Professor  Angelos Koutsourakis

Professor Angelos Koutsourakis


I work as Professor in Film and Cultural Studies at the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures, which is based at the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies. I joined Leeds in Januray 2017 as University Academic Fellow, was promoted to  Associate Professor in August 2020, and got my Chair in March 2024. 

I completed my BA in Theatre Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2004. I then moved to Dublin where I completed an MA in Modern Drama and Performance Studies at University College Dublin in 2006. After that, I changed research direction and I did a PhD with focus on film (and in particular on the Danish auteur Lars von Trier), which I completed at  the University of Sussex in 2012. Between 2011–2012, I worked as a guest scholar (funded by the Danish Agency for International Education) at the University of Copenhagen. 

Between 2012–2016, I held postdoctoral fellowships in Australia at the Universities of New South Wales and Queensland.

I am currently Deputy Director of Research (grant income, until September 2024); I have served as Subject Research Leader and PGR tutor for the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures (2017–2019). 

Research interests

My research is at the interface of film theory, world cinema, modernism, and politics and representation. I have a particular interest in early film theory and the ways that it can help us rethink present debates as well as on the relations between cinema and literary modernism. 

I am the author of Kafkaesque Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2024), Rethinking Brechtian Film Theory and Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018, paperback 2020), and of Politics as Form in Lars von Trier: A Post-Brechtian Reading (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013, paperback in 2015). I have also co-edited two books: 1) (with Thomas Austin) Cinema of Crisis: Film and Contemporary Europe (Edinburgh University Press 2020), which addresses filmmakers' engagements with pressing social and political issues in Europe; 2) and (with Mark Steven) The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), which is a critical assessment of one of the leading figures of European modernist cinema.

I have guest-edited (withStephanie Hemelryk Donald) a dossier of Screen (2023) on the legacy of Laura Marcus in film studies, an issue of Studies in European Cinema (2019) on European Cinema and Post-democracy and an issue of Image & Narrative (2016) on Artaud and Cruelty. 

My work has appeared in leading international journals including, Cinema Journal,  Screen, Modernism/Modernity, Film Criticism, Film-Philosophy, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (formerly Cinema Journal), Cultural Politics, SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, New Review of Film and Television Studies, Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur, Senses of Cinema and many more.    

I am currently working on two book-length projects.

The first one investigates the Kafkaesque in World Cinema. This project is funded by an AHRC research leadership fellowship. The project will lead to a monograph titled Kafkaesque Cinema (forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press in 2024). 

During Nov. 2022- May 2024, I will be on research leave as I have received funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Humboldt Fellowship for experienced researchers, to complete the above-mentioned monograph  that arose from this project. Host institution:  Cinepoetics: Center for Advanced Film Studies, Freie Universität Berlin.  

While it is generally agreed that the moniker Kafkaesque has exceeded Kafka’s literary output, in film studies the term is taken as self-explanatory and remains uncontextualized. For all its familiarity as a widely used term, “Kafkaesque cinema” remains an often-baffling concept that is poorly understood by film scholars.  With this project I intend to fill the scholarly gap addressed above and show that the Kafkaesque is a critical term that offers a powerful lens through which to analyse and understand films concerned with historical conditions of social oppression, alienation and the contradiction of combined and uneven development in modernity and late modernity.

The second project is provisionally titled Third Cinema and the Anthropocene and is the first systematic account of Third Cinema with reference to human-induced climate change. Informed by environmental humanities studies that highlight the racial and colonial dimensions of the Anthropocene, this study will reveal Third Cinema’s anti-extractivist poetics and environmental politics. 

Over the last 6 years, I have delivered over 10 invited lectures in UK, European, US, Australian, and Asian institutions including: University of Bergen, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, The New School: A University in New York City, Freie Universität Berlin, University of Sydney, Monash University Malaysia, Institute of Philosophy and Technology, Athens, Nottingham Trent University, University of Sussex, University of Lancaster, Norwegian Institute of Athens.

I welcome PhD proposals in areas related to any aspect of Film Theory, European Cinema in its historical, and political context, Global Cinema, Cinema and Modernism, Intermediality (Cinema and the other Arts), political cinema. 



  • Kafkaesque Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2024). 
  • Rethinking Brechtian Film Theory and Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018). Paperback,  August 2020.  Reviewed in: The Brecht Yearbook 45 (2020); ARTEACTA (2021) in Czech.
  • Politics as Form in Lars von Trier: A Post-Brechtian Reading (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013). Reissued in paperback in 2015.

Reviewed in: New Review of Film and Television Studies Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries Oct (2014)The Brecht Yearbook 39 (2015); CINEJ Cinema Journal Studies in European Cinema

Edited books

Edited journals

Journal articles

  • ‘Kafkaesque cinema in the context of post-fascism,’ in Modernism/Modernity 30:3 (2023), 449-472. 
  • ‘The legacy of Laura Marcus in film studies Introduction’ (co-written with Stephanie Hemelryk Donald), Screen 64:3 (2023), pp. 325-331. 
  • Cinema and Surveillance Capitalism: Consumer Behaviorism and Labor Alienation in Paranoia 1.0 (2004) and The Circle (2017), in Quarterly Review of Film and Video (2023), 40:6, pp.764-787.
  • ‘Reenactment and Critical History,’ in Screening the Past 46 (2022), 
  • ‘Epic Cinema: Defining our Terms’, in Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 61: 1 (2021) (formerly Cinema Journal, SCMS), pp.51–75.  
  •  ‘A Modest Proposal for Rethinking Cinematic Excess’,in Quarterly Review of Film and Video 38: 8 (2021), pp.700–726
  • ‘The Politics of Humour in Kafkaesque Cinema: a World-Systems Approach’, in Film-Philosophy 24:3 (2020), 259–283. Shortlisted for the 2021 Film-Philosophy Annual Article Award. It was considered by the judges ‘to be among the most outstanding pieces of work from those published in Film-Philosophy in 2020’. 
  • ‘Militant ethics: Daniel Schmid’s film Adaptation of Fassbinder's Garbage, the City, and Death in Cultural Politics 16:3 (2020), 281–302. 
  • ‘Modernist Belatedness in Contemporary Slow Cinema’, in Screen 60:3 (2019), pp.388–409. 
  • ‘Introduction: European Cinema and Post-Democracy’, Studies in European Cinema, 16:3 (2019), 173–180.
  • ‘Film Theory’, The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory 26 (2018), pp.1–18. 
  • 'Visualizing the Anthropocene Dialectically: Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens’ Eco-Crisis Trilogy' in Film-Philosophy 21: 3 (2017): 299–325. Shortlisted for the 2018 Film-Philosophy Article Award. It was considered by the judges ‘to be among the most outstanding pieces of work from the 21 pieces published in Film-Philosophy’.
  • ‘Film Theory’, The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory 25 (2017), pp. 1–18. 
  • 'From Binary to Rich Dialectics: The Revolt of the Fishermen and Mauser’, in Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image 8 (2017), pp.32–50.
  • ‘The Ethics of Negation: the Postdramatic on Screen’, in Substance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism 45:3 (2016), pp.155–173. 
  • ‘Theatricality as Cruelty’, in Image & Narrative 17(5) (2016), pp.54–65.
  • ‘Introduction: Artaud and Cruelty’, in Image & Narrative 17: 5,  special issue “Artaud and Cruelty”, pp.1–5.
  • ‘Film Theory’, in The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory 24 (2016), pp. 87–64.
  • ‘The Dialectics of Cruelty: Rethinking Artaudian Cinema’, in Cinema Journal 55:3 (2016), pp.65–89. 
  • ‘The Crisis of the Individual as a Precept of Political Cinema: Kuhle Wampe (1932) and Monsieur Verdoux (1947)’, in Film Criticism 39:3 (2015), pp.26–47.
  • ‘Utilizing the Ideological Antiquity: Rethinking Brecht and Film Theory’, in Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur 107:2 (2015), pp.242–269.
  • ‘Politics and Open-ended Dialectics in Lars von Trier’s Dogville: a Post-Brechtian Critique’, in New Review of Film and Television Studies 11:3 (2013), pp.334–353.
  • ‘History as transition: Brecht’s Historisierung in Straub/Huillet’s Not Reconciled (1965) and Angelopoulos’ The Hunters (1977)’ in Studies in European Cinema 9 (2-3) (2013 published/ issued 2012), pp.169–179.
  • ‘Specters of Brecht in Dogme 95: Are Brecht and Realism Necessarily Antithetical?’, in The Brecht Yearbook 37 (2012), pp.40–61. 
  • ‘Cinema of the Body: The Politics of Performativity in Lars von Trier’s Dogville and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth’, inCinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image 3 (2012), pp.84–108. Translated into Turkish in 2018,"Beden sinema: Lars Von Trier'nin “Dogville” ve Yorgos Lanthimos'un“Dogtooth”Filmlerinde. Edimsellik Politikasi", in Akademik Sosyal Arastirmalar Dergisi, Yil: 6, Sayi: 78, Eylül 2018, s. 649–663.
  • ‘“You want to Wake up to Free yourself of the Image of Europa. But it is not Possible”. Lars von Trier’s Critique of the European Narrative of Progress in his Europa trilogy’, in Journal of Contemporary European Studies 20:4 (2012), pp.517–535.
  • ‘Great Directors: Shirley Clarke’, in Senses of Cinema 65 (2012)
  • ‘From Post-Brechtian Performance to Post-Brechtian Cinema: Shirley Clarke’s adaptation of The Living Theatre’s Production of The Connection’, in International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 7:2 (2011), pp.141–154.
  • ‘The Persistence of Dialectics or the Desire for History in Lars von Trier’s Europa and Theo Angelopoulos’ The Suspended Step of the Stork, in Kinema: A Journal for Film and Audiovisual Media 33:1 (2010), pp. 93–106.

Book chapters

  • Kafkaesque Politics in Vargtimmen (Hour of the Wolf, 1968) and Skammen (Shame, 1968), in Hamish Ford, Daniel Humphrey (eds), Daniel Humphrey – Companion to Ingmar Bergman. In Press. 9.000 words.
  • ‘Transit (2018) and Postfascism’,  in Claudia Berger, Olivia Landry (eds), Transnational German Film at the End of Neoliberalism: Radical Aesthetics, Radical Politics (New York: Camden House, 2024), 15-31. 
  • ‘Popular Theatricality in Spike Lee’, in Richard Rushton, Andrew Quick (eds), Theatricality and the Arts Film, Theatre, Art (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2024), pp.347–373.
  • ‘Kafkaesque Themes in The Lobster’, in Eddie Falvey (ed), The Cinema of Yorgos Lanthimos: A Cinema of Apathy (New York Bloomsbury, 2022), pp.103–116.
  • “Marx and Cinema”, in Mark Steven (ed), Understanding Marx, Understanding Modernism (New York: Bloomsbury, 2020), pp. 134–145. 
  • “The Resurgence of Modernism and its Critique of Liberalism in the Cinema of Crisis”, in Thomas Austin, Angelos Koutsourakis (eds), Cinema of Crisis: Film and Contemporary Europe (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020). pp. 60–75. 
  • ‘The Cultural Techniques of Gesture in Aki Kaurismäki’s Proletarian Trilogy’, in Thomas Austin (ed) The Films of Aki Kaurismäki: Ludic Engagements (New York: Bloomsbury, 2018), pp.117–136.
  • ‘Cruelty and the real: the female figure in Orchidégartneren (1977), Menthe - la bienheureuse (1979) and Befrielsesbilleder (1982) ’, in Rex Butler and David Denny (eds) Lars von Trier’s Women (New York: Bloomsbury), pp.87–102.
  • ‘Realism is to Think Historically: Overlapping Elements in Lukácsian and Brechtian Theories of Realism’, Ian Aitken (ed) The Major Realist Film Theorists: An Anthology (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), pp.123–138.
  • ‘John Cassavetes: The Ultimate Hero of American Independent Cinema’, in John Berra (ed) Directory of World Cinema: American Independent 3 (Bristol: Intellect, 2016), pp.98–101.
  • ‘“The Gestus of Showing”: Brecht, Tableau and Early Cinema in Angelopoulos’ Political Period’, in Koutsourakis, A., Steven, Mark, (eds) The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), pp.64–79.
  • ‘Introduction: Angelopoulos and the Lingua Franca of Modernism’, in Koutsourakis, A., Steven, Mark, (eds) The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), pp.1–19.
  • ‘Brecht and Film’, in Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland (eds) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory(London & New York: Taylor & Francis, 2014), pp.63–68.
  • ‘Symptomatic Reading’, in Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland (eds) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory(London & New York: Taylor & Francis, 2014), pp.464–469.

Other publications

  • Review essay: Larson Powell, The Films of Konrad Wolf Archive of the Revolution, in Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur  113: 1 (2021), pp.144–146. 
  • "Trauma and Memory: An Artist in Turmoil. On Konrad Wolf's The Naked Man on the Sports Field (1973)", DVD essay DEFA film Library The Naked Man on the Sports Field (1973).
  • “Go Back to the Source”. Postscript to “The Dialectics of Cruelty: Rethinking Artaudian Cinema”.
  • Review Essay: Jussi Parika, A Geology of Media, in New Review of Film and Television Studies 14: 2 (2016), pp. 273–276.
  • ‘Political all the Way: the 62nd Sydney Film Festival’, in Senses of Cinema 76.
  • Review: Ian Aitken (2012), Lukácsian Film Theory and Cinema: A Study of Georg Lukács’ Writing on Film 1913-1971, in Film-Philosophy 19 (2015), pp.19–24.
  • Review Essay: German Cinema—Terror and Trauma: Cultural Memory since 1945. Thomas Elsaesser, in Affirmations of the Modern 2:1 (2014), pp.155–164.
  • ‘Brecht Today: Interview with Alexander Kluge’, in Film-Philosophy, 15:1 (2011), pp.220–228.
  • ‘Interview: Hal Hartley’, in The Moving Arts Film Journal (2010).
  • ‘John Cassavetes: The First Dogme Director?’, in Bright Lights Film Journal 63 (2009).

Research funding

  •  Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for experienced researchers, Host Institution: Freie Universität Berlin. Total Value of Award: £47,000. 
  • The Kafkaesque in World Cinema: AHRC Research Leadership Fellowship 2020–22. Total Value of Award:  £ 222,322, AHRC contribution:  £177,858.
  • Leeds Humanities Research Institute £5,000. Sadler Seminar Series: Cinema’s Past, Present and Future: A Changing Medium in an Uncertain Global Landscape.
  • Named participant of the AHRC networking grant, Theatricality and Interrelations Between Art, Film and Theatre
  • 2015–2018   University of Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (interrupted to join Leeds). Awarded to early career researchers of exceptional research calibre. Amount of funding: 351,166 AUD (including oncosts) for three years.
  • 2012–2015  Postdoctoral Fellowship Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia. This fellowship was funded by a bequest received by the Centre from the John Anthony Gilbert Estate. Amount of funding: 301,378 AUD (plus oncosts) for three years.
  • 2012–2015  I received four special research grants (SRG) by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW on account of good research performance. Total amount: 14,700 AUD. 
  • 2010–2011  Danish Agency for International Education. Stipendiary 10-month Scholarship, Guest Researcher, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen.  Amount of funding £10,000. 

I have acted as a peer reviewer for the following journals:

  • Canadian Journal of Film Studies
  • New Review of Film and Television Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Film-Philosophy
  • NECSUS_European Journal of Media Studies
  • Deleuze Studies
  • Journal of Contemporary European Studies
  • Studies in Popular Culture (American Culture Association in the South)
  • Studies in European Cinema
  • Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance
  • Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image
  • Feminist Media Studies
  • Quarterly Review of Film and Video
  • Journal of Greek Media & Culture.

I have also acted as a reviewer for book proposals submitted to:

  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Bloomsbury Academic Publishers
  • Palgrave Macmillan
  • Wallflower/Columbia University Press
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, University of Sussex
  • MA, University College Dublin
  • BA, University of Athens

Professional memberships

  • NECS
  • Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • Modernist Studies Association
  • International Brecht Society
  • The Association of Adaptation Studies

Student education

Professional teaching qualifications

  • Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy  

Completed PhDs and MAR Students:

  • PhD, 2017-2022. Co-supervisor (50%) with Professor Paul Cooke. Student: Laurence Carr. Thesis title: “Sounding out silent film: Weimar cinema and implied sound.” White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities funding. 
  • MAR: 2023. Student: Lauren Molyneux. Thesis title: “Translating the Twist: How complex narratives are affected by the process of text-to-film adaptation”. Masters by Research. Funded/Leeds Masters Scholarship.
  • PhD. 2015-2018 Co-supervisor (40%) with Professor Joanne Thompkins (UQ). Student: Prateek (sic - no surname). Fully funded: Australian research training programme scholarship. Thesis title: Brecht in India: the poetics and politics of transcultural theatre. Published by Routledge in 2021. 
  • MAR 2017. 50% Co-supervisor with Professor Paul Cooke. Student: Laurence Carr. Thesis title: A sensory reading of silent cinema: F.W. Murnau and silent sound. White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities funding. 

Current PhD students 

  • (50% with Paul Cooke) Benjamin Brown. Thesis Title: “Constructions of the ‘night city’, including the night-time economy, through studies of moving images of London from the 1980s to today”.  Funded Studentship Award for Excellence, University of Leeds. 
  • Co-supervisor (30%) with Professor Andy Stafford. Student: Chuxi Yan. Thesis title: Structuralism and a new Meta-poetics.


  • Critical Approaches to Screen Studies
  • Independent Project (MA)
  • I also contribute to Current Inquiries into Film Studies and Film Arts and Industries. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures
  • Cinema and Television
  • Digital cultures
  • Digital Cultures

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>