CSCI Research Series Seminar: Pressing Issues in Contemporary British Cinema

Events — Research Event MS Teams
24 February 2022, 16:00

John White: British Cinema and a Divided Nation 

John White’s new book is British Cinema and a Divided Nation (Edinburgh University Press, 2021). In this presentation he will consider how this book addresses the fundamental political perspective required in order to confront ‘pressing issues in British cinema’ in this or any other period. Although his focus will be on film, he will argue that neither film nor cinema can be seen as divorced from wider issues for British society. 

John White taught film studies at ARU in Cambridge until 2019. In his writing he focuses on the relationship between media representations and the major axes of social and economic division within society. His most recent books – The Contemporary Western: An American Genre Post-9/11 (EUP, 2019) and British Cinema and a Divided Nation – essentially ask a single question: in an era of increased globalisation and corporate power, an era consequently riven by divisions of wealth leading to rising levels of migration and nationalism, how are such matters mirrored, and/or challenged, within the media and specifically within mainstream film? 

Ian Christie Keeping Cinema in Britain a part of European Cinema

While he remains engaged in different periods and aspects of British cinema, Ian Christie’s presentation will focus on the current struggle to keep cinema in Britain – both production and exhibition – a part of European cinema. He was a founding board member of the Europa Cinemas network, and its president in 2011-12, and believes passionately that the best way for film in these disunited islands to remain essentially British is to retain its European identity.

Ian Christie is a film historian, teaching at Birkbeck College and, until recently, at Gresham College (online lectures available). He has written and edited books on Powell and Pressburger, on Terry Gilliam, and more recently on the pioneer Robert Paul. (See the blog: and also

Red cinema chair.
British Cinema and a Divided Nation cover.

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