Film Studies

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Janet Harbord


Research Lead (Film)

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5910
Room Number: Arts One 119A


My background is in english, philosophy and critical theory and I'm currently working on archaeologies of recent and early cinema. I'm interested in the ways in which film exceedes the paradigm of entertainment as it appears in contexts of work, medicine, art, museology and domestic space (so-called amateur film). I have recently completed a book entitled Ex-centric Cinema: Giorgio Agamben and Film Archaeology (forthcoming April 2016, Bloomsbury). Taking an archaeological approach to the study of cinema through the writings of political philosopher Giorgio Agamben, the book proposes that whilst we have a century-long tradition, the possibility of what cinema may have become but did not is not lost but co-exists in the present as an unexcavated potential. I'm currently researching the material aspects of film (objects, elements, processes and wastage) that are hidden in a seemingly immaterial culture of image and spectacle. I have recently worked with Amitabh Rai on a project exploring the repurposing of film by young socially groups in London and Mumbai, entitled Bazaar Cinema: Re-purposing media and debating cultural rights, funded by the AHRC, and with Chris Berry and Rachel Moore on the Leverhulme funded Spaces of the Screen project, exploring emergent screen culture in urban life. I would welcome enquiries for doctoral projects in these (and related) areas: the philosophy of film and cinematic apparatuses, film ecology and its co-creation of environments, film as a life of objects (technologies and 'things' related to early, amateur, unofficial and unrealised film), film beyond cinema (in museums, galleries and online fora).



Selected outputs:


  • (forthcoming 2016) Ex-centric Cinema: Giorgio Agamben and Film Archaeology (NY and London: Bloomsbury Academic Thinking Cinema Series) 

  • (2009) Chris Marker: La Jetée (London & Cambridge, Massachusetts: Afterall Books & MIT)

  • (2007) The Evolution of Film: Rethinking Film Studies, Cambridge UK & Malden USA: Polity Press

  • (2002) Film Cultures, London, New Delhi and Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications-(Korean translation 2005, e-book 2006)

Co-edited and co-authored Books

  • Berry C, Harbord J, Moore R (eds) (2013) Public Space-Media Space, (Cambridge: Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Dieter Roelstraete, Francesco Manacorda, Janet Harbord (2012) Simon Starling, (NY and London, Phaidon Press)

  • Campbell J and Harbord J (eds) (2002) Temporalities: autobiography and everyday life, (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press)

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • (2015) 'Rose Hobart Stop Return' in Contemporary Theatre Review, The Practices and Processes of Editing edited by Maria Delgado and Joanna Tompkins, Volume 25/1
  • (2014) 'Gesture, time, movement: David Claerbout meets Giorgio Agamben on the Boulevard du Temple' in Henrik Gustafsson and Asbjørn Grønstad (eds) Cinema and Agamben: Ethics, Biopolitics and the Moving Image, (Bloomsbury, Continuum) ISBN 978-1-6235-6436-0

  • (2014) 'Copernicus and I', in Rania Gaafarand Martin Schulz (eds) Technology and Desire: The Transgressive Art of Moving Images, (London: Intellect) ISBN 978-1841504612

  • (2013) 'Film Festivals-Time-Event', anthologised in The Film Festival Reader, ed. Dina Iordanova, (St Andrews Press) ISBN 978-1-908437-09-9

  • (2012) 'Ex-centric Cinema: the Animation of Automated Perception: from The Powers of Ten to Google Earth', in Body and Society, Vol.18/1, Animation/Automation Special Edition (London, NY, Delhi: Sage) ISSN 1357-034X

  • (2012) 'Focus Piece: Wilhelm Noack oHG', in Simon Starling, (Artist Monograph Series, London & New York: Phaidon Press Ltd) ISBN 978-0-7148-6419-8

  • (2011) wth R.Moore 'Film in our Midst: City as Cinematic Archive', in Francois Penz and Andong Lu (eds) Urban Cinematics, (Bristol UK, Chicago USA: Intellect Books) ISBN 978-1-84150-428

  • (2010) with L.Blackman 'Technologies of Mediation and the Affective: the Virtual Environment of MediaCity, UK', in Cognitive Architecture: From Bio-Politics to Noo-Politics, (Rotterdam, University of Amsterdam Press)

  • (2010) 'Ex-centric Cinema: Artists' Films', in Andrew Bracey and David Griffiths (eds) Unspooling: Artists and Cinema, Manchester: Cornerhouse Publications.

  • (2010) 'The Skein of the Archive: Denise Bellon and Remembrance of Things to Come', Afterall, journal, Spring Edition.

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