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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Damien Pollard

Damien Pollard


Pembroke College



Dr John David Rhodes


After completing an undergraduate degree in English literature at King’s College London, Damien spent eight years as a professional filmmaker working mainly with the NHS and the healthcare sector. As well as turning him into an accomplished hypochondriac, his filmmaking career stoked his interest in film theory and history, and in 2016 he came to Cambridge to study for the MPhil, and then PhD, in Film and Screen Studies. He still make films occasionally, and has developed an advanced obsession with road cycling.


Damien's research examines the human voice in Italian giallo cinema from 1963 to 1987. He is interested in theorising how the cinematic voice connects films’ aesthetic, commercial and social dimensions, and how it can therefore be used to historicise the giallo sub-genre.


• 2017–21. University of Cambridge Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership, PhD Studentship

• 2016–17. University of Cambridge, Newton College Masters Studentship

• 2016–17. University of Cambridge, Keith Sykes Studentship



• 2019 – Visiting Fellow, University of Notre Dame



• CS6 (European Cinema)

• IT3 (Italian Cinema)


Conference papers

• 2020: Italian Section Graduate Conference, ‘Questions’, University of Cambridge, UK (online)

Conference presentation – ‘All Questions and No Answers? Dario Argento’s Phenomena

• 2020: Northeast Modern Language Association International Conference, Boston, USA

Conference presentation – ‘Vocal Simulacra and the Collapse of the National in The New York Ripper

• 2019: In Pursuit of Sound International Conference, Cambridge, UK

Conference presentation – ‘A Radio That Spoke to the Body: The Insurgent Voices of Radio Alice’

• 2019: Society for Italian Studies Biennial International Conference, Edinburgh, UK

Conference presentation – ‘Speaking Spatially: Voice, Narration and Cinematic Spatiality in The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

• 2019: Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies Biennial International Conference, Rome, Italy

Conference presentation – ‘Dubbing, Transnationalism and Uncanny Politics in Giallo Cinema’

• 2019: Italian Section Graduate Conference, ‘Keywords’, University of Cambridge, UK

Conference presentation – ‘Keyword: Spatiality’

• 2019: Italian Cinema(s) Abroad International Conference, The Ohio State University, USA

Conference presentation – ‘The Ideology of the Voice in Giallo Cinema: Dubbing, Politics, Business’

• 2019: Southwest American/Popular Culture Association Annual Conference, Albuquerque, USA

Conference presentation – ‘Dirty London: Dirt, Waste and Structural Fluidity in Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy

• 2018: Sounding (Out) Italy Seminar Series, University of Cambridge, UK

Invited lecture – ‘“When the Time Comes, You’ll Know It by the Sound of My Voice”: Making Sense of the Voice in Giallo Cinema’



• Pollard, Damien, ‘“Can’t You Hear Me?” Ideologies of the Voice in Giallo Cinema’, Screen (forthcoming 2020).

• Pollard, Damien, ‘Coherently Incoherent? Dario Argento’s Phenomena and the Influence of the Music Video’, L’avventura: International Journal of Italian Film and Media Landscapes (forthcoming 2020).

• Pollard, Damien, ‘Radio Alice and Italy’s Movement of 1977: Polyvocality, Sonority and Space’, Sound Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (forthcoming 2020). Available online:

• Pollard, Damien, ‘“I’m Blind, Not Deaf!”: Hegemonic Soundscapes and Resistant Hearing in Dario Argento’s Suspiria and Inferno’, Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies 7:1 (2019), pp. 55–73.