Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
The Open University
Website URL
Film, cinema, media, creative industries, arts, production, exhibition, distribution, film criticism, early cinema, technology, British cinema, Hollywood, Star Wars, war, military, empire, railways, gender, race, class, queer history, LGBT
Additional Contact Information
Available to discuss specific research and/or general topics and background. If you receive an 'out of office' reply from my work address, please use the contact form on my website to reach my personal email.

Personal Info

About Me

As both a historian and film critic I have experience writing and broadcasting for public audiences, with credits including Sight & SoundLA Review of Books, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Scotland, STV, CBC, and many others. My research focuses on film and media from the nineteenth century to the present day.

My current, ongoing project explores overlooked and underrepresented histories of the Star Wars franchise, including corporate relationships with the military, the environmental impact of filmmaking, and sites of women’s fandom, among other topics. The project draws on archival materials alongside interviews with filmmakers and fans. Some of the research appears in my 2020 book, BFI Film Classics: The Empire Strikes Back.

Prior to working on the Star Wars franchise, my research examined histories of British cinema, and looked in particular at the film industry’s connections with the railway.

I have also written extensively in scholarly and mainstream publications about gender equity in cinema (and in academia) in the wake of the 2017 #MeToo movement.

There are three major themes in my work:

  1. How media technologies (film, radio, video, VR – even transport!) shape our daily lives and transform how we experience the world around us. This includes technology’s impact on the environment as well as sustainability strategies.
  2. Film production, distribution, exhibition, and reception. Topics include histories of labour (such as women’s work as projectionists), wartime moviegoing, and audience responses to films (e.g. critic and fan reactions to Star Wars movies).
  3. Issues of identity in the media industries, and representations of identity onscreen. All of my work is interested in the power dynamics of gender, race, class, sexuality and disability.


Recent Publications

Telephone Networks and Transactional Motherhood in Channel 4’s It’s A Sin (European Journal of Cultural Studies, 2021)

Mabel, Marilyn, and Me: Writing about Mabel Normand as a Feminist Film Historian (Early Popular Visual Culture, 2021)

BFI Classics Series: The Empire Strikes Back (BFI, 2020)

Gender, Race, and Representation in the Star Wars Franchise: An Introduction (Media Education Journal, 2019)

Fuck the Canon (or, How Do You Solve a Problem Like von Trier?): Teaching, Screening, and Writing About Cinema in the Age of #MeToo (MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture, 2018)

From Steam to Screen: Cinema, the Railways and Modernity (I B Tauris, 2018)

The Coming of the Projectionettes: Women’s Work in Film Projection and Changing Modes of Spectatorship in Second World War British Cinemas (Feminist Media Histories, 2016)

Media Coverage
BBC (Radio 4, Radio 5 Live, Radios Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, BBC News online, BBC Scotland), STV, The Times, CBC (Canada), Sight & Sound, LA Review of Books, Prospect, The Mary Sue, Screen Queens, among others
Country Focus
Britain and USA
Expertise by Geography
England, United Kingdom, United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Computational, Environment, Gender, Higher Ed, Material Culture, Military, Sexual Violence, Technology, Urban History, Women, World War I, World War II