Dr Rebecca Harrison

  • Lecturer (Theatre, Film & Television Studies)

Research interests

My research focuses on film’s historical intersections with other media and technologies. Until recently, I have been exploring the connections between cinema and the railways and how these media shaped both conceptions and experiences of modernity in Britain from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. In doing so, I paid particular attention to the ways that gender, class, age, race and empire informed people’s cinemagoing and railway travel to challenge ideas about homogenous ‘mass’ experiences of modernity. A monograph based on the research, From Steam to Screen: Cinema, the Railways and Modernity (I B Tauris) is due for publication in November 2017.

I am now beginning a new project that investigates the historical and conceptual intersections of cinema and code. Focusing on the Star Wars franchise as its main case study, the project seeks to uncover the industrial, technological and aesthetic connections between film and computer programming.

My main areas of research are as follows:
•    Cinema apparatuses and other media technologies
•    Gender, race and class in screen media industries
•    Film exhibition, distribution and circulation
•    Wartime cinema
•    British and Hollywood cinemas

2015-16: Lecturer, University of East Anglia
2014-15: Teaching Fellow, UCL
2010-14: PhD, UCL
2008-09: MA, UCL
2005-08: BA (Hons) Royal Holloway


  • 2017: Carnegie Research Incentive Grant 'What Made a Moving Picture: A Material, Imperial History of Early Film Apparatus in Britain'
  • 2016: Philip M Taylor Routledge – IAMHIST Prize for Best Article by a Junior Scholar
  • 2010-2013: AHRC PhD Studentship
  • 2011: UCL Graduate School Gay Clifford Bursary for Outstanding Women Students 2009: UCL Grand Challenges Award (as part of the UCL Film Studies Space)


I welcome applications from potential PhD candidates in any of my main areas of interest: cinema and other media technologies; histories and theories of film; gender, race and class; film exhibition and distribution; British and Hollywood cinemas (including issues of British national identity and colonialism); early cinema; wartime film and propaganda; and science fiction onscreen.

  • Cattigan, Stephanie
    The Leverhulme Trust Collections Scholarships: Promoting the Nation: Scotland's Industrial Films
  • Gilbert, Ruth
    Representing Minor Histories: Contemporary Womens Filmmaking and the Archive.


I have been Programme Director for the MSc Film Curation at the University of Glasgow since its inception in 2016. Currently, I convene the three core courses on the programme (Materials of Film Curation, Practices of Film Curation, and Creative Practice).

In addition, I also convene and teach on the Level 2 ‘Histories, Aesthetics and Genre’ course.

Additional Information

  • Book review editor, Early Popular Visual Culture
  • Co-Chair, War and Media Studies special interest group, Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • Guest, Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4, August 7, 2015. Interview on Mabel Normand and women filmmakers in early Hollywood.


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