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Dr Warren Buckland

PhD Film Studies (University of East Anglia, 1993)

Reader in Film Studies

School of Arts

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

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Warren Buckland is Reader in Film Studies in the School of Arts. He studied photography (Derby, 1987) before moving into film studies (Ph.D. Film Studies, University of East Anglia, 1993). He was awarded a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Film Studies in 1994 (the first of its kind in film studies).

Film Theory; Independent American Cinema; Documentary Film; Dissertation Supervision (BA and MA); Research Methods (MA); Digital Humanities.


MA Dissertations on film theory, Hollywood cinema, digital humanities, film style

Supervised PhD theses on on Film Style, Film-Philosophy, Puzzle Films, Hollywood Cinema. 

Warren Buckland's areas of Research: (1) film theory; (2) narratology; (3) contemporary cinema (Hollywood blockbusters; puzzle films; new sincerity). Also concerned with: (4) digital humanities; (5) pedagogical research; (6) independent American cinema.

Research group membership

Film Studies Research Unit

Research grants and awards

Senior Research Fellow in Cinepoetics, Freie Universität Berlin (Autumn semester 2016)

Research projects

Currently editing a series of interviews with Christian Metz (Amsterdam University Press, 2017), and is writing a monograph on Wes Anderson (Bloomsbury, 2018).

Further information

Publications (books)

(ed.) Hollywood Puzzle Films (2014)

(ed.) with Edward Branigan, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory (2014)

Film Theory: Rational Reconstructions (2012);

(ed.) Film Theory & Contemporary Hollywood Movies (2009)

(ed.), Puzzle Films: Complex Storytelling in Contemporary Cinema (2009); 

Directed by Steven Spielberg: Poetics of the Contemporary Hollywood Blockbuster (2006);

Studying Contemporary American Film: A Guide to Movie Analysis (2002) (with Thomas Elsaesser); 

The Cognitive Semiotics of Film (2000);

Film Studies: An Introduction (fifth edition, 2015); formerly Teach Yourself Film Studies;

(ed.) The Film Spectator: From Sign to Mind (1995).


Editor of the journal the New Review of Film and Television Studies (Routledge, 2003-2016) (editorial board member 2017-).

Member of the editorial board of the journal Signata: Annales des sémiotiques.

Member of the editorial boards of the following book series: Thinking Cinema (Continuum International Publishers) and The Hollywood Studio System (Routledge).

Reviewer of manuscripts and book proposals for Amsterdam University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Blackwell, The Open University Press, Wallflower Press, MIT Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Berghahn, Bloomsbury Academic, and Routledge.


Recent conferences:

Keynote: “Revisiting Videogame Logic: Impossible Storyworlds in the Contemporary Hollywood Blockbuster.”
Fast, Slow & Reverse. Faces of Contemporary Film Narration: Around Mainstream Cinema, Gdańsk, 24th–25th May 2017.

“The Impossible Storyworlds of Michel Gondry’s Music Videos.”
Watching Music Colloquium, Paris Philharmonic, December 2-3, 2016.

“Symbolic Meanings in Filmic Discourse: From Syntagm/Paradigm to Embodied Cognition (by way of Metaphor/Metonymy).”
Cinepoetics Workshop, Freie Universität Berlin, June 8-10, 2016.

“‘Practical Ways of Thinking’: Challenging the Film Theory/Film Practice Division.”
Film-Philosophy Conference, University of Oxford, July 20-22, 2015.

“The Dissociation of Body and Voice in The Trial (1963) and Inland Empire (2006).”
Listening Cinematically Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 25-26 June, 2015.

“The Craft of Independent Filmmaking.”
Independent States Conference, Institute for Creative Enterprise, Edge Hill University, 4-5 September 2014.

Keynote: “Source Code’s Videogame Logic.”
Film, Virtuality, and the Body conference at Rome 3 University, 26-28 November 2013.

Keynote: “Cognitive Semiotics Revisited.”
Opening address at the International Congress of the Colombian Association for Semiotic Studies, Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, Bogota, Colombia September 16, 2013.