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Dr Claire Monk

Job: Reader in Film & Film Culture

Faculty: Art, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Media and Communication

Research group(s): Cinema and Television History Centre (CATH), Centre for Adaptations

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: n/a

E: cmonk@dmu.ac.uk

W: dmu.academia.edu/ClaireMonk


Personal profile

My core field is the cultural, socio-political and contextual understanding of contemporary British film and film culture since the 1970s – spanning films with both period and contemporary settings – and the study of their audiences and fans. My research and publications since the 1990s represent the full spectrum of these interests and contributed to DMU’s world-class research submissions to RAE2008 (UoA66) and RAE2001 (UoA65).

I am known especially for:

1) My revisionist contributions to the critical debates around the ‘heritage film’ and the cultural politics of historical/period representation on film, including classic literary adaptations and TV period drama, with an emphasis on questions of sexuality, gender and pleasure.

2) My recent work extends this interest to engage empirically with contemporary audiences for and fans of British period films, both in the UK and within the transnational (and transtemporal) reception context opened up by media convergence. First, via the detailed study of the identities, tastes, attitudes and pleasures of these audiences presented in my monograph Heritage Film Audiences (Edinburgh University Press: HB 2011, PB 2012). Currently, in my work on online/Web 2.0 fan cultures, fan productivity and fan-adaptations around case-study films once pigeonholed as ‘heritage cinema’: specifically Merchant Ivory Productions’ ‘greatest hits’ adaptations from the novels of E. M. Forster, especially Forster’s posthumously published Maurice.

3) My work/publications on contemporary representations in British film, 1990–present, with interests in class, gender and sexuality and their intersections; transnational-* representations and directors within British cinema (e.g. Pawel Pawlikowski); social, historical and economic geographies and questions of place; and discourses and representations of regeneration and decline.

4) Other, interconnected, ongoing interests (reflected in other recent publications and the successful 2012 DMU international conference Adapting Historical Narratives) include 1970s–1980s punk and post-punk music cultures and their impacts on British film; post-2000 trends in the ‘retro’ and/or historical representation of recent, late-20th-century decades in British film in the context of the resurgence of retro style and indie music as wider cultural trends; post-2000 institutional and creative convergences between art–film–music; and new trends in the mediated representation of history/‘the past’ and the media considered in relation to digitised online archives and social media.

Research group affiliations

Publications and outputs 

Click here for a full listing of Claire Monk's publications and outputs.|

Key research outputs


Heritage Film Audiences: Period Films and Contemporary Audiences in the UK (Edinburgh: EUP & New York: Columbia UP), 231pp + index. HB, Jun 2011, ISBN: 978-0-7486-3824-6. PB, Sep 2012, ISBN 978-0-7486-6878-6. www.euppublishing.com/book/9780748638246|

Book as Joint Editor

Claire Monk & Amy Sargeant (eds) British Historical Cinema: The History, Heritage and Costume Film (London & New York: Routledge), 2002, 269pp. ISBN: 0-415-23809-9 HB/0-415-23810-2 PB.

Refereed Journal Papers 

‘“If you can’t make a good political film, don’t“: Pawel Pawlikowski’s resistant poetic realism’, Journal of British Cinema and Television (‘British Cinema and TV since 2000’ special issue), 9:3, Jul 2012, pp.480–501. 

Heritage Film Audiences 2.0: period film audiences and online film cultures', Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies , 8:3, Nov 2011. www.participations.org/Volume%208/Issue%202/3h%20Monk.pdf|

‘London and contemporary Britain in Monkey Dust’, Journal of British Cinema and Television (‘Space and Place’ special issue), 2007, 4:2, pp.337-60.

Book Chapters and Anthologised Articles

‘Sexuality and heritage’, in Film/Literature/Heritage: A Sight and Sound Reader, ed. Ginette Vincendeau (London: British Film Institute) 2001, pp.6-11. ISBN: 0-85170-842-0 HB/0-85170-841-2 PB.(Originally published in Sight and Sound, Oct 1995,5:10, pp.32-4.)

‘The British heritage-film debate revisited’, in British Historical Cinema, 2002 (as above), pp.176-98.

‘Underbelly UK: the 1990s underclass film, masculinity and the ideologies of “New” Britain’, in British Cinema, Past and Present, eds Justine Ashby & Andrew Higson (London & New York: Routledge), 2000, pp.274-87. ISBN: 0-415-22061-0 HB/0-415-22062-9 PB.

Research interests/expertise

Film Studies, Film Culture, British Film, Film Culture & Criticism, Heritage Cinema, Literature & Adaptations, Audience & Reception Studies, Fandom & Fan Productivity, Historical Narratives & Period Representations, Retro Culture & Consumption, Punk & Post-Punk, Convergence Culture in relation to the above.

Areas of teaching

  • World Cinema
  • British Film and Film Culture
  • Film Audiences and Internet Fandom
  • Period Film Genres: The Heritage Film, Retro Film, and Historical Narratives


  • PhD (School of Arts: Research Studentship in Middlebrow Culture, Audiences and Taste, supervised by Professor Francis Mulhern), Middlesex University, UK, 2007. 
  • PGCert in Teaching and Learning in Adult and Higher Education, Birkbeck, University of London, UK, 1999.
  • MA with Distinction in Cinema and Television Studies, Birkbeck, University of London in association with the British Film Institute, UK, 1994.
  • BA Honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) (Exhibitioner), Balliol College, Oxford University, UK, 1986.

Courses taught

  • FILM2007 World Cinemas: Module Leader
  • FILM2009 Professional Practice in British Cinema: Joint Module Leader
  • MA Independent Study
  • PhD/MPhil supervisions
  • Contributions to FILM1000 Introduction to Film Studies, FILM1001 Introduction to Film History, FILM3008 Cult Film, MEDS3112 Audiences and Fandom.

Membership of external committees

  • Women’s Film History Network UK & Ireland Steering Group, 2011–


Membership of professional associations and societies

  • AAS (International Association of Adaptation Studies), 2009–
  • ALCS (Authors’ Licensing and Copyright Society), 2011–
  • BAFTSS (British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies), 2012–
  • Fan Studies Network, 2012–
  • MeCCSA (Media, Cultural and Communication Studies Association), 2006–

Conference attendance

Conferences and Panels as Organiser

Panel organiser: ‘E. M. Forster’s Maurice (1913/1971) and 25 years of James Ivory’s Maurice (1987): adaptation(s), authorship(s) and reappraisal(s)’, at ‘Visible and Invisible Authorships’: 7th Annual Conference of the Association of Adaptation Studies, 27-8 Sep 2012, University of York, UK. 

Conference organiser: Adapting Historical Narratives, 28 Feb 2012, Centre for Adaptations, DMU. Instigator and co-organiser (with Professor Deborah Cartmell, DMU) of this international interdisciplinary conference, bringing together textual, theoretical and practitioner perspectives from three continents.

Conferences and Seminars as Invited/Keynote Speaker

‘From Lypton Village to London Goth: Virgin Prunes in England, c. 1982-4’, A Special Relationship? Irish Popular Music in Britain, Northumbia University, UK, in conjunction with the University of Ulster Centre for Media Research, 27-8 June 2012. Invited participant.

‘Web 2.0 fandom and James Ivory’s/E. M. Forster’s Maurice (UK, 1987) – or: Tumblr, LiveJournal and YouTube, the life of texts and the redundancy of “heritage-film” criticism’, invited plenary speaker, Pursuing the Trivial: Investigations into Popular Culture postgraduate conference, University of Vienna/Vienna University of Applied Arts, Austria, 1-2 Jun 2012. http://www.univie.ac.at/pursuingthetrivial/|

‘Majesty/alchemy/anarchy: fashionable and unfashionable queens in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee (1978)’, invited plenary speaker, Fashionable Queens: Body, Power, Gender symposium, Institute for English Studies & Institute for Sociology, University of Vienna, Austria, 3-4 Dec 2010. (Paper delivered in absentia due to flight cancellations.) www.univie.ac.at/fashionablequeens/| 

Invited keynote speaker plus film introduction to Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank (UK, 2009), Radical British Screens symposium, University of the West of England (UWE) & Screen South-West Research Network at UWE & the Arnolfini Arts Centre, Bristol, UK, 3 Sep 2010. 

‘Not represented: on absences, specificities and post-punk music cultures in post-2000 British film’, invited plenary speaker, British Film 2000–2010: Crossing Borders, Transferring Cultures, Centre for Intercultural Studies/Faculty of Translation, Sprache und Kultur, Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, 18-21 Feb 2010. www.fask.uni-mainz.de/inst/iaa/tagung/|

‘“Not new wave. It’s inspired by punk.” The post-punk female in British film: Hazel O’Connor and Breaking Glass’, Post-Punk Performance: The Alternative 80s in Britain, interdisciplinary/knowledge-transfer conference, School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, UK,  9 Sep 2009. Invited participant. 

‘The post-punk female in British film’, Newcastle University Institute for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Research Group in Film and Media, UK, 21 May 2009. Invited seminar paper.

‘Punk and British film in the late 1970s’, Don’t Look Now: British Cinema in the 1970s conference, University of Exeter, UK, 4–5 Jul 2007. Invited participant.

‘The Heritage Audience Survey: investigating period-film audiences’, research seminar paper at the invitation of Professor Martin Barker, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK, 12 May 2006. 

‘Beyond the heritage debate: investigating period-film audiences’, invited keynote speaker (alongside Prof Sue Harper, University of Portsmouth), Representation. Period: A Study Day in Representations, History and Nostalgia in Period Film and Television, University of Sussex, UK, 15 Sep 2005. 

‘Do national cinema histories make sense?’, invited participant in panel debate (with Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, invited by Professor Ian Christie), Film History in Question study day, University of London Screen Studies Group and AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies, Senate House, London, UK, 21 Nov 2003.

Other Conference and Seminar Papers

‘“That’s [never] finished”: Maurice without ending, from Forster’s palimpsest to fan-text’,  E. M. Forster's Maurice: A conference marking the centenary of Forster's writing of the novel, University of St Andrews, UK, 24–25 Nov 2012.

‘Forgotten histories? Film on Four and British retro and heritage films of the 1980s’, Channel 4 and British Film Culture, University of Portsmouth/British Universities’ Film & Video Council (BUFVC) at BFI Southbank, London, UK, 1–2 Nov 2012.

‘“That’s [never] finished”: Maurice as adaptation without ending, from Forster’s palimpsest to fan-text’, panel on 25 years of James Ivory’s film Maurice (1987), ‘Visible and Invisible Authorships’: 7th Annual Conference of the Association of Adaptation Studies, 27-8 Sep 2012, University of York, UK. 

‘The (second) death of English heritage? Web 2.0 fandom and E. M. Forster’s/James Ivory’s Maurice (UK, 1987)’, Inaugural European Popular Culture Association Conference (EUPOP), London College of Fashion/University of the Arts, UK, 11-13 Jul 2012.

‘Cultural positioning, discursive over-determination and the limits of audience autonomy: reflections on the Heritage Film Audiences study’, 4th Edinburgh International Film Audiences Conference (EIFAC), UK, 17-18 Mar 2011.

‘British transsexual romcoms (both of them): Different for Girls (Richard Spence, 1996), Girl Stroke Boy (Bob Kellett, 1971)’, Romcom, Actually conference, CATH Centre/Faculty of Humanities, De Montfort University, UK, 2-3 Mar 2011.

‘(Not?) filming the unfilmable, adapting the 1970s: Brothers of the Head (Keith Fulton & Louis Pepe, 2006) versus Brothers of the Head (Brian W. Aldiss & Ian Pollock, 1977)’, paper, 4th International Association of Adaptation Studies Conference, BFI (British Film Institute) Southbank, London, UK, 24-5 Sep 2009.

‘“Hey you, standing there, what you got to stare at?” The post-punk female in British film: Breaking Glass (Brian Gibson, UK, 1980)’, 1970s British Culture conference, University of Portsmouth, UK, 1–3 Jul 2008. 

‘The female protagonist(s) in contemporary realism: My Summer of Love (Pavel Pawlikowski, UK, 2004) and Red Road (Andrea Arnold, UK/Denmark, 2006)’, The Realist Impulse: Contemporary Film-Making in Britain conference, Oxford Brookes University at St Anne’s College, Oxford, UK, 12–13 Jul 2007.

‘Aki Kaurismäki’s London: I Hired A Contract Killer (Sweden/Finland, 1990)’, Continental Connections: British Film and Television in their European Contexts conference, University of Leicester/De Montfort University, UK, 10-11 Jul 2007.

‘Beyond the heritage debate: investigating period-film audiences’, Cinema Audiences: A Symposium, University of Newcastle, UK, 27 May 2006.

‘Monkey Dust’s urban Britain’, Visualising the City: An International Symposium, University of Manchester, UK, 26-28 Jun 2005.

‘The 1990s underclass film, ideology and identity in “new” Britain’, Relocating Britishness conference, University of Central Lancashire, 22-24 Jun 2000

‘Underbelly UK: The 1990s underclass film’, Cinema/Identity/History: An International Conference on British Cinema, University of East Anglia, UK, 10-12 July 1998.

‘Anti-urbanism and the English: urban space in Howards End’, Cityscapes/Landscapes: The Representation of Space in European Cinema conference, Middlesex University, UK, 1 Mar 1997.

‘What do we mean by screening “Englishness”?’, The Revision of England in Film and Literature 1945-1995 conference, Kingston University, UK, 13-14 Jul 1996.

‘Sex, humour and heritage: the cinematic sexualities of Merchant Ivory’, Popular European Cinema 2: The Spectacular conference, Punkaharju, Finland, Jul 1996.

Consultancy work

  • Consultation on fanfiction practices, BBC Radio 4, Summer 2012, by Russell Finch, producer of When Harry Potter Met Frodo: The Strange World of Fan Fiction, presented by novelist Naomi Alderman, transmitted BBC Radio 4, Monday 26 Nov 2012.

  • Consultation and exclusive interview for online newspaper Fresh Ties, 14 Feb 2011: ‘The King's Speech: A very modern heritage film’ by Sarah Hill. 

  • Mainstream media consultation/interview/quotation: Independent on Sunday, 6 Jun 2010, pp.24–25: ‘Cameras in pursuit of the unfilmable’ by Andrew Johnson. 

  • Contribution to project research, authorship of lead DVD/Blu-ray booklet essay and authorship of media coverage for the British Film Institute’s DVD/Blu-ray release of three ‘lost’ films by 1960s–70s British filmmakers Jane Arden/Jack Bond, Jul-Aug 2009. See Review Articles and Other Shorter Essays: ‘Long live the ghosts’, Sight & Sound, Aug 2009, and ‘Always too early’, DVD/Blu-ray booklet essay, Jul 2009.

Current research students

Dr Claire Monk very much welcomes enquiries from prospective research students wishing to pursue topics that connect with her research interests.

Caitlin Shaw (Canada), PhD, FT, 1st supervisor. Fashioning the Eighties for the British Screen: Contemporary Representations of a Nation in Transition.

Christine Bennett (UK), PhD, PT, 2nd supervisor. Female Pleasure and Ken Russell’s Film Adaptations of D. H. Lawrence.

Vivien Chadder (UK), PhD, PT, 2nd supervisor. Oriental Villainy in the Work and Cinematic Adaptations of Sax Rohmer.

Françoise Poos (Luxembourg), PhD, PT, 2nd supervisor. Hidden Images: The Making of a National Family Album.

Andrew Johnstone (UK), MA Independent Study, PT, 1st supervisor. Documentary Film in International Development.

Research students: recent completions

Llewella Burton (UK), MA Independent Study, PT, 2nd supervisor. Interpretation as Practice: Chasing the Post-Heritage Dream, 2012.

Takako Seino (Japan), MPhil, PT, de facto 1st supervisor. Realism and Representations of the Working Class in Contemporary British Cinema, 2011.

Internally funded research project information

Jan–Aug 2010: DMU Faculty of Humanities Research Leave Award to bring the monograph Heritage Film Audiences (EUP, 2011) to manuscript submission.

Professional esteem indicators

Journal Editorial Boards
Journal of British Cinema & Television (Edinburgh University Press), 2012–
Punk & Post-Punk (Intellect), 2011–

Journal Peer Review
Adaptation (International Association for Adaptation Studies/Oxford University Press)
Canadian Journal of Film Studies (Film Studies Association of Canada/Concordia University, Montreal)
Consumption, Markets and Culture (Taylor & Francis)
Critical Studies in Media Communication (University of Illinois)
Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance (Intellect)
The Minnesota Review (Duke University Press)
Rethinking History (Taylor & Francis)

Peer Reviews for Publishers
BFI (British Film Institute) Publishing (2000–07)
BFI/Palgrave Macmilan (2008–)
Manchester University Press (2011–)
Amsterdam University Press (2011–)

Case studies

  • Invited contributor to the international film magazine Sight & Sound's 2012 Greatest Films of All Time Poll (conducted worldwide every decade and considered one of the most influential of its kind).

  • ‘Eyre conditioning’: invited feature on the new big-screen Jane Eyre (Cary Fukunaga, 2011; starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender) for Sight & Sound, Oct 2011.

  • Invited talks at world-class venues including BFI Southbank (London) and the Arnolfini (Bristol) and local venues from the National Trust’s Sutton House and Barking Malthouse (both east London) to Phoenix Square (Leicester). Recent talks engaging the public, young people, media and/or industry have included National Schools’ Film Week (Phoenix Square, Nov 2012), and contributions to Channel 4 and British Film Culture, BFI Southbank, Nov 2012 and From ‘Hidden Agenda’ to the ‘Free World’: The political films of Ken Loach (directly after the BBC Economics Editor Paul Mason), BFI Southbank, Oct 2011.

  • At DMU, my events as organizer include the transdisciplinary international conference Adapting Historical Narratives (28 Feb 2012), which attracted almost 40 speakers and 60 delegates including screenwriters and other practitioners, and the fully booked public event for DMU Cultural Exchanges 2010, African Classic Film Screening and Discussion: Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Badou Boy (1970) (2 Mar 2010).

  • Freelance film critic for Sight & Sound 1993–2002, and continuing occasional contributor.

Dr Claire Monk

Search Who's Who

Monk: Heritage Film Audiences book cover

Monk & Sargeant: British Historical Cinema book cover

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