Film Studies

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Libby Saxton, BA, MPhil, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Film Studies

Room: Arts One 104
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8328
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Research interests : Ethics of film; continental philosophy; film, colonialism and the Holocaust; icons and miracles; European (particularly French) cinema since 1945

My research explores legacies of genocide, atrocity and war in mainly European (especially French) cinema and situates film in relation to continental philosophies of ethics and critiques and defences of images. My first book, Haunted Images (Wallflower, 2008), considered what certain acclaimed films that refer to the Holocaust – including Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah and Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma – and heated debates in France since the late 1990s on atrocity images reveal about the ethics of different ways of filmmaking and viewing. Out of this research developed my contribution to a second book, Film and Ethics (Routledge, 2010), co-authored with Lisa Downing. This study teased out the implicit ethics of canonical strands of film theory and in analyses of diverse films engaged with poststructuralist philosophies addressing the self’s encounters with others. I co-edited Holocaust Intersections (Legenda, 2013), a volume on genocide and contemporary visual culture, with Axel Bangert and Robert Gordon, and published several essays on links in films and critical theory between the Holocaust and disparate facets and aftermaths of colonialism. I have also written on film’s relation to miracles and to the gestures of work, drawing on thinkers including Simone Weil and Giorgio Agamben. I am currently collaborating with colleagues in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film on a project about iconic photographs and film footage of political violence and writing a book on the afterlives of problematically alluring images of this kind in cinema. I welcome PhD proposals in fields related to these interests. At the moment I am supervising or co-supervising doctoral research by Victoria Walden (‘Holocaust cinema, affect and memory’), Isabel Rocamora (‘Cinema and presence: manifesting being, ontology and contemporary art film’) and Oliver Kenny (‘Extremity and ethics in contemporary European film’).

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