Biography

Melanie Williams specializes in the study of British cinema with a particular emphasis on issues of gender, a specialism which began with her PhD at the University of Hull on representations of women in the 1950s films of director J. Lee Thompson, awarded in 2003. She then worked at the University of Hull for several years and played a key role in setting up their Film Studies degree programmes before moving to UEA’s School of Film and Television Studies in 2009. Having held the position of School Director of Postgraduate Research from 2009 to 2012, she is currently Head of the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies within the School of Art, Media and American Studies. 
 
Recent key publications include the edited collections British Women's Cinema (Routledge, 2009), Ealing Revisited (BFI Palgrave, 2012), Mamma Mia! The Movie: Perspectives on a Film Phenomenon (I.B. Tauris, 2013) and Shane Meadows: Critical Essays (Edinburgh University Press, 2013) and articles on the feminised professional status of continuity supervision and audience responses to the film Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957), both published in 2013 in the Journal of British Cinema and Television. Her monograph on director David Lean was published with Manchester University Press in 2014. She is also co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project 'Transformation and Tradition in British Cinema of the 1960s: Industry, Creativity, and National Branding’.
 
Modules for which she taken responsibility include ‘Analysing Film and Television’, ‘Studies in Film History’, ‘Film Theory’ and ‘Film and Authorship’ as well as ‘Chick Flicks: Women and Hollywood Storytelling’, ‘British Cinema and the Past’ and ‘Gender and British Cinema’. She also supervises several PhDs.

Career History

B.A. English Literature; University of Hull (1996)

Ph.D. Film Studies; University of Hull (2003)

All Publications

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Williams, M.

(2016)

The girl you don’t see: Julie Harris and the costume designer in British cinema

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Williams, M. (ed.), Spicer, A. (ed.)

(2015)

Stars and Stardom

Full Text

(Special issue)


Williams, M., Gender, Race and Identity

(2015)

The Best Exotic Graceful Ager: Dame Judi Dench and Older Female Celebrity

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Williams, M.

(2014)

David Lean

UEA Repository

(Book)


Williams, M.

(2014)

Robert Bolt

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Fradley, M. (ed.), Godfrey, S. (ed.), Williams, M. (ed.)

(2013)

Shane Meadows: Critical Essays

UEA Repository

(Book)


Fradley, M., Godfrey, S., Williams, M.

(2013)

Shane’s World: Introduction

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Williams, M.

(2013)

Remembering ‘the poor soul walking in the rain’: Audience Responses to a Thwarted Makeover in Woman in a Dressing Gown

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Williams, M.

(2013)

The Continuity Girl: Ice in the Middle of Fire

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Fradley, M., Godfrey, S., Williams, M.

(2013)

Shane Meadows: Introduction

UEA Repository

(Article)


Fitzgerald, L. (ed.), Williams, M. (ed.)

(2012)

Mamma Mia! The Move: Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon

UEA Repository

(Book)


Williams, M.

(2012)

Mamma Mia!'s female authorship

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Williams, M., Fitzgerald, L.

(2012)

Facing our Waterloo: evaluating Mamma Mia! The Movie

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Williams, M.

(2012)

'Women in the British film industry', 'The Seventh Veil', 'Bhaji on the Beach' and 'Fish Tank'

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Williams, M.

(2012)

A feminine touch? Women and Ealing

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Williams, M., Duguid, M., Freeman, L., Johnston, K. M.

(2012)

Revisiting Ealing: Introduction

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Williams, M.

(2012)

Dawn of the Kitchen Sink

UEA Repository

(Article)


Duguid, M. (ed.), Freeman, L. (ed.), Johnston, K. M. (ed.), Williams, M. (ed.)

(2012)

Ealing Revisited

UEA Repository

(Book)


Williams, M.

(2011)

Entering the paradise of anomalies: studying female character acting in British cinema

UEA Repository

(Article)


Williams, M., Wright, E.

(2011)

Betty Grable: an American icon in Britain, 1939-1945

UEA Repository

(Article)


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Key Research Interests

Main research interests include: British cinema (especially in terms of authorship and representations of gender); stardom; film aesthetics and mise-en-scene analysis; postwar British popular culture.

In addition to several books, she has published articles on various aspects of British cinema in: Cinema Journal; Screen; Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television; Feminist Media Studies; Journal of British Cinema and Television (and is now also a member of the journal’s editorial team); Film Quarterly; Sight and Sound; Quarterly Review of Film and Video; and Journal of Gender Studies.

Research supervision

Interested in supervising research students in all areas of British cinema or gender and film.

 

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • Member of steering committee of Women’s Film and Television History Network UK/Ireland with special responsibility for organising their 2014 conference.
  • Member of educational advisory board for Film Nation UK, organisation now leading film education for children aged 5 upwards.
  • External examiner for Sheffield Hallam University’s Film Studies programmes, September 2009 to September 2012. External assessor for validation of new degree programme at De Montfort University, March 2012.
  • Regular broadcaster for BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. Have also been interviewed for BBC regional radio, and appeared on programmes about British cinema for BBC2 and BBC4. Supplied interviews for the DVD releases of the films Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957) and Accident (1967). Run blog with Eylem Atakav on women filmmakers, Auteuse Theory (http://auteusetheory.blogspot.co.uk/ ). Have introduced film screenings at several cinemas and given lectures on film for groups including local school and college students, the London Feminist Network to the Women’s Institute.
  • Winner of Cue East award for Media and Public Engagement 2013.