My teaching and research specialisms span across the areas of European and World Cinemas; film theory and philosophy; gender and sexuality studies; contemporary screen cultures and the questions of work migration and global politics.
Prior to joining Leicester in 2016 I taught film gender and media studies at the University of Manchester and University of Lincoln. I hold a PhD in German Studies from Manchester University (2015) and an MA in Film Studies from Anglia Ruskin University (2010).
I am the admissions tutor for History of Art and Film.
I am currently writing a set of essays on negative futurity and the politics of pessimism in contemporary European television and film. My second book, provisionally titled Negative futurability: Contemporary European screens and the politics of pessimism will investigate the ways in which contemporary European cinema and television imagine political futures through affect, sensation and complex temporalities, and in doing so, it seeks to set questions of neoliberal relations of production, exploitation and racist violence in dialogue with aesthetic extremes and negative affect.
My first monograph Post-unification Turkish German Cinema: Work, Globalisation and Politics beyond Representation (2018) explores fiction and non-fiction films that deal with labour migration from Turkey to Germany. Engaging with materialist philosophies of process, it offers analyses of films by Thomas Arslan, Christian Petzold, Aysun Bademsoy, Seyhan Derin, Harun Farocki, Yüksel Yavuz and Feo Aladag. Shifting the focus from the longstanding concerns of cultural conflict, integration and identity, I demonstrate that these films offer new expressions of lived experience under late capitalism through themes of work, labour, social reproduction, unemployment and precarity. I argue that such a methodological shift can conjure up the political potential of affect in these films.
A review of my book Post-Unification:
Irwin, M. (2021) “Post-unification Turkish German cinema: work, globalisation and politics beyond representation”, Transnational Screens, 12(1), 88-9, DOI: 10.1080/25785273.2020.1839299
An interview on Post-Unification (in Turkish language):
Torun, A. (2021). “Göçün 60. yılında Türk-Alman Sineması: Gözde Naiboğlu ile Röportaj.” Göç Dergisi, 8(3), 497-506. https://doi.org/10.33182/gd.v8i3.802
2018 Post-Unification Turkish German Cinema: Work, Globalisation and Politics beyond Representation (Palgrave Macmillan).
Journal Articles and Interviews
2022 (forthcoming) “The Ethics of Difference: Masculinity and Foreignness in Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann (2016) and Valeska Grisebach’s Western (2017)” Feminist German Studies 38(1) Special Volume edited by Angelica Fenner and Barbara Mennel: (Post)Feminist Practice in German Cinema: Between Ambivalence and Ambition.
2018 ‘Towards an Archaeology of Reproduction: Gestures of Migrant Sex Work in Contemporary European Cinema’, Feminist Media Studies, 18(3).
2014 ‘A Room to Breathe in Between the Images: Interview with Aysun Bademsoy’, Studies in European Cinema, 11(2), pp. 106-115. ISSN: 1741-1548
2011 ‘Interview with Felicity Colman on Deleuze and Cinema: The Film Concepts (Berg, 2011)’, Actual/Virtual: Journal of Practical and Creative Philosophy, 13. ISSN: 1752-5654
2015 ‘Turkish German Cinema in the New Millennium: Sites, Sounds and Screens ed. Hake and Mennel, Berghahn, 2012’ Screen, 56 (2). ISSN 0036-9543
2013 ‘Post-Wall German Cinema and National History: Utopianism and Dissent by Mary O’Brien. New York: Camden House, 2012’, Film Criticism, 37 (3), pp. 163-166. ISSN 0163-5069
I am currently supervising:
Daniel E. Smith - Populist Nostalgia in Post-2008 British Film and Television (Midlands 4 Cities funded project since 2021)
I welcome enquiries from prospective students in areas including:
European and World Cinemas
Contemporary screen cultures
Film theory and philosophy
Cinema and the questions of work migration global politics
HA2030 Researching World Cinemas
HA3447 Contemporary European Cinema
HA1202 Introduction to Film History II
EN3035 Weird Fiction/Weird Film
I have previously taught on modules including:
HA7204 American Cinema
HA2114 Realism and the Cinema
Press and media
European Cinema and politics
Turkish German Cinema
Turkish and German cinemas
Film theory and global politics