Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

British cinema; women and cinema; film history


Melanie Williams is a film historian specialising in the study of British cinema with a particular emphasis on issues of gender. Her key publications in this area include the monographs Prisoners of Gender (2009), David Lean (2014), Female Stars of British Cinema: The Women in Question (2017), and A Taste of Honey (2023), and co-edited books British Women’s Cinema (2009), Ealing Revisited (2012) and Shane Meadows (2013). She has published in top journals in the field that include Screen, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Film Quarterly, Sight and Sound, Feminist Media Studies, Journal of Gender Studies, Feminist Media Histories, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and Journal of British Cinema and Television.

She was co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project 'Transformation and Tradition in British Cinema of the 1960s', resulting in the co-authored book Transformation and Tradition in 1960s British Cinema (2019) and edited collection Sixties British Cinema Reconsidered (2020).

She is Principal Editor of the Journal of British Cinema and Television as well as a frequent contributor to the media, to film-related events at venues including BFI Southbank, and to film-related documentaries for Bluray and DVD releases (short excerpt here).

She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Her specialism in British cinema began with her PhD at the University of Hull on representations of women in the 1950s, awarded in 2003. She worked at the University of Hull for several years and played a key role in setting up their Film Studies degree programmes before moving to UEA’s School of Film and Television Studies in 2009. Since then, she has held the position of School Director of Postgraduate Research from 2009 to 2012, Head of the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies 2014-2016, Athena Swan Gender Equality Lead 2016-2019, and from 2019-2023 was Research Director for UEA's Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities.

She holds a Senior HEA Fellowship.

Key Research Interests

British cinema (especially in terms of gender)

authorship and creative labour in cinema

film stardom

film aesthetics and mise-en-scene analysis

postwar British popular culture

Teaching Interests

  • Since 2011, have convened: foundation year module ‘Introduction to Visual Cultures’, 1st year core modules ‘Film History’, ‘Analysing Film and Television’, ‘Studies in Film History’, 'Wolrd Cinemas' and 2nd year core module ‘Film Theory’, and 2nd and 3rd year options ‘British Cinema and the Past’, ‘Film and Authorship’, ‘Gender and British Cinema’, ‘Hollywood Studio System’ as well as UG dissertations and MA module ‘Film Studies: History, Theory, Criticism’.
  • Led on creation of new joint degree History and Film, first intake 2013.
  • Senior Fellowship, Advance HE

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Hull

Award Date: 31 Jul 2003


  • British Cinema & Television
  • Film Studies
  • Feminist Media Studies

Media Expertise

  • Media studies

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or