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New Perspectives on Cult Film (Advert Ref: RDF18/ART/SEXTON)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Sexton
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The term ‘cult film’ has been applied to certain films at least as far back as the 1970s, largely in relation to films which gained long runs on the American midnight movie circuit. Today, the term is used more frequently to apply to a broad range of films by different constituencies, including invested fans, filmmakers, critics and marketing departments. The extension of this term is arguably due to a number of factors, including the changing technological infrastructure that underpins the production, distribution and consumption of films, as well as the increasing use of the term ‘cult film’ in territories beyond the United States. Academic work investigating the changing nature of cult films has accordingly grown in the recent past, though there still remains much scope for new research in this increasingly important area of film culture. Proposals on an area of cult film that build on recent developments and outline new approaches and/or more detailed analyses of established subjects are welcome. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
• National or regional cult filmmaking
• Transnational issues in cult research (such as transnational cult fandom)
• New technologies and their impact on cult film
• Cult film and its relations to other media
• Politics and cult film
• Smart cinema and its relations to cult
• Cult film and subcultures
• Sound and music in cult film
• Retro and cult film

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF18/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 28 January 2018

Start Date: 1 October 2018

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers

Funding Notes

The studentship includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2017/18, this is £14,553 pa) and fees


• Cultographies: Stranger than Paradise (Columbia University Press, 2018)
• The Allure of Otherness: Transnational Cult Film Fandom and the Exoticist Assumption’, Transnational Cinemas (Vol. 8, Issue. 1, 2017), pp. 5-19.
• ‘Creeping Decay: Cult Soundtracks, Residual Media and Digital Technologies’, New Review of Film and Television Studies (Vol. 13, Issue 1, 2015), pp. 12-30.

Related Subjects

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