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Arts & Culture

Global Circulations of Film Theory



The AHRC-funded Global Circulations of Film Theory network comprises a group of international scholars who work on African, Asian, European, Latin American, and Soviet film theory, and who share a common critique of film theory’s western imperialist foundations.

The overarching aim of the network is not only to broaden through widescale collaborative research the understanding of what theory is and can do; it is also to set the agenda for how theory might continue to circulate in the light of our global approach.


Network activities will coalesce around three online network symposia, with the aim of providing a focus for research exchange among network participants. The three symposia will be centred on three core concepts relating to the circulation and translation (in the broadest sense) of film theory:

  • Symposium 1: sites: places where there is intensive exchange around theory, for example, film schools, festivals, cinemas/cinematheques, conferences, archives, universities.
  • Symposium 2: practices: film criticism, filmmaking, translation, publishing, and programming.
  • Symposium 3: circulations: of people, films, texts, technologies, for example, distribution, exhibition, migration, and exile.

In conjunction with these symposia, BFI Southbank, project partner, will host public-facing workshops led by network participants. These workshops will provide important stepping-stones towards curricular innovation. The network will develop teaching resources to reflect the more expansive understanding of the global circulation of theory resulting from its research. These will be shared in the form of teaching toolkits on the project website.

The network will culminate in a major international hybrid conference at King’s College London, 30-31st August 2024, involving network participants and other delegates committed to continuing and developing further conversations about the decolonization of film theory.

Our Partners

Project status: Ongoing

Principal Investigators


Funding Body: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Amount: £32,267.09

Period: January 2023 - October 2024