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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Isabelle McNeill

Photo of Isabelle McNeill
Associate Professor in French and Film, Trinity Hall
Philomathia Fellow, Trinity Hall
Affiliated Lecturer, Modern & Medieval Languages
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
(+44) (0)1223 332509

Trinity Hall 
Trinity Lane 



Dr Isabelle McNeill is Philomathia Fellow in French and Film and Trinity Hall, where she has taught film studies and French Literature and culture since 2005. She is the author of Memory and the Moving Image: French Film in the Digital Era (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) as well as articles and essays on film in relation to memory, the city, home, tourism, Internet culture and girlhood. She is completing a book on the cinematic rooftops of Paris, alongside related work on the Parisian banlieue and drone cinematography. Her next project considers grief and girlhood.

Dr McNeill collaborates with colleagues Louise Haywood and Georgina Evans as part of Tactics and Praxis, a group exploring intersections between academic work and creative practice as part of a feminist, ethical response to academic institution.

Dr McNeill is a board member of MAI: A Journal of Feminism and Visual Culture, and co-edited a Focus Issue of the journal on Feminist Craft (2021).

She is co-founder and chair of the board of trustees of the Cambridge Film Trust, a charity which runs the Cambridge Film Festival as well as other activities in the region.


Teaching interests: 

Dr McNeill teaches across a wide range of French and Film Studies topics, including the undergraduate papers Fr1, Fr6, Fr12, Cs5 and Cs6 and Film and Screen Studies MPhil Feminisms module. Topics taught include: Memory & Immigration; Film and Life-writing; the Nouvelle Vague; Agnès Varda. PhD research topics she has supervised include: slow cinema; cinematic selfhood; gesture in Akerman and Varda; contemporary installation art.


Research interests: 

Memory, cinema, media and archives

Cities, space and place on screen

Girlhood, Feminisms and media

Film theory and philosophy

Creativity, craft and praxis in academia


Published works: 



The Rooftops of Paris: Cinematic Perspectives (monograph in preparation for Columbia University Press).

Memory and the Moving Image: French Cinema in the Digital Era (Edinburgh University Press, 2010; paperback/eBook 2012).

Transmissions: Essays in French Literature, Thought and Cinema, co-edited with Bradley Stephens (Bern: Peter Lang, 2007).


Recent Articles and Book Chapters

‘Aerial Transitions: Drone Airspace and Domestic Space in the Banlieue’ in Public Housing in Global Film and Television, ed. by Lorrie Palmer (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

‘Constructing Precarity: Media and Social Housing in the French Banlieue’ (18/11/21) and ‘Precarious Tactics of Habitability in the French Banlieue’ (9/12/21), in Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture, Round Table: Media, Precarity and the Home, Nov-Dec 2021. (

‘The Red Shoes: Art is Life’ in Moving Impressions: Essays on Art and Experience, ed. by Stuart Bell (London: 87 Press, 2021).

‘Music and Spatial Injustice in Banlieue Cinema’, French Screen Studies, February 2020. (

‘Tactics and Praxis: A Manifesto’, with Georgina Evans and Louise Haywood, MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture, Issue 5, ‘Feminist Pedagogies’ (ed. Clara Banbury-Rance), 2020. (

‘Feeling the Future: Crisis, Time and Emotion in Mia Hansen-Løve’s Things to Come (2016)’, Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities, 39:1, Fall 2019.

‘Glossy Postcards and Virtual Collectibles: Consuming Cinematic Paris’, Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, 4:3, 2017.

‘Shine Bright Like a Diamond: Music, Performance and Digitextuality in Céline Sciamma’s Bande de filles (2014)’, Studies in French Cinema, 2017, doi:

‘Ways of Seeing in Agnès Varda’s Les Dites Cariatides (1984)’ in Agnès Varda Unlimited: Image, Music, Media, ed. Marie-Claire Barnet (Oxford: Legenda, 2016), pp.109-125.

‘Déplacement et postmémoire dans le cinéma beur contemporain’ in La Migrance à l’œuvre, eds Michael Brophy and Mary Gallagher (Oxford & Bern: Peter Lang, 2011), pp.151-162.

‘Virtual Homes: Space and Memory in the Work of Yamina Benguigui’, L’Esprit Créateur, 51: 1, (Special Issue on Space and Contemporary Women, Film and Visual Art in France, eds Marie-Claire Barnet and Shirley Jordan) Spring 2011, pp.12-25.

‘Literature, Film and New Media’ in A Cambridge History of French Literature, eds William Burgwinkle, Nicholas Hammond and Emma Wilson (Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp.700-709 [commissioned essay].

‘Nice: Virtual City’ in The City and the Moving Image: Urban Projections, eds Richard Koeck and Les Roberts (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp.36-49.

‘Threat and the Moving Image: Histoire(s) du Cinéma in the 21st Century’ in Threat: Essays in French Literature, Thought and Visual Culture, eds Georgina Evans and Adam Kay (Bern: Peter Lang, 2010), pp.85-104.

‘Agnès Varda’s Moving Museums’ in Anamnesia: Private and Public Memory in Modern French Culture, ed Peter Collier, Anna Elsner and Olga Smith (Bern: Peter Lang, 2009), pp.283-294 [commissioned essay].

‘Transitional Spaces: Media, Memory and the City in Recent French Film’ in Cities in Transition: The Moving Image and the Modern Metropolis, eds Andrew Webber and Emma Wilson (London: Wallflower press, 2008), pp.205-215.

‘Peeping Tom’, ‘The Crying Game’ and ‘Orlando’, in Fifty Key British Films, eds Sarah Barrow and John White (London: Routledge, 2008), pp.103-108, 186-190, 195-200 [commissioned essays].

‘Phrases, Monuments and Ruins: Melancholy History in Godard’s Éloge de l’amour (2001)’ in Studies in French Cinema, 2:3, 2003, pp.111-120.


Video Essays

Aerial Transitions: Drones over the banlieue’ – in preparation for Mediapolis

‘Perhaps we could have loved each other: re-visioning women in La bohème’, in MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture, 3, Spring 2019. (peer reviewed with accompanying text)

‘Some Beaches with Agnès’, April 2019,


Journal Special Issue: guest editor

Feminist Craft, MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture, Issue 8, December 2021: