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Dr Mark Shiel

Dr Mark Shiel

Reader in Film Studies

Head of Department


Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2024
Address Film Studies Department
King's College London
454 Norfolk Building
Strand Campus
London WC2R 2LS 


I first came to King’s as a Lecturer in Film Studies in 2004. 

I was previously Lecturer in Film Studies in the Department of History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester (2001-04); Lecturer in Film Studies, School of Cultural Studies, Sheffield Hallam University (2000-01); and Faculty of Arts Fellow, Centre for Film Studies, University College Dublin (1997-2000).

I have been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University, in 2006-07, and a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow in 2003-04, when I spent the year as a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media, at the University of California, Los Angeles.

I completed my PhD in Film Studies at Birkbeck College/British Film Institute, University of London in 1999 and my BA in English Literature and Drama Studies at Trinity College Dublin in 1994.

My personal website is:

Research Interests and PhD supervision

My research is concentrated in the following areas:

  • history and geography of film and visual culture in the United States
  • cinema and the city
  • film, media, architecture, and urban planning
  • Italian neorealism
  • cinema and radical politics (especially circa 1968)
  • critical theory

My second monograph, The Real Los Angeles: Hollywood, Cinema, and the City of Angels, was published by Reaktion Books and University of Chicago Press in 2012. This was a new ‘spatial history’ of cinema made in and about Los Angeles from the 1900s to the end of the 1950s. I am currently working on a new monograph, which will focus on Los Angeles cinema and television of the 1960s and ‘70s. The working title is Rapid Zoom: Los Angeles Film in the Freeway Age. My third edited book, Architectures of Revolt: The Cinematic City circa 1968, was published by Temple University Press in July 2018. My research has been funded by the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University.

I welcome applications for PhD topics related to any of my research interests.

For more details, please see my full research profile.

Selected Publications
  • "Los Angeles and Hollywood in Film and French Theory: Agnès Varda’s Lions Love (1969) and Edgar Morin’s California Journal (1970)”, in François Penz (ed.), Cinematic Geographies, Palgrave Macmillan, Screening Spaces series, 2017, pp. 245-68

  • “Classical Hollywood, 1928-1946”, in Lucy Fischer (ed.), Behind the Silver Screen: Art Direction and Production Design, Rutgers University Press, 2014, pp. 48-72

  • Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles, London: Reaktion Books, distributed in North America by University of Chicago Press, 2012

  • Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City, London: Wallflower Press/New York: Columbia University Press, 2006

  • Screening the City, Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice (eds), London and New York: Verso, 2003

  • Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context, Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice (eds), Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2001

I regularly teach undergraduate modules on Hollywood Cinema, Italian Neorealism, and Film and Architecture.

I teach a graduate course on Cinema and the City.

Expertise and public engagement

I sometimes publish journalistic articles on film, media, and urban society. See, for example:

"[Do Not] Adjust Your Set! Recalibrating Urban Cinema and Media Studies Under Donald Trump", Mediapolis,no. 1, vol. 2, January 27, 2017

"Sous le paves, la plage!" Mediapolis, no1. vol. 2, February 13, 2017

"Edward Soja",    Mediapolis, no. 4, vol. 2, October 30, 2017

"Let’s build a Dublin that we would like to see on screen", Irish Times, Monday, August 1, 2016

I have also contributed to documentaries on Italian neorealism for the Criterion Collection.

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy


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