Dr Kate Ince BA, MA, PhD

Photograph of Dr Kate Ince

Department of Modern Languages
Reader in French Film and Gender Studies

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My work focuses on French, European and women's film-making, on film theory and aesthetics, and on twentieth-century French and feminist thought.


BA, MA (Critical Theory), DPhil (French Studies)


My BA was in Modern Languages (French and German) at St John’s College, Oxford, which I followed with an MA in Critical Theory and DPhil in French Studies at the University of Sussex. I then worked as a lectrice (colloquial assistant of English) for two years in France (Dijon and Paris) before being appointed to a lecturership in French at Birmingham, in 1990. I was made Senior Lecturer in 2001, and Reader in French Film and Gender Studies in 2006.


Having organised the French cinema curriculum for the Department of French Studies for many years until 2011, I am now developing film provision for various programmes in the College of Arts and Law. In 2013-14 I taught a new second year module on women's film-making called Behind the Camera: women's cinema from the 1960s to the present, and in 2014-15 am teaching a new final year and Masters level module on Artists' Film and Video from the 1920s to the present.


Postgraduate supervision

I currently supervise one PhD student researching 'madness' and psychiatric experience in French and British women's film and literature and two History of Art students working on avant-garde film and the visual arts. I have supervised or co-supervised 5 PhDs and numerous Masters theses to completion. Please contact me if you are interested in pursuing research on (the history of) film theory and philosophy, feminist thought or approaches to art and film, or French cinema and visual art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


My research is currently in women's cinema, and in the history of French film theory. I  have co-edited books on women's erotic writing, Samuel Beckett, and Marguerite Duras, and written a study of the performance artist Orlan and a monograph on the film director Georges Franju  which was published in English in 2005 and in French by L'Harmattan/the Presses de l'Université de Laval in 2008. My edited book of essays on contemporary European auteur directors, to which I contributed a chapter on François Ozonhas been followed by essays on Michael Hanekeon the concept of identification in film theory, and on feminist philosophy and the films of Sally Potter and Agnes Varda. An edited issue of Studies in European Cinemaon women's film-making in France in the 2000s appeared late in 2013, and I am currently co-authoring and editing a critical edition of writings from the French filmology movement, and writing on a book on female subjectivities in the work of French and British women directors.

Other activities

I am on the Editorial Board of the journal Studies in French Cinema and a member of its association, as well as of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies,  the Women's Film and Television History Netowrk (WTFHN), and the Oregon-based Society for Interdisciplinary Feminist Phenomenology. I regularly attend the annual Film-Philosophy conference and sometimes also the annual conferences of BAFTSS, Association française de recherche sur l'histoire du cinéma, NECS (the European Network for Cinema Studies) and the Society for French Studies.


Sole authored books

The Body and the Screen: female subjectivities in contemporary women's cinema, Continuum Books/Bloomsbury plc (forthcoming 2016/17).

Georges Franju, Manchester University Press, 2005 (in French, L'Harmattan/Presses de l'Université de Laval, 2008)

Orlan, millennial female, Berg, 2000.

Edited and co-authored books

Filmology. Selected Writings from the Revue internationale de filmologie (with Vinzenz Hediger and Guido Kirsten), Amsterdam University Press, 2015.

Five Directors: Auteurism from Assayas to Ozon
, Manchester University Press, 2008.

Duras, Femme du Siècle, (with Stella Harvey), Editions Rodopi, 2001.
Samuel Beckett, Longman Critical Reader, (with Jennifer Birkett), Pearson Education, 2000.

French Erotic Fiction: Women's Desiring Writing 1880-1990, (with Alex Hughes) Berg, 1996

Edited journal issues

'Women's Film-making in France in the 2000s', themed issue 10:1 of Studies in European Cinema, 2013.

'Disunited Nations: Cinema Beyond the Nation-State', themed issue 6:2 of New Cinemas, 2008.

Essays in Books

'Feminist phenomenology and the films of Sally Potter', in Jean-Pierre Boulé and Ursula Tidd (eds), Existentialism and Contemporary Cinema: A Beauvoirean Perspective, Berghahn Books, 2012.

‘Glocal Gloom: existential space in the French-language cinema of Michael Haneke’, in Ben McCann and David Sorfa (eds), Michael Haneke: Europe Utopia, Wallflower/Univ. of Columbia Press, 2011.

'Cinema, the Second Sex and French film studies in the 2000s', in Will Higbee and Sarah Leahy (eds), Studies in French Cinema: UK Perspectives 1985-2010, Intellect Press, 2010.

‘Alterité, violence et (dés)humanisation dans le cinéma de Georges Franju’, in Frank Lafond (ed), Le Mystere Franju, special issue of CinémAction, Editions Corlet-Télérama 2011.

'François Ozon's cinema of desire', in Kate Ince (ed), Five Directors: Auteurism from Assayas to Ozon, Manchester University Press, 2008.

'Games with the Gaze: Sophie Calle's postmodern phototextuality', in Michael Sheringham and Johnnie Gratton (eds), The Art of the Project, Berghahn, 2005.

'Introduction', in Stella Harvey and Kate Ince (eds), Duras, Femme du Siècle, Editions Rodopi, 2001, pp.9-19.

‘Imaginary White Female: Myth, Race and Colour in L’Amant de la Chine du Nord’, in J Williams (ed), Revisioning Duras, Liverpool University Press ‘Modern French Writers’ series, 2000.

‘Between the acts: Orlan, performance and performativity’, in Powerful Bodies: Performance in French Cultural Studies, eds V Best and P Collier, Peter Lang, 1999.

'Woman, Lover, Daughter, Mother: Female genealogies in Le Navire Night and Savannah Bay' (on Duras), Duras: Lectures Plurielles, eds C Rodgers and R Udris, Editions Rodopi, 1998, pp.133-49.

'La "théorie littéraire" et les études françaises', in Aspects de la critique littéraire, eds I Pickup and P Baron, Editions de L'Université de Besançon, 1997, pp.5-15

'L'amour la mort'. Chapter on Marguerite Duras in French Erotic Fiction (1996, see Edited Books), 147-173.

Articles in refereed journals

'Feminist phenomenology and the film-world of Agnes Varda', in Hypatia: a journal of feminist philosophy 28:3 (2013).

'Bringing Bodies Back In: For a Phenomenological and Psychoanalytic Film Criticism of Embodied Cultural Identity', Film-Philosophy Vol 15 No 1, August 2011.

'From minor to major cinema? women's and feminist film-making in France in the 2000s', in (Retro)projections; French cinema in the twenty-first century, special issue of Australian Journal of French Studies XLV: 3, Sept-Dec 2008, 277-87.

‘Reply to Michael du Plessis’. Film-Philosophy, Vol. 11 No.3, December 2007, pp. 103-107.

'Is Sex Tragedy or Comedy? Directing Desire in the Cinema of Catherine Breillat', in special Film/Philosophy issue of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, eds Murray Smith and Thomas Wartenberg, 2006.

'Visagéité et (in)humanité dans le cinéma de Georges Franju', in 'Masque et lumière', special issue of CinémAction, ed Penny Starfield, 2006.

'Surviving the Reign of the Father: the family and the law in the cinema of Georges Franju', Studies in French Cinema Issue 4 no 3, December 2004.

'Queering the Family: fantasy and the performance of sexuality and gay relations in French cinema 1995-2000', Studies in French Cinema Issue 2 no 2, October 2002.

'Thinking Expenditure: Bataille and body art', in 'The Prosthetic Aesthetic', new formations: a journal of culture/theory/politics 46, Spring 2002, 146-56.

'Operations of Redress: Orlan, the body and its limits', in V Steele (ed), Journal of Fashion Theory Vol 2 Issue 2, July 1998, 111-125.

'Questions to Luce Irigaray' (on Irigaray and Levinas), Hypatia: a journal of feminist philosophy 11 (1), Spring 1996, 122-140.

'Theory in the Classroom', Critical Survey Vol 4 No 3, 1992, 262-7. Special issue on the teaching of literary theory.

Short articles

'Transforming the Body: Rights and Power', introduction to Part III of Ronan Deazley and Stephen W. Smith (eds), The Legal, Medical and Cultural Regulation of the Body: Transformation and Transgression, Ashgate 2009, pp.145-6.

'The Terror of Horror: Georges Franju's Le Sang des Bêtes/The Blood of the Beasts (1948)', on CD of conference Concentrationary Memories: The Politics of Representation 1945-85, University of Leeds, 2009.

Two 1000 word articles on Jean-Louis Comolli and the 'Cinéma du Réel' festival in the Encyclopaedia of Documentary Film, ed Ian Aitken, Routledge 2005.

2000 word entry on Psychoanalysis in the Encyclopaedia of Contemporary French Culture, eds Alex Hughes and Keith Reader, Routledge, 1998.

2,000 word entry on Poststructuralism in the Encyclopaedia of Contemporary French Culture, eds Alex Hughes and Keith Reader, Routledge, 1998.

100 word entry on Orlan in the Encyclopaedia of Contemporary French Culture, eds Alex Hughes and Keith Reader, Routledge, 1998.


French cinema; French 20th century thought; feminist history and theory