Belinda Smaill

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students

20012021

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Biography

Belinda Smaill is Associate Professor in Film and Screen Studies in the School of Media, Film and Journalism

She is the Leader of the Environment and Media Research Program at Monash University. 

I am an internationally recognised expert on the history and culture of documentary film. My research rethinks the social project of documentary film and media by developing innovative multidisciplinary approaches to the genre, allowing me to challenge understandings of documentary histories and traditions. My first book focused on emotion, showing how for example, pleasure, disgust or hope are activated by documentary, determining their role in public culture. My recent work, including my second book on documentary, has elucidated documentary’s fascination with nonhuman animals, while arguing that we must rethink human and nonhuman in tandem.  My work has contributed to film and screen studies by consistently producing knowledge about documentary screen media as an aesthetic and cultural practice of social subjectivity. I have also written made key contributions to Australian Film and Screen Studies and written extensively on women and cinema, particularly female directors. 

 

My recent work continues my interest in documentary as a form of public culture. I am currently undertaking an Australian Research Council funded project (with Therese Davis and Chris Healy) titled “Remaking the Australian Environment Through Documentary Film and Television”. This project aims to investigate how documentary film, television and online media have transformed our sense of the Australian environment since the 1950s. The research will produce the first deeply historicized account of the relationship between documentary media and contemporary environmental consciousness. 

Supervision interests

I currently supervise doctoral and masters students in film studies, television studies and related disciplines. I have successfully supervised a range of topics as a primary supervisor and have particualr expertise in: women in film and television, documentary studies, environment and media, ecocinema, animal studies.

Completed projects that I have supervised include:

  • Cinematic Encounters with Disasters: Hollywood and Beyond
  • Difficult subjects: women, violence and subjectivity in distinguished cinema.
  • Human rights film festivals: activism in context
  • A transnational history of the Indian New Wave: memories, movements, auteurs.
  • Peripheral visions: the refugee-focussed documentary film in “Howard's Australia.”
  • Genre, ambiguity and the shifting star persona of Cary Grant

Research area keywords

  • Environment
  • Documentary Media
  • Ecocinema and screen media
  • Australian Film and Television
  • Gender and Cinema
  • Cultural History and Film
  • Screen Studies
  • Human/More-than-human relations
  • Popular cinema, film genre and women
  • Histories and aesthetics of documentary
  • Film and the Anthropocene

Projects

Research Output

Ecological Relations: FalconCam in Conversation with The Back of Beyond

Smaill, B., Jun 2019, A Companion to Australian Cinema. Collins, F., Landman, J. & Bye, S. (eds.). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 508-524 17 p. (Wiley Blackwell Companions to National Cinema).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

A Guerra da Beatriz, Timor-Leste and the Women's Film

Smaill, B. M., 2018, In : Critical Arts: a south-north journal of cultural and media studies. 32, 4, p. 1-18 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

An ecocritical approach to documentary interactivity: spatial technologies in a film studies frame

Smaill, B., 30 Jul 2018, In : Studies in Documentary Film. 12, 3, p. 173-189 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Cinema of the world and women’s film culture: Susanne Bier’s transnational cinema

Smaill, B., 2018, ReFocus: : The Films of Susanne Bier. Molloy, M., Nielsen, M. & Shriver-Rice, M. (eds.). 1st ed. Edinburgh UK: Edinburgh University Press, p. 211-228 18 p. (ReFocus: The International Directors Series).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Preface

Smaill, B. M., 2018, Female Authorship and the Documentary Image: Theory, Practice and Aesthetics. . Ulfsdotter, B. & Backman Rogers, A. (eds.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword / PostscriptOther

Activities

  • 2 Contribution to workshop, seminar, course

Documenting Environments: technologies, practices and imaginaries

Belinda Smaill (Organiser), James Oliver (Organiser), Therese Davis (Organiser), Billy Head (Organiser)
28 Nov 201830 Nov 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to workshop, seminar, course

The Place of the Female Director in 21st Century Film Cultures and Feminist Theory

Therese Davis (Organiser), Belinda Smaill (Organiser)
7 Nov 20118 Nov 2011

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to workshop, seminar, course