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Dr Kirsty Sinclair Dootson
Dr Kirsty Sinclair Dootson profile picture
  • Lecturer in Film and Media
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities
I received my PhD in History of Art with Film and Media Studies from Yale (2018) after completing degrees in Film and Television Studies at Warwick (MA 2011), and History of Art at Cambridge (BA 2006, MPhil 2007). I also spent time as a Henry Fellow in Yale's History of Art Department (2007-8), as a Museum Research Consortium Fellow in MoMA's Department of Painting and Sculpture (2013-2014), as Junior Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre (2017) and as a Junior Research Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge (2018-2021). Prior to joining UCL I was a Lecturer in Film Studies at St Andrews (2018-2022).
Research Summary
My work explores the material and technical history of modern visual media. In other words, I am interested in how images are made, what they're made from, and why that shapes their social and political meanings (as well as their aesthetics). I work between the disciplines of film studies and art history, with expertise in the visual culture of Britain (conceived in its most expansive, and imperial sense) in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

My recent work has focused on colour, particularly the global exchange of colour film technologies in the post-war period. My most recent article on this topic co-authored with Zhaoyu Zhu ("Did Madame Mao Dream in Technicolor?" Screen, Autumn 2020) received the Katherine Singer Kovács Essay Award, the Screen Biennial Prize and an honourable mention for the BAFTSS Best Article Prize. My first book The Rainbow's Gravity: Colour, Materiality and British Modernity (PMC/Yale 2023) thinks across painting, printing, photography, film, and television. It reveals how these new chromatic media transformed ideas about British identity during a period of profound social change, when the industrialisation of labour, the decolonisation of the Empire, and evolving attitudes to race and gender reshaped the nation. 

Currently, I am researching the materiality of celluloid, film laboratory processing, and the notion of film as print. Together with Alice Lovejoy and Pansy Duncan I am editing the first volume dedicated to the history of film stock.

2019 – 2022 Lecturer in Film Studies   University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
2018 – 2021 Junior Research Fellow   Cambridge University, United Kingdom
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