I studied at Sussex University graduating with a BA in the History of the School of England and American Studies and from the University of East Anglia with a PhD in Film Studies. I joined the University of Leicester in 2003. I was Director of Studies for History of Art and Film between 2016 and 2019. I was appointed Associate Professor in Film Studies in 2017 and became an Honorary Visiting Fellow of the University in 2022. In my time at Leicester I have also been a member of the Centre for American Studies.
My PhD was on ‘Hollywood’s gaslight melodramas’ of the 1940s: crime melodramas set in the late Victorian or Edwardian era. I developed this topic in my first monograph with support of British Academy funding. The British Academy also provided funding for my next major research project into Hollywood serials of the 1930s and 1940s.I have researched a range of other topics from film adaptation to the Hollywood B-film. I am currently examining the drive-in cinema in 1950s America and the popular imagination.
(0) The Lost Jungle: Cliffhanger Action and Hollywood Serials of the 1930s and 1940s (University of Exeter Press, 2017)
Trash Cinema: The Lure of the Low (Columbia University Press, 2017)
Gaslight Melodrama: From Victorian London to 1940s Hollywood (Continuum, 2001, reissued Bloomsbury, 2016)
'My Search for Passion Pits with Pix: Cinema History and 1950s Drive-In Audiences', Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 16.1 (2019): 824-43, http://www.participations.org/Volume%2016/Issue%201/40.pdf
'Melodramatic Villainy (Just) After the Victorians' in Benjamin Poore (ed.), Neo-Victorian Villains: Adaptations and Transformations in Popular Culture (2017): 91-105
'The Tudor Cinema, Leicester: A Local Case Study', in I.Q. Hunter, Laraine Porter and Justin Smith (eds.), The Routledge Companion to British Cinema History (Routledge, 2017): 99-108
'Recycled Images: Rose Hobart, East of Borneo and The Perils of Pauline', Adaptation, 5.2 (2012): 152-68
'Who Watched that Masked Man? Hollywood's Serial Audiences in the 1930s', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 31.2 (2011): 167-90
'Lost and Found in Translation and Adaptation: Walerian Borowczyk and Docteur Jekyll et les femmes (1981), in Richard Ambrosini and Richard Drury (eds.), European Stevenson (Cambridge Scholars, 2009): 241-52
'Autobiography and the Autobiographical in the Bill Douglas Trilogy', Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, 29.1 (2006): 14-29 .
I have supervised PhD theses to completion on the following topics:
The Post-Apocalyptic Film Genre in American Culture: 1968-2013
The Fortunes and Films of the “Hollywood Renaissance Auteur” in the 1980s’
The Representation of the Ku Klux Klan in Mainstream American Cinema (1988-2016)
Press and media
I am happy to respond to press queries on drive-in cinemas and film serials and their audiences.
In the past five years I have presented at the following conferences:
‘Cinema on Film: New Hollywood and the No Longer New Drive-In’ HoMER conference Maynooth University (online) 2021
‘Forgotten Lost Segregated Shut-In: Images of Drive-In Audiences in Post-War USA’ BAFTSS conference University of Birmingham (2019)
‘My Search for Passion Pits with Pits: Film History and 1950s Audiences’ Researching Past Audiences conference Aberystwyth University (2018)
‘Not a Serial: The Film Industry’s Distrust of the Incomplete Narrative’ SERCIA conference Université Paris Diderot (2016)
‘The Certified Accountant Gothic Heroine in The Second Woman (1950) Gothic Feminism conference University of Kent (2016)
‘Researching Seriality Continued: Children Adults the Film Serial and Film History’ SCMS conference Atlanta (2016)
Aside from books book chapters and journal articles my publications include entries on Graham Cutts in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Les vampires (1915) The Graduate (1967) and 'The Hollywood Western' in Cinema: The Whole Story; Gaslight (1944) in The Cinema Book 2nd and 3rd editions; Robert Bierman Bill Douglas Mike Figgis Freddie Francis Godfrey Grayson Neil Hunter and Tom Hunsinger Robert Parrish Pawel Pawlikowski and Emlyn Williams Directors in British and Irish Cinema: A Reference Guide (BFI 2006) and the BFI's Screenonline website.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority.