Martin O'shaughnessy

Martin O'shaughnessy


School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
History, Languages and International Studies


Professor O’Shaughnessy is the Subject Leader of Film and Television Studies.

He teaches European and American cinema and British 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 French cinema. He has written widely in that area both in French and in English. Topics covered by his work include:

  • French cinema and colonialism
  • stardom, genre, masculinities
  • French cinema and the modern
  • the films of Jean Renoir particularly the committed works and the intersection of politics and style.
  • contemporary political cinema, both in relation to individual figures (Cantet, the Dardennes) and taken more generally, more recently: cinema and the crisis
  • French cinematic responses to globalisation.

Research areas

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

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

  • Contemporary French political cinema
  • The work of Spanish cantautores (singer-song writers) in the transition to democracy
  • The career of Singer-song-writer Jean Ferrat
  • Photography and mourning

He is particular keen to supervise work on French cinema but is also very open to proposals relating to European cinema more generally, especially in its relationship to the political and to globalisation. He would be very keen to hear from prospective students wishing to work on cinematic responses to the current crisis.Further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate 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)
  • 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 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.
  • Work on the genesis of Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion, on contemporary film and the crisis (notably through the lens of debt), and on contemporary political cinema more broadly is also being undertaken.


Authored book:

La Grande Illusion. O'Shaughnessy M, 2009, IB Taurus

Book chapters:

Shooting in Deep Time: The Mise-En-Scène Of History In Renoir's Films Of The 1930s. O'Shaughnessy M, Modern and Contemporary France, 2011, 19 (4), 427-442

Ethics in the Ruin of Politics: The Dardenne Brothers. O'Shaughnessy M, Five Directors: Auteurism From Assays to Ozon, 2008, 59-83

Journal special number:

La France et la Crise. O'Shaughnessy M, Reynolds C, special number of Modern and Contemporary France, 2012, 20 (2)


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

‘Silencing the war all the better to hear it: Renoir's La Grande Illusion (1937)'. O'Shaughnessy M, Studies in French Cinema, 2011, 11 (1)

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

Breaking the circle: Le Crime de Monsieur Lange and the contemporary illegibility of the radical text,' O'Shaughnessy M, South Central Review, 2011, 28 (3), 26-44

Filming work and the work of film', L'Esprit Créateur, 2011, 3, 59-73

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; cinema and the city; contemporary European film; contemporary political cinema; and French cinema.