Dr Sarah Smyth

Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Dr Sarah Smyth



Sarah Louise Smyth is a Lecturer in Film at the University of Essex. Sarah completed her PhD in Film at the University of Southampton in 2019. Her thesis examined contemporary British women's cinema, as part of the AHRC-funded project, Calling the Shots: Women and Contemporary UK Film Culture. Sarah is currently working on a monograph based on her doctoral research, which examines genre and women's filmmaking in British cinema. Sarah's research focuses on women's representation and authorship in contemporary film and television. She is interested in feminist theory, especially feminist film theory; women's filmmaking and television production; postfeminism; pregnancy and motherhood; genre filmmaking. Sarah has published in these areas, including her article "Postfeminism, Ambivalence and the Mother in Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011)", and her forthcoming book chapter, “‘I do not know that I find myself anywhere’: The British Heritage Film and Spaces of Intersectionality in Amma Asante’s Belle (2014)”. Sarah is also a member of Women's Film and Television History Network UK/Ireland (WFTHN) Steering Group. Sarah would welcome PhD applications in the following areas: • Women’s filmmaking • Women’s television production • Issues of gender and representation • Feminist film theory • British cinema • Genre cinema, especially horror, romantic comedy and heritage cinema • Motherhood and pregnancy


University of Essex

  • Lecturer, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex (1/9/2019 - present)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Approaches to Film and Media (LT121)

  • Contemporary Television (LT123)

  • Women and US Film (LT406)

  • Independent Screenplay Project (LT410)

  • Independent Film Project (LT833)

  • Independent Project in Film Studies (LT834)

  • Women Filmmakers (LT931)


Journal articles (2)

Smyth, SL., (2021). Sarah Hill, Young Women, Girls and Postfeminism in Contemporary British Film. Journal of British Cinema and Television. 18 (2), 249-251

Smyth, SL., (2020). Postfeminism, Ambivalence and the Mother in Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011). Film Criticism. 44 (1)

Book chapters (2)

Smyth, SL., (2023). Nora, Julie, Julia: Legacies of Older Women in Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia (2009). In: Women, Ageing and the Screen Industries Falling off a Cliff. Palgrave Macmillan. 3031183843. 9783031183843

Smyth, S., (2021). "I Do Not Know That I Find Myself Anywhere": The British Heritage Film and Spaces of Intersectionality in Amma Asante's Belle (2013). In: Media Crossroads Intersections of Space and Identity in Screen Cultures. Editors: Massood, PJ., Matos, AD. and Wojcik, PR., . Duke University Press. 195- 205. 9781478011743

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