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Visual Culture

This group has research strengths across art history, visual culture and film.

In art history, Professor James Kearns ran the AHRC grant Painting for the Salon? The French State, Artists and Academy, 1830-1852, which included the exhibition 'Painting for the Salon' (September-October 2013) at the University of Exeter.

In Visual Culture, Professor David Jones leads the INTERREG-IV-funded project 1914FACES2014. Externally-funded projects in film include Professor Sally Faulkner's AHRC Fellowship A New History of Spanish Cinema: Middlebrow Films and Mainstream Audiences and Dr Danielle Hipkins's AHRC Research Leave 'Behind Closed Shutters: Unlocking Gender through the Figure of the Prostitute in Post-war Italian Cinema (1942-1965)'.

Professor Faulkner now leads the collaborative project Middlebrow Cinema and has won the Philip Leverhulme Prize 2013 for Modern Languages and Literature to further her work on Hispanic film cultures (for more information, please see the University news article), while Dr Hipkins collaborates on the AHRC grant In Search of Italian Cinema Audiences in the 1940s and 1950s: Gender, Genre and National Identity.

Dr Will Higbee leads the collaboration of the University of Exeter and the London Film School for the  and doctoral study in film.

Staff membersResearch Area Email 
Professor Sally Faulkner Spanish-language cinema including peninsular and Mexican film ; Spanish TV; literary adaptations in cinema and TV; film under the Franco dictatorship; middlebrow cinema
Dr William Higbee Representations of Marginality and Ethnicity in French cinema since 1980
Dr Danielle Hipkins (Post)Feminism and Italian film
Professor David Houston Jones The visual legacy of conflict, trauma and testimony in French culture. Visual archives and installation art.
Professor Fabrizio Nevola Public space, urban identity and the representation and perception of community groups within cities in Early Modern Italy.  The street as social space across history
Dr Melissa Percival Art, literature and the history of ideas of the French eighteenth century.
Dr Maria Thomas Anticlerical violence and iconoclasm in 1930s Spain
Dr Yue Zhuang The philosophy of Chinese landscapes and European interaction with Chinese landscapes

Listed below are the projects associated with the Linguistics research group that secured external funding. For information on other projects, please see individual staff pages or the research pages for each individual language.


Current projectsStaff member 
1914FACES2014 Professor David Houston Jones; Professor Bernard Devauchelle 
Investigating Italian cinema audiences of the 1940s and 1950s  Professor Danielle Hipkins 


Recent projectsStaff member
Samuel Beckett and Testimony Professor David Houston Jones 
Painting for the Salon? The French State, Artists and Academy, 1830–1852 Professor James Kearns 
Aspects of Memorialisation in Historical Exhibitions about the National Socialist Era Dr Chloe Paver  
Exhibiting East Germany in the West Dr Chloe Paver 
A New History of Spanish Cinema: Middlebrow Film and Mainstream Audiences Professor Sally Faulkner
Middlebrow Cinema Professor Sally Faulkner 
Behind Closed Shutters: Unlocking Gender through the Figure of the Prostitute in Post-war Italian Cinema Professor Danielle Hipkins 

Staff in visual culture have impacted on education. Professor Susan Hayward has written a leading study guide to Film Studies (Cinema Studies), used widely across secondary school and HE sectors, and now in its third edition.

Dr William Higbee and Dr Fiona Handyside have given classes at Devon schools on the subject of French cinema. Professor Sally Faulkner participated in a school study day on Spanish film at the British Film Institute (BFI), and gave the 2011 Annual Pérez Galdós lecture on the subject of Galdós and Spanish cinema (available to listen to and download from the Middlebrow Cinema project pages).

Dr Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles's recent government-funded work on feminism and female authorship in Spain has led to a collaboration with the highly influential project Women under Suspicion (Mujeres bajo sospecha), an interdisciplinary project that has brought together experts in gender studies and Spanish history. Capdevila-Argüelles’s work on Campo Alange, Elena Fortún and Marisa Roësset in the context of her Autoras inciertas and Artistas y precursoras has consolidated Exeter's involvement in this project, led by sociologist Professor Raquel Osborne (UNED), whose outputs include documentaries, exhibitions and books.

Under the aegis of the 1914FACES2014 project on the legacy of the facially injured soldiers of WWI, Professor David Houston Jones is working with partners in the cultural sector, in particular RAMM, and with schools in the region. Work with schools complements that undertaken by colleagues as part of the WWI in the classroom project.

Student nameSupervisorsThesis topic
Zoe Adams David Jones and Richard Mansell English language translations of French Holocaust testimonies and literature
Sevastiana Anagnostopoulou William Higbee and Song Lim Going West: Inter-European immigration in 'Western' European film
Giulia Baso Danielle Hipkins An investigation of the interrelationships of films by Egoyan and Antonioni with relation to contemporary proliferation of technologies of vision
Jake Bevan William Higbee and Song Lim Post-colonialism in contemporary South Korean cinema
Deena Bowman-Jamieson William Higbee The politics and style of the political thriller during the First Cold War, 1945-1962
Marjorie Gehrhardt Ulrike Zitzlsperger and David Jones The destiny of World War One facially disfigured soldiers during the inter-war period with special focus on France, Germany and Great Britain
Pierre-Alain Giraud William Higbee and Harriet Cox The work of Darius Khondji: cinematographic authorship in contemporary cinema.
Tamsin Graves William Higbee and Fiona Handyside Screening the gypsy: marginal identities and outsiders in the films of Tony Gatlif
Michaela Morning William Higbee and Fiona Handyside Exploration of the notions of surrealism in Czech cinema
Ben Sherriff William Higbee and Song Lim Digital fluidity – PhD by practice
Jamie Steele William Higbee and Fiona Handyside Francophone Belgian cinema
Mohammad Taleifard William Higbee and Les Blair Is it possible to be in internal exile and yet be at home?