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Dr Adam O'Brien

Black and white portrait of film lecturer Dr Adam O'Brien
  • Lecturer in Film



Building location

Minghella Studios

Areas of interest

My research is mainly focused on the relationship between film aesthetics and the material environment. I practice a form of close analysis informed by ecocritical ideas and concerns, such as location, presence, materiality and scale. My first book, Transactions With the World (Berghahn, 2016), is an ecocritical study of New Hollywood cinema, and I have continued to work predominantly, though not exclusively, on American film.

In 2018, I published Film and the Natural Environment: Elements and Atmospheres (Wallflower/Columbia), an introduction to the study of environmental dynamics and subjects in narrative cinema. A number of my current and future research projects turn towards the subject of infrastructure, or "built ecology", in film and beyond. I have acted as a peer reviewer for a number of leading journals and publishers, including Screen, [in]Transition and Oxford University Press.

Postgraduate supervision

Current and recent PhD supervision has included projects on the following topics:

  • Shakespeare adaptations and genre conventions
  • editing multi-strand narratives (practice as research)
  • Star Wars, narrativity and historicity
  • cinema and geography in Suffolk.

I would welcome hearing from prospective research students about projects relating to film style and/or the non-human environment.


I teach across a range of practical and critical modules, at all levels, including:

  • Introduction to Film
  • Landscape and Place in Film
  • Advanced Practice
  • Contemporary Documentary.

Professional bodies/affiliations