Research Fellow in History of Art and Film
BA Hons Bradford, MA, PhD Leeds, PGCLTHE, Leeds
Research interests include film theories of sexuality and gesture; theories and philosophies of colour and perception; historiography and the fantastic in narratives and public exhibition of early 1900s scientific expedition films; the social and institutional uses of film, photography, their historical specificities and the archival life of film in its digital exhibition.
Liz Watkins’ research interests include film theories of sexuality and gesture; theories and philosophies of colour and perception; historiography and the fantastic in narratives and public exhibition of early 1900s scientific expedition films. Her work examines the social and institutional uses of film, photography, their historical specificities and the archival life of film in digital exhibition.
Her book project, The Residual Image (Routledge), formulates an innovative approach to thinking about colour and its visual effects for film theories of perception, sexuality and subjectivity. Her research into the body and its representations develops a line of enquiry into gesture as an insidious force indicative of social and subjective discontent in the interactions of body and language. This work has led to a co-edited collection of essays Gesture and Film: Signalling New Critical Perspectives (Routledge 2017) and an essay on the films of Nicolas Roeg.
Liz was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Leeds) and worked with Professor Sarah Street on a project on colour films in Britain 1900-1955, which was funded by the AHRC at the University of Bristol. Her recent research on the history of colour and photography in early 1900s polar expeditions was funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant, a project which includes a focus on modernity, polar expeditions and the specificity of a photographic expression of temporality and landscape for which colour plays a part. Publications from this project include an essay on ‘Liminal Perceptions: Intermediality and the Exhibition of Non-fiction Film’ (Amsterdam University Press, 2018) and on ‘Mapping the Antarctic: Photography, Colour and the Scientific Expedition in Public Exhibition’ for Progress in Colour Studies (2018).
Liz is co-editor of several books including Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (Routledge 2013) and British Colour Cinema: Theories and Practices (Palgrave/Macmillan 2013). Her journal publications include essays in Screen, the Journal of British Cinema and Television, Paragraph, Journal for Cultural Research, and NECSUS – European Journal of Media Studies. Journal articles include work on the work of Nicolas Roeg, Jane Campion, and on surveillance, the body and perception in Andrea Arnold’s Red Road and second piece on the legacy of Lars von Trier’s Advance Party Project, material, form and excess in the director’s film Fish Tank.
Liz co-convenes the Special Interest Group on Colour and Film with Professor Sarah Street (University of Bristol) for the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS).
Liz Watkins, Film Theories and Philosophies of Color (New York: Routledge)
Gesture and Film: Signalling New Critical Perspectives, eds. Nicholas Chare and Liz Watkins (London: Routledge 2017) (ISBN: 978-1-138-90019-6).
Screen Signs: Cultures of Gesture in Cinema- special issue edited by Nicholas Chare and Liz Watkins – Journal for Cultural Research (2015) vol.19, no.1.
Screening Embodiment – special issue edited by Chare and Watkins – Paragraph (2015) vol.38, no.1.
Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive, eds. Brown, Street, Watkins (New York: Routledge 2013)
British Colour Cinema: Practices and Theories, eds. Brown, Street, Watkins (London: BFI/ Palgrave Macmillan 2013)
Liz Watkins. ‘Don’t Look Now: Transience and Text’, Screen (2016) vol.56, issue.4, pp.436-449.
Liz Watkins. ‘Unsettling Perceptions: Screening Surveillance and the Body in Red Road’, Paragraph (2015) vol.38, no.1, pp.101-107.
Liz Watkins. ‘The Disquiet of the Everyday: Gesture and Bad Timing’, Journal for Cultural Research (2015) vol.19, no.1, pp.56-68
Liz Watkins. ‘Colour Consciousness and Design in Blanche Fury as Technicolor Melodrama’, Journal of British Cinema and Television (2010) 7, 1, pp.53-68.
Liz Watkins. ‘Liminal Perceptions: Intermediality and the Exhibition of Early Non-fiction Film’, eds. Giovanna Fossati, Victoria Jackson, Bregt Lameris, Elif Rongen Kaynacki, Sarah Street, Joshua Yumibe, The Colour Fantastic, Chromatic World of Silent Cinema (Amsterdam University Press 2018) pp.51-73.
Liz Watkins ‘Mapping the Antarctic: Photography, Colour and the Scientific Expedition in Public Exhibition’, eds. Carole Biggam, Lindsay Macdonald, Galina Paramei, Progress in Colour Studies (Amsterdam: John Benjamins 2018).
Liz Watkins. ‘Cinematic Excess’, eds. Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland, Film Theory Encyclopedia (Routledge, 2014) pp.178-181
Liz Watkins. ‘The Materiality of Film’, eds. Paul Graves-Brown, Rodney Harrison and Angela Piccini, The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World (Oxford University Press 2014) pp.574-590.
Liz Watkins. ‘Herbert G. Ponting’s Materials and Texts’, eds. Simon Brown, Sarah Street and Liz Watkins, Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (New York: Routledge 2013) pp. 322-335.
Liz Watkins and Nicholas Chare, ‘The Matter of Film: Decasia and Lyrical Nitrate’, eds. Barbara Bolt and Estelle Morris, Carnal Knowledge: Towards a “New Materialism” Through the Arts, (London: I.B. Tauris 2012) pp.75- 88.
Liz Watkins ‘The (dis)articulation of Colour: Cinematography, Femininity and Desire in Jane Campion’s In the Cut’, ed. Wendy Everett Questions of Colour in Cinema: From Paintbrush to Pixel, (Bern: Peter Lang, 2007) pp.197-216
Film theory, feminist art history, critical approaches to photography; theories of colour and perception in film; gesture; sexuality and the image; experimental film and photography (landscapes); early 1900s non-fiction film; film archives and their digital exhibition.
Research Projects & Grants
British Academy Small Research Grant (PI). Project: A History of Colour and Photography in Narratives of the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration.
Arts and Humanities Research Council (Research Associate): The Negotiation of Innovation: Colour Films in Britain 1900-55, University of Bristol. PI: Professor Sarah Street.
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (PI). Project: A History and Aesthetics of Photographic Effects and Colour in Cinema.
Journeys through Colour: Experimentation, Realism and Artifice in Non-fiction Film. Seminar. Tuesday 27th February 2018. Royal Anthropological Institute, London. Speakers: Professor Jeffrey Geiger (University of Essex), Jan Faull (Royal Holloway, University of London), Dr Liz Watkins (University of Leeds). Introduced and chaired by Dr Natasha Eaton (University College London).
Spaces of Imagination: Intermediality in Film Archives and Exhibition, Symposium 10:30am-18:00 pm Saturday 19th November 2016. University of Leeds. Full programme
Research Centres & Groups
Convenor of the Special Interest Group on Colour and Film for the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) with Professor Sarah Street.
Critical Materialist Research Group, University of Leeds.
PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision
I am interested in supervising PhDs in the following areas: histories and theories of colour and its technologies in cinema; early 1900s expedition films, art and photography; critical approaches to thinking about gesture, film and photography; feminist art histories; experimental film.
Leah Houghton: ‘Contact, Territory, Practice: (de)composing material agency in the contemporary art of Francis Upritchard’ (co-supervisor Ashley Thompson)
William Rose: ‘The Role of the Curator in Negotiating Dialogical Exhibition Contexts for Film and Video Art’ (co-supervisor Barbara Engh)