Research - PhD
My research examines how, in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, popular British cinema comes to be influenced and transformed by the psychoanalytic discourses that circulate during this period. I propose that the root of these discourses can be traced back to the public’s engagement during the First World War with disparate texts that speculate on the symptoms and causes of ‘shell-shock’, and that conflate these ideas with late nineteenth century psychoanalytic theories surrounding feminine hysteria. These discourses then develop during the interwar years, before coming to circulate freely within the atmosphere of trauma and anxiety that surrounds the British population’s collective experience of the Second World War, and of the social change, economic instability, and moral ambivalence that characterizes the immediate post-war years. I argue that it is on account of these discourses that many British films made in the aftermath of the Second World War can be found to differ radically from wartime productions, and from those films that would come to be made later in the relative security of the 1950s. I propose that there are three major psychoanalytic discourses that circulate in Britain during this period that are influential on British cinema. These revolve around the importance of historical traumatic events to the aetiology of neurosis, new ideas surrounding sexual difference, and the development of object relations theory.
For more information on my research please visit my Academia.edu page.