Dr David Forrest


Dr David ForrestRoom 5.18, Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

Internal extension: 28493
Tel: +44 (0)114-222-8493

Email: d.forrest@sheffield.ac.uk


I came to Sheffield in 2002 to study as an undergraduate, and stayed on to do an MA in International Cinema and a PhD in British social realism. After finishing my PhD in 2009, I took a variety of teaching, research and public engagement roles in the School of English before being appointed Lecturer in Film Studies in September 2012. In 2017 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer.


My main research area is British social realist cinema, with a particular interest in the functions of space, place and landscape in realist texts. I have also published work on British television drama, the British New Wave and contemporary British cinema.

Much of my work is currently focussed on the film, literature and television writer and novelist Barry Hines, perhaps best known of the novel A Kestrel for a Knave (1968) and the TV play Threads (1984). Together with Professor Sue Vice, I am developing and delivering a number of research and public engagement projects around Hines and working-class film, television and literature more broadly.

I am also undertaking a number of projects on the representation of the North of England in film and television drama, exploring in particular questions of genre, stardom and authorship.

I am Co-Investigator on the AHRC project ‘Beyond the Multiplex: Audiences for Specialised Films in English Regions’, working alongside colleagues from the universities of Liverpool, Newcastle and York.


I teach on and/or convene the following modules: LIT181: Introduction to Cinema; LIT260 Post War British Realist Cinema; LIT244: Storying Sheffield; LIT3058 Imagining the North; LIT110: Hollywood Cinema; LIT6330: Analysis of Film (MA); and LIT631: Post-war British Drama, Film and Television (MA).

In 2014 I was awarded a University of Sheffield Senate Award for excellence in Learning and Teaching, and in 2016 I was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


In semester 1(2017-18) I will be acting as crosscutting Director of Learning and Teaching (Student Engagement) and Assistant Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching (Arts and Humanities). In semester 2 (2017-18) I will be away from the university for a period of study leave.


I currently co-supervise PhD students working on a range of projects, including research on contemporary British realist cinema, contemporary theories of film authorship, the lost works of Barry Hines, and the relationship between historical dramas and European cultural policy. I welcome applications from students wishing to work on most areas of British cinema, European cinema, television drama, and on narratives of social class.



  • Social Realism: Art, Nationhood and Politics, CSP, 2013.
  • Filmurbia: Screening the Suburbs, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (co-edited with Graeme Harper and Jonathan Rayner)
  • Social Class and Television Drama in Contemporary Britain, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (co-edited with Beth Johnson)
  • Barry Hines: ’Kes’, ‘Threads’ and Beyond, Manchester University Press, 2017 (co-written with Sue Vice)
  • New Realisms: Contemporary British Cinema, Edinburgh University Press, due 2019

Articles and Chapters

  • Article: ‘Shane Meadows and the British New Wave’, Studies in European Cinema vol.6, nos. 2-3 (2009). – reprinted in Robert Murphy (ed.) British Cinema: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies (London: Routledge, 2013).
  • Article: ‘Better Things (Duane Hopkins, 2008) and New British Realism’, New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film vol.8 n.2 (2010).
  • Article: ‘Our Friends in the North and the Instability of the Historical Drama as Archive’, in Journal of British Cinema and Television vol.8 n.2 (2011).
  • Short Chapter: ‘David Lean’ in Directory of World Cinemas: Britain (Intellect, 2012).
  • Chapter in Book: ‘Sheffield Film Studies and Sheffield Studies Film’, with Jonathan Rayner in Film, Environment and Visual Culture (CSP, 2013).
  • Chapter in Book: ‘21st Century Social Realism: Shane Meadows and New British Realism’ in Shane Meadows Critical Essays (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013).
  • Article: ‘The Films of Joanna Hogg: New British Realism and Class’ in Studies in European Cinema (2014).
  • Article: ‘Locating and building knowledges outside of the academy: Approaches to ‘engaged’ teaching at the University of Sheffield’ in Teaching in Higher Education (with Katie Stewart and Julia Udall) (2015).
  • Encyclopaedia Entry: ‘Alan Clarke’ in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2015).
  • Chapter in Book: ‘A Poetics of the North: Visual and Literary Geographies’ (with Sue Vice) in Regional Aesthetics: Mapping British Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
  • Chapter in Book: ‘Archival traces of the North: The Case of Barry Hines’ (with Sue Vice) in North! Mapping Cinematic Norths (Peter Lang, 2016)
  • Journal Dossier: (w/Beth Johnson) ‘Northern Television Stardom’ in The Journal of Popular Television (2016)
  • Article: (w/Beth Johnson) ‘Lesley Sharp and the Alternative Geographies of Performance’ in The Journal of Popular Television (2016)
  • Chapter in Book: 'Mike Leigh and the Poetics of English Suburbia' in Filmurbia: Screening the Suburbs (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
  • Chapter in Book: ‘Jimmy McGovern’s The Street: Northern Suburbia and the Politics of Everyday Life’ in Social Class and Television Drama in Contemporary Britain, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
  • Chapter in Book: (w/Sue Vice) ‘Screening South Yorkshire: The Gamekeeper and Looks and Smiles’ in Heading North: The North of England in Film and Television (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
  • Chapter in Book: ‘Art Cinema and the British Poetic Realist Tradition’ in British Art Cinema (MUP, 2018).
  • Chapter in Book: (w/Matthew Cheeseman) ‘The Narrative Nightclub and Individual Agency in British Cinema’ in Teenage Kicks: Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Other Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)