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Darren Waldron


  • Snr Lect in French & Euro Screen Studies, Drama

Personal profile



I am a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies in Drama. I am fortunate to teach a range of undergraduate courses, including 'An Introduction to World Cinema', 'Screen Culture and Society', 'Black on Screen', 'French Cinema to 1980' and 'Queer Bodies and the Cinema'. Teaching has always been one of my passions and, a very long time ago now, I was awarded a 'Distinguished Achievement Medal' for 'Teacher of the Year' (2005/6).

My research focuses on representations of sexuality, gender, race and ethnicity, audience reception, film stardom and film authorship, and I am currently developing a project on narcissism, masculinity and the cinema.

I have supervised PhDs in narrative identities in French cinema and literature, the figure of the flâneuse in French film, approaching 'the obscene' in French cinema, the French-Maghrebi body in contemporary cinema, and ethnicity and identity in Francophone West African Cinema. I am currently supervising PhDs on contemporary Chinese cinema and representations of terrorism in French film. All these projects have engaged with debates in contemporary ethics, existentialism, phenomenology, feminism, queer theory, sensory cinema and representations of race and ethnicity, and I will be happy to supervise PhDs on these and other related areas. 





I returned to academia after five years working in the finance and charity sectors in London in the early 1990s. I have always been passionate about foreign languages, especially French and Spanish, and have always loved cinema, and was able to pursue these interests in my undergraduate and postgraduate studies. I was awarded my PhD on French cinema and its audience reception in 2003. I started working as a Lecturer in French at the University of Manchester in September 2002.  



Research interests

My research interests can be divided into a number of areas:

1. Representations of sexuality and gender in French and Spanish cinema, and audience reception. I published my PhD in book form, entitled Queering Contemporary French Popular Cinema: Images and their Reception in 2009. I developed my research in these areas in my co-authored book with Chris Perriam: French and Spanish Queer Cinema: Audiences, Communities and Cultural Exchange (2016). I have also written articles on the ‘queer pleasures’ of 8 femmes (François Ozon 2002), gender non-conformity in Tomboy (Céline Sciamma, 2011) and representations of transsexuality in La piel que habito (Pedro Almodóvar, 2011). 

2. French film directors and their audiences. In 2014 I published my monograph on Jacques Demy as part of the French Film Directors series at Manchester University Press and I have also written on François Ozon and Pedro Almodóvar. I am currently researching the French-Canadian director Xavier Dolan.

3. Stardom in French film. I have co-edited two volumes on French stars with Nick Rees-Roberts (Université de Paris III: the most recent is Isabelle Huppert: Stardom, Performance, Authorship (2021) in which I wrote a chapter on the importance of the face for Huppert’s star image as well as co-authoring the Introduction. Our previous book was titled Alain Delon: Style, Stardom and Masculinity (2015) and I wrote a chapter on masculinity and narcissism, as well as co-authoring the Introduction. 

4. Popular French cinema. My co-edited volume with Isabelle Vanderschelden (Manchester Metropolitan University), entitled France at the Flicks: Trends in Contemporary French Popular Cinema (2006), probes evolutions in mainstream French filmmaking over a decade until 2007, as well as the increasing importance of blockbusters for French audiences.

5. Representations of ethnicity in French cinema. I have published articles on depictions of gender, sexuality and ethnicity in films from and set in France and Algeria including La Fille de Keltoum (Mehdi Charef, 2001), Chouchou (Merzak Alloucahe 2003, Salut Cousin (Merzak Allouache 1996), Change-moi ma vie (Liria Bégéja 2001) and Un fils (Amal Bedjaoui 2003). 

6. Narcissism & masculinity in film. I am currently working on the depiction of narcissism in Pedro Almodóvar’s La ley del deseo (1986) and am planning a wider book study on this area as my next project. 



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Creative Manchester


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