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Dr Dorota Ostrowska

  • Overview



    I came to Birkbeck in 2008 as a Lecturer in Film and Modern Media. I led BBK to join the European MA in Film and Media Studies Consortium (IMACS) and consequently developed a Study Abroad Pathway within MA Film and Screen Media. I was responsible for setting up and running a joint BBK-SOAS BA Global Cinemas and Screen Arts. Between 2008-2011 I chaired the Screen Studies Group at the University of London. I was also a Guest Lecturer at the Department of Film, TV & Digital Media, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain (2008 and 2009). As a founding member of the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS) I co-hosted with KCL 2011 NECS Annual conference in London. I served on the editorial and advisory board of the open access journal NECSUS. Since I became Senior Lecturer in 2014 I have directed the MA FIlm and Screen Media, developed a new pathway (Film Programming and Curating) and have been a Co-Director of Postgraduate Research at FMACS. Since 2018 I have been overseeing BBK’s involvement in the British Council-run Venice Biennale Fellowship. In 2019 I was selected to join AURORA and in 2021 I was appointed Assistant Dean for Business Engagement and Partnerships at the School of Arts.

    Before coming to Birkbeck in 2008, I was a lecturer in film studies at the University of Edinburgh (2004-2008) where I was an artistic co-director of Cinema China, a joint project with Beijing Film Academy. Prior I was a Research Fellow in European Cinema at the University of Leeds (2003-2004) and taught at the University of Oxford (2001).


    • Contours of Film Festivals Research and Methodologies is an international virtual conference which I co-organised with Prof Tamara Falicov (University of Kansas) in September 2020.

      The goal of Contours was to map out methodologies underpinning and orientating current research within the field of film festival studies, and to explore directions for future research including developments associated with the Covid-19 epidemic.

    • Café Solaris is a virtual meeting and discussion club which I have been running with Dr Janet McCabe (FMACS) since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

      Café Solaris aims at sustaining a sense of a strong and vibrant intellectual community centred around film and screen media at a time when social ties and the ways of communing to which we have long been accustomed are being brutally disrupted across our various contacts and relationships. Café Solaris offers a way for for our students to nurture their identity as Birkbeck students of film and screen media at this time when some may feel stalled in their intellectual growth due to the limitations imposed on our cultural, social and research life.

    • "Film Festivals & History" (2020) is a special issue of Studies in European Cinema I co-edited focussed on exploring the relationship between film festivals history, history of cinema and archives.

    Office hours

    by appointment


    • DPhil Modern Languages (French Cinema and Literature), Oxford , 2003
    • MPhil European Literature, Cambridge , 1997
    • BA Political Science, Columbia , 1996

    Web profiles

    Visiting posts

    Professional activities


    Colloque, “Films, festivals et mondes contemporains”, Université de Montpellier, October 2020 (in French)

    Symposium, “On the Ruins and Margins of European Identity in Cinema: European Identity in the Era of Mass Migration”, Le Studium, Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies, Tours, France, April 2019

    Annual Conference of the AFECCAV(Association française des enseignants et chercheurs en cinéma et audiovisuel), Strasbourg, France, July 2018. 

    Annual Conference of the AIM (The Association of Moving Image Researchers), Aveiro, Portugal, May 2018. 

    Peer Reviews

    NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies (published by Amsterdam University Press), Editorial Board Member: 2011- 2017 & Advisory Board Member (2017-)

    Advisory Board member - New Cinemas Journal of Contemporary Film, September 2005-ongoing

    Book reviews editor - New Cinemas Journal of Contemporary Film, September 2003-January 2006

    Manuscript reviewer for Palgrave-Macmillan (USA); Oxford University Press; Wallflower/Columbia University Press, Bloomsbury.

    PhD Thesis Examiner

    Oxford University (2009), Galway: National University of Galway (2013), Goldsmiths, London (Spring 2014), SOAS (Spring 2019), University College London (Winter 2019).

    Professional memberships

    • Advisory Board Member of European Women's Audiovisual Network (EWA) (2013-)

      Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), USA (Co-Chair of the Scholarly Interest Group Film Festivals, 2014-2015)

      University of London Screen Studies Group (Chair 2011-2014)

      European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS) (Steering Committee member and Head of the Publication Committee – 2007-2011)

      Scottish Kids Are Making Movies – Board of Directors (2006-2008)

  • Research


    Research overview

    Film Festival Studies
    In the area of film festival studies my main interest is in the history of international film festivals. I have written on the questions of space; national cinemas (British and Eastern European), the role of programming in relation to film history & canon formation; curating spaces of crisis (war and migration crisis); stardom/celebrity; archives and film industry histories.

    I am currently working on a monograph (under contract from Bloomsbury) which explores the relationship between film festival spaces, programming and audiences in the context of cultural histories of various international film festivals.

    Eastern European Film and Cultural Studies
    In the area of Eastern European TV, Film and Cultural Studies my particular focus has been on socialist and post-socialist cinema and television in Poland. I was interested in the role of popular screen cultures under socialism and interchanges with the West through film imports and participation in international film festivals.

    French Cinema and Cultural Studies
    In the area of French cinema my particular interest has been in the cultural history of the key film and literary movements in post-war France, New Wave and New Novel. I published a monograph Reading the French New Wave: Writers, Critics and Art Cinema in France. My expertise regarding French cultural context has been instrumental in determining the focus of my current research which is Cannes International Film Festival enabled by the emergence of a new field – that of film festivals.

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    Doctoral alumni since 2013-14



    Teaching modules

    • Dissertation MA Film and Screen Media (AHVM020D7)
    • European Cinema at the Crossroads (AHVM025S7)
    • Screen Media: History, Technology and Culture (AHVM031S7)
    • Research/Placement Project and Report MA Film and Screen Media (AHVM043S7)
    • Film Festivals (ARVC001S7)
  • Publications




    Book Section