Dr Elizabeth I Watkins
My research focuses on colour, its theories, technologies and the materiality of film; blurred photographs, decayed images and 'failed' photographic experiments; silent film; feminist theory, and the history and ethics of colourisation and the archive.
I am Chair of the British Association of Film Television and Screen Studies [BAFTSS] and coordinator of BAFTSS' research network of Special Interest Groups [SIGs]. I founded and convene the BAFTSS SIG on Colour and Film with Professor Sarah Street and Dr Vicky Jackson (University of Bristol).
I was British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Leeds and Research Associate for a project on colour films in Britain 1900–1955, which was led by Sarah Street at the University of Bristol. My research has been supported by a British Academy Small Research Grant on experiments with coloour and photochemical materials as a trace of labour, chance and inhospitable climates on early 1900s expeditions. My Research as Sackler and then Caird Fellow at the National Maritime Museum Greenwich examined experiments with scientific photography on polar expeditions and its use in public exhibition, and the intersections of amateur and professional photograph practices across Antarctic expeditions 1898–1917.
My research fellowship at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin will explore connections between the work of Eliot Elisofon as a photojournalist for LIFE Magazine and 1950s Technicolor Films.
Research as Sackler and Caird Fellow at the National Maritime Museum Greenwich examined experiments with scientific photography on polar expeditions and its use in public exhibition, and then a social history discerned at the intersections of amateur and professional photograph practices across Antarctic expeditions 1898–1917.
My research fellowship at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin will explore the work of Eliot Elisofon as a photojournalist for LIFE Magazine and as colour advisor for 1950s Technicolor Films .
My publications include journal articles in Screen, Journal for Cultural Research, and Parallax. I have edited collections on British Colour Cinema: (BFI/ Palgrave Macmillan) and Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (Routledge) with Sarah Street and Simon Brown. I edited Gesture and Film (Routledge) with Nicholas Chare. Forthcoming publications include a book on theories of colour in film and the archive (Routledge), a book on 'Andrea Arnold: Unsettling the Cinematic' (Edinburgh University Press) and a special issue journal on colourisation.
- Liz Watkins, Theories and Philosophies of Colour Cinema (Routledge).
- Liz Watkins, Andrea Arnold: Unsettling the Cinematic (Edinburgh University Press).
- Gesture and Film: Signalling New Critical Perspectives, eds. Nicholas Chare and Liz Watkins (London: Routledge, 2017) (ISBN: 978-1-138-90019-6).
- Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive, eds. Brown, Street, Watkins (New York: Routledge, 2013) (ISBN 9780415892643).
- British Colour Cinema: Practices and Theories, eds. Brown, Street, Watkins (London: BFI/ Bloomsbury, 2013) (ISBN: 9781844574131).
Journal articles and book chapters
- Liz Watkins, ‘The Spectacle of Nothing: the image, material and object in a photographic ecosystem of Antarctica’, Photographies (2021) vol.14, no.3. pp.481–503.
- Liz Watkins, ‘The Politics of Nostalgia: Colorization, Spectatorship and the Archive’ , Comparative Cinema, special issue on color, (2021) Vol.IX, No. 17. pp.123–145.
- Liz Watkins, ‘The Strange Art of Scientific Photography: Anomalous Images of Antarctic Exploration’ in The Empiricism of the Gaze. The Assignment of Meanings to Scientific Expedition Photography, eds. Gisela Parak / Elke Bauer (Halle: Mitteldeutscher Verlag, 2021), pp.74–85.
- Liz Watkins, 'Liminal Perceptions: Intermediality and the Exhibition of Early Non-fiction Film', eds. Giovanna Fossati, Victoria Jackson, Bregt Lameris, Elif Rongen Kaynacki, Sarah Street, Joshua Yumibe, The Colour Fantastic, Chromatic World of Silent Cinema (Amsterdam University Press, 2018) pp.51–73.
- Liz Watkins, 'Mapping the Antarctic: Photography, Colour and the Scientific Expedition in Public Exhibition', Progress in Colour Studies, , eds. Carole Biggam, Lindsay Macdonald, Galina Paramei (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2018) pp.439–459.
- Liz Watkins, 'Don't Look Now: Transience and Text', Screen (2016) vol.56, issue.4, pp.436–449.
- Liz Watkins, 'Unsettling Perceptions: Screening Surveillance and the Body in Red Road', Paragraph (2015) vol.38, no.1, pp.101–107.
- Liz Watkins, 'The Disquiet of the Everyday: Gesture and Bad Timing', Journal for Cultural Research (2015) vol.19, no.1, pp.56–68
- Liz Watkins, 'Colour Consciousness and Design in Blanche Fury as Technicolor Melodrama', Journal of British Cinema and Television (2010) 7, 1, pp.53–68.
- Liz Watkins, 'Cinematic Excess', Film Theory Encyclopedia , eds. Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland (Routledge, 2013) pp.178–181.
- Liz Watkins, 'The Materiality of Film', The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World, eds. Paul Graves-Brown, Rodney Harrison and Angela Piccini (Oxford University Press, 2014) pp.574–590.
- Liz Watkins, 'Herbert G. Pontings Materials and Texts', Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive, eds. Simon Brown, Sarah Street and Liz Watkins (New York: Routledge, 2013) pp. 322–335.
- Liz Watkins and Nicholas Chare, 'The Matter of Film: Decasia and Lyrical Nitrate', Carnal Knowledge: Towards a New Materialism Through the Arts, eds. Barbara Bolt and Estelle Morris (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012) pp.75–88.
- Liz Watkins, 'The (dis)articulation of Colour: Cinematography, Femininity and Desire in Jane Campion’s In the Cut' , Questions of Colour in Cinema: From Paintbrush to Pixel, ed. Wendy Everett (Bern: Peter Lang, 2007) pp.197–216.
- ‘Views on Colour: Finding the Filmmakers, Technicians and Archivists’, Sarah Street, Liz Watkins, Carolyn Rickards and Paul Frith, IAMHIST International Association for Media and History. posted: 14 January 2020.
- Liz Watkins 'Threads of Colour and Meaning in the Film Works of Nicolas Roeg and Anthony Richmond' for the AHRC Funded Project (Bristol and UEA)The Eastmancolor Revolution and British CInema, 1955–1985 (guest blog post July 2018).
- PhD, University of Leeds
- MA, University of Leeds
- BA Hons, University of Bradford
- PGCLTHE, University of Leeds
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies
- Society of Cinema and Media Studies
- Colour Group, GB