Dr Alison Peirse


I am the author or editor of four books/collections on horror film: Women Make Horror: Filmmakers, Feminism, Genre (Rutgers University Press, due 2020), After Dracula: The 1930s Horror Film (IB Tauris, 2013), Korean Horror Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2013) and special issue of Asian Cinema (2011) on cult and horror film in East Asia. I have also published nineteen journal articles and book chapters on genre film and television. I am now writing the monograph Rewriting Horror Cinema for Edinburgh University Press. I have given papers at over thirty international conferences in Toronto, Chicago and London and have presented research at many Russell Group university research seminars including UEA, Glasgow and Newcastle. 

My internationally recognised research expertise on horror is also acknowledged beyond academia, through my appearances as a horror expert on television, radio and podcasts, including BBC Radio4 Women’s Hour, RTV4, The Conversation and The Horror Lab. I also collaborate with international genre film festivals, including /slash Filmfestival (Austria), Kurja Polt (Slovenia), Offscreen (Brussels) and Leeds International Film Festival (UK). I have served on the jury for the Méliès d'argent, awarded by European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, and in 2020 I am on the finalist jury panel for Etheria Film Night in Los Angeles, the world's most respected competition showcase of new sci-fi, fantasy, action, thriller and horror films directed by women.

I also offer innovation through my creative practice work in horror. In the past few years I have worked as a script editor, scriptwriter and fiction writer, with short/longlistings, invitations to train or collaborate with organisations including Penguin Random House, BBC WritersRoom, the Royal Court Theatre and Channel 4. I was Script Editor on British feature film Dark Beacon (2017), I am co-screenwriter of feature film Kobudai, in pre-production with Green13 films, and I am currently developing my stage play Euphoria as a film for director Donna McRae (nominated for Best Direction in a Feature Film by the Australian Director’s Guild, 2019). I am a founding member of the BAFTSS Practice Research SIG and a sought-after external examiner for practice based PhDs and related undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

I am a member of the Northern Television Research Group and the North by North-West Television Studies Group. I am on a number of international Editorial Advisory Boards, including Palgrave Gothic (Palgrave), Cultographies (Columbia UP), Horror Studies (Intellect), Journal of Popular Television (Intellect) and Intensities: Journal of Cult Media (Brunel). I review proposals and manuscripts for publishers including Routledge (New York), Focal Press (New York), Edinburgh UP, Palgrave, I.B. Tauris and Bloomsbury. I review articles for journals including Screen (Oxford UP), Adaptation (Oxford UP), Film Criticism (University of Michigan), Visual Culture in Britain (Routledge), Feminist Media Studies (Routledge), Journal of British Cinema and Television (Edinburgh), Canadian Journal of Film Studies (Film Studies Association of Canada), Critical Studies in Television (Manchester UP), Continuum (Cultural Studies Association of Australia), Gothic Studies (Manchester UP), Palgrave Communications (Palgrave), and Science Fiction Film and Television (Liverpool UP) among others.

My AHRC funded PhD, awarded in 2007, was supervised by Professor Annette Kuhn at the University of Lancaster. Prior to Leeds, I was Lecturer in Writing for the Screen and Stage at the University of York. 


  • Programme Head, BA Film, Photography and Media

Research interests

My academic research is in horror film and television, with a particular interest in exploring story development and creative process within media industries. I am also interested in research relating to ethnographic methodologies, oral histories and practice as research methods.

<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 in Cultural Research, University of Lancaster
  • PG Cert in Academic Practice and Learning, University of Northumbria
  • MA in Visual Culture (Distinction), University of Lancaster
  • BA (Hons) Media and Popular Culture (First Class), Leeds Metropolitan University

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, including Horror SIG
  • Member the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies, including Practice Research SIG
  • Member of the Screenwriting Research Network
  • Member of MECCSA, including Women's Network and Practice Network
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

I teach modules in screenwriting and script development.

Research groups and institutes

  • Creative Writing at Leeds
<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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>