The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Professor Peter Stanfield
Professor of Film
- 01227 82(7422)
Peter Stanfield’s teaches Hollywood film production and publishes widely on post-War American genre films.
I have been at Kent since spring term, 2004, having previously taught at institutes in Southampton and Bournemouth. My first degree was in American Studies at Middlesex Polytechnic and my MA was in Film Studies at UEA, when Don Ranvaud, Charles Barr, and Thomas Elsaesser ran the programme. Richard Maltby and Ed Buscombe supervised my PhD on 1930s Westerns.
I have had a number of administrative roles at subject and school level, including Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Film Studies and School Director of Research.
I am co-director of the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image, where I work with colleagues to support film related interdisciplinary research activities within and across the University’s faculties.
My primary area of interest is the cultural history of American film, with a focus on the synergy between cinema and other forms of popular culture, particularly music.
You can keep up-to-date with my irregular thoughts on film culture on my blogback to top
Maximum Movies – Pulp Fiction: Film Culture and the Worlds of Mickey Spillane, Samuel Fuller, and Jim Thompson (Rutgers University Press, 2011)
Body & Soul: Jazz and Blues in American Film, 1927-63 (University of Illinois Press, 2005).
Horse Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy (University of Illinois Press, 2002)
Hollywood, Westerns and the 1930s: The Lost Trail (University of Exeter Press, 2001)
Mob Culture: Hidden Histories of the American Gangster Film (Rutgers University Press, 2005). Co-editor with Lee Grieveson & Esther Sonnet.
“Un-American” Hollywood: Politics & Film in the Blacklist Era (Rutgers University Press, 2007), co-edited with Frank Krutnik, Steve Neale, and Brian Neve.
‘Crossover: Sam Katzman’s Switchblade Calypso Bop Reefer Madness Swamp Girl or ‘Bad Jazz,’ Calypso, Beatniks, Hot Rods, and Rock ’n’ Roll in 1950s Teenpix’ Popular Music Vol. 29 # 3 (Autumn 2010), 437-456.
Screen Vol. 49, #2 (Summer, 2008), pp.179-93.
‘Notes Toward a History of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, ‘69-77’ Film International, Vol. VI #4 (Summer, 2008), pp. 62-71.
“From the Barroom: American Song, Saloon Culture, Stack O’Lee and Wild Bill, or ‘Did you touch my hat?’” Kathryn Kalinak (ed.), Music in the Western (New York: Routledge, 2011)
“Punks! Topicality and the 1950s Gangster Bio-Pic Cycle” Kingsley Bolton & Jan Olsson (eds.), Media, Popular Culture and the American Century (Stockholm: National Library of Sweden, 2010), 185-215.
“‘Got-to-See’: Trends in Social Problem Pictures and the Postwar Cycles of Juvenile Delinquency Movies” Roy Grundmann, Cynthia Lucia, & Art Simon (eds.), Blackwell's History of American Film Volume III (New York: Blackwell, forthcoming 2011)
“Going Underground with Manny Farber & Jonas Mekas” Daniel Biltereyst, Richard Maltby, & Philippe Meers (eds.), New Cinema History: Approaches and Case Studies (Cambridge: Blackwell, forthcoming 2010)
‘A Monarch for the Millions: Jewish Filmmakers, Social Commentary & the Postwar Cycle of Boxing Films’ Frank Krutnik, Steve Neale, Brian Neve, & Peter Stanfield (eds.), “Un-American” Hollywood: Politics & Film in the Blacklist Era (2007)back to top
I have taught a range of modules on our undergraduate and post-graduate programmes. Since 2004 I have convened the core intermediate module Topics in American Cinema II, which has focused on Hollywood film production in the 1970s. Research for my book Maximum Movies - Pulp Fiction informed, and was in turn informed by, teaching on the module Pulp Film: The Avant-Garde and Popular Cinema.
I also convene the optional module New York and the Movies, which examines how the city has been used as a subject, location and as a vital centre of film culture. I recently convened the stage one introductory module, Film Form, and in 2013 I will convene The Hollywood Studio System.back to top
Published in 2011, my latest book is Maximum Movies -Pulp Fictions: Film Culture and the Worlds of Samuel Fuller, Mickey Spillane, and Jim Thompson, which examines the post-war American action movie through the pop art film criticism of Lawrence Alloway, Manny Farber’s underground film culture, the film adaptations of Mickey Spillane, the critical lionization of Samuel Fuller, and the concept of neo-noir and Jim Thompson adaptations. I am the author of two studies of the Western -- Horse Opera: The Strange History of the 1930s Singing Cowboy (2002), Hollywood, Westerns and the 1930s: The Lost Trail (2001) -- and a singular study of America’s gutter songs and the movies, Body & Soul: Jazz & Blues in American Film (2004). I am also joint-editor of Mob Culture: Hidden Histories of the American Gangster Film (2005), and “Un-American” Hollywood: Politics & Film in the Blacklist Era (2007).
My current research is on the theory of topicality and serial film production; published essays on this topic include boxing movies, rock n roll films, the teenpix and the social problem picture, and retro-gangster films. I’m presently working on studies of the late 1950s hot rod movie, the Korean war film, and Westerns and tourism.back to top
I am interested in supervising research into any aspect of popular film, but particularly those that engage with the topic from an interdisciplinary or intermedial perspective. Research proposals that consider film production in terms of fads, cycles, and trends will be positively received.back to top