Dr Darren Elliott-Smith

Senior Lecturer in Film & Gender Studies

Communications, Media and Culture Communications, Media & Culture | Faculty of Arts and Humanities Room A22, Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Darren Elliott-Smith

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About me

About me

Dr. Darren Elliott-Smith is Senior Lecturer in Film and Gender at the University of Stirling. He currently teaches across all levels in film, television and gender studies, and is the Programme Director of the MLitt/MSc (Applied) in Gender Studies.

He has a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies (University of Sunderland) and completed an MA in the History of Film and Visual Media at Birkbeck College, University of London. He completed his PhD in 'New Queer Horror in Film and Television' at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2013 (Supervised by Prof. Mandy Merck).

Darren has also previously worked as a Film Curator and Programmer for the BFI (British Film Institute), Mainline Pictures (Screen Cinema chain), The Odyssey Cinema, St Albans, and was the Film Manager for the Film Education Consortium for Hertfordshire (2007-2010). He is currently also known online as the Queer Horror Doctor: www.thequeerhorrordoctor.com


Tutor of the Year 2018
University of Hertfordshire
Awarded Tutor of the Year at the University of Hertfordshire's Annual Vice Chancellor's Awards.

Professional membership

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Founding Member of BAFTSS Horror Studies (Special Interest Group)
Since the pioneering historical research of scholars such as Peter Hutchings and Mark Jancovich in the 1990s, horror film, television and screen studies in the UK and Ireland has grown and developed rapidly. British and Irish scholars have explored both horror’s history and its contemporary development across a range of old and new media, and are increasingly employing a wide array of theoretical and methodological approaches in order to analyse and research this most enduring and culturally resonant of genres, from gender studies, transnational studies, film and television historiography, video game studies and film philosophy, to audience research, industry studies and practice-based research. The BAFTSS Horror Studies SIG aims to bring together UK and Irish researchers studying horror across this wide range of disciplines and approaches – from established scholars to the increasing number of early career researchers and doctoral students in the field – to exchange diverse ideas, to facilitate collaboration and to form a supportive and creative network. https://www.baftss.org/copy-of-horror-studies


His research to date is centrally focused on representations of queerness, gender, sexuality and psychoanalysis in horror film and television. It does however extend to the role of curation theory in film and visual art programming, the study of cult, trash and experimental film, adaptation from page to screen, film and gender, queer theory, and is also put into practice via several academic videographic film projects and video essays.

His first monograph Queer Horror Film and Television: Masculinity and Sexuality at the Margins is published by IB Tauris (2016). He has published journal articles on his central focus of research for SCOPE: Online Journal of Film and Television and In:Transition (Journal of Videographic Film and Screen Studies) and has contributed extensively to edited book collections for University of Georgia Press, Edinburgh University Press, Palgrave Macmillan (Melodrama in Contemporary Film and Television, Style and Form in the Hollywood Slasher Film), Peter Lang (The Horror Companion), ECW Press (TV Goes to Hell: The Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural) and IB Tauris/Bloomsbury (Screening the Undead, True Blood: Investigating Vampires and the Southern Gothic).

He has contributed to numerous international conferences, workshops and symposia dedicated to horror, cult and LGBTQ film and television.

He is also the co-editor of an edited collection with Dr John Edgar Browning (Georgia Institute of Technology) entitled New Queer Horror Film and Television (University of Wales Press, 2020) and is currently working on future projects involving Horror, Queerness and Mental Health.

Outputs (25)



Elliott-Smith D (2023) Scary Stuff is Academic [Horror Studies, a book series distributed by the University of Chicago Press, presents academic takes on horror’s many facets.]. [https://chicagoreader.com/arts-culture/lit-feature/scary-stuff-is-academic-books-horror/?fbclid=IwAR0CJjQjvTCClqLC5vrqEwnAbSlyUA-DImcL2Spv2voUjJty6SctKTLS3cc]. Chicago, IL: Chicago Reader.com.


(2023) Queer Horror, Marxism and Hollywood [Arts Express Radio Interview with Dr Darren Elliott-Smith]. [Radio Show/Podcast] 06.09.2023. https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-t57pu-149b833


Elliott-Smith D (2022) Introduction to Video Essays Workshop (Presentation) 'Watch Me' Women's International Film Festival, 12.11.2022-12.11.2022. https://stirling.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=7ec8ceb6-2e2a-46a5-b724-af4d00baf682

Edited Book

Elliott-Smith D & Browning JE (eds.) (2020) New Queer Horror Film and TV. Horror Studies. Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales Press. https://www.uwp.co.uk/book/new-queer-horror-film-and-television/

Book Chapter

Elliott-Smith D (2020) Castrating the Queer Vampire in Let the Right One In (2008) and Let Me In (2010). In: Elliott-Smith D & Browning JE (eds.) New Queer Horror Film and Television. Horror Studies. Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales Press, pp. 45-64. https://www.gwasgprifysgolcymru.org/book/new-queer-horror-film-and-television/


Elliott-Smith D (2017) Flow/Job (Audiovisual Essay) [A Video Essay on the Pornographic Facial Portraiture of Joey Stefano]. [in]Transition, 4 (4). http://mediacommons.org/intransition/2018/01/10/flowjob


Elliott-Smith D (2017) The Sexuality of Space: St Mary Magdalen’s Home Movies by William Brown, University of Roehampton, London. Review of: The Sexuality of Space: St Mary Magdalen’s Home Movies by William Brown University of Roehampton, London. [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, 4 (4). http://mediacommons.org/intransition/2018/01/10/sexuality-space-st-mary-magdalen-s-home-movies


Elliott-Smith D (2016) ‘The Golden Age of TV Horror’, Cine Excess X, Birmingham City University November 2016. Panel with Dr Stacey Abbott (Reader in Film and Television Studies) and Dr Lorna Jowett (Reader in Film and TV, University of Northampton). [Roundtable Panel Discussion on TV Horror's Golden Age]. Cine Excess X: Cult Genres, Traditions and Bodies: A Decade of Excess,, Birmingham City University, 10.11.2016-12.11.2016.

Book Chapter

Elliott-Smith D (2013) ‘Death is the New Pornography!’: Gay Zombies and Hypermasculine Cannibalism in Queer Horror in Screening the Undead: Vampires and Zombies in Film and TV.. In: Screening the Undead: Vampires and Zombies in Film and Television. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, pp. 148-173. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/screening-the-undead-9781848859241/

Book Chapter

Elliott-Smith D (2010) Queering the cult of Carrie: Appropriations of a horror icon in Charles Lum’s Indelible. In: Smith IR (ed.) Cultural Borrowings: Appropriation, Reworking, Transformation. e-book: Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies, pp. 138-156. https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/scope/documents/2009/culturalborrowingsebook.pdf



Representations of Gender in Film an TV. Queer and Gender Theory in Film, Horror Film and Television, Psychoanalysis and Feminist Film Theory, Film Appropriation and Adaptation, Film and Melodrama, Cult Film and TV, Film Festivals, Screen Curation and Programming, Experimental Film and the Avant-Garde, Videographic Film Studies and Essay Film Forms.

External Examiner Southampton Solent University