The University of Sheffield
School of English

Dr Jonathan Rayner

Room 1.23, Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

Internal extension: 28457
Phone number: +44 (0)114-222-8457
Fax: +44 (0)114-222-8481

email :

Photograph of Dr Jonathan Rayner


I began part-time teaching before and during the completion of my PhD, delivering accredited evening classes in Film Studies at the Division of Adult Continuing Education (now the Institute of Life Long Learning) at the University of Sheffield.

My first full-time post was teaching Film History within the Cultural Studies degree at the University of Portsmouth. Subsequently, I taught at the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI), now Glyndwr University, where I was subject leader for Media Studies and delivered modules in English, Media Studies and Film Studies.

For three years I worked at Sheffield Hallam University, teaching Film History, Theory and Criticism at undergraduate level and acting as course leader for the MA in Film Studies.

I joined the School of English as a member of staff in 2001.

I act as a referee for Australian Studies and Studies in Australasian Cinema and serve on the committee of the British Australian Studies Association. I am a member of the editorial board for Studies in European Cinema, which publishes papers from the European Cinema Research Forum. I am also an Associate Researcher at the White Rose East Asian Centre (WREAC) at the University of Leeds, and a member of the White Rose Mixed Cinema Network since 2009. In 2013, with Dr Julia Dobson (Dept. of French) I helped set up the Sheffield Centre for Research in Film, which brings together moving image research and public engagement activities across the city, in collaboration with the Showroom Cinema.

British Australian Studies Association 
Mixed Cinema Network


My current research centres on connections between cinema and landscape and the representation of navies, naval combat and naval history on film. From my PhD onwards my interests also include Australasian cinema (particularly Australian Gothic), genre films and auteur studies.

In 2011 I undertook, with Dr David Forrest, the ‘Sheffield Film Studies+Sheffield Studies Film’ project in collaboration with two Sheffield Primary Schools. The project's activities have included: working with documentary images of the city to show how aspects of the Sheffield landscape have survived, changed or disappeared; encouraging visual literacy in the interpretation of moving images, in connection with the Education department's ESCAL (Every Sheffield Child Articulate and Literate) initiative; and exploring how different groups in the city recognize, narrativize and lay claim to their environments through drawings, photographs, storyboards and animated films.

In 2005, I was awarded a six-month Caird Senior Research Fellowship at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, during which my research on naval films research was extended to include the Museum's archive of documentary and actuality films on naval matters.

With Prof. Graeme Harper I co-edited a collection of essays on the presence and significance of landscapes in national cinemas worldwide. This collection, Cinema and Landscape: Film and Cultural Geography, was published and launched with an international conference in Sheffield in 2010, and a further volume of papers from this event, Film Landscapes: Cinema, Environment and Visual Culture, appeared in 2013.


I teach in the areas of my research interests: Australian Cinema; New Zealand Cinema; Hollywood Cinema; genre studies; auteur criticism; naval films and history; and Japanese Cinema.

My core literature teaching commitments are to the LIT 2000 Genre module. The majority of my teaching time is devoted to Film Studies at levels 1 and 3, offering modules devoted to European Silent Cinema and Film Authorship. I convene the Introduction to Cinema and Hollywood Cinema modules at level 1, and I also convene the MA in International Cinema.


I welcome applications from researchers working on film, particularly in my research areas. I have supervised film studies PhD students in British, European, American and Japanese cinema and maritime films.

Selected Publications

Book cover - Contemporary Australian Cinema

Book cover - The Naval War Film

Book cover - The Films of Peter Weir

Book cover - Cinema and Landscape


Articles and Chapters