Skip to Main Content

Library Services



Film and Media Studies

New to UCL

If you are new to UCL we have created an Online Induction to help you familiarise with UCL Library Services. Visit the Getting started with UCL Library Services: Online induction page to find out more.

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.

If you have any questions then please don't hesitate to get in touch.

New books in Film & Media

The Movies of Racial Childhoods: screening self-sovereignty in Asian/America

In The Movies of Racial Childhoods Celine Parreñas Shimizu examines early twenty-first-century cinematic representations of Asian and Asian American children. Drawing on psychoanalysis and her own perspective as a mother grieving for a deceased child, Shimizu considers how cinema renders Asian American children through sexualized racial difference, infantilization, and premature adultification. She looks at how Asian American childhood is characterized in film through experiences of alienation and trauma and contends that childhood development requires finding freedom and self-sovereignty through agentic attunement. In analyzing films that focus on queer Asian American youth such as Spa Night (2016) and Driveways (2019) and those that explore the trauma of being an immigrant like Yellow Rose (2019) and The Half of It (2020), Shimizu demonstrates that films can prompt viewers to evaluate their own childhood development.

Seeing Things: Spectral Materialities of Bombay Horror

In 1980s India, the Ramsay Brothers and other filmmakers produced a wave of horror movies about soul-sucking witches, knife-wielding psychopaths, and dark-caped vampires. Seeing Things is about the sudden cuts, botched makeup effects, continuity errors, and celluloid damage found in these movies. Kartik Nair reads such "failures" as clues to the conditions in which the films were made, censored, and seen, offering a view from below of the world's largest film culture. By combining close analysis with extensive archival research and original interviews, Seeing Things reveals the spectral materialities informing the genre's haunted houses, grotesque bodies, and graphic violence.

The Bloomsbury Handbook to Ageing in Contemporary Literature and Film

Across more than 30 chapters spanning migration, queerness, and climate change, this handbook captures how the interdisciplinary and intersectional endeavor of Age(ing) studies has shaped contemporary literary and film studies. In the early 21st century, the literary study of age and ageing in its cultural context has 'come of age': it has come to supplement and challenge a public discourse on ageing seen mainly as a political and demographic 'problem' in many countries of the world. Following a tripartite structure, it looks first at literary and film genres and how they have been shaped by knowledge about age and ageing, incorporating both narrative genres as well as poetry, drama and imagery. The second section includes chapters on key themes and concepts in Age(ing) Studies with examples from film and literature. The third section brings together case studies focussing on individual artists, national traditions and global ageing.

Spaces: Exploring Spatial Experiences of Representation and Reception in Screen Media

Film has long been defined as a temporal art, most famously by André Bazin and Andrei Tarkovsky. Yet more fundamentally it has always been a spatial art, transporting its audiences imaginatively to spaces and places other than those they literally inhabit. In the digital era, this spatial illusion and paradox has been greatly expanded - by the predominance of domestic film viewing, along with new extra-terrestrial perspectives, and the promise of novel kinesthetic experiences with Virtual Reality and "immersion". The international authors in this collection address the history and aesthetics of screen media as spatial transposition, in a range of exemplary analyses that run from the landscapes of John Ford's westerns to Chantal Akerman's claustrophobic domestic spaces, from the conventions of the English country house film to Patrick Keiller's Robinson roaming a changed country, and from the experiences of Covid pandemic confinement to those of un-homed van-dwellers in Chloe Zhao's award-winning NOMADLAND.

One Shot Hitchcock: a contemporary approach to the screen

In recent years, the enduring appeal of Alfred Hitchcock to film studies has been evidenced by the proliferation of innovative approaches to the director's work. Adding to this pattern of innovation, the edited collection One Shot Hitchcock: A Contemporary Approach to the Screen utilizes formal analysis to interrogate key single shots from across Alfred Hitchcock's long career. This collection reveals the value of analyzing the single shot - within this small, cinematic unit is a code that unlocks a series of revelations about cinema as an artistic practice and a theoretical study. Each chapter examines one shot from a single film, beginning with The Lodger (1927) and ending with Frenzy (1972). If Hitchcock is known as a director of suspense films and films about murder, the shots discussed in One Shot Hitchcock are his crime scenes.

Wilde in the Dream Factory:decadence and the American movies

Hollywood is haunted by the ghost of playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde. This is the story of his haunting, told for the first time. Set within the rich evolving context of how the American entertainment industry became cinema, and how cinema become the movies, it reveals how Wilde helped to shape Hollywood in the early twentieth century. It begins with his 1882 American tour, and traces the ongoing popularity of his plays and novel in the early twentieth century, after his ignominious death. Following the early filmmakers, writers and actors as they headed West in the Hollywood boom, it uncovers how and why they took Wilde's spirit with them. There, in Hollywood, in the early days of silent cinema, Wilde's works were adapted. They were also beginning to define a new kind of style -- a 'Wilde-ish spirit', as Ernst Lubitsch called it -- filtering into the imaginations of Lubitsch himself, as well as Alla Nazimova, Ben Hecht, Samuel Hoffenstein and many others.

Experiments in Film and Philosophy

Christopher Falzon argues in this book for a new way of understanding film as philosophy. Inspired and informed by the work of Michel Foucault, Falzon shows how a motion picture can operate not simply as a thought experiment but as a form of experience-centred, experimental reflection. It is film's ability to show viewers things that challenge their way of thinking, giving them experiences that can make them think differently, that gives the film its status as philosophy. Through these cinematic experiences, not only cultural norms and presuppositions but also cinematic conventions, and even established philosophical positions, can be interrogated and questioned. Experiments in Film and Philosophy explores three films in the light of this new way of thinking about philosophy and film: Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, Rubin Ötlund's Force Majeure, and Jonathon Glazer's Under the Skin.

Law at the Movies: turning legal doctrine into art

This book asks "How can legal doctrine be turned into filmic art?" By "legal doctrine" Stanley Fish does not mean the sonorous abstractions that usually accompany the self-presentation of law--Justice, Equity, Equality, Liberty, Autonomy, and the like. Rather he has in mind the specific rules and procedures invoked and analyzed by courts on the way to declaring a decision--lawyer/client confidentiality, the distinction between interdicted violence and the violence performed by the legal system, the interplay of positive law and laws rooted in morality, the difference between civilian law and military law, the death penalty, the admissibility of different forms of evidence. In the movies he discusses, these and other points of doctrine and procedure do not serve as a background, occasionally visited, to the substantive issues that drive the plot and provide the characters with choices; they declare the plot, and character is formed and tested in relationship to their demands.

Celluloid Democracy: Cinema and Politics in Cold War South Korea

Celluloid Democracy tells the story of the Korean filmmakers, distributors, and exhibitors who reshaped cinema in radically empowering ways through the decades of authoritarian rule that followed Korea's liberation from Japanese occupation. Employing tactics that ranged from representing the dispossessed on the screen to redistributing state-controlled resources through bootlegging, these film workers explored ideas and practices that simultaneously challenged repressive rule and pushed the limits of the cinematic medium. Drawing on archival research, film analysis, and interviews, Hieyoon Kim examines how their work foregrounds a utopian vision of democracy where the ruled represent themselves and access resources free from state suppression. The first book to offer a history of film activism in post-1945 South Korea, Celluloid Democracy shows how Korean film workers during the Cold War reclaimed cinema as an ecology in which democratic discourses and practices could flourish.

Maverick Movies: New Line Cinema and the Transformation of American Film

Maverick Movies tells the improbable story of New Line Cinema, a company that cut a remarkable path through the American film industry and movie culture. Founded in 1967 as an art film distributor, New Line made a small fortune running John Waters's Pink Flamingos at midnight screenings in the 1970s and found reliable returns with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise in the 1980s. By 2001, the company competed with the major Hollywood studios and reached global box office success with the Lord of the Rings franchise. Blurring boundaries between high and low culture, between independent film and Hollywood, and between the margins and the mainstream, New Line Cinema epitomizes Hollywood's shift in focus from the mass audience fostered by the classic studios to the multitude of niche audiences sought today.

The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative New Cinema Histories

This Handbook offers new and previously unexplored  comparative approaches to the field of New Cinema History. The volume brings together contributions focussing on historical and contemporary comparative case studies of cinema-going practices, cinema distribution, exhibition and reception from a global perspective. Engaging with a wealth of empirical and archive-based sources the volume explores a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches. This Handbook is a key addition to debates on the relationship between film industry and cinema-going practices across different political and cultural geographical dimensions.

The Neoliberal Self in Bollywood: cinema, popular culture, and identity

An exploration of the consequences of unbridled expansion of neoliberal values within India through the lens of popular film and culture. The neoliberal self, far from being a stable marker of urban, liberal, millennial Indian identity, is replete with contradictions and oppositions. This study of the unstable neoliberal identity lays bare the sense of precarity and inherent inequality that neoliberal regimes confer upon their subjects. This analysis draws upon theories of feminist media studies, popular culture analyses, and film studies to critique mainstream Hindi cinema texts produced in the last two decades. Rele Sathe also examines a variety of peripheral subjects and texts, including the film star, the urban space, web series, YouTube videos, and social media content.

The Archival Afterlives of Philippine Cinema

Drawing on cultural policy, queer and feminist theory, materialist media studies, and postcolonial historiography, Bliss Cua Lim analyzes the crisis-ridden history of Philippine film archiving--a history of lost films, limited access, and collapsed archives. Rather than denigrate underfunded Philippine audiovisual archives in contrast to institutions in the global North, The Archival Afterlives of Philippine Cinema shows how archival practices of making do can inspire alternative theoretical and historical approaches to cinema. Lim examines formal state and corporate archives, analyzing restorations of the last nitrate film and a star-studded lesbian classic as well as archiving under the Marcos dictatorship. She also foregrounds informal archival efforts: a cinephilic video store specializing in vintage Tagalog classics; a microcuratorial initiative for experimental films; and guerilla screenings for rural Visayan audiences.

World Socialist Cinema: Alliances, Affinities, and Solidarities in the Global Cold War

In this capacious transnational film history, renowned scholar Masha Salazkina proposes a groundbreaking new framework for understanding the cinematic cultures of twentieth-century socialism. Taking as a point of departure the vast body of work screened at the Tashkent International Festival of Cinemas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s, World Socialist Cinema maps the circulation of films between the Soviet Bloc and the countries of the Global South in the mid- to late twentieth century, illustrating the distribution networks, festival circuits, and informal channels that facilitated this international network of artistic and intellectual exchange. Building on decades of meticulous archival work, this long-anticipated film history unsettles familiar stories to provide an alternative to Eurocentric, national, and regional narratives, rooted outside of the capitalist West.

Transnational Trailblazers of Early Cinema: Sarah Bernhardt, Gabrielle Réjane, Mistinguett

At the forefront of the entertainment industries of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were singular actors: Sarah Bernhardt, Gabrielle Réjane, and Mistinguett. Talented and formidable women with global ambitions, these performers forged connections with audiences across the world while pioneering the use of film and theatrics to gain international renown. Transnational Trailblazers of Early Cinema traces how these women emerged from the Parisian periphery to become world-famous stars. Building upon extensive archival research in France, England, and the United States, Victoria Duckett argues that, through intrepid business prowess and the use of early multimedia to cultivate their celebrity image, these three artists strengthened ties between countries, continents, and cultures during pivotal years of change.

Describing Cinema

In Describing Cinema, award-winning film scholar Timothy Corrigan explores the art and poetics of writing about film. Part theory, part rhetoric, and part pedagogy, the text examines and demonstrates acts of describing scenes, shots, and sequences in films as the most common and most underestimated way viewers respond to movies. Describing Cinema represents a global range of movies from Hollywood to Morocco to Rome, made from the 1940s to the present. As Corrigan shows, energetic and careful descriptions can serve as exceptionally rich ways to demonstrate and celebrate the activities, varieties, and challenges of a central generative movement in the viewing and interpretation of films.

Activism and Post-Activism: Korean documentary cinema, 1981-2022

Activism and Post-activism: Korean Documentary Cinema, 1981--2022 is a new book about nonfiction filmmaking in the private and independent sectors of South Korean cinema and media from the early 1980s to the present day. Drawing on the methodologies of documentary studies, experimental film and video, digital cinema, local discourses on independent documentary, and the literature on the social changes of South Korea, author Jihoon Kim historicizes the formation and development of Korean independent documentary in close dialogue with South Korea's social movements. From the 1980s mass anti-dictatorship movement to twenty-first-century labor issues, feminism, LGBT rights, environmental justice, and key events such as the Sewol Ferry disaster and the Candlelight Protests, Kim offers a comprehensive history of Korean social change documentaries in terms of their activist tradition.

Defining Cinema: Rouben Mamoulian and Hollywood film style, 1929-1957

Arriving in cinema when synchronized sound had just been adopted, director Rouben Mamoulian demonstrated key early methods for making sound aid storytelling, for giving films a crisper sense of rhythm, for creating musicals set in backstage, fairy-tale, and folk environments, for providing intricate and arresting colour palettes, and for rendering sexual content more palpable under industry censorship. Mamoulian also wrote many articles throughout his lifetime and gave interviews and lectures where he advanced his complex ideas about the potentials of various artforms, including cinema. In addition, he left an extensive paper record of his work, including heavily annotated scripts for each of the sixteen films he directed. Mamoulian also enjoyed major success on the stage. He directed the original landmark productions of Porgy, Porgy and Bess, Oklahoma!, and Carousel, and his efforts in this domain informed his film work. Defining Cinema takes a holistic look at Mamoulian's oeuvre by examining both his stage and his screen work, and also brings together insights from his correspondence, his theories on film, and analysis of the films themselves.

An Atonal Cinema: resistance, counterpoint and dialogue in transnational Palestine

This is a book about Palestinians elsewhere and Palestinian elsewheres. Articulating an ambiguous right to remain out-of-place as a spatialized response to the fossilized present, the films and filmmakers in this book examine Palestine, as a place and idea, from the dissonance of exile. An Atonal Cinema: Resistance, Counterpoint and Dialogue in Transnational Palestine theorizes a transnational consciousness within contemporary Palestinian cinema as one which articulates an 'atonal' cinema, utilizing contrapuntal dialogue as a mode of resistance with which to respond critically to the 'place-myth' of Palestine in films produced within Palestine but without Palestinians. Drawing on a genealogy of Edward Said's atonal thinking of counterpoint, I argue that the films in this book display a 'double-consciousness', through which Palestine is simultaneously elided and re-inscribed in a contrapuntal dialogue between the 'here' of its contemporary reality and the 'elsewhere' of its historical image.

Screen deep : how film and TV can solve racism and save the world

Screen Deep is a book about the immense potential of screen storytelling to defeat an evil both historic and urgently topical: racism. Everyone watches TV and movies. Everyone has an interest in building a more just and equitable world. Screen Deep goes beyond the many film books and anti-racist manuals by demonstrating the connection between these two aspects of modern life.

Cinematic Guerrillas

How might cinema make revolution and mobilize the masses? In socialist China, the film exhibition network expanded from fewer than six hundred movie theaters to more than a hundred thousand mobile film projectionist teams. Holding screenings in improvised open-air spaces in rural areas lacking electricity, these roving projectionists brought not only films but also power generators, loudspeakers, slideshows, posters, live performances, and mass ritual participation, amplifying the era's utopian dreams and violent upheavals. Cinematic Guerrillas is a media history of Chinese film exhibition and reception that offers fresh insights into the powers and limits of propaganda.

Anime Through the Looking Glass

The magic and mastery of anime springs to life in this gorgeous celebration of the genre that features more than 150 full-color frames. Covering an enormous range of talent--from Isao Takahata, Katsuhiro Ôtomo, and Makoto Shinkai to Studio Ghibli and Mamoru Oshii--it demonstrates how anime makes room for limitless creativity. Unfettered by the physical constraints of nature's laws, these artists realize our deepest emotions and our wildest dreams.

Spike Lee: Director's Inspiration

An inspirational trove of film posters and ephemera, photographs, artwork and more from the collection of Spike Lee For nearly four decades, Spike Lee has made movies that demand our attention. His extensive filmography reflects an unflinching critique of race relations in the United States, from the Student Academy Award(R)-winning short Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads and the ever-relevant Do the Right Thing to the more recent Oscar(R)-winning BlacKkKlansman and Da 5 Bloods. A lifelong cinephile and film scholar, Lee draws inspiration from other artists working across a range of eras, genres and global cinemas.

ReFocus: the Films of Wes Craven

This edited collection provides an insightful look at the career and output of American horror director Wes Craven, whose most famous films - such as The Last House on the Left (1972), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Scream (1996) - came to define the form in the later decades of the 20th century. Also paying attention to Craven's more underrated work, from Deadly Friend (1986) through to his melodrama Music of the Heart (1999), this academic study argues that the filmmaker's influence can still be felt on cinema today, many years after his passing. Featuring 16 chapters and an extensive introduction, this addition to the ReFocus line will prove to be essential reading for scary movie connoisseurs and brings a valuable contribution to the growing field of horror film studies.

Black Boys: The Aesthetics of British Urban Film

In Black Boys: The Aesthetics of British Urban Film, Nwonka offers the first dedicated analysis of Black British urban cinematic and televisual representation as a textual encounter with Blackness, masculinity and urban identity where the generic construction of images and narratives of Black urbanity is informed by the (un)knowable allure of Black urban Otherness. Foregrounding the textual Black urban identity as a historical formation, and drawing on a range of theoretical frameworks that allow for an examination of the emergence and continued social, cultural and industrial investment in the fictitious and non-fictitious images of Black urban identities and geographies, Nwonka convenes a dialogue between the disciplines of Film and Television Studies, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Black Studies, Sociology and Criminology.

The British Trauma Film

While the historical influence of psychoanalysis on Hollywood cinema has received considerable attention, the same cannot be said for its influence on British cinema. This book examines the central position that psychoanalysis occupies in British cinema in the years immediately following the Second World War. Plummer uses a critical theory framework to understand the role that psychoanalysis plays in British culture at this time as an historical discourse, and in British cinema as a narrative, a cultural, and an ideological discourse.

Indigeneity and the decolonizing gaze : Transnational imaginaries, media aesthetics, and social thought

Against the long historical backdrop of 1492, Columbus, and the Conquest, Robert Stam's wide-ranging study traces a trajectory from the representation of indigenous peoples by others to self-representation by indigenous peoples, often as a form of resistance and rebellion to colonialist or neoliberal capitalism, across an eclectic range of forms of media, arts, and social philosophy.

Black Women and the Changing Television Landscape

Black women's work in television has been, since the beginning, a negotiation. Black Women and the Changing Television Landscape explores the steps black women, as actors, directors, and producers, have taken to improve representations of black people on the small screen. Beginning with The Beulah Show, Anderson articulates the interrelationship between US culture and the televisual, demonstrating the conditions under which black women particularly, and black people generally, exist in popular culture.

Watership Down

Watership Down (Martin Rosen, 1978) is as controversial as it is beloved. Whether due to the tear-jerking hit song 'Bright Eyes' or its notorious representation of violence inflicted by and upon animated rabbits, the film retains the ability to move and shock audiences of all ages, remaining an important cultural touchstone decades after its original release. This open access collection unites scholars and practitioners from a diversity of perspectives to consider the ongoing legacy of this landmark of British cinema and animation history.

Media and Gender Adaptation

Media and Gender Adaptation examines how fans and professionals change the gender of characters when they adapt existing work. Using research into fans, and case studies on Sherlock Holmes, Ghostbusters and Doctor Who, it illustrates the foundation of the process and ways the works engage with and critique media and gender at a political level. The default maleness of narratives in media are reworked to be inclusive of other points of view. Regendering as an adaptational technique relies on audience familiarity with existing works, however it also reveals an increasing trend in aggressive backlash against interpretations of media that include marginalised and minority communities. Combining analysis of fanfiction, television and big budget Hollywood productions, Media and Gender Adaptation also analyses fan responses to regendering in popular media.

Cinema in the Arab World

Cinema in the Arab world has been the subject of varied and rigorous studies, but most have focused on films as text, providing in-depth analyses of plot, style, ideologies, or examination of the biographies of prominent directors or actors. This innovative new volume shifts the focus on Arab cinema off-screen, to examine the histories, politics, and conditions of distribution, exhibition, and cinema-going in the Arab world.

Secret Violences: The Political Cinema of Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960-1975

Although Michelangelo Antonioni became one of the icons of "modernist" cinema in the 1960s, his position in the pantheon of great directors has never been quite secure. Unlike his famous contemporaries, such as Ingmar Bergman and Luchino Visconti, whose essential contribution to the art of cinema is hardly ever questioned, Antonioni's work has been repeatedly denigrated from many angles for both aesthetic and political reasons.

Life in Media

A new way to teach media studies that centers students' lived experiences and diverse perspectives from around the world. From the intimate to the mundane, most aspects of our lives--how we learn, love, work, and play--take place in media. Taking an expansive, global perspective, this introductory textbook covers what it means to live in, rather than with, media. Mark Deuze focuses on the lived experience--how people who use smartphones, the internet, and television sets;make sense of their digital environment--to investigate the broader role of media in society and everyday life.

David Lynch and the American West

This collection convenes diverse analyses of David Lynch's newly conceived, dreamlike neo-noir representations of the American West, a first in studies of regionalism and indigeneity in his films. Twelve essays and three interviews address Lynch's image of the American West and its impact on the genre. Fans and scholars of David Lynch's work will find a study of his interpretations of the West as place and myth, spanning from his first feature film, Eraserhead (1977), through the third season of Twin Peaks in 2017. Symbols of the West in Lynch's work can be as obvious as an Odessa, Texas street sign or as subtle as the visual themes rooted in indigenous artistry. Explorations of cowboy masculinity, violence, modern frontier narratives and representations of indigeneity are all included in this collection.

Signals: How Video Transformed the World

Having become widely accessible as a consumer technology in the 1960s, video is ever-present today-on our phones and our screens, defining new spaces and experiences, shaping our ideas and politics, and spreading disinformation, documentation, evidence, fervor. Signals: The Politics of Video charts the ways in which artists have both championed and questioned the promise of video, revealing a history that has been planetary, critical, and activist from its very beginnings. The Museum of Modern Art has been at the forefront of bringing video into museums-pioneering the collection, conservation, and definition of a new artistic medium. Signals aims to renew and revise our understanding of art and video, both within and outside the museum.

So What, or How to Make Films with Words

A series of philosophical meditations on the nature of aesthetics across a wide array of filmmaking styles. Images, whether filmic or not, cannot be replaced by words. Yet words can make images. This is the general thesis underlying So What, a collection of essays on canonical filmmakers like Luchino Visconti and Orson Welles; more experimental directors, such as Marguerite Duras and Albert Serra; and visual artists, including Hollis Frampton and Agnes Martin.

Italian Film in the Present Tense

For observers of the European film scene, Federico Fellini's death in 1993 came to stand for the demise of Italian cinema as a whole. Exploring an eclectic sampling of works from the new millennium, Italian Film in the Present Tense confronts this narrative of decline with strong evidence to the contrary. Millicent Marcus highlights Italian cinema's new sources of industrial strength, its re-placement of the Rome-centred studio system with regional film commissions, its contemporary breakthroughs on the aesthetic front, and its vital engagement with the changing economic and socio-political circumstances in twenty-first-century Italian life.

Visions of Invasion

Visions of Invasion: Alien Affects, Cinema, and Citizenship in Settler Colonies explores how the US government mobilizes media and surveillance technologies to operate a highly networked, multidimensional system for controlling migrants. Author Michael Lechuga focuses on three arenas where a citizenship control assemblage manufactures alienhood: Hollywood extraterrestrial invasion film, federal antimigration and border security legislation, and various immigration enforcement protocols implemented along the Mexico-United States border.

The Eye of the Cinematograph: Lévinas and Realisms of the Body

The Eye of the Cinematograph investigates the ethical and aesthetic implications of the automatic formation of the body’s image by the camera. Drawing on Emmanuel Levinas’ thought, Manafi asks what happens when the other makes their body available to the gaze of the camera to be automatically recorded, and this giving of the body is preserved within the image, juxtaposed with other images to allude to a story that might otherwise remain untold.

Lesbians on Television

A look at the emergence of queer women characters in popular storytelling and the wide-ranging effects of this mainstream representation. The twenty-first century has seen LGBTQ+ rights emerge at the forefront of public discourse and national politics in ways that would once have been hard to imagine. In Lesbians on Television, Kate McNicholas Smith maps concurrent contemporary shifts in lesbian visibility within popular media, focusing on the small screens of Europe and North America.

The Routledge Companion to Caste and Cinema in India

This companion is the first study of caste and its representation in Indian cinema. It unravels the multiple layers of caste that feature directly and indirectly in Indian movies, to examine not only the many ways caste pervades Indian society and culture but also how the struggle against it adopts multiple strategies.

The History and Politics of Star Wars

This book provides the first detailed and comprehensive examination of all the materials making up the Star Wars franchise relating to the portrayal and representation of real-world history and politics. Drawing on a variety of sources, including films, published interviews with directors and actors, novels, comics, and computer games, this volume explores the ways in which historical and contemporary events have been repurposed within Star Wars. It focuses on key themes such as fascism and the Galactic Empire, the failures of democracy, the portrayal of warfare, the morality of the Jedi, and the representations of sex, gender, and race.

Queer TV China

An examination of the rise and influence of the internationally popular "queer TV China" genre. Since the 2010s, Chinese television has seen an explosion in popularity in dramas featuring same-sex intimacies, LGBTQIA-identified celebrities, and explicitly homoerotic storylines, even as state regulations on "vulgar" and "immoral" content grow more prominent. This emerging "queer TV China" culture has generated sizable transcultural queer fan communities both online and offline.

The Endless End of Cinema

Film is dead! Three little words that have been heard around the world many times over the life of the cinema. Yet, some 120 years on, the old dog's ability to come up with new tricks and live another day remains as surprising and effective as ever. This book is an exploration of film's ability to escape its own 'The End' title card. It charts the history of cinema's development through a series of crises that could, should, ought to have 'ended' it.


The fifth edition of this popular textbook considers diversity in the mass media in three main settings: Audiences, Content, and Production. The book brings together 55 readings - the majority newly commissioned for this edition - by scholars representing a variety of humanities and social science disciplines. Together, these readings provide a multifaceted and intersectional look at how race, gender, and class relate to the creation and use of media texts, as well as the media texts themselves.

Fear before the fall : horror films in the late Soviet Union

Alienation, generational tensions, rampant nationalism and the pervasiveness of atomic danger are all topics that haunted late Soviet citizens, and those fears are reflected in the films meant to represent their horror genre.

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.

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.