Louise Coopey

Louise Coopey

Department of Film and Creative Writing
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Representing the 21st Century Other: Monsters and (Wo)men in Game of Thrones
SupervisorsDr James Walters and Dr Richard Langley
PhD Film Studies


  • BA (Hons) American Studies – Lancaster University
  • MPhil History, Film & Television – University of Birmingham


I completed a BA (Hons) in American Studies at Lancaster University in 2003, including a year at UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina. Having developed an interest in visual culture over the course of my degree, I continued my education with an MPhil in History, Film and Television at the University of Birmingham the following year. My dissertations for both were concerned with representation and identity, primarily masculinity, in film and I maintained an interest in exploring representation after graduating. Before returning to the University of Birmingham to resume my research at PhD level, I worked as a freelance writer, performing a range of writing and editing services for clients working in various industries around the world.


I am a tutor with the University of Birmingham Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS). I have also taught in the capacity of lecturer and seminar leader on film genre, television representation and general film modules.


My research focuses on the visual representation of the 21st century Other in complex television. My thesis tracks the development of the multifaceted identities of female characters in Game of Thrones (2011-2019), reflecting on how televisual texts can interrogate and facilitate the evolution of archetypes like the monstrous mother and warrior woman. Although I focus on a select number of individual character arcs for my thesis, my research has extended beyond those parameters and into other areas of interest. This includes masculinity, sexual violence, female labour, motherhood and girlhood, amongst others.

Other activities

Conference presentations:

  • Dark Economies Conference – Falmouth University, 21st-23rd July 2021: ‘“Finally a girl is no one”: Identity Crises, Shape-shifting, and Gender Fluidity in Game of Thrones’.
  • Utopia & Dystopia Conference on the Fantastic in Media Entertainment – University of Southern Denmark (SDU), 27th-29th May 2021: ‘Representation, Otherness and Fantastic Storyworlds: Smashing Gender Binaries and Reworking Identities in Game of Thrones’.
  • B-Film Seminar Series 2021 – University of Birmingham, 20th May 2021: ‘Representing the 21st Century Other: Reworking the Warrior Woman in HBO’s Game of Thrones (2011-2019)’.
  • Politics and Horror Conference – University of Stirling, 7th-8th May 2021: ‘Born on the Wrong Side of the Wall: Horror Imagery and the Construction of the Immigrant Other in Game of Thrones (2011-2019)’.
  • 9th Annual BAFTSS Conference: Time and the Body in Film, Television and Screen Studies – University of Southampton, 7th-9th April 2021: ‘Arya Stark’s Spectacular Body: Tracking the Corporeal Development of Long Television’s Warrior Woman’.
  • Genre/Nostalgia Conference 2021 – Media Research Group at University of Hertfordshire, 5th-6th January 2021: ‘“Women Can’t Be Knights”: Chivalric Honour and Navigating Nostalgia in Game of Thrones’ Fantasy/Horror Hybrid Genre’.
  • 3rd Annual B-Film PGR Symposium: Identities in Transnational Cinemas - University of Birmingham, 17th February, 2020: ‘Beyond the Binary: Multifaceted Identities in the 21st Century Televisual Text'.
  • 2nd Annual B-Film PGR Symposium: On World Cinema – University of Birmingham, 15th March, 2019: ‘Does TV do Cinema? Game of Thrones’ “Battle of the Bastards”’.


Chapters for edited collections

  • Coopey, L., (2022). ‘Sexual Violence and Smallfolk: The Exploitation of the Sex Worker in Game of Thrones.’ In S. Patrick & M. Rajiva eds. The Forgotten Victims of Sexual Violence in Film, Television and New Media: Turning to the Margins. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Coopey, L., (2020). ‘Where the Streets Have No Shame: Queen Cersei Lannister’s Journey to Alternative Patriarchy.’ In G. Busl, M. Haas & N. Pierce eds. Antiheroines of Contemporary Literary Media, Television, and Cinema: Saints, Sinners, and Survivors. Lanham: Lexington Books.
  • Coopey, L., (Forthcoming). ‘Game of Thrones’ Epic 9s: A Series of Epic Moments Embedded in the Everyday.” In S. Cardwell, J. Bignell & L. Fife Donaldson eds. Moments in Television: Epic/Everyday. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Coopey, L., (Forthcoming). ‘Performance and Power: The Letter as an Expression of Masculinity in Game of Thrones.’ In T. Higgins & C. Fowler eds. Auto/graphic Screens – Epistolary Entanglements in Film, Media and the Visual Arts. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.

Book reviews

  • Coopey, L., (2021). ‘Book Review: Martin Barker, Clarissa Smith and Feona Attwood, Watching Game of Thrones: How Audiences Engage with Dark Television (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2021).’ Open Screens 4(2). doi 

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