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Professor Justin Smith

Job: Professor of Cinema and Television History

Faculty: Technology

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Cinema and Television History (CATH)

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

T: +44(0)116 257 7813

E: Justin.Smith@dmu.ac.uk

W: dmu.ac.uk/cath

 

Personal profile

A cultural historian with a special interest in post-war British cinema, television and popular music, my research interests embrace production, exhibition and reception practices, cult film fandom and stardom, and issues of cultural identity and popular memory. I am also interested in approaches to mapping creativity within the cultural industries, UK film policy, censorship, and the production of industry-led research. I was Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded project Channel 4 and British Film Culture, 2010-2014 (http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/c4pp ). I am the author of Withnail and Us: Cult Films and Film Cults in British Cinema (I.B. Tauris, 2010), and the co-author (with Sue Harper) of British Film Culture in the 1970s: The Boundaries of Pleasure (Edinburgh University Press, 2011). Most recently I have co-edited two journal special issues showcasing new research about Film4: The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television (33.3, 2013) and The Journal of British Film and Television (11.4, 2014). I also serve as reviews editor for the latter journal.

I am currently leading an AHRC-funded project researching the history of the British music video industry since the 1960s.

I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, the Royal Television Society and the Creative Industries Federation.

I am also a researcher and performer of traditional songs with connections to my native Isle of Wight: www.thedollymopps.co.uk

Research group affiliations

Publications and outputs 

Authored books

Smith, J. (with Sue Harper). 2011. British Film Culture in the 1970s: The Boundaries of Pleasure. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.  ISBN 978-0748640782 (REF 2014). Equal author contributions 

Smith, J.2010. Withnail and Us: Cult Films and Film Cults in British Cinema. London: I. B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1848850927 (REF 2014)

Academic journal papers

Smith, J. 2017. ‘British Music Video’, special issue, Music, Sound and the Moving Image, 11.1, ISSN 1753-0768 (forthcoming July 2017) 

Smith, J. 2017. ‘“Comparable to MTV – but better”: The impact of The Chart Show on British music video culture, 1986-1998’, Music, Sound and the Moving Image, 11.1, ISSN 1753-0768 (forthcoming July 2017) (REF 2021) 

Smith, J.(with Paul McDonald, eds). 2014. ‘Channel 4 and British Film Culture’, special issue, Journal of British Cinema and Television, 11.4. DOI: 10.3366/jbctv.2014.0226 

Smith, J.2014. ‘Channel 4 and the Red Triangle: A Case Study in Film Curation and Censorship on Television’, Journal of British Cinema and Television, 11.4, 481-498. ISSN 1743-4521, DOI: 10.3366/jbctv.2014.0230 (REF 2021) 

Smith, J.2014. ‘Calculated Risks: Film Finances and British Independents in the 1970s’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 34 (1), 85-102. DOI:10.1080/01439685.2014.879007 (REF 2021) 

Smith, J.(with Paul McDonald, eds). 2013. ‘Channel 4 and British Film Culture’, special issue, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 33 (3). DOI:10.1080/01439685.2013.823023

Edited Books and Book chapters 

Hunter, I.Q., Porter, L. and Smith, J. (eds). 2017. The Routledge Companion to British Cinema History. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-70619-3 

Smith, J. 2013. ‘Vincent Price and Cult Performance: The case of Witchfinder General’. In K. Egan and S. Thomas (eds), Cult Film Stardom: Offbeat Attractions and Processes of Cultification, pp. 109-125.  Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 978-0-230-29369-4 

Smith, J. 2012. ‘Making Ben Hur look like an epic: Monty Python at the movies’. In I.Q. Hunter and L. Porter (eds), British Comedy Cinema, pp. 171-183. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-66667-1 (REF 2014)

Smith, J. 2011. ‘Une Entente Cordiale? – A brief history of the Anglo-French Film Co-Production Agreement, 1965-1979’. In L. Mazdon and C. Wheatley (eds), Je t’aime … moi non plus: Franco-British Cinematic Relations, pp. 49-64. Oxford/New York: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1845457495 (REF 2014)

Smith, J. 2010. ‘The “lack” …and how to get it: reading male anxiety in three cult films of the 1970s’. In P. Newland (ed), Don’t Look Now?: British Cinema of the 1970s, pp. 143-160. Bristol: Intellect Books. ISBN 978-1841503202

Smith, J. 2009. ‘British Cult Cinema’. In R. Murphy (ed), The British Cinema Book 3rd Edn., pp. 57-64. London: BFI.  ISBN 978-1844572755

Key research outputs

Channel 4 Press Packs (BUFVC website): http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/c4pp/

Power To The People: The British Music Video Collection (6-disc DVD box-set, Thunderbird Releasing, forthcoming 2017).

Research interests/expertise

post-war British cinema, television and popular music, production, exhibition and reception practices, cult film fandom and stardom, cultural identity and popular memory, family history, the cultural industries, UK film policy, censorship. 

Areas of teaching

Post-war British film and television history, film censorship, cult film and fandom

Qualifications

PhD, Cult Films and Film Cults in British Cinema, 1968-86, University of Portsmouth, 2006

PGCLTHE, University of Portsmouth, 2005

MA in Popular Culture (with Distinction), The Open University, 2000

Post-graduate Certificate of Education, University of Southampton, 1996

BA (Hons) in English and American Literature (II-1), University of Kent at Canterbury, 1986 

Courses taught

BA (Hons) Film Studies

Membership of professional associations and societies

Fellow of Higher Education Academy (2007-)

Member of the Creative Industries Federation (2015-)

Member of the Royal Television Society (2013-)

Member of the Cinema Theatres Association (2010-2015)

Trustee and former Chair of Portsmouth Film Society (2009-2017)

Forthcoming events

1960s British Cinema: Histories and Legacies, 6 & 7 September 2017 - View event

Conference attendance

Organised

Co-organised ‘New Directions in Film and Television Production Studies Conference’ at UWE, Bristol, 14-15 April 2015.

Co-organised and convened Industry Panel Event on AHRC project Fifty Years of British Music Video at British Library, 10 April 2015.

Organised, hosted and introduced AHRC project conference ‘Channel 4 and British Film Culture’ at BFI Southbank, 1-2 November 2012. 

Invited

Invited paper: ‘London – Still Swingeing after all these years: The Old Wave, Brit Pop, and the post-modern bricolage of music video’, at Still Swinging: 1960s British cinema and popular culture in the 21st century symposium, UEA, Norwich, September 2016.

Invited paper: Ready, Steady, Go! Finding the Starting Line of the British Pop Promo’, IHR Film History seminar, February 2016.

Invited paper: ‘We Need To Talk About Subsidy: Television and the UK Film Industry’, Birmingham City University, March 2014.

Invited paper: ‘Cult is Dead! – Long Live “Cult”!’, AHRC Cult Film Network, Northumbria University, September 2013.

Invited keynote speaker: ‘Culture, Change and Continuity in the 1970s - a symposium on British culture in the 1970s’, at Aberystwyth University, September 2011.

Invited paper: ‘Writing 1970s British Film History’, Aberystwyth University, February 2009.

Invited paper: ‘Never Mind The Quality…: The problems of diversity and cultural value in researching British cinema of the 1970s’, University of St Andrews Film and Media Research Group, May 2008.

International

‘Ploughing a Lonely Furrow?: A Field in England (2013) and alternative distribution in the UK’, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Atlanta, March 2016.

Panel presentation: ‘Television Industries and the Production of Film Culture: Interventions in the UK Context’, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Seattle, March 2014.

‘How Britain Learned to Love Europe: British Television and European Film Culture, 1982-1996’. NECS Conference, Lisbon, June 2012.

‘Une Entente Cordiale? – A brief history of the Anglo-French Film Co-Production Agreement, 1965-1979’, at Society for Cinema and Media Studies 50th Anniversary Conference, Los Angeles, March 2010.

‘A Common (Film) Market?  Anglo-European Co-Productions in the 1970s’, at Network for European Cinema and Media Studies (NECS) Conference, Vienna, June 2007. 

UK

‘Channel 4 and the Red Triangle’, MeCSSA Conference, Bournemouth University, 10 January 2014.

‘Channel 4 and British film culture: New approaches to archival practice’, Screen Studies Conference, University of Glasgow, July 2011.

‘The Cult Confessor: Vincent Price’, Screen Studies Conference, University of Glasgow, July 2010.

‘Come on let the Goodtimes roll (Or how Puttnam went pop in the 1970s): The rise of the cross-over market and the origins of ‘MTV’ aesthetics’, at Screen Studies Conference, University of Glasgow, July 2008.

‘Trailerama (or Some Shorts Films about Death)’, at Moving Image Archiving and the Academy Conference, University of Leeds, March 2008.

‘The “lack” …and how to get it: reading male anxiety in three British films of the 1970s’, at Don’t Look Now?  British Cinema in the 1970s Conference, University of Exeter, July 2007.

‘Glam, Spam and Uncle Sam: Funding Diversity in British Film Production during the 1970s’, at Emergence of the Film Industry in Britain Conference, Reading University, June 2006.

‘Things that go clunk in the cult film text’, at The Wicker Man: Rituals, Readings and Reactions Conference, University of Glasgow, July 2003.

‘Size Matters: spatial relations in the development of cinema cultures’, at Screen Studies Conference, University of Glasgow, July 2003.

Externally funded research grants information

Co-Investigator on AHRC-funded Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement Project, Dancing, Drawing, and Dreaming: Fifty Years of British Music Video - showcasing British music video talent on the global stage (2017-18). Award to UWL: £73,599. Outputs:three touring packages (70-minutes duration) of British music videos for theatrical exhibition/installation as part of British Council world tour, documentary film, project report.

Principal Investigator on AHRC-funded project Fifty Years of British Music Video, 1965-2015: Assessing innovation, industry, influence and impact (2015-17). Award to University of Portsmouth: £477,090. Outputs: monograph (under contract with EUP), journal special issue Music, Sound and the Moving Image, 11.1, ISSN 1753-0768 (forthcoming 2017), database, educational DVD. External partnerships with British Library, BFI, Soda Pictures, Promo News.

Principal Investigator on AHRC-funded project Channel 4 and British film culture (2010-2014).  Award to UoP: £483,480. Outputs: 2 PhDs; http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/c4pp; 30 Years of Film4 (monograph, forthcoming, 2018), London: BFI; (with Paul McDonald, eds), ‘Channel 4 and British Film Culture’, special issue, Journal of British Cinema and Television, Vol. 11, No. 4 (2014), DOI: 10.3366/jbctv.2014.0226; (with Paul McDonald, eds), ‘Channel 4 and British Film Culture’, special issue, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 33, No. 3 (2013), DOI:10.1080/01439685.2013.823023 AHRC Channel 4 project: external collaborations with Channel 4, British Universities Film and Video Council, British Film Institute. Preparing Impact Case Study for REF 2021. This project influenced archival practices at Channel 4 and at the BUFVC.

Co-Investigator on AHRC-funded project British Cinema in the 1970s (2006-2009). Award to UoP: £69,431. Outputs: 2 PhDs, British Film Culture in the 1970s: The Boundaries of Pleasure (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011).  ISBN 978-0748640782 (REF 2014); British Culture in the 1970s.

British Academy Overseas Conference Travel grant (2010): £500

Krasna Krausz publication costs for Withnail and Us (2009): £1200

Professional esteem indicators

Professional advisory or consultancy work

Appointed to AHRC Peer Review College (2014-)

On advisory board of AHRC-funded project Global Cult Cinema in the Age of Convergence (Northumbria University, 2013-2015). http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/project/83AEC9D9-DFEC-4BA6-9301-72ACBD85AB8A

Project advisor (2010-2012) on AHRC-funded Michael Klinger Archive project (University of West of England http://michaelklingerpapers.uwe.ac.uk/about.htm )

Refereed grant applications for British Academy and Leverhulme

Peer reviewed for Screen, Film Quarterly, Manchester University Press, Edinburgh University Press, and Palgrave Macmillan. 

Editorships

Reviews editor for the Journal of British Cinema and Television

Editorial Board member for Transnational Cinemas journal.

External Examining

Appointed external examiner for the MA in Film Studies at University of Leicester (2016-).

Currently external examiner for the MA in Film Studies and MA in Film and Cultural Management at Southampton (2014-2018). 

Open University’s MA in Popular Culture (2010-12)

Undergraduate Film Studies and MA by Independent Study programmes at De Montfort University, Leicester (2009-2013).

Media interviews and presentations

Interview about summer blockbusters, Katie Martin Show, BBC Radio Solent, 18 July 2014.

Invited speaker: ‘Making life from art: Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio’, Purbeck Arts Week, May 2014.

Interview tribute to Bob Hoskins, Katie Martin Show, BBC Radio Solent, 30 April 2014.

Invited panel presentation: ‘Collaborating in the Archives: Channel 4, University of Portsmouth and the BUFVC’, AHRC Creative Economy Showcase, London, March 2014.

Interview about 2014 Monty Python reunion shows, The Bill Kelly Show, AM900 CHML News/Talk in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 22 November 2013.

Invited paper: Channel 4 and British film culture – a case of (e)merging methodologies in film and television studies? Institute of Historical Research Film History seminar, University of London, February 2013.

Interview on 30th birthday of Channel 4, BBC Radio Scotland, 2 November 2012.

Invited paper: ‘Coming to a screen near you’, Cinema Theatres Association, London, October 2012.

Case studies

Channel 4 and British Film Culture

Digital Output: Searchable database of Channel 4’s weekly Press Information Packs on BUFVC website: http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/c4pp/the-project , Letter from the BUFVC (Learning On Screen), Letter from Channel 4 archivist, Letter from Channel 4 press office 

Fifty Years of British Music Video

Outputs: public screenings in UK and internationally via British Council, 6-disc DVD box-set of landmark British Music Videos (1966-2016)

Impact evidence: Reports from British Council, Sales figures from Thunderbird Releasing and DVD reviews, BL catalogue visits, Attendance at public screenings, Social media from Vivid and Frame screening events

Search Who's Who

British Film Culture in the 1970s

Withnail And Us

 
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