Here are listed the academic staff and postgraduate students associated with the Centre, and summaries of their interests and connections with research into the moving image.

Co-directors of SCRIF

Julia Dobson

I research and publish on contemporary French cinema. Recent work has focused on new configurations of the auteur in contemporary French film,  negotiations between political discourse,  genre and gender and first-person documentary film. Current projects include the representation of adolescence and the family photograph within film.

Jonathan Rayner
I research and publish in several distinct and related areas of film theory and analysis. My key interests are in Australian and New Zealand genre cinema (particularly Gothic films), the interconnections of cinema and landscape, auteur theory, studies of popular genres, and naval history in fictional and documentary film.


Matthew Cheeseman
I am interested in interdisciplinary approaches to postwar youth culture, engaging with film as a crucial media within this. I have specifically researched depictions of intoxication and the night-time economy in film. I also use film as a research tool and output whilst engaging in ethnography.


Fabienne Collignon
I am particularly interested in American techno-culture and the Cold War. My main interest is genre cinema, namely science fiction and horror, and I have done work on the films of Stanley Kubrick, John Carpenter, and Cold War B-movies.


Sarah Dauncey
My research focuses on cultural depictions of people with disabilities in China and I have a particular interest in the way that cinema and documentary film have played a key role in the transformation and development of disabled identities since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976.


Jonathan Ellis
I research and publish on contemporary American and Japanese cinema (particularly the films of Studio Ghibli). My research on American cinema is inspired by the experience of teaching two courses over the last few years, an entire course on Woody Allen and another on the road movie. The relationship between cinema and memory has always fascinated me. For this reason, I love the work of Terence Davies, David Lynch, and Terrence Malick.


Stephen Farrall
I am Director of the Centre for Criminological Research at the University of Sheffield and co-write the film “The Road from Crime” as part of an ESRC-funded project. The film explores how and why people stop offending and is available free to view from the following website:
I am hoping to embark on a further film dealing with the impacts of Thatcherite social and economic policies in crime in the near future.


David Forrest
I work on British film and television drama. My main research interests are in representations of space and place; art cinema and realism; politics, particularly the representation of political parties on screen; the films of Shane Meadows; and co-produced and participatory approaches to research in screen studies.


Robert Hopkins
I work on various issues in the philosophy of film, including how best to characterise the visual experience of cinematic images, the explanation of film’s power over emotion, and how film’s temporal form interacts with its content to generate distinctively cinematic effects. Since I’m a philosopher, I attempt to pursue these issues in their most general and abstract form – at the level of film as a medium, rather than limiting myself to particular movies, genres or style.


Sam Ladkin
My research and teaching tends to be comparative, frequently wondering at ways of close reading in parallel works of art and works of literature whilst not doing (signifcant) damage to the formal properties of either. My interest in film (at least in academic terms) tends to focus on experimental or avant-garde, particularly in the second half of the twentieth century, and even more particularly work affiliated to the various New York Schools.

Dominic McHugh

My main area of research is the history and analysis of the Broadway and Hollywood musical. I am particularly interested in the production history of the MGM musicals, issues of gender and identity in the films of Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Julie Andrews, and the 1940s musicals of Fred Astaire.


Robert McKay
I research the representation of animals in post-war politics and culture (1945-70), focusing on how film discourse (including criticism) challenges and reconfigures the limit conditions of political thought about animals in the period. More broadly, I am interested in film genres as technologies for the production of knowledge about animals, the focus of my teaching on “No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of this Module (Animals in Film)”.


Daragh O’Reilly
I research and publish in the creative and cultural industries, with a particular focus on the symbolic dimensions of markets for cultural offerings, including film.


Flora Samuel
I work with students to make anthropological documentaries of city space to act as a catalyst for design projects and also to develop critical editing skills. I also write about narratives of built space using film theory.

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