My work spans the fields of media history and cultural geography, examining the relationship between moving image media (cinema, television, the internet), cities, landscape, and environment. I research, write, and teach on issues of representation and meaning, and on media and creative industries in relation to space and place.
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, in the 1990s I completed my BA in English Literature and Drama Studies at Trinity College Dublin and my PhD in Film Studies at Birkbeck College/British Film Institute, University of London. Subsequently, I was Faculty of Arts Fellow in Film Studies at University College Dublin, Lecturer in Film Studies at Sheffield Hallam University, and Lecturer in Film Studies in the Department of History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester. I first came to King’s as a Lecturer in Film Studies in 2004. I was Head of the Department of Film Studies from 2018 to 2022.
I have been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow, and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Film, Television, and Digtal Media at the University of California, Los Angeles.
My personal website is: www.markshiel.com
Research Interests and PhD supervision
My research encompasses the following areas:
- History and geography of film and visual media in the United States and Europe
- Cinema and the city
- Film, media, architecture, and urban planning
- Representations of natural landscape and the built environment
- Media and sustainability
- Theories, methodologies, and public policy of media, space, and place
I have published two monographs and three edited books, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters, on the interaction of media, urbanization, architecture, and landscape. My second monograph, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles (Reaktion Books/University of Chicago Press, 2012) was a new ‘spatial history’ of the Hollywood studio system from the 1900s to the 1950s, while my most recent edited collection, Architectures of Revolt: The Cinematic City circa 1968 (Temple University Press, 2018) examined politics and the built environment from New York and Chicago to Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, and Mexico City.
This research was funded by the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University.
I am currently working on two major projects: my third monograph, which interprets Los Angeles cinema and television of the 1960s and ‘70s in relation to suburbanization, globalization, counterculture, and ecology, with the working title Rapid Zoom: Los Angeles Film and Media in the Freeway Age; and a study of the role of media and media industries in the transformation of Dublin in the 21st century. Other ongoing projects include a book chapter on the street photography of Ed Ruscha and a journal article on commentaries on media by the French geographer Henri Lefebvre.
I welcome applications for PhD topics related to any of my research interests.
For more details, please see my full research profile.”
I regularly teach undergraduate modules on Hollywood Cinema and on 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:
"The Ed Ruscha Streets of Los Angeles Project”, Mediapolis,no. 3, vol. 6, July 6, 2021
“Edward Soja”, Mediapolis, vol. 4, no. 2, October 30, 2017
"[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 http://www.mediapolisjournal.com/author/mshiel/
"Let’s build a Dublin that we would like to see on screen", Irish Times, Monday, August 1, 2016 https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/let-s-build-a-dublin-that-we-would-like-to-see-on-screen-1.2741092
I have also contributed to documentaries on Italian neorealism for the Criterion Collection.
Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/689-roberto-rossellini-s-war-trilogy
“Post-industrial society and the Cinematic Landscape of Los Angeles in the Long 1960s”, in Lawrence Webb and Johan Andersson (eds), The City in American Cinema: Film and Postindustrial Culture, Bloomsbury, 2019, pp. 43-82
"Introduction: Cinema, Architecture, and Cities circa 1968” and “‘It’s a Big Garage. Cinematic Images of Los Angeles circa 1968”, in Architectures of Revolt: The Cinematic City circa 1968, Mark Shiel (ed.), Temple University Press, 2018, pp. 1-34 and 164-88
"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