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Our PhD students

Sophie Hopmeier Student profile (003)

Sophie Hopmeier

Thesis: Objects of Projection: Material Culture on Film in the Musée de l’Homme 1930-1970.

Supervisors: Dr Michael Cowan and Dr Tom Rice

Contact: skh7@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research explores the development and use of ethnographic film in the Musée de l’Homme to document, cross-culturally, material culture and practices of making. I study the museum’s use of film to reveal ‘the indivisibility of humanity across space and time’, and film’s capacity to produce images and artefacts of ‘culture’.

huimin deng

Huimin Deng

Thesis: Framing the Intertextual Relations: Chinese Independent Documentary and Urban Cinema of the 1990s

Supervisor: Professor Dina Iordanova

Contact: hd41@st-andrews.ac.uk

I am now studying the interrelationships between Chinese Independent Documentary and Urban Cinema of the 1990s from the perspective of semiotics, to be more precise, Intertextuality. I try to explore the intertextual relations between the two genres of films, both in subjects and aesthetics.

Darae Kim

Darae Kim

Thesis: Ethos and Ethics of Film Festival: Should Film Festivals be Virtuous?

Supervisor: Professor Dina Iordanova

Contact: dk47@st-andrews.ac.uk

The purpose of this study is to examine not only the function of a film festival but management of the organisation, whether this could be framed within the parameter of ethics and further more if it should.


Ana Maria Sapountzi

Thesis: Making Meaning of Laurence Olivier: Reading Queer Sensibilities in his Hollywood Performances Under the Motion Picture Production Code, 1939-1960

Supervisor: Dr Elisabetta Girelli

Contact: ams22@st-andrews.ac.uk

Undertaking a queer study of Laurence Olivier’s performances throughout Motion Picture Production Code Hollywood, my research aims to identify and argue that his nuanced method of performing allowed for queer readings and meaning.  By creating a discussion within prolific queer theory, my thesis will provide theoretically-informed textual analyses of Laurence […]


Patrick Adamson

Thesis: The Epic Western and Historical Consciousness in 1920s USA

Contact: pa41@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research aims to reframe the silent ‘epic’ Westerns which proliferated in the years following the 1923 release of The Covered Wagon as works of history (or historiography), and within contemporary debates about the filmmaker-as-historian.   Rather than focussing, as has been widely done, on how they ‘abuse’ history, my […]


Abdulrahman Alghanem

Thesis: Pushing the boundaries: the development of Arab Gulf film industries

Contact: aa236@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research explores the development of film industries in the Arab Gulf region and provide a conceptual framework for understanding film’s relationship to reality and society. It also attempts to situate cinema and festival circuits within broader social, cultural and political networks of power and authority in the Arab Gulf […]

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Alice Black

Thesis: Machines of Desire: Female protagonists in the films of Christian Petzold and Nina Hoss

Supervisors: Dr Lucy Fife Donaldson and Dr Michael Cowan

Contact: ab354@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research is to look in depth at the role of the female protagonist in the films of Christian Petzold, focusing specifically on his collaborations with actress Nina Hoss. It will situate Petzold’s women in the contemporary filmmaking landscape but also in a wider historical tradition of European cinema.


Rohan Crickmar

Thesis: Movements and Motion: The Transnational Cinema of Polish Filmmakers Walerian Borowczyk, Jerzy Skolimowski and Andrzej Żuławski, and its Origins in the Avant-garde

Supervisor: Professor Robert Burgoyne

Contact: rbc4@st-andrews.ac.uk

This thesis is attempting to critically relocate three Polish emigre directors, revealing a continuum of ideas with pre-WWII Polish filmmakers, whilst also demonstrating extensive links with international avant-gardes (particularly British, French and Italian).

Jinuo Diao

Jinuo Diao

Thesis: Understanding the Contemporary Chinese Film Industry from the Perspective of the Transnational Chinese Cinema

Supervisor: Professor Dina Iordanova

Contact: jd220@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research interests are transnational Chinese cinema and the Chinese film industry. I am working on my PhD thesis on understanding the contemporary Chinese film industry from the perspective of transnational Chinese cinema.  Based on developed theories and research on Transnational Cinema, National Identity, and International and Chinese Film Festival Research, the thesis […]

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Souraj Dutta

Thesis: Bollywood on Bollywood: The Evolution of Intertextuality and Self-referentiality in Hindi Cinema.

Supervisor: Dr Dennis Hanlon

Contact: sd219@st-andrews.ac.uk

My work traces the trends and patterns of the evolving modes of adaptation and appropriation within the corpus of Hindi commercial cinema. I start with the adaptations of literary classics into films in the earlier days of Hindi film industry, and track how that has given way to a strange […]


Chris Fujiwara

Thesis: Conceptions of the Audience in the culture of Contemporary Art Cinema

Supervisor: Professor Dina Iordanova

Contact: cf35@st-andrews.a

This thesis will examine how, since the 1990s, audiences for film-festival and arthouse cinema have been constructed and address by film institutions and the film industry and how presuppositions about audiences affect the production, programming and accessibility of non-mainstream films.


Andrei Gadalean

Thesis: “Can Michael the Brave love, or not?”: A History of Sex and Sexuality in Romanian Cinema

Supervisor: Professor Dina Iordanova

Contact: amg21@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research looks into the influence that Romanian cultural politics and social norms have had on representing intimacy and sexual identities on screen.


Grazia Ingravalle

Thesis: Exploring Silent Cinema Today: A Hermeneutical Approach

Supervisor: Dr Michael Cowan

Contact: gi7@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research examines from a hermeneutical perspective the way different institutional contexts – film archives, museums, and cinémathèques – frame the reading of films from the early and silent era nowadays. In particular I focus on different archival exhibition strategies and curatorial practices issued by European and North American film heritage institutions


Cassice Last

Thesis: Survival in the 21 st Century: The formation of a genre

Supervisors: Dr Tom Rice and Dr Lucy Fife Donaldson

Contact: cl225@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research examines the formation, construction and function of the contemporary American Survival film, its specific patterns, characters, motifs and phenomenal diffusion throughout 21st century American culture.      

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Aakshi Magazine

Thesis: The Hindi film song as the return of the repressed

Supervisor: Dr Dennis Hanlon

Contact: am357@st-andrews.ac.uk

I explore the role of the film song in expressing repressed and unsaid desires in its long history of existence in Hindi cinema.


Philip Mann

Thesis: The Hungarian Village Film in a Capitalist Milieu: Reality Confronts Ideology

Supervisor: Professor Dina Iordanova

Contact: pm85@st-andrews.ac.uk

I propose to examine the post-communist Hungarian village film as a means of analysing the realities of Hungary’s transition to democracy and challenging the idealised versions that are portrayed in mainstream Hungarian cinema.


Connor McMorran

Thesis: Understanding contemporary Korean genre cinema

Supervisors: Dr Tom Rice and Dr Dennis Hanlon

Contact: cam46@st-andrews.ac.uk

My main aim is to provide a new way of approaching the variety of mainstream cinema produced by the Korean film industry through the use of melodrama and genre studies.

Shruti Narayanswamy

Shruti Narayanswamy

Thesis: Representations of Women in Bombay Cinema, 1918-1936

Supervisor: Dr Tom Rice

Contact: sn52@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research explores the representations of women in Bombay cinema, with a focus on silent films. I will be examining these representations within political, social and cultural contexts such as nationalism, visibility of women in the public sphere and the changing public perceptions of ‘respectability’ and modernity.


Shorna Pal

Thesis: The Monsoon Crush: A critical analysis of the commercialisation of the Indian Art Film under the influence of social and demographic changes stemming from globalisation

Supervisor: Dr Dennis Hanlon

Contact: sp97@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research focuses on Indian cinema in the context of globalisation and economic liberalisation and tracks the development in Hindi and other regional Indian cinemas of an approach to film that is artistic in taste but commercial in presentation.

Diana Popa

Diana Popa

Thesis: The Aesthetics of Slowness

Supervisor: Professor Richard Dyer

Contact: edp2@st-andrews.ac.uk

This thesis explores the aesthetics of slowness in film as it has developed in contemporary and, more specifically, Romanian cinema.


Natthanai Prasannam

Thesis: Mnemonic Communities: Memory of World War II on the Thai Screen and its Relationship to other Cultural Texts

Supervisor: Professor Dina Iordanova

Contact: np36@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research explores the memory of the Second World War in Thailand as represented in several genres of filmic texts and other cultural texts, e.g. literary works, historical writings, and oral narratives.


Eileen Rositzka

Thesis: The Cinematic Corpography of War: Re-Mapping the War Film through the Body

Supervisor: Professor Robert Burgoyne

Contact: er53@st-andrews.ac.uk

I examine the Hollywood war film in terms of how its inherent notion of the cinematic positioning, or ‘reterritorialisation” of the body is modified throughout film history.

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Isabel Seguí

Thesis: Andean Political Cinema. A Counter-Patriarchal Approach.

Supervisors: Dr Dennis Hanlon and Dr Leshu Torchin

Contact: is47@st-andrews.ac.uk

My dissertation contributes to the subversion of Film History’s patriarchal bias, through a specific case study: Andean political cinema of the 70s and 80s. I analyze collective cinematic practices in terms of power and sexual division of labour, shedding light on a substantial number of women filmmakers and video makers, […]

Sanghita Sen_for the Website

Sanghita Sen

Thesis: Projecting ‘History’ of the Naxal Movements: Transformation from ‘Realism’ to the Carnivalesque Spectacles of the ‘Political’ in Indian Cinema

Supervisors: Dr Anuja Jain and Dr Dennis Hanlon

Contact: ss309@st-andrews.ac.uk

The proposed research aims to study the politics of representation as well as the representation of the ‘political’ in selected Bengali and Hindi films produced between 1970 and 2013 projecting the Naxal/ Maoist movements in India.


Amber Leigh Shields

Thesis: Inbetween Worlds: A Fantastic Approach to Trauma

Supervisor: Dr Leshu Torchin

Contact: alfs@st-andrews.ac.uk

My research asks how unconventional and understudied genre representations can contribute to trauma discourse.

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Sarah Smyth

Thesis: Bringing the film Festival to the World and the World to the Film Festival

Supervisor: Professor Dina Iordanova

Contact: ses26@st-andrews.ac.uk

  My research specifically examines the UK Film Festival sector as part of the wider international phenomenon that makes up the Global Film Festival value system.  The research will attempt to define exactly what constitutes the UK Film festival circuit as an entity, separate but at the same time inter-related […]