Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
FilmPart of Humanities

Research Themes

Film Studies' research is very diverse, but can be grouped under a number of specific themes which in some cases overlap with each other. These are: investigations into the nexus between national, transnational, and global identities and specificities in cinema and television; historical approaches to cinema industries and audiences; and theoretical questions regarding audio-visual aesthetics. Our academics have published widely in these areas and particularly welcome related applications from potential postgraduate students.

co-organised by Prof. Lucy Mazdon (left)
The New Wave at 50 event in London

National, transnational and global identities in cinema and television

This theme involves studies into the nature and distinctiveness of national cinemas across the world, and how this distinctiveness is handled at a local level through film policy, and economic decisions at the level of film production, distribution, and exhibition. This theme is also concerned with the intersections between different cultures, caused by exchanges, transfers, mutual influences, and migratory processes. Case studies addressed by staff and research students have included events and publications on the following topics: Hollywood, Asian cinema, British cinema, European cinema, French cinema, German cinema, Irish cinema, Spanish and Latin-American cinema, Eastern European cinema, World cinema.

Historical approaches to cinema industries and audiences

Several staff members are committed to historical investigations into earlier periods of cinema and television history, and there is a strong interest in silent cinema. Topics researched by colleagues include the representation of 20th century conflict in cinema (World War One and Two, the Cold War), local film cultures of film production, exhibition and consumption, studies of stardom and cinephilia, historically specific instances of reception; the relation between film and other media (such as literature, television, other art forms) at particular moments in history; and the history of media technologies (including sound).

Film theory and audiovisual aesthetics

Another strong research focus is on theoretical questions regarding the nature of film as a medium and its changing position in relation to new media, screens and forms of storage. We also specialise in the analysis of specific aesthetic aspects. The latter include investigations into film music and sound, set design, cinematography, screenwriting techniques and practices, and acting. Case studies have focused on a wide range of film genres, including horror, science fiction, melodrama, the musical, historical spectacles, art cinema, and documentary.

Centre for Transnational Studies

Key facts

Film Studies staff have research links with the Centre for Transnational Studies and the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non Jewish Relations, among others.

Privacy Settings