Dr David Forrest


Forrest Profile pictureRoom 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, and in 2018 I was made Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching.


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 over the last four years has been focussed on the novelist and film and television writer Barry Hines, perhaps best known for the novel A Kestrel for a Knave (1968) and (1984). Together with my co-author Professor Sue Vice, I completed a book on Hines that was published by Manchester University Press in 2017.

I am currently in the process of completing my third monograph: New Realisms: Contemporary British Cinema, for Edinburgh University Press. 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, many of which .are being developed and delivered in collaboration with Dr Beth Johnson from The University of Leeds.

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 Glasgow, Liverpool and York.


I teach on and/or convene the following modules: LIT181: Introduction to Cinema; LIT 276 New Realisms: Contemporary British Cinema; LIT3058 Imagining the North; LIT110: Hollywood Cinema; LIT6330: Analysis of Film (MA); and LIT631: Post-war British Drama, Film and Television.

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.


I am Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching.


I currently co-supervise PhD students working on a range of projects, including research on contemporary British realist cinema, a practice-led research project on the representation of Blackpool, the lost works of Barry Hines, factual Heritage television, post-war television drama, mixed reality storytelling, and the films of Andrea Arnold. I welcome applications from students wishing to work on most areas of British cinema, European cinema, television drama, and on narratives of social class



  • New Realisms: Contemporary British Cinema, Edinburgh University Press, due 2019/2020
  • Barry Hines: ’Kes’, ‘Threads’ and Beyond, Manchester University Press, 2017 (co-written with Sue Vice)
  • Social Class and Television Drama in Contemporary Britain, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (co-edited with Beth Johnson)
  • Filmurbia: Screening the Suburbs, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (co-edited with Graeme Harper and Jonathan Rayner)
  • Social Realism: Art, Nationhood and Politics, CSP, 2013.

Articles and Chapters

  • Chapter in Book: (w/Sue Vice) ‘Kes: from page to screen’ in Mayne, L., Petrie, D., and Williams, M (eds.), 1960s British Cinema, (Edinburgh University Press, 2019).
  • Chapter in Book: ‘Art Cinema and the British Poetic Realist Tradition’ in Brian Hoyle and Paul Newland (eds.) 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)
  • 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: ‘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: 'Mike Leigh and the Poetics of English Suburbia' in Filmurbia: Screening the Suburbs (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
  • Article: (w/Beth Johnson) ‘Lesley Sharp and the Alternative Geographies of Performance’ in The Journal of Popular Television (2016)
  • Journal Dossier: (w/Beth Johnson) ‘Northern Television Stardom’ in The Journal of Popular Television (2016)
  • Chapter in Book: ‘Archival traces of the North: The Case of Barry Hines’ (with Sue Vice) in North! Mapping Cinematic Norths (Peter Lang, 2016)
  • Chapter in Book: ‘A Poetics of the North: Visual and Literary Geographies’ (with Sue Vice) in Regional Aesthetics: Mapping British Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
  • Encyclopaedia Entry: ‘Alan Clarke’ in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2015).
  • 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).
  • Article: ‘The Films of Joanna Hogg: New British Realism and Class’ in Studies in European Cinema (2014).
  • Chapter in Book: ‘21st Century Social Realism: Shane Meadows and New British Realism’ in Shane Meadows Critical Essays (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013).
  • Chapter in Book: ‘Sheffield Film Studies and Sheffield Studies Film’, with Jonathan Rayner in Film, Environment and Visual Culture (CSP, 2013).
  • Short Chapter: ‘David Lean’ in Directory of World Cinemas: Britain (Intellect, 2012).
  • 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).
  • Article: ‘Better Things (Duane Hopkins, 2008) and New British Realism’, New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film vol.8 n.2 (2010).
  • 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).