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Who are we?

Our department covers a wide range of film and media history, with an emphasis on question of film culture. Our work asks not only what’s in the film, but also what’s happening around it: what kinds of infrastructure, institutions, networks, ideas, technologies, and embodied practices make certain films and styles possible at certain moments? Particular strengths include work on film festivals, non-theatrical and “useful” cinema, and silent film culture.

Our staff members are leaders in their field. Together, they have authored or edited over twenty books, some of them award-winning, including Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of Multiplicity (Michael Cowan), White Robes, Silver Screens (Tom Rice), Texture in Film (Lucy Fife Donaldson), Cinemas of Paris (Dina Iordanova), Film Nation: Hollywood Looks at U.S. History (Robert Burgoyne), Montgomery Clift, Queer Star (Elisabetta Girelli), and Creating the Witness: Documenting Genocide on Film, Video and the Internet (Leshu Torchin).

We have an excellent record of funding and research projects with grants from AHRB, Leverhulme Trust and the British Academy, among others.

Formed in 2004, we are a small but rapidly expanding department. We have recently added three new staff members Michael Cowan, Lucy Donaldson and Anuja Jain.


Professor Robert Burgoyne

My work centers on historiography and film, with a special emphasis on American cinema, history and national identity, and the counter narratives of nation that have emerged in many films.

cowan - profile picture

Professor Michael Cowan

My main areas of expertise are European film, visual culture and media history, particularly in the French and German contexts. Related interests include digital theory, film theory, experimental film and non-theatrical cinema.

Dr Lucy Fife Donaldson

Dr Lucy Fife Donaldson

My research focuses on film style, texture, performance and the body. I am interested in bringing together close textual analysis with issues of embodiment, experience and sensation.


Professor Richard Dyer

My work focuses on issues of representation and entertainment and especially the relations between them: how the form that a representation takes has much to do with its entertainment value, how entertainment works through representations.

Jean-Michel Frodon

Jean-Michel Frodon

I am a world-renowned journalist and film critic at weekly “Le Point” (1983-1990), “Le Monde” (1990-2003). I was editorial director of “Cahiers du Cinema” between 2003 and 2009.


Dr Elisabetta Girelli

My research focuses on stardom, performance, cultural analysis and discourses, sexuality and gender in film, subversion and difference. My current sphere of interest is silent cinema. Prior to this development, I concentrated on the creation of identity on screen, and its link to cultural analysis. I especially worked on queer […]


Dr Dennis Hanlon

I am a specialist in Latin American, South Asian, and European (especially German) cinemas, and my research explores the transnational articulations among them.

Dina Iordanova

Professor Dina Iordanova

As the founder of the Film Studies department, I am particularly proud to have been the first Chair in Film Studies in the University’s 600 year-long history. I am an international authority on transnational cinema, global film industries, and film festivals, as well as on Eastern European and Balkan cinema.


Dr Anuja Jain

My research and teaching interests revolve around South Asian film, media and visual culture; transnational film history; documentary film; Asian Cinemas; film, memory and historical trauma; and film poetics and aesthetics with a special interest in questions of spectatorship.


Dr Jennifer O’Meara

My research and teaching interests include film dialogue, sound and music; American independent cinema; fandom; digital media; contemporary authorship; performance and stardom; and women in cinema. I hold a PhD in Film Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Prior to teaching at St Andrews, I taught at Maynooth University, the National […]

Tom Rice pic

Dr Tom Rice

With a focus on film history, my research examines the complex relationship between political and cultural movements and cinema.


Dr Leshu Torchin

I research topics in research in documentary, Holocaust and genocide studies, media and activism (such as economic and social justice, human rights, feminism), film festivals, and politics on film. Other interests include media and migration (both travelling cultures and the expanded realms of film), and tourism. Proposed theses on these topics are welcome.