Ian Christie joined the Department of History of Art and Screen Media in Autumn 1999, as Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History, having previously been Professor of Film Studies at the University of Kent (1997-9) and Visiting Lecturer in Film at Oxford University (1995-8).
Earlier, he worked at the British Film Institute from 1976-96 in various capacities, as head of Distribution, Exhibition, Video Publishing and, finally, Special Projects. This last involved co-producing a television series on early cinema for BBC2, The Last Machine presented by Terry Gilliam (1995); and co-curating an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, Spellbound: Art and Film (1996), which included work by Gilliam, Greenaway and two subsequent Turner Prize winners, Douglas Gordon and Steve McQueen.
He advised on the exhibition Modernism: Designing a New World at the V&A in 2006 and in the same year was Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University.
Director of the AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies, with its headquarters at Birkbeck, from 2003-05, he also directed its London Project and is currently director of the London Screen Study Collection, housed in Birkbeck's new Centre for Film and Visual Media Research.
Recent lectures and conference papers have been on:
- representing dreams, the English school of production design, Dali and Surrealist Cinema, Bluebeard's Castle and total cinema
- early cinema in London (linked to a touring exhibition Moving Pictures Come to London: 1894-1914), the impact of digital exhibition
- reverse narrative in cinema
- the career of Michael Powell
- trick films by Robert Paul and Georges Melies (Sheffield)
- Malevich and Eisenstein
- the 1905 Russian revolution on film (St Andrews)
- Sokurov and contemporary Russian cinema; animation and the unconscious
Ian co-founded in 1999 (with Michael Grant) the international review Film Studies, which is published twice yearly by Manchester University Press. He is Vice President of Europa Cinemas, an EU-funded organisation which supports exhibitors throughout Europe who show European films, and a Trustee of the Independent Film Parliament. He is also a regular reviewer and broadcaster on film matters.