Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Elspeth Mitchell

PhD Candidate

BA History of Art, MA Cultural Studies (University of Leeds)

My doctoral project examines theories of ‘the girl’ and the moving image in reference to films and artworks by Chantal Akerman and Eija-Liisa Ahtila and the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir and Luce Irigaray.

Research Interests

Visual culture, Film theory/philosophy; feminist theory; sexual difference; experimental film and video practices; representations of the body;


Teaching Assistant, University of Leeds
Introduction to Cultural Analysis (Level 1)
Cinema and Media History (Level 1)


PGR Representative
Editor, parallax journal

Research Projects & Grants

My research has been made possible with the generosity of the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) studentship.

PhD Thesis

Provisional title: Feminine Becomings: The Girl in the Moving Image and Feminist Philosophy

Professional Practice

Events Organised 

2017                            A Feminist Space at Leeds: Looking Back to Think Forward, 16-17 December 2017, University of Leeds. 

2016                            Feminist Readings: Theory, Practice and Politics of Reading Today, 15-16 April 2016, University of Leeds
Keynote speakers: Prof. Anne Berger and Prof. Tuija Pulkkinen.


2017                           The Girl and Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex: Feminine Becomings, Australian Feminist Studies, 32, 93 (2017)

2016                            Book Review, International Cinema and The Girl (2016 eds. Fiona Handyside and Kate Taylor-Jones) Girlhood Studies.


2015                            In Excess, Elsewhere and Otherwise: Feminine Subjectivity in Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s multi-screen installation If 6 Was 9 (1995) Networking Knowledge (Special Issue) July 2015.

Conference Papers

July 2016                     ‘Akerman, Irigaray and the girl on screen’
Film Philosophy Conference, University of Edinburgh, UK.

May 2016                    ‘The figure of the girl in Luce Irigaray’s philosophy’ Luce Irigaray International Seminar, University of Bristol, UK.

April 2016                   ‘Reading with the Girl: Akerman and Irigaray’
Feminist Readings 2016, University of Leeds, UK.

April 2016                   ‘The figure of the girl in contemporary moving-image art practices’ International Girls Studies Association, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

October 2015              ‘Sadie Benning’s ‘Flat Is Beautiful’ (1998): thinking moving image art practices through Luce Irigaray’s philosophies of ‘touch’ in the visual field’ 

International Symposium on Gender and Aesthetics: Art, Film, and Literature, Sabanci University, Istanbul.

October 2015              ‘Encountering the bond between girls in Chantal Akerman’s Portrait d’une Jeune Fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles (1993)’ Child Nation Cinema, University of Cambridge, UK.

 July 2015                     ‘Encountering Girls: An Irigarayan Perspective on Contemporary Moving Image Art Practices’
New Forms for a Philosophy of Film: creative and political methodologies, Manchester School of Art & HOME, UK

July 2015                     ‘Video Art and Feminine Subjectivity: reviewing critical feminist art practices through Luce Irigaray’s philosophies of ‘touch’ in the visual field’ Aesthetics and the Feminine, University College Cork, Ireland.

June 2015                    ‘Feminine Subjectivity in Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s multi-screen gallery installation If 6 Was 9’ Rethinking Re/Presentation, University of Manchester, UK.

 May 2015                    ‘Feminist reading in moving image installations: Eija-Liisa Ahtila’: Lectures Féministes 2015, University Paris 8 and the Finnish Institute in Paris.

April 2015                   ‘“Elsewhere” in Luce Irigaray and Eija-Liisa Ahtila’:North West Gender Conference, University of Manchester, UK.

Film Curation and Public Engagement Activities

 February                      Galentines Day Film Screening: A curated programme of films exploring girl culture. Films from Michael Lucid and Jennifer Reeder.

January 2016               ‘Women in Sink’ film screening and in conversation. I organised a screening of the documentary film ‘Women in Sink’ by Iris Zaki, followed by Q&A with Zaki and myself. The event was programmed as part of DKUK Leeds, a temporary art installation and hair salon.

November 2016          ‘A Wonderful Future Where You Have Back Up Copies’ Screening and Artist Talk: A screening and talk with British artist Georgie Grace.

 October 2016              Feminism and Time: A reading group: I led a reading group reflecting on feminism and time as part of About Time, a programme of visual arts activity alongside the British Art Show in Leeds.

October 2016              Project Radio: Chronophobia: A radio broadcast as part of Project Radio, supported by Arts Council England and exploring the fear of the future.


Elspeth’s academia.edu profile

Associate Editor, parallax journal


Yorkshire Editor of Corridor8.

Producer: Art School For Rebel Girls, Pavilion.

Feminist Reading Network. 

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