Dr Alison Peirse


I am an award-winning writer and academic. I have published twenty journal articles and book chapters, and five books / collections on genre film and television. I specialise in horror, and my books include Women Make Horror: Filmmakers, Feminism, Genre (Rutgers University Press, 2020), After Dracula: The 1930s Horror Film (IB Tauris, 2013), Korean Horror Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2013). Women Make Horror is a Finalist for the Bram Stoker 2020 Award for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction, Runner Up for Book of the Year in the Rondo 2020 Awards, and in April 2021, it won the BAFTSS 2020 Best Edited Collection Award.

I contribute my internationally recognised research expertise on horror to television and radio, including BBC Radio4 Women’s Hour and RTV4, and to podcasts including The Final GirlsGood Mourning NancyThe Horror LabSpinsters of Horror, Making It: Women in Film, Film Buds and The Conversation. I also collaborate with international genre film festivals, including /slash Filmfestival (Austria), Kurja Polt (Slovenia), Hamburg Short Film Festival (Germany), Offscreen (Brussels), Final Girls Berlin (Germany) 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 was 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. I work as a fiction writer, scriptwriter and script editor, and I have had competition placements, invitations to train or collaborate with a range of national organisations across theatre, film & television, and book publishing, including Penguin Random House, the Royal Court Theatre and Channel 4. 

I am on a number of international Editorial Advisory Boards, including Palgrave Gothic (Palgrave), Cultographies (Columbia UP), Hidden Horror Histories: Creativity in the Horror Genre (Liverpool UP) and Unmade Film and Television (Intellect). 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), Film Criticism (University of Michigan), Feminist Media Studies (Routledge), Canadian Journal of Film Studies (Film Studies Association of Canada) and Continuum (Cultural Studies Association of Australia).

I am an experienced international external examiner of both research degrees and taught degree programmes, having examined for Deakin University (Australia), Trent University (Canada), UEA, Manchester, York and Warwick, amongst many 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. 

Research interests

My academic research is in genre film and television, with a particular interest in exploring a) women’s creative contributions to genre and b) story development and creative process within media industries. I am also interested in research relating to essay filmmaking 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

  • Affiliate Member, Horror Writers Association
  • Member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, including Horror SIG
  • Member the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies, including founding member of Horror Studies SIG & Practice Research SIG
  • Member of MECCSA, including Women's Network and Practice Network
  • Member of the Screenwriting Research Network
  • Founding Member of the Northern Television Research Group
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

I am on research leave for the academic year 20/21.

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>