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Film and Media Studies

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Welcome to the Film and Media Studies subject guide

clapper board and film

This guide provides information on resources for Film and Media Studies.

UCL Library Services provides access to a wealth of online and print materials relating to the study of the history and theory of media, film and cinema, in the form of books, journals, and audio visual materials.

Select an option from the menu to find out more about print and online materials, film streaming databases, how-to videos, online chat and details of further training available through LibrarySkills@UCL.

Getting started: new to UCL? Try our online library induction to find out how to use our libraries and access all the resources you will need for your course.

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New books in Film & Media

Queer Screams

The horror genre mirrors the American queer experience, both positively and negatively, overtly and subtextually, from the lumbering, flower-picking monster of Frankenstein (1931) to the fearless intersectional protagonist of the Fear Street Trilogy (2021). This is a historical look at the queer experiences of the horror genre's characters, performers, authors and filmmakers.

Return of the Monstrous-Feminine

This follow-up to the classic text of The Monstrous-Feminine analyses those contemporary films which explore social justice issues such as women's equality, violence against women, queer relationships, race and the plight of the planet and its multi-species. Examining a new movement - termed by Creed as Feminist New Wave Cinema - The Return of the Monstrous-Feminine explores a significant change that has occurred over the past two decades in the representation of the monstrous-feminine in visual discourse.

Women in Media

This title provides a broad overview of how women are portrayed and treated in America's news and entertainment industries, including film, television, radio, the internet, and social media. This book provides a one-stop resource for understanding the participation and representation of women in the U.S. media in such areas as narrative film, scripted television programming, advertising, video games, news, and sports.

Space and Time in African Cinema and Cine-Scapes

This book is the first of its kind to bring basic notions of contemporary physics to bear on African cine-scapes. In this book, renowned African cinema scholar Kenneth W. Harrow presents unique new ways to think about space and time in film, with a specific focus on African and African diasporic cinema.

Thinking Revolution Through Film

This book aims to redefine the relationship between film and revolution. Starting with Hannah Arendt's thoughts on the American and French Revolution, it argues that, from a theoretical perspective, revolutions can be understood as describing a relationship between time and movement and that ultimately the spectators and not the actors in a revolution decide its outcome. Focusing on the concepts of 'time,' 'movement,' and 'spectators,' this study develops an understanding of film not as a medium of agitation but as a way of thinking that relates to the idea of historicity that opened up with the American and French Revolution.

Cinematic Modernism and Contemporary Film

Cinema was the most important new artistic medium of the twentieth century and modernism was the most important new aesthetic movement across the arts in the twentieth century. However, what exactly is the relationship between cinema and modernism? Cinematic Modernism and Contemporary Film explores how in the early twentieth century cinema came to be seen as one of the new technologies which epitomised modernity and how cinema itself reflected ideas, hopes and fears concerning modern life.

Feminist Worldmaking and the Moving Image

This book offers intersectional, intergenerational, and international perspectives on nonfiction film- and videomaking by and about women, examining practices that range from activist documentaries to avant-garde experiments. Concentrating primarily on the period between the 1970s and 1990s, the contributions revisit major figures, contexts, and debates across a polycentric, global geography.

A Companion to Indian Cinema

In A Companion to Indian Cinema, film scholars Neepa Majumdar and Ranjani Mazumdar along with 25 established and emerging scholars, deliver new research on contemporary and historical questions on Indian cinema. The collection considers Indian cinema's widespread presence both within and outside the country, and pays particular attention to regional cinemas such as Bhojpuri, Bengali, Malayalam, Manipuri, and Marathi.

The Oxford Handbook of Film Theory

Despite changes in the media landscape, film remains a vital force in contemporary culture, as do our ideas of what "a movie" or "the cinematic" are. Indeed, we might say that the category of film now only exists in theory. Whereas film-theoretical discussion at the turn of the 21st century was preoccupied by digital technology's permeation of virtually all aspects of the film object, this volume moves the conversation away from a focus on film's materiality towards questions concerning the ethics, politics, and aesthetics of thinking about the medium of cinema.

At the Edges of Sleep

Many recent works of contemporary art, performance, and film turn a spotlight on sleep, wresting it from the hidden, private spaces to which it is commonly relegated. At the Edges of Sleep considers sleep in film and moving image art as both a subject matter to explore onscreen and a state to induce in the audience. Far from negating action or meaning, sleep extends into new territories as it designates ways of existing in the world, in relation to people, places, and the past.

The Aesthetics and Politics of Cinematic Pedestrianism

The Aesthetics and Politics of Cinematic Pedestrianism: Walking in Films offers a rich exploration of the cinematic aesthetics that filmmakers devised to reflect the corporeal and affective experience of walking in the city. Drawing from literature in urban studies, film theory, and aesthetic philosophy, it is the first monograph to approach the history of cinema from the perspective of walking.

Gender and Action Films 2000 and Beyond

Lying at the heart of the modern Action Cinema Canon is the concept of transformation. As the action genre evolves and shifts into the new millennia, innovative additions blend with nostalgic returns - the move away from a male-dominated space to feature even more prominent female roles co-exists alongside a revival of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, and series such as Rocky and Rambo return to the screens.

Gender and Action Films

The noughties witnessed rapid change in Action Cinema, carrying with it the new action stars of the previous decade, and the boundary blurring experimentation of films such as The Matrix,that incorporated not only action but science fiction. The now dominant Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) debuted, and the Young Adult fictional worlds of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games further developed the scope of the action sequences. Despite this context, the action genre had still not engaged fully with contemporary social issues.

On Black Media Philosophy

Building on concepts from Black studies and cultural studies, Towns develops an insightful critique of this dominant conception of the human in media philosophy and introduces a foundation for Black media philosophy.

Rancière and Film

Rancière and Film

This is the first collection of critical essays on the film work of the philosopher Jacques Rancière.

Japanese Role-Playing Games

Examines the origins, boundaries, and transnational effects of the genre, addressing significant formal elements as well as narrative themes, character construction, and player involvement.

Resonant Bodies in Contemporary European Art Cinema

Resonant Bodies in Contemporary European Art Cinema

What does it mean to exist, in our experience of cinema, according to listening? How do sound and 'noise' reconfigure relations between spectators and screens, and by extension, spectators and their worlds?

Women, Feminism and Italian Cinema

Women, Feminism and Italian Cinema

This book explores the multiple intersections between feminism and Italian cinema from the perspective of women's everyday relationship with the medium.


Soundies and the Changing Image of Black Americans on Screen

In the 1940s, folks at bars and restaurants would gather around a Panoram movie machine to watch three-minute films called Soundies, precursors to today's music videos. Susan Delson takes a deeper look at these fascinating films by focusing on the role of Black performers in this little-known genre.

Video Game Chronotopes and Social Justice

Video Game Chronotopes and Social Justice

Using 'slow readings' attuned to deconstruction along the lines of post-structuralist theory, gender studies, queer studies, continental philosophy, and critical theory, Mike Piero exposes the often-overlooked misogyny, heteronormativity, racism, and patriarchal structures present in many Triple-A video games through their arrangement of timespace itself.

Subject Collections

The Film Studies books are located in the UCL Main Library and cover the philosophy of film, film in society, the industry and its economics, technical aspects, film genres, and film history.

Books on Media Studies can be found in the IOE Library and the Anthropology collection in the Science Library. Subject include media analysis, gaming, fan culture, film- and documentary-making, and researching media.

The Library also provides access to a huge range of online resources such as e-books and e-journals, newspaper archives, films and documentaries for streaming, and more.

Use Explore, the library's online catalogue, to search the collections.

Key resources include: 

Where to study?

You can choose to study in any of UCL's Libraries and study spaces, including bookable study and group work spaces. There are also areas for postgraduate use only.