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Martin O'shaughnessy

Martin O'Shaughnessy

Doctoral Supervisor

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


Professor O’Shaughnessy is the research leader for the Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management Subject Area.

He teaches European and American cinema and American television at all levels from first year undergraduate to MA level. He is particularly interested in European (especially French) cinema and the political but also specialises in topics like cinema and globalisation, film and colonialism and other areas.

Career overview

Professor O'Shaughnessy is a leading specialist on cinema and politics, especially in relation to French film. Topics covered by his work include:

  • European cinema in the current crisis
  • Cinema and the machinic
  • Film and work / film and worker suicide
  • Film, debt and gifts
  • The films of Laurent Cantet
  • The films of Jean Renoir particularly the committed works and the intersection of politics and style.
  • French cinema and colonialism
  • Stardom, genre, masculinities
  • French cinema and the modern
  • French cinematic responses to globalisation.

Research areas

Research areas

Professor O'Shaughnessy is a member of the following groups / centres:

Professor O'Shaughnessy has supervised or is supervising PhDs on:

  • The Children’s Film Foundation
  • Poetic realism in contemporary British Films
  • British soap operas and alcohol education
  • Beyond the new French extreme cinema
  • Saudi social media as an alternative public sphere
  • The press and democratisation in Iraqi Kurdistan
  • The gueules cassées of World War One and film representation
  • Contemporary French political cinema
  • The work of Spanish cantautores (singer-song writers) in the transition to democracy

He is particular keen to hear from prospective students wishing to work on cinematic responses to the current crisis but is also very open to other proposals around French and European film. For more information on Research Degrees at NTU, visit the Doctoral School.

External activity

  • External examiner for PhDs, MPhils and MRes degrees at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle and at Queen Mary's and Kings (London University)
  • Previously external examiner for French at De Montfort University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Keele University and Newcastle University.
  • Professor O'Shaughnessy regularly presents films to non-university audiences, both in Nottingham and further afield.

Sponsors and collaborators

Professor O'Shaughnessy's major collaborations are as follows:

  • Co-organised two international conferences: 'French Cinema and Commitment', Nottingham Trent University, September, 2002 (with Graeme Hayes) and 'La France et la Crise' (annual conference of the ASMCF) in September 2010 (with Chris Reynolds)
  • Co-edited book Cinéma et Engagement, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2005 (with Graeme Hayes)
  • Co-edited number of French Politics, Culture and Society, 23:3, 2005 'French cinema and globalisation' (with Graeme Hayes)
  • Co-edited special number of Modern and Contemporary France, 'La France et la Crise', 20:2, 2012 (with Chris Reynolds)
  • Professor O'Shaughnessy has also been involved in a range of collaborative projects with colleagues from the USA, France and the UK.

  • Professor O’Shaughnessy is currently part of a team of European academics, led by Prof. Ana Manzanas of the University of Salamanca, entitled Hospitality in European Film
  • Professor O'Shaughnessy was awarded one semester or half-year sabbaticals by the AHRC in 2003-4 and in 2012-13. The 2012-13 award is to support the writing of a study of the films of Laurent Cantet, his current major project.
  • A number of smaller awards for research travel and conference organisation have also been awarded.


Single authored books:

Laurent Cantet. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015. ISBN 9780719091506

La grande illusion. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009. ISBN 9781848850576

The new face of political cinema: French film since 1995. Oxford, Berghahn, 2007. ISBN 9781845453220

Jean Renoir. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. ISBN 0719050634

Journal articles:

Review essay: Governing by debt by Maurizio Lazzarato and Signs and machines: capitalism and the production of subjectivity by Maurizio Lazzarato. SubStance, 46 (1), 2017. ISSN 0049-2426

Thinking Contemporary Political Cinema with Cantet. South Central Review, 33 (2) 2016, pp. 44-56. ISSN 1549-3377

The crisis before the crisis: reading films by Laurent Cantet and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne through the lens of debt. SubStance, 43 (1) 2014, pp. 82-95.

French film and work: the work done by work centered films. Framework: the Journal of Cinema and Media, 53 (1) 2012, pp. 155-171.

Breaking the circle: 'Le crime de Monsieur Lange' and the contemporary illegibility of the radical text. South Central Review, 28 (3) 2011, pp. 26-44.

Filming work and the work of film. L'Esprit créateur, 3, 2011, pp. 59-73.

French film and the new world of work: from the iron to the glass cage. Modern and Contemporary France, 19 (4) 2011, pp. 427-442.

Book chapters:

Representations: fiction, documentary and the political. In: M. TEMPLE and M. WITT, eds., The French cinema book. (2nd ed.) London: BFI Palgrave, 2018, pp. 297-303. ISBN 9781844574667

Cinema, sex tourism and globalisation in American and European cinema. In: E. MAZIERSKA and L. KRISTENSEN, eds., Contemporary cinema and neoliberal ideology. Abingdon: Routledge, 2017, pp. 217-232. ISBN 9781138235731

Between the I and the we: Jean Renoir’s films of the Popular Front era. In: J. WARDAUGH, ed., Politics and the Individual in France 1930-1950. Oxford: Legenda, 2017, pp. 41-57. ISBN 9781909662247

Contemporary political cinema. In: A. FOX, M. MARIE, R. MOINE and H. RADNER, eds., A Companion to Contemporary French Cinema. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, pp. 117-135. ISBN 9781444338997

Journal special number:

La France et la crise, Modern and Contemporary France, 20:2. Reynolds, C. and O'Shaughnessy, M. eds.

See all of Martin O'Shaughnessy's publications...

Press expertise

Professor O'Shaughnessy can offer comment on the French and other responses to the crisis; contemporary European film; contemporary political cinema; and French cinema.