Professor Jeffrey Geiger

Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Professor Jeffrey Geiger
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872623

  • Location

    5NW.5.11, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    on leave spring term 2018



Jeffrey Geiger's background ranges from research into film and literature to professional film work, particularly editing. After coming to Essex, he became the University's first director of Film Studies, later established the Centre for Film and Screen Media and currently is the Centre's director. Other posts have included director of the American Studies Centre and Graduate Director. His teaching and research has sought out synergies between practice, criticism, and theory, with particular interests in documentary, postcolonial approaches to global cinemas, gender and ethnicity in US film, comparative media, film and human geography, island studies, and Oceania and the Pacific. Recent work has focused on Nigerian video films ('Nollywood') in terms of a common critical resistance to lower budget video, and on Pacific tourism and the colour film archive. Books include American Documentary Film: Projecting the Nation (2011); Facing the Pacific: Polynesia and the U.S. Imperial Imagination (2007); Film Analysis: A Norton Reader (with R. L. Rutsky, 2nd ed 2013); and Cinematicity in Media History (2013, with Karin Littau). The latter developed from a special issue of Comparative Critical Studies, 'Cinematicity' (2009), based on an international conference hosted at Essex. Articles have appeared in journals such as PMLA, Studies in Documentary Film, Third Text, African American Review, ZAA, Cinema Journal, New Formations, Film International, and The Times Literary Supplement, with chapters appearing in numerous books and encyclopedias. Recent work includes a chapter on New Nigerian cinema in The Routledge Companion to World Cinema (Remapping World Cinemas), and research on Kodachrome and Pacific tourism in Discourses of Imperialism in the Pacific (Routledge). Professor Geiger is a member of a number of professional organisations, including SCMS and BAFTSS, and a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Ph.D. supervision areas include: film and visual media, including film practice as research; documentary, non-fiction, and ethnographic film and media; US cinema (especially studies of ethnicity and gender); transmedia; colour film; Oceania and visual cultures.


  • BA Cornell University,

  • MA University of California, Los Angeles,

  • PhD University of California Los Angeles,


University of Essex

  • Director of the Centre for Film and Screen Media, Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex (1/1/2013 - 30/9/2020)

  • Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex (1/1/2010 - 1/1/2013)

  • Director of the American Studies Centre, University of Essex (1/1/2004 - 1/1/2008)

  • Director of the Centre for Film Studies, University of Essex (1/1/2001 - 30/8/2003)

Other academic

  • External Examiner, MA Film Studies, University of Malta (30/8/2018 - present)

  • External Examiner, Film Studies, University of Surrey (30/8/2015 - 30/8/2018)

  • External Examiner, Film, Media, and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck, University of London (30/8/2011 - 30/8/2016)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

documentary film and media

Open to supervise

media practice and theory (creative practice / PaR)

Open to supervise

amateur cinema

Open to supervise

gender and ethnicity in US literature, film, television

Open to supervise

island representations

Open to supervise

Nollywood and New Nigerian cinema

Open to supervise

Oceania and the Pacific in film and photography

Open to supervise

postcolonial cinema studies

Open to supervise

Current research

aerial cinematics and 'world picture'

colour and the travelogue

Conferences and presentations

Direct Cinema and its Legacies

Invited presentation, Research Masterclass, American Studies, Stuttgart, Germany, 16/5/2019

Adrenaline Views: Cinema, Aviation and the Aerial Subject

Invited presentation, Public Lecture, Imsida, Malta, 3/5/2019

New Queer Documentary and the Sensory Turn

Invited presentation, Research Seminar, Centre for Critical and Creative Cultures, Dundee, United Kingdom, 31/1/2019

Photography, the Moving Image, and Questions of Cosmopolitanism in the Pacific

Invited presentation, Pacific History Association Conference, Pacific History Association, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 5/12/2018

Intimate Media: Engaging Inequality, the Body, and Gesture in Queer Documentary

Keynote presentation, Visual Culture and Inequality, 20/7/2017

Convolutions of Colour Media

Invited presentation, Research Masterclass, Film Studies, Imsida, Malta, 4/5/2017

Interrogating Comparative Media Historiographies

Invited presentation, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Chicago, United States, 24/3/2017

Kodachrome Travels: How colour changed the ways we see the world

Invited presentation, Essex Book Festival, Essex Book Festival, Colchester, United Kingdom, 7/3/2016

'Race’ at the Margins of Representation

Science and Technology Film Festival, Olomouc, Czechia, 15/4/2015

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Approaches to Film and Media (LT121)

  • Documentary Filmmaking (LT225)

  • American Film Authors (LT347)

  • Independent Film Project (LT833)

  • Independent Project in Film Studies (LT834)

  • Documentary and the Avant-garde: Film, Video, Digital (LT930)

Previous supervision

Sarah Casey Benyahia
Sarah Casey Benyahia
Thesis title: Lives in Limbo: Memory, History, and Entrapment in the Temporal Gateway Film.
Degree subject: Film Studies
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 15/4/2019
Barney Oliver Humm Samson
Barney Oliver Humm Samson
Thesis title: Islands in the (Main)Stream: The Desert Island in Anglophone Post-War Popular Culture
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 10/11/2017
Iman Hami
Iman Hami
Thesis title: Alice Walker's Womanist Fiction: Tensions and Reconciliations
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 18/5/2016
Jeeshan Gazi
Jeeshan Gazi
Thesis title: Film as Another World: Deleuze, Pynchon, and the Metaphysics of Film
Degree subject: Film Studies
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 18/5/2015
Wen-Chun Kuan
Wen-Chun Kuan
Thesis title: Island in Motion: Transnational Articulations in New Taiwanese Cinema and its Film Culture
Degree subject: Film Studies
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 27/8/2014


Journal articles (12)

Geiger, J., (2020). Intimate Media: New Queer Documentary and the Sensory Turn. Studies in Documentary Film. 14 (3), 177-201

Geiger, J., (2020). 'Exquisite Wonder': Colour Film, Realism, and the Yankee Voyage, 1936-38. Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies. 8 (1), 57-79

Geiger, J., (2012). Nollywood Style: Nigerian movies and 'shifting perceptions of worth'. Film International. 10 (6), 58-72

Geiger, J., (2011). Documentary: Negotiating the Public Sphere. New Formations: A Journal of Culture, Theory, Politics. 74 (Winter), 144-149

Geiger, J. and Littau, K., (2009). Guest Editors' Introduction to Comparative Critical Studies (special issue: Cinematicity). Comparative Critical Studies. 6 (3), 287-295

Geiger, J., (2008). Taking Aim: New Documentary and War. Zeitschrift fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik (ZAA). 56 (2), 153-173

Geiger, J., (2004). Special Relationships: British Higher Education and the Global Marketplace. PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association. 119 (1), 58-68

Geiger, J., (2004). Imagined Islands: White Shadows in the South Seas and Cultural Ambivalence. Cinema Journal. 41 (3), 98-121

Geiger, J., (2001). Re-assessing the Past and Future of Feminist Film Theory. Sexualities. 4 (2), 246-251

Geiger, JA., (1999). America on film: Hollywood and American history. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN STUDIES. 33, 166-167

Geiger, J., (1999). Unmaking the Male Body: The Politics of Masculinity in The Long Dream. African American Review. 33 (2), 197-207

Geiger, J., (1998). 'The Camera and Man': Colonialism, Masculinity, and Documentary Fiction. Third Text. 12 (44), 3-21

Books (5)

Littau, K. and Geiger, J., (2013). Cinematicity in media history. Edinburgh University Press. 9780748676125

Geiger, J. and Rutsky, RL., (2013). Film Analysis: A Norton Reader (Second edition). W W Norton. 9780393923247

Geiger, J., (2011). American Documentary Film: Projecting the Nation. Edinburgh University Press/Oxford University Press. 9780748621477

Geiger, J. and Littau, K., (2009). Cinematicity (special issue of Comparative Critical Studies). Edinburgh University Press. 001750-0109

Geiger, J., (2007). Facing the Pacific: Polynesia and the U.S. imperial imagination. University of Hawaii Press. 9780824830663

Book chapters (10)

Geiger, J., (2018). The Voyager's Sublime: Kodachrome and Pacific Tourism. In: Anglo-American Imperialism and the Pacific: Discourses of Encounter. Editors: Keown, M., Taylor, A. and Treagus, M., . Routledge. 110- 130. 0415842921. 978-0415842921

Geiger, J., (2017). Media Refashioning: From Nollywood to New Nollywood. In: The Routledge Companion to World Cinema. Editors: Stone, R., Cooke, P., Dennison, S. and Marlow-Mann, A., . Routledge. 59- 72. 9781138918801

Geiger, J., (2015). United States Expansionism and the Pacific. In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism. Editors: Ness, I. and Cope, Z., . Palgrave Macmillan. 446- 454. 978-1-349-57690-6

Geiger, J., (2015). Documentary, Memory and the Iraq Syndrome. In: Representations of War, Migration, and Refugeehood: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Editors: Rellstab, DH. and Schlote, C., . Routledge. 47- 63. 9780367868635

Geiger, J. and Littau, K., (2013). Introduction: Cinematicity and comparative media. In: Cinematicity in Media History. Editors: Geiger, J. and Littau, K., . Edinburgh University Press. 1- 18. 9780748676149

Geiger, J., (2013). Making America Global: Cinematicity and the Aerial View. In: Cinematicity in Media History. Editors: Geiger, J. and Littau, K., . Edinburgh University Press. 133- 156. 9780748676118

Geiger, J., (2013). Nanook of the North (1922): Fiction, Truth, and the Documentary Contract.. In: Film Analysis: A Norton Reader (Second edition). Editors: Geiger, J. and Rutsky, RL., . W W Norton. 94- 114. 9780393923247

Geiger, J., (2011). Subaltern Looks and the Imperial Gaze: Charles Warren Stoddard's South Sea Idyls. In: Indiscretions. At the Intersection of Queer and Postcolonial Theory.. Editors: Aydemir, M., . Rodopi. 33- 51. 9789042031876

Geiger, J., (2005). 'The game behind the game'?: Spatial Politics and Spike Lee's He Got Game. In: Race and Ethnicity in New York City. Editors: Krase, J. and Hutchison, R., . Emerald. 83- 105. 9780762311491

Geiger, J., (2000). Sightseeing: 'Voyage au Congo' and Ethnographic Spectacle. In: Andre Gide?s Politics: Rebellion and Ambivalence. Editors: Conner, T., . Palgrave. 111- 130. 9780333915370

Thesis dissertation (1)

Geiger, JA., America's White Shadows: Modernist Ethnography and the South Pacific

Grants and funding


Kodachrome Travels: Colour Film, Realism, and the �American Pacific� Imagination

British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 872623


5NW.5.11, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

on leave spring term 2018