Dr John Haynes

Executive Fellow
Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Dr John Haynes



I joined the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex, where I lecture in Film Studies, in the autumn of 2010. My background in Modern Languages/Area Studies, along with nine years prior experience in the Department of History at Essex, have contributed to a teaching and research profile that emphasises the importance of a historically grounded, critical approach to Film Studies, broadly based on an interdisciplinary exploration of the productive intersections between Film Studies and History more generally, and focused in particular on the many different kinds of relationships that can and have been established between cinema and social change in a variety of contexts. I am the author of New Soviet Man: Gender and Masculinity in Stalinist Soviet Cinema (Manchester UP, 2003), co-editor (with Sanja Bahun) of Cinema, State Socialism and Society in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1917-1989: Re-Visions (Routledge, 2014), and my articles on Stalinist and post-Stalinist Soviet cinema and gender have appeared in The Modern Language Review, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, and Women in the Khrushchev Era (eds Ilič, Attwood, and Reid, Palgrave, 2004); I have also published on contemporary non-Hollywood US filmmaking, including the work of Quentin Tarantino in The Holocaust in History and Memory and the second edition of Film Analysis: The Norton Reader, and the social justice documentaries of Robert Greenwald, in Cineaste and 49th Parallel. I am currently gaining invaluable experience, from a practitioner perspective, of the relationships between Film and History, by producing and directing a historical documentary film and a series of AV podcasts based on oral history/life story interviews with participants of the May 1968 events on campus at the University of Essex. A 50-minute pilot version of the documentary has been released and is available for screenings, and an online, open-access digital archive accompanying the documentary project (featuring hundreds of official and unofficial archival documents relating to the campus events of the time) is now launched at

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Interdisciplinary, theoretical and practitioner perspectives on Film and History; Practice as Research

Key words: Practice as Research

Cinema and social change; films and social justice activism; films as producers of histories

Soviet and Russian Cinema, especially Stalinism and Film

Independent cinema in the United States

1968 campus activism

The campus events of May 1968 and beyond at the University of Essex, despite precipitating national headlines, are largely overlooked in wider histories of student activism of the era and were for decades a taboo subject within the institution itself. The Mustard documentary project aims to recover and preserve memories of the protest against ‘the man from Porton Down’ and the establishment of a ‘Free University’ at Essex, and to reconnect these with wider narratives of 1968 both nationally and around the globe. The underpinning research is grounded in an inductive approach to key archival sources at the University of Essex, and in the methodology of oral history interviewing. The stories emerging on each side were far from consistent between one teller and another: there was no one version of events that was not vigorously contested over one or another point, and the narrative form of the historical documentary is based primarily on that understanding. Retaining the same commitment to openness informing the research methodologies, Mustard avoids authoritative voice-over and a single-track, linear narrative trajectory, aiming rather to include multiple competing versions of the events, the motivations behind them, and their ramifications. Apart from touching on the histories of protest, Vietnam, youth culture and politics, architecture, science, and Chemical and Biological Warfare, the sources notably expressed a number of competing senses of what a university is, and how it should operate. The fiftieth anniversary of the events at Essex may therefore provide a timely opportunity to do more than reconnect them with wider histories of student activism in 1968: bringing to light voices and memories of an earlier era of expansion in UK Higher Education, Mustard further aims to contribute to present-day debates and to keep open key critical questions concerning the structure and function of universities today.

Key words: Vietnam War

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Europe: Myth and Idea (CS102)

  • Approaches to Film and Media (LT121)

  • Criticism: Practice and Theory (LT204)

  • Alternative Americas: Independent Film (LT243)

  • Film and Propaganda (LT355)

  • Critical Moments in the Theory and History of Film (LT927)

  • Newsroom Practice (LT313)

  • Independent Literature Project (LT831)

  • Independent Creative Writing Project (LT832)

  • Independent Film Project (LT833)

  • Independent Project in Film Studies (LT834)

  • Independent Theatre Studies Project (TH836)

Previous supervision

Fahmida Akhter
Fahmida Akhter
Thesis title: Fragmented Memory, Incomplete History: Women and Nation in War Films of Bangladesh
Degree subject: Film Studies
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 7/7/2017


Journal articles (5)

Haynes, J., (2009). A Note on Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. The Holocaust in History and Memory. 2

Haynes, AJ., (2007). Documentary as Social Justice Activism: The Textual and Political Strategies of Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films. 49th Parallel : an Interdisciplinary Journal of North America. 21

Haynes, J., (2007). Film as political football:The Goalkeeper(1936). Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema. 1 (3), 283-297

Haynes, AJ. and Littler, J., (2007). Documentary as political activism: an interview with Robert Greenwald. Cinéaste. 32 (4)

Haynes, AJ., (2000). Brothers in Arms: The Changing Face of the Soviet Soldier in Stalinist Cinema. The Modern Language Review. 95 (1)

Books (1)

Haynes, J., (2003). New Soviet Man: Gender and Masculinity in Stalinist Soviet Cinema. Manchester University Press. 0719062381. 9780719062384

Book chapters (5)

Bahun, S. and Haynes, J., (2014). Introduction. Questioning and Questing: re-staging state socialist cinema. In: Cinema, State Socialism and Society in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1917-1989 Re-Visions. Editors: Bahun, S. and Haynes, J., . Routledge. 1- 6. 1317818725. 9780415813235

Haynes, J., (2014). Stalinist Cinema and the Search for Audiences: Liubov′ Orlova and the Case for Star Studies. In: Cinema, State Socialism and Society in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1917-1989 Re-Visions. Routledge. 115- 148. 9780415813235

Haynes, J., (2013). Pulp Fiction: Miramax, 'Mainstreaming', and the State of 'Independents'. In: Film Analysis: A Norton Reader (Second edition). Editors: Geiger, J. and Rutsky, RL., . W W Norton. 9780393923247

Haynes, AJ., (2004). Reconstruction or Reproduction? Mothers and the Great Soviet Family in Cinema after Stalin. In: Women in the Khrushchev Era. Editors: Ilic, M., Reid, S. and Attwood, L., . Palgrave Macmillan. 114- 130. 978-0-230-52343-2

Haynes, AJ., (2000). Od Čapajeva k Sokolovovi: vojenští hrdinové sovětského filmu / From Chapaev to Sokolov: soldier heroes in Soviet cinema. In: Znamení Doby: Mezinárodní Sympozium, Kultura, Politika a Společnost ve Střední a Východní Evropě, 1945-2000 / Signs of the Times: The International Symposium, Culture, Politics and Society in Central and Eastern Europe, 1945-2000. Editors: Aulich, J. and Sylvestrova, M., . Moravská galerie v Brně in association with Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD)

Dataset (1)

Haynes, AJ., (2018).The Mustard Project: The Essex/May 1968 Digital Archive

Media (3)

Haynes, AJ., Mustard Podcast 2: Re-Membering a Critical University (7' 08"). Video

Haynes, AJ., Mustard Podcast 3: The Background Readings E.P. (49' 21"). Video

Haynes, AJ., Mustard Podcast 1: Film Studies at Essex, 1968 (4' 58"). Video

+44 (0) 1206 872625


5NW.5.7, Colchester Campus