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Centre for Film Studies

Centre for Film Studies

The SOAS Centre for Film Studies (formerly the Centre for Film and Screen Studies) was  launched in September 2012 to promote the disciplines of Film Studies in relation to Africa, Asia and the Near and Middle East. While the geographical focus is on film/screen industries and movements beyond the dominant western ‘global’ Hollywood and European economies of production, distribution and exhibition, the Centre also seeks to promote research and teaching on the transnational, transcultural and multi-media nature of the image in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The Centre is housed in, and administered by, the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, but as a Centre dedicated to interdisciplinary study, it is not subordinate to any single Department in the Faculty, either administratively or intellectually.

In a ‘global’ industry, film and media scholars and practitioners are increasingly recognising the need for a move toward the study of image cultures and industries beyond the historical hegemonies of the European and Hollywood industries. The range of expertise in non-Western film/screen studies and cultures offered at SOAS provides a unique opportunity to respond and contribute to current critical and theoretical debates in these disciplines by providing an intellectual home which is open to all SOAS academics and students with an interest in film and screen studies.

In line with the recent AHRC guidelines for the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the mission of the Centre for Film Studies is therefore to promote research on centres of film/screen production, reception and visual cultures beyond the dominant Western ‘global’ Hollywood and European traditions, with the aim of contributing to current debates within the disciplines and interpolating these, through links with practitioners working within the industry, to have an ‘impact’ on practice and policy. The SOAS Centre for Film Studies also aims to promote critical thought and postgraduate research in critical methods derived from the study of Asian, African and Near and Middle Eastern film/screen studies, aesthetic and cultural practices. In practical terms, this is promoted through the two existing MA degrees associated with the Centre: MA Global Cinemas and the Transcultural and MA Film and History.

Centre for Film Studies Primary Objectives

  1. to promote disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and teaching in the disciplines of Film and Screen Studies with particular reference to Africa, Asia and the Near and Middle East. While, geographically, we focus on regions outside the dominate European and Hollywood hegemonies, we also acknowledge the transnational nature of Film and Screen industries and the transcultural nature of visual aesthetics;
  2. through links with industry to bridge the gap between the academic and practice;
  3. to provide a forum in which staff and students within SOAS, together with scholars from other institutions, can collaborate in the fields of research and teaching in Film and Screen Studies;
  4. to effectively intervene in the developments of Film and Screen Studies as disciplines through contributions to theoretical, methodological and pedagogical debates, in the contexts of Near and Middle Eastern, Asian and African Studies, and through publications, conferences, workshops and teaching;
  5. through curricular interventions, publications and seminars, to promote the work of Near and Middle Eastern, African and Asian filmmakers, animators, media critics, theorists and thinkers;
  6. to provide an administrative and intellectual home for the School’s MA programmes in Global Cinemas and the Transcultural and an intellectual home for the inter-Faculty MA in Film and History;
  7. to pioneer disciplinary and interdisciplinary practices through regular symposia, conferences, and film festivals, open to SOAS students and staff, to academics and students of other institutions and to the general public;
  8. to advise on the teaching of MA degrees Global Cinemas and the Transcultural and MA Film and History.
Contact Details

Dr Isolde Standish, Chair Centre for Film Studies, Faculty of Languages and Culture, is16@soas.ac.uk room 574.