Professor Jonathan Rayner
School of English
Professor of Film Studies
+44 114 222 8457
Full contact details
School of English
1 Upper Hanover Street
I began part-time teaching before and during the completion of my PhD, delivering accredited evening classes in Film Studies for five years at the Division of Adult Continuing Education (now the Department for Lifelong Learning) at the University of Sheffield.
My first full-time post was teaching film history within the Cultural Studies degree at the University of Portsmouth. Subsequently, I taught at the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI), now Glyndwr University, where I was subject leader for media studies and delivered modules in English, media studies and film studies.For three years I worked at Sheffield Hallam University, teaching film history, theory and criticism at undergraduate level and acting as course leader for the MA in Film Studies. I joined the School of English as a member of staff in 2001.
I act as a referee for Australian Studies and Studies in Australasian Cinema. I am a member of the editorial board for Studies in European Cinema, which publishes papers from the European Cinema Research Forum. I am also an Associate Researcher at the White Rose East Asian Centre (WREAC) at the University of Leeds. With Prof Julia Dobson (French and Francophone Studies) I am co-director of the Sheffield Centre for Research in Film (SCRIF). Established in 2013, the Centre brings together staff, researchers and students involved in moving image teaching and research and public engagement activities across the city, in collaboration with the Showroom Cinema. SCRIF’s membership spans numerous departments and schools at Sheffield, and also includes colleagues at Sheffield Hallam University and other White Rose and regional institutions.
- Research interests
My current research centres on connections between cinema and landscape and the representation of navies, naval combat and naval history on film. From my PhD onwards, my interests also include Australasian cinema (particularly Australian Gothic films), genre films and auteur studies. Currently I am working on two book projects: a study of Australian Gothic cinema for University of Wales Press, and a critical history of the representation of the Royal Navy on television for White Rose University Press.
Since 2014 I have been researching the University of Sheffield’s archive of the First World War magazine War Illustrated. This work has been applied to several public engagement and widening participating projects, such as working with GCSE History classes in Sheffield schools, as well as in conference papers and publications.
Topics which have been explored through the magazine’s reports and images include: the depictions of children in war; the changing roles and perceptions of women in Europe during the conflict; the Gallipoli campaign; the Somme offensive; representations of war technology, such as the submarine; and the public image of the Royal Navy before and after the Battle of Jutland. These topics have also been the subject of knowledge transfer and public engagement activities during the First World War centenary, including displays and presentations at the Somme Experience Field in Manchester in 2016 and aboard the USS Texas museum ship in Houston in 2018.
In 2011 I undertook, with Dr David Forrest, the ‘Sheffield Film Studies+Sheffield Studies Film’ project in collaboration with two Sheffield Primary Schools. The project's activities have included: working with documentary images of the city to show how aspects of the Sheffield landscape have survived, changed or disappeared; encouraging visual literacy in the interpretation of moving images, in connection with the Education department's ESCAL (Every Sheffield Child Articulate and Literate) initiative; and exploring how different groups in the city recognize, narrativize and lay claim to their environments through drawings, photographs, storyboards and animated films.
With Prof. Graeme Harper I co-edited a collection of essays on the presence and significance of landscapes in national cinemas worldwide. This collection, Cinema and Landscape: Film and Cultural Geography, was published and launched with an international conference in Sheffield in 2010, and a further volume of papers from this event, Film Landscapes: Cinema, Environment and Visual Culture, appeared in 2013. A third Cinema and Landscape volume, Filmurbia centred on international film representations of suburbs, was published by Palgrave in 2017.
In 2005, I was awarded a six-month Caird Senior Research Fellowship at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, during which my research on naval films research was extended to include the Museum's archive of documentary, training, recruitment and actuality films.
- The Cinema of Michael Mann. Columbia University Press.
- Film Landscapes: Cinema, Environment and Visual Culture. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
- The Naval War Film: Genre, History and National Cinema. Manchester Univ Press.
- The films of Peter Weir (2nd edition). Continuum Intl Pub Group.
- Contemporary Australian cinema. Manchester Univ Pr.
- Cinema Journeys of the Man Alone: The New Zealand and American Films of Geoff Murphy. Nottingham: Kakapo Books.
- The Films of Peter Weir. Cassell.
- Filmurbia: Screening the Suburbs. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Mapping Cinematic Norths: International Interpretations in Film and Television. Peter Lang.
- Cinema and Landscapes: Film and Cultural Geography. Intellect Ltd.
- The Carer, the Combatant and the Clandestine: images of women in the First World War in War Illustrated magazine. Women's History Review, 27(4), 516-533. View this article in WRRO
- Naval Narratives of Re-enactment: In Which We Serve and Sea of Fire. Journal of War and Culture Studies, 10(4), 340-355. View this article in WRRO
- 'The deadliest thing that keeps the seas': the technology, tactics and terror of the submarine in The War Illustrated magazine. Journal for Maritime Research, 19(1), 1-22. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Young Lions of the Old Empire: The Anzacs and the Reporting of Gallipoli in War Illustrated Magazine. Australian Studies, 7, 1-22.
- 'Where "Daddy" and Danger Were': The Portrayal of Children in War Illustrated, 1914-1916. Childhood in the Past, 7(1), 14-34. View this article in WRRO
- Meditative Tangents: Fred Schepisi’s The Eye of the Storm (2011). Australian Studies, 4.
- Gothic Definitions: The New Australian "Cinema of Horrors". Antipodes: a North American journal of Australian literature, 25(1), 91-97.
- Adapting Australian Film: Ray Lawrence from Bliss to Jindabyne. Studies in Australasian Cinema, 3(3), 295-308. View this article in WRRO
- Entrusted with the Ruling of the Waves: Images of the Post-war Royal Navy in the NMM Film Archive. Journal for Maritime Research.
- Live and Dangerous? The Screen Life of Steve Irwin. Studies in Australiasian Cinema, 1(1), 107-117.
- View this article in WRRO 1805 and All That: Defining the Naval War Film. Diegesis, 9, 32-40.
- Conflict and Conspiracy: Public and Personal Memory in Australian Film. Post Script, 24(2-3), 84-95.
- Reflections on the Integration and Popularity of Australian Films in British Universities. Australian Studies, 19(2), 43-66.
- New Gothic and New Australians: Multiculturalism and Rehabilitation in John Ruane's 'Death Diptych'. Australian Studies, 18(2), 95-112.
- Western Australia/Australian Western: Moral Landscapes in Australian Film. Australian Studies, 15(1), 27-40.
- “Young Lions of the Old Empire”: The Anzacs and the Reporting of Gallipoli. Australian Studies.
- Forever Being Yamato: Alternate Pacific War Histories in Japanese Film and Anime In Glyn M & Palmer-Patel C (Ed.), Sideways in Time: Critical Essays on Alternate History Fiction Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. View this article in WRRO
- Lost Pasts and Unseen Enemies: The Pacific War in Recent Japanese Films, The Enemy in Contemporary Film (pp. 377-394). De Gruyter View this article in WRRO
- Conventions, preventions and interventions: Australasian cinema since the 1970s In Stone R, Cooke P, Dennison S & Marlow-Mann A (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to World Cinema (pp. 252-263). London: Routledge.
- View this article in WRRO Romantic Love in the Australian Cinema In Teo H (Ed.), The Popular Culture of Romantic Love in Australia Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.
- View this article in WRRO The Suburban Australian Gothic in Lake Mungo and Beautiful In Forrest D, Harper G & Rayner J (Ed.), Filmurbia: Screening the Suburbs (pp. 191-205). London: Palgrave.
- Introduction. Filmurbia: Cinema and the Suburbs, Filmurbia (pp. 1-10). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- View this article in WRRO The Cinematic Northern Territory of Australia In Rayner JR & Dobson J (Ed.), Mapping Cinematic Norths (pp. 241-261). Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang.
- The Seen Unseen: British and German Submarine Films In Wenk S, Mertens H & Hoffmann K (Ed.), Myths, Gender and the Military Conquest of Air and Sea Oldenburg
- Monsarrat's'Corvettes' and the Battle of the Atlantic In Piette A & Rawlinson M (Ed.), The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century British and American War Literature (pp. 380-387). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Battlefields of Vision: New Zealand Filmscapes In Harper G & Rayner JR (Ed.), Cinema and Landscape: Film and Cultural Geography (pp. 257-267). Intellect Press
- far from the Fatal Shore: Finding Meaning and Identity in the Rural Australian Landscape In Fish R (Ed.), Cinematic Countrysides (pp. 17-34). Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- Embodying the Commercial: Cultural Affect in the Films of Geoff Murphy In Conrich I & Murray S (Ed.), New Zealand Filmmakers (pp. 152-168). Wayne State University Press
- Stardom, Reception and the ABBA 'Musical' In Conrich I & Tincknell E (Ed.), Film's Musical Moments (pp. 99-112). Edinburgh University Press
- "Terror Australis": Areas of Horror in the Australian Cinema In Schneider SJ & Williams T (Ed.), Horror international (pp. 98-113). Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.
- Masculinity, Morality and Action: Michael Mann and the Heist Movie In Mason P (Ed.), Criminal Visions: Media Representations of Crime and Justice (pp. 73-89). Willan Publishing
- The Cult Film, Roger Corman and 'The Cars That Ate Paris In Mendik X & Harper G (Ed.), Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and Its Critics (pp. 221-233). Fab Press
- Paradise Transplanted: The Spiritual Landscapes of Vincent Ward In Conrich I (Ed.), New Zealand: A Pastoral Paradise? (pp. 39-51). Kakapo Books
- Loop the Loop and Crash Head-On: Australian Road Movies In Sargeant J & Watson S (Ed.), Lost Highways: An Illustrated History of Road Movies (pp. 100-113). Creation Books
- View this article in WRRO Spreading Fields of Victory’?: The Reporting of Gallipoli, Jutland and the Somme in The War Illustrated In Griffiths J (Ed.), Communication and the Great War London: Routledge.
Conference proceedings papers
- View this article in WRRO Sublime or what? Australian Gothic and the Filmed Landscape. Screening Australia. London
- Teaching activities
I teach in the areas of my research interests: Australian Cinema; New Zealand Cinema; Hollywood Cinema; genre studies; auteur criticism; war films, naval films and history; and Japanese Cinema.
My core literature teaching commitments are to the LIT2000 Genre module. The majority of my teaching time is devoted to Film Studies at levels 1 and 3. I convene and teach on the Introduction to Cinema and Hollywood Cinema modules at level 1, and I am also responsible for the Film Pathway on the MA in English Literature. At MA level I teach on LIT6330 The Analysis of Film, LIT6990 Australian Cinema, LIT631 Post-1945 British Theatre Film and Television and LIT6351 Currents in American Postmodernism.