Dr Hila Shachar is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Film, and a member of the Centre for Adaptations whose research focuses on the adaptation of literary works and authors in various media including film, television, song, graphic novel, and ballet. She also has research expertise in nineteenth-century literature, feminist theory, film theory, the Beat authors, Australian and French cinema, and contemporary Australian and American literature.
Her recent book, Screening the Author: The Literary Biopic (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), examines the screen adaptation of the figure of the author and biographies of well-known writers, including Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, the Brontës, and others. This book is the first comprehensive analysis of the contemporary representation of the author on screen. It does this through two main approaches: by looking at how biographies of well-known authors in Western culture have been adapted onto the film and television screen; and by examining the wider preoccupation with the idea of what the ‘author persona’ means in broader economic, cultural, industrial, and ideological terms. It has been praised as a 'daring and imaginative book' (Dennis Bingham, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, USA), that provides 'new insights into the cultural formation of heritage cinema and the resulting contemporary template for literary biopics', and a 'needed study in this developing field of cinema studies' (Homer B. Pettey, University of Arizona, USA). The book has won the category of 'Best Book' in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities Research Awards (2019) at De Montfort University.
Her previous book, Cultural Afterlives and Screen Adaptations of Classic Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), was featured in The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, as well as nominated for the 2012 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards. She is currently working on a range of publications on other topics, including contemporary French film, and the screen representation of the Holocaust and Jewish resistance fighters. She is also working on a new research project examining the development of auteur cinema in recent films by directors such as Sofia Coppola, Luca Guadagnino, Andrea Arnold, Olivier Assayas, and Abdellatif Kechiche, in relation to wider cultural issues of multiculturalism, queer cinema, gender, and the young body on screen as a mode of adaptation.
Hila has considerable professional writing experience, having written for The Guardian, Desktop magazine, Overland journal, The Australian Government (Office for Women), The Australian Film Institute, Underscore magazine, The STW Group (Australasia’s largest Communications Group), The Conversation, and many others. She is also a regular writer for The Australian Ballet. In her previous non-academic roles, she has worked in marketing, editing, and online content strategy in the private sector. Her fictional work has appeared in several publications, and she was a finalist for the 2015 ELLE UK Talent Writing Competition and shortlisted for the February 2018 Bath Flash Fiction Award.
Hila has recently given the following keynote lectures:
Keynote lecture at the Bicentenary Conference for Emily Brontë, Emily Brontë: A Peculiar Music (7-9 September 2018, Marriott Hotel, York), titled, ‘Muse, Sister, Myth: The Cultural Afterlives of Emily Brontë on Screen’. https://www.bronte.org.uk/bronte-200/events/548/emily-bronte-a-peculiar-music/561
She has also recently published an article at The Conversation on the subject of this lecture: https://theconversation.com/the-real-emily-bronte-was-red-in-tooth-and-claw-forget-the-on-screen-romance-101913
Keynote lecture at the Interpreting Anne Lister & the Brontës conference (14 October 2019, Bankfield Museum, Halifax), in partnership with the Brontë Parsonage Museum and Calderdale Museums, titled, 'Screening the Author: Creativity, Desire, and the Literary Biopic'. https://www.bronte.org.uk/whats-on/914/i-am-not-made-like-any-other-i-have-seen-interpreting-anne-lister-and-the-brontes/3930