Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Dr Alison Peirse

Lecturer in Film and Media

0113 3437007

Clothworkers Building North, 1.26

Office hours: Semester Two 2017/18: Tuesdays 10 - 12

BA (Hons) First Class, MA (Distinction), PhD

My research, writing and teaching is in storytelling and scriptwriting with a specialism in horror. I am particularly interested in horror film, television and podcasts.


I was appointed at Leeds in January 2018. Prior to this I was a Lecturer in Writing for Screen and Stage at the University of York. I have also lectured at Lancaster, Salford, Hull, Northumbria and Leeds Beckett University. My AHRC funded PhD, awarded in 2007, was supervised by Professor Annette Kuhn at the University of Lancaster. I was awarded the PG Cert in Academic Practice and Learning by Northumbria in 2011 and was made a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2013.

I am a member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (including the Horror SIG), the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies, and Script Yorkshire.

Research Interests

My research engages with creativity and storytelling, with a focus on scriptwriting. Within this area I specialise in the horror genre. I am particularly interested in research relating to creative process, poetics and narratology, and have a growing interest in ethnographic and visual based research methods. I am the author of After Dracula: The 1930s Horror Film (IB Tauris, 2013) and co-editor of Korean Horror Cinema (EUP, 2013).

As a scriptwriter, I have trained or worked with New Writing North / the Royal Court, BBC WritersRoom, Channel 4’s 4Talent, Bradford’s Theatre in the Mill and High Tide Festival Theatre company. My horror feature film scripts are under consideration for development with multiple production companies. Recently, I have been longlisted for the BBC Drama Script Room (2018), undertook scriptwriting workshops with the Royal Court / New Writing North (2018) and have been longlisted for the prestigious biannual Bruntwood Prize from Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre (2017). I am also a script consultant, working with individual writers, independent producers, industry funding bodies and production companies. My most recent credit is Script Editor on the independent British horror film Dark Beacon (2017, Corrie Greenop).

I am working on several projects. I am writing a monograph on horror cinema for Edinburgh University Press and preparing a proposal for the edited book collection Women Make Horror: Filmmaking, Feminism, Genre. In addition, I have started work on my next full length script. This is another horror story, set in a hotel on the North Yorkshire Moors, influenced by Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle and the recent Claude Cahun exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. I am also beginning to think about my work on creativity and creative process in terms of female identity in independent / alternative mediums, including punk / post-punk, zines and podcasts.


BA: Introduction to Cinema; Script Project

MA: Television Narrative


Journal articles


Research Projects & Grants

  • Shortlisted, Radio 3 / AHRC New Generation Thinkers (2015)
  • British Academy Small Research Grant (£2670) (2013)
  • British Academy Overseas Conference Grant (£700) (2009)
  • European Science Foundation Invited Speaker Award (£900) (2008)
  • University of Lancaster Postgraduate Research Conference Travel Fund (£250) (2006)
  • AHRC Doctoral Award Research Scholarship (circa £30,000) (2004 – 2006)
  • University of Lancaster Doctoral Research Scholarship (£8,000) (2003 – 2004)
  • AHRB Masters Award Postgraduate Scholarship (circa £12,000) (2002 – 2003)

Research Centres & Groups

Media Industries and Cultural Production

Visual Media and Communication

Feminist Reading Group

External Appointments

External Examiner:

  • Postgraduate External Examiner, MA Film, Television and Creative Practice, University of East Anglia (2017 – 2021)
  • Postgraduate External Examiner, MA Writing for Screen and Stage, Regents University London (2016 – 2020)
  • Undergraduate External Examiner, BA (Hons) Drama and Screen Studies programme, University of Manchester (2012 – 2016)
  • External Dissertation Supervisor, MA Scriptwriting, University of Salford (2016)
  • External Examiner, PhD Film and Television Studies, University of Warwick (2016)
  • External Examiner, Periodic Review of Film, University of Hertfordshire (2015)
  • External Examiner, PhD Film and Television Studies, University of York (2012)
  • External Examiner, MPhil Screen Studies, University of Manchester (2012)
  • External Examiner, MLitt English Literature, University of Newcastle (2011)
  • Internal Examiner, PhD in Creative Practice (Screenwriting), University of York (2017)
  • Internal Examiner, PhD in Creative Practice (Filmmaking), University of York (2016)
  • Internal Examiner, PhD in Film and Television Studies, University of York (2015, 2016)
  • Examiner for PhD Confirmation and Thesis Advisory Panels, University of York (2015 – 2017 )

Other External Appointments:

  • Editorial Advisory Board: Palgrave Gothic (Palgrave), Cultographies (Columbria University Press), Horror Studies (Intellect), Journal of Popular Television (Intellect) and Intensities: Journal of Cult Media (Brunel)
  • Expert Reviewer: for publishers including Routledge, Edinburgh University Press, Palgrave, I.B. Tauris and Bloomsbury; for journals including Screen (Oxford UP), Adaptation (Oxford UP), Visual Culture in Britain (Routledge), Feminist Media Studies (Routledge), Critical Studies in Television (Manchester UP), Gothic Studies (Manchester UP), Palgrave Communications (Palgrave), Science Fiction Film and Television (Liverpool UP)
  • Conference organiser (with Dr James Leggott) of Alien Nation: A Conference on British Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Television (Northumbria). An international, two-day conference with over 50 speakers from Europe, North America and East Asia

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

  • Lead Supervisor on PhD by Creative Practice and MA by Research (Screenwriting) programmes (University of York)
  • Lead Supervisor on PhD in Film and Television Studies, including Korean Horror Cinema (lead supervisor, thesis passed May 2014), HP Lovecraft and Cinema (2nd supervisor, thesis passed January 2015) (Northumbria University)

I am interested in taking on new research students in Film & Television Studies (in particular, genre, women practitioners, documentary and media industries); Practice by Research (Scriptwriting, Filmmaking, Audio Drama / Podcast Series); and in other specific methodological approaches (Poetics, Narratology, Ethnography, Arts-based methods).


  • Interview, BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour, on Feminist Horror Film (2016): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07m4d2g
  • Anthill 6: Into the Darkness, Podcast for The Conversation (2016): https://theconversation.com/anthill-6-into-the-darkness-67267
  • The Final Girls presents Carrie, Invited Speaker on Panel Discussion, The ICA, London (2016); https://www.ica.org.uk/whats-on/carrie-panel-discussion-and-bloody-prom-party
  • Writing the 80s Action Movie, Public Lecture, Offscreen Film Festival, Brussels (2015)

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