Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Alison Peirse

Lecturer in Film and Media

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

My research, writing and teaching is in storytelling and scriptwriting with a specialism in horror film and television. My research engages with creativity and creative process, with a focus on identity and ‘structures of feeling’.


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.


Research Interests

My research engages with creativity and creative process, with a focus on scriptwriting, identity and ‘structures of feeling’. Within this area I specialise in the horror genre. I am the author of After Dracula: The 1930s Horror Film (IB Tauris, 2013) and co-editor of Korean Horror Cinema (EUP). I am now writing The Talking Dead: British Horror Cinema and Spiritualism for Edinburgh University Press and preparing the edited book collection Women Make Horror: Filmmaking, Feminism, Genre for consideration by Columbia University Press.

As a scriptwriter, I have trained or worked with BBC WritersRoom, Channel 4’s 4Talent, Bradford’s Theatre in the Mill and High Tide Festival Theatre company at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. My horror feature film scripts are under consideration for development with multiple production companies and my script Euphoria was longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize 2017. I was recently shortlisted for the Royal Court Writers Group (North) 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 at the early stages of two new projects. I am preparing an edited book proposal for Palgrave on my new research, Women Make Horror: Feminism, Filmmaking, Genre. In addition, I have started 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 planning to extend my work on creativity and creative process to encompass female identity in independent / alternative mediums, including punk / post-punk, zines and podcasts.


BA: Introduction to Cinema; Script Project

MA: Television Narrative

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)

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)



  • 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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