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Yale honour for Birkbeck academic

Influential film theorist Professor Laura Mulvey was awarded an honorary degree by the leading US university.

Birkbeck’s Professor Laura Mulvey has been recognised with an honorary degree from Yale University.

A professor of film in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck, she was made a Doctor of Humanities and was one of ten leading figures to be honoured.

The award was made at the Yale Commencement ceremony last week – attended by 10,000 people – at which was described as “one of the great figures in the history of film theory”.

Her citation went on to say: “Lauded for her influential role in developing the field of feminist film theory, she has inspired generations of scholars at Yale and around the world.”

After studying at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, she went on to be a contributor to Spare Rib and her 1975 article Visual Pleasure And Narrative Cinema is seen as one of the cornerstones of feminist film theory.

She made six films with Peter Wollen, including Riddles Of The Sphinx in 1977, which is regarded as a classic of avant-garde cinema and continues to be studied.

Professor Mulvey has also written and edited nine books including 2006’s Death 24x A Second: Stillness And The Moving Image and she has been a visiting professor at more than a dozen institutions. Her influence on thought and wider culture is demonstrated by a reference to her work in the popular US TV series Parks And Recreation.

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