In my thesis I examine questions of the continued significance of national cinemas and identities, focussing on the case of Scottish cinema. As a small, devolved nation with relative autonomy from the United Kingdom, Scotland presents an interesting case for how films are labelled with a national identity, as Scottish films can also often be understood in a British, European, and even global context. Rather than attempting to construct a working model of Scottish cinema based on representation or production context, I ask how films have been constructed as Scottish.
I approach the concepts of Scotland and Scottish film as sets of meaning that change over time and in different contexts, which allows for a heterogeneous view of Scotland, by asking not only in what ways Scottishness is constructed in film, but also who is doing the constructing. I examine how multiple identities are balanced in the filmic construction of Scotland first by considering how Scottish films—both those made in and which are about Scotland—construct Scottish identities. Second, I look at how these films are received as Scottish by examining reviews and other press materials to determine how they understand the Scottishness of the films considered.
I received a Master of Arts in film studies from The University of Iowa in 2010 and a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting from Boston University in 2008. In 2005 I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing, with minors in history, literature, and Jewish Studies. I have taught Cinema: History and Analysis at The University of York as well as film studies, literature and writing classes at Iowa and for community college and was also an assistant managing editor at Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies . In my spare time, I am involved in the York Screenwriters’ Guild and am working on several prose and script projects.
National cinemas, British cinema and culture, Scottish cinema and culture, nationalism, genre, screenwriting, creative writing.