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 is on French cinema and women’s cinema, on film theory and philosophy, and on French and feminist visual art and 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 organized the French cinema curriculum for the Department of French Studies for many years until 2011, I now teach modules called Behind the Camera: women’s cinema from the 1960s to the present and Artists’ Film and Video from the 1920s to the present, the latter also to students of art history. I also convene and teach on a first year Widening Horizons Module in European cinema, and teach on the MRes Sexuality and Gender Studies.

Postgraduate supervision

I currently lead-supervise a PhD student working on a comparison of 'Western' and Hong Kong feminist cinema (Yiran Ai), and co-supervise a PhD on cinematic representations of the French Occupation 1940-44 and another PhD on retranslations of women's writing from English to French and French to English.

I welcome enquiries from potential doctoral researchers on film and visual culture (especially French or by women) and on twentieth century French thought (existential phenomenology, poststructuralism, feminist thought).

Find out more - our PhD French Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


Kate Ince - Research interests

My research has focused in recent years on the feminist philosophy of film, represented by the sole authored book The Body and the Screen: female subjectivities in contemporary women's cinema (Bloomsbury 2017), and on the study of women film directors, an area in which I am currently completing a monograph on the French director Mia Hansen-Love (The Cinema of Mia Hansen-Love: candour and vulnerability). I am Principal Investigator of the AHRC network 'Serge Daney and queer cinephilia' (July 2018-June 2020), working with Dr Marc Siegel (JGU, Mainz) as Co-Investigator and Dr Pierre Eugene (INHA, Paris) as third project team member. I am Treasurer of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies, (BAFTSS) and sit on the BAFTSS Executive Committee, on the Editorial Board of Studies in French Cinema, and on the Advisory Board of Edinburgh University Press's 'Visionaries' book series on women film-makers. I regularly attend the Film-Philosophy, BAFTSS and NECS annual conferences. 

Other activities

I am on the Editorial Board of Studies in French Cinema, a member of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS), the European Network for Cinema Studies (NECS) and the Women’s Film and Television History Network (WFTHN). I regularly attend the annual conferences of these associations and of Film-Philosophy. I do public engagement talks for organisations such as Birmingham’s IKON gallery, the Electric cinema, and the Mockingbird cinema at Birmingham’s Custard Factory.


Sole authored books

  • The Body and the Screen: female subjectivities in contemporary women's cinema, Continuum Books/Bloomsbury plc  2017).
  • 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

  • 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

  • ‘Global Women’s Cinema’ in Rob Stone, Paul Cooke, Alex Marlow-Mann and Stephanie Dennison (eds), The Routledge Companion to World Cinema, 2017.
  • '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

  • 'Ethics, Universality and Vulnerability in Abderrahmane Sissako’s Bamako and Timbuktu’, Paragraph 41: 2 (July 2018).
  • '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

  • ‘Fantasy, fairy tale and feminism? Eyes without a Face’ essay for the British Film Institute’s release of George Franju’s cult film in dual format (DVD and Blu Ray) in August 2015.
  • '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.

View all publications in research portal


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