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Dr Michele Pierson

Dr Michele Pierson

pierson2Senior Lecturer in Film Studies

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1681
Address Film Studies Department
Room 563N, Norfolk Building
King's College London 
Strand Campus 
London WC2R 2LS 



Michele Pierson received her BA (Hons) and PhD at the University of Melbourne. Before joining the Film Studies Department at King’s College in 2006, she was Lecturer in Film at the University of Queensland. She was a Visiting Professor in the graduate summer program in the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa in 2008.

Research Interests and PhD supervision
  • Experimental cinema/ avant-garde cinema
  • Institutional histories (including film programming)
  • Expanded Cinema/ Film and Performance
  • Cinema and other Arts
  • Women’s/ Feminist Film and Media (especially in the areas of experimental cinema and performance)

Michele Pierson’s first monograph, Special Effects: Still In Search of Wonder (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002) was based on her PhD research. After completing this work she began researching in the area of experimental cinema. With David E. James and Paul Arthur she is co-editor of Optic Antics: The Cinema of Ken Jacobs (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). She is currently working on a second monograph with the working title: The Accessibility of the Avant-Garde: Talk about American Experimental Cinema.

Selected Publications
  • “The Accessibility of the Avant-Garde: Talk about American Experimental Cinema,” Discourse 40, no. 1 (2018): 3-29.
  • “Where Shadow Play is Cinema: The Exhibition and Critical Reception of Ken Jacobs's Shadow Plays in the 1960s and 1970s,” Film History 29, no. 3 (2017): 25-51.
  • “Exhibitionist performance and theatricality in Trick Film and Philosophy in the Bedroom, Part 1 and 2,Screen 55, no. 4 (2014): 507–513.
  • Optic Antics: The Cinema of Ken Jacobs, eds. Michele Pierson, David E. James, Paul Arthur (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Michele Pierson teaches mostly in the area of experimental cinema/ avant-garde film, but is also interested in women’s/ feminist cinema and historical approaches to film studies.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Michele Pierson was co-leader, with Mike Zryd (York University, Toronto), of the Seminar at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival in 2017. Over the last twelve months she has given invited talks at institutions such as the ICA, BFI, University of Cambridge, and the Frankfurt Humanities Research Centre at the Goethe University Frankfurt (June 2018)


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