Dr Alison Peirse


My research engages with creativity and storytelling, with a focus on scriptwriting. I was appointed at Leeds in January 2018. Prior to this I have also lectured at York, Lancaster, Salford, Hull, Northumbria and Leeds Beckett University. My AHRC funded PhD, awarded in 2007, was supervised by Professor Annette Kuhn at the University of Lancaster. 

I also work in a variety of external academic-related roles:

External Examiner:

  • Postgraduate External Examiner, MA Film, Television and Creative Practice, University of East Anglia (2017 – 2021)
  • Postgraduate External Examiner, MA Writing for Screen and Stage, Regents University London (2016 – 2020)
  • Undergraduate External Examiner, BA (Hons) Drama and Screen Studies programme, University of Manchester (2012 – 2016)
  • External Dissertation Supervisor, MA Scriptwriting, University of Salford (2016)
  • External Examiner, Periodic Review of Film, University of Hertfordshire (2015)
  • External Examiner, MPhil Screen Studies, University of Manchester (2012)
  • External Examiner, MLitt English Literature, University of Newcastle (2011)
  • Internal Examiner for PhD Confirmation and Thesis Advisory Panels, University of York (2015 – 2017 )

Recent PhDs I have examined:

  • Nattawat Wongwilatnurak, The Construction of Social Reality Through the Supernatural in Thai Television Drama Programmes and the Perspectives of Thai Audiences, PhD Media and Communication, University of Northumbria, 2018
  • Maxine Gee, Posthuman Noir: Creating Positive Posthumans, PhD by Creative Practice (Screenwriting), University of York, 2017
  • Catherine Lester, The Children’s Horror Film: Beneficial Fear and Subversive Pleasure in an (Im)possible Hollywood Subgenre, PhD Film and Television Studies, University of Warwick, 2017
  • Francesca Middleton, Romanticism with Teeth: Surrealism in British Film, PhD in Film and Television Studies, University of York, 2016
  • Jonathan Carr, The Normalisation of Surveillance Through the Prism of Film: A Practice Based Study, PhD by Creative Practice (Filmmaking), University of York, 2016
  • James Ballands, Terence Davies and the Cinema: Authorship, Collaboration, Intertextuality, PhD Film and Television Studies, University of York, 2015
  • Martin Zeller-Jacques, Seriality and Closure in Contemporary American Television Drama, PhD in Film and Television Studies, University of York, 2012

Other External Appointments:

  • Editorial Advisory BoardPalgrave Gothic (Palgrave), Cultographies (Columbria University Press), Horror Studies (Intellect), Journal of Popular Television (Intellect) and Intensities: Journal of Cult Media (Brunel)
  • Expert Reviewer: proposal and manuscript reviewer for publishers including Routledge, Edinburgh University Press, Palgrave, I.B. Tauris and Bloomsbury; for journals including Journal of British Cinema and Television (Edinburgh UP), Screen (Oxford UP), Adaptation (Oxford UP), Visual Culture in Britain(Routledge), Feminist Media Studies (Routledge), Critical Studies in Television (Manchester UP), Gothic Studies (Manchester UP), Palgrave Communications (Palgrave), Science Fiction Film and Television(Liverpool UP)

Research interests

My work explores storytelling across multiple mediums, including film, television, theatre and audio drama. I am also interested in research relating to creative process, poetics and narratology, and have a growing engagement with ethnographic methodologies, oral histories and practice as research methods.

I have published nineteen journal articles and book chapters. I am the author of After Dracula: The 1930s Horror Film (IB Tauris, 2013), editor of Women Make Horror: Filmmakers, Feminism, Genre (Rutgers University Press, in press due 2020), co-editor of Korean Horror Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2013) and editor of a special issue of Asian Cinema (2011) on cult and horror film in East Asia. I am now writing the monograph Rewriting Horror Cinema for Edinburgh University Press.

As a scriptwriter, I have trained or worked with New Writing North / the Royal Court, BBC WritersRoom, Channel 4’s 4Talent, Bradford’s Theatre in the Mill and High Tide Festival Theatre company. Recently, I was longlisted for the BBC Drama Script Room (2018), undertook scriptwriting workshops with the Royal Court / New Writing North (2018) and was longlisted for the prestigious biannual Bruntwood Prize from Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre (2017). I am currently co-writing a horror feature film due to go into production in 2019. I am also a script consultant, working with individual writers, independent producers, industry funding bodies and production companies. My most recent credit is Script Editor on the independent British horror film Dark Beacon (2017, Corrie Greenop).

<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
  • Member the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies
  • Member of the Screenwriting Research Network
  • Member of Script Yorkshire
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy