Dr Elizabeth I Watkins, Research Fellow in History of Art and Film


My research interests include film theories of sexuality and gesture; theories and philosophies of colour and perception; historiography and the fantastic in narratives of early 1900s scientific expedition films, photography and their exhibition. My book, Film Theories and Philosphies of Color, analyses colour design, its converse effects and counterpoints in the gendered and classed social structures of narrative cinema.

I founded and co- convene the Special Interest Group on Colour and Film with Professor Sarah Street (University of Bristol) for the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS). I am a member of the Executive Committee of BAFTSS and the Editorial Board of Open Screens.

My publications include edited collections - Gesture and Film: Signalling New Critical Perspectives (Routledge 2017), Color and the Moving Imge, History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (Routledge, 2013) and British Colour Cinema, Practices and Theories (BFI/ Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)- journal articles in Screen, Journal for Cultural Research, Paragraph, NECSUS - European Journal of Media Studies and Parallax and chapters of the Roultedge Encyclopedia of Film Theory  (2013) and the Oxford Handbook of archaeology of the Contemporary World (2013). I have published on the films of Nicolas Roeg, Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsay and Jane Campion. I have published on Technicolor design in melodrama, Eastmancolor, and essays on the making, conservation and exhibition of the photographic and film records of 1900s Polar expeditions.

I was British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Leeds and I have worked with Professor Sarah Street on a project on colour films in Britain 1900-1955, which was funded by the AHRC at the University of Bristol. This research led to a British Academy-funded project on early 1900s polar expeditions contemporary to the emergence of cinema and early colour processes for stills photography. The project examines the use of photography and film on early 1900s scientific expeditions, the study of colour and the commercial exploitation of nonfiction expedition films. Publications from this project include an essay on Liminal Perceptions: Intermediality and the Exhibition of Non-fiction Film (Amsterdam University Press, 2018) and on 'Mapping the Antarctic: Colour, Photography and the Early 1900s Scientific Expedition' in Progress in Colour Studies (2018).

Selected Publications Books:

Liz Watkins, Film Theories and Philosophies of Color: the Residual Image (New York: Routledge)

Gesture and Film: Signalling New Critical Perspectives, eds.Nicholas Chare and Liz Watkins (London: Routledge 2017) (ISBN: 978-1-138-90019-6).

Screen Signs: Cultures of Gesture in Cinema- special issue edited byNicholas Chare and Liz Watkins - Journal for Cultural Research(2015) vol.19, no.1.

Screening Embodiment - special issue edited by Chare and Watkins - Paragraph (2015) vol.38, no.1.

Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive, eds. Brown, Street, Watkins (New York: Routledge 2013)

British Colour Cinema: Practices and Theories, eds. Brown, Street, Watkins (London: BFI/ Palgrave Macmillan 2013)

Journal Articles:

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.

Book Chapters 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', eds. Carole Biggam, Lindsay Macdonald, Galina Paramei, Progress in Colour Studies (Amsterdam: John Benjamins 2018) pp.439-459.

Liz Watkins, 'Tacita Dean, Uncertain Archives in At the Borders of (Film)History: Temporality, Archaeology, Theories, ed. Alberto Beltrane, Giuseppe Fidotta, Andrea Mariani (University of Udine Press: Forum, 2015) Liz Watkins.

Cinematic Excess, eds. Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland,Film Theory Encyclopedia (Routledge, 2013) pp.178-181.

Liz Watkins. The Materiality of Film, eds. Paul Graves-Brown, Rodney Harrison and Angela Piccini,The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World (Oxford University Press 2014) pp.574-590.

Liz Watkins. Herbert G. Pontings Materials and Texts, eds. Simon Brown, Sarah Street and Liz Watkins,Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (New York: Routledge 2013) pp. 322-335.

Liz Watkins and Nicholas Chare, The Matter of Film: Decasia and Lyrical Nitrate, eds.Barbara Bolt and Estelle Morris,Carnal Knowledge: Towards a New Materialism Through the Arts, (London: I.B. Tauris 2012) pp.75- 88.

Liz Watkins The (dis)articulation of Colour: Cinematography, Femininity and Desire in Jane Campions In the Cut, ed. Wendy Everett, Questions of Colour in Cinema: From Paintbrush to Pixel, (Bern: Peter Lang, 2007) pp.197-216.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, University of Leeds
  • MA, University of Leeds
  • BA Hons, University of Bradford
  • PGCLTHE, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies
  • Society of Cinema and Media Studies
  • Colour Group, GB.