on subjects including: film and music technology, film and psychology, psychogeography, the supernatural and paranormal, British Cult Television and marginal popular music.

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Book Chapters

Professor Kevin Donnelly
University of Southampton
Avenue Campus
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/1065

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