Dr Alison Peirse


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).

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 Girls,The Horror LabSpinsters of Horror, Making It: Women in Film and The Conversation. I also collaborate with international genre film festivals, including /slash Filmfestival (Austria), Kurja Polt (Slovenia), 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 am a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, the oldest international organisation for writers in the genre. 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. My short story ‘Atmosphere’ was published in Graveyard Smash: Women in Horror anthology in 2020. My plays have been longlisted for the prestigious biannual Bruntwood Prize and BBC WritersRoom Drama Script Window. I script edited the British feature film Dark Beacon (2017), and I co-wrote the feature film Kobudai, in pre-production with Green13 films. I am developing my stage play Euphoria as a feature film for director Donna McRae (nominated for Best Direction in a Feature Film by the Australian Director’s Guild, 2019).

I am on a number of international Editorial Advisory Boards, including Palgrave Gothic (Palgrave), Cultographies (Columbia UP), Unmade Film and Television (Intellect), 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), Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies (University of Nebraska Press), 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), Alphaville (University College Cork), Palgrave Communications (Palgrave), and Science Fiction Film and Television (Liverpool UP) among others. I am an experienced international external examiner of both research degrees and taught degree programmes, having examined for Deakin University (Australia), UEA, Manchester 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, ethnographic methodologies, feminist 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

  • 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>