Global Cinema

Research conducted by members of the Global Cinema grouping in the Division of Literature and Languages is concerned with the way cinema operates as a global medium, and with the patterns of development and interaction of cinematic culture around the globe. In an era of globalization, such a perspective is fundamental to understanding one of the most enduringly influential art forms. We published widely on topics in European cinema (including French cinema and Spanish cinema), Latin American cinema, African cinema, early cinema, and transnational cinema, as well as on film festivals and Star Studies.

Elizabeth Ezra’s work spans the history of cinema from her renowned work on Georges Méliès’s pioneering early cinema to her 2004 article on Amélie which continues to be one of the most frequently cited articles in the 25-year history of the journal French Cultural Studies. Ezra’s edited volume European Cinema (2003) and her co-edited collection Transnational Cinema (2006, with Terry Rowden) feature prominently on the reading lists of innumerable Film Studies courses. David Murphy is a leading voice in the analysis of Francophone African cinema, and Senegalese film in particular, with publications on ‘Lost African classics’, Ousmane Sembène and postcolonial African cinema. Bill Marshall’s 2001 Quebec National Cinema was the first comprehensive examination in English of the cinema of Quebec and more recent works have focused on the French director André Téchiné and leading French actress Catherine Deneuve.

The questions posed by these works – relating to the status of transnational cinema, to representations of gender and sexuality onscreen, to the relationship between film and national identity and to the dialogue between postcolonial identities and cinematic practice – are taken up by other members of the Global Cinema grouping. Guillermo Olivera analyses the politics of visibility in post-1960 Argentine cinema with a specific focus on the representation of non-heteronormative sexualities. The focus of Ann Davies’s work falls on peninsular Spanish cinema encompassing onscreen masculinities, the star persona of Penelope Cruz, Basque film-making and film noir, while Soledad Montanez’s research centres on Latin American cinema and, in particular, the status of ‘small cinemas’ through the example of film-making in Uruguay. Cristina Johnston’s work focuses primarily on French cinema, whether within the métropole or in its ‘transatlantic’ relationships, with a particular interest in the depiction of minority identities onscreen and in transatlantic stardom.

We are also proud to work in partnership with the hugely successful Africa in Motion film festival, founded by a former Stirling PhD student. This collaboration regularly allows us to organise masterclasses by leading African film-makers and screenings of contemporary African films in the MacRobert cinema on campus. Our students have also been able to benefit from opportunities to undertake internships and placements with the festival.

Postgraduate Opportunities

Elizabeth Ezra is co-director of Stirling’s MLitt in Film Studies [link] which is jointly taught by staff from Literature and Languages and the Division of Communications, Media and Culture. There are also opportunities to undertake postgraduate research in topics related to Global Cinema through our MRes in the Humanities as well as via doctoral study and we welcome enquiries from interested students. Research by recent and current postgraduates across these programmes has included studies of North African women’s film-making, Moroccan urban cinema, French horror films, and Chinese cinema.