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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Lawrence Alexander


College: Churchill


Supervisor: Prof Andrew J. Webber



Before starting his PhD, Lawrence completed a BA in Modern and Medieval Languages (German and French) and a MPhil in European and Comparative Literatures and Cultures at the University of Cambridge. His MPhil research focused on abstraction, empathy, and affect in representations of violence in contemporary European film.

Lawrence also worked as a teaching assistant on the British Council's Generation UK-India programme. From 2014-20, he worked as a freelance translator for the Munich-based company Wacker Chemie AG.



Thesis Title: 'Face Value' in the Moving Image Practices of Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, and William Kentridge

Lawrence's research focuses on the theme of 'face value' in the moving image practices of Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, and William Kentridge. His doctoral dissertation adopts the Deleuzo-Guattarian model of 'faciality' as a framework to consider these artists' engagement with late capitalist and colonialist structures of power and control. This focus probes related questions of individual and cultural memory in dialogue with media-archaeological, postcolonial, and critical race theoretical perspectives on moving image scholarship.



DAAD One-Year Grant for Doctoral Students, October 2021-September 2022

Study Foundation of the Berlin House of Representatives (Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin), October 2021-July 2022 (declined)

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Doctoral Training Partnership jointly hosted by Churchill College, October 2018-December 2021



Lawrence has supervised undergraduates for the final-year paper on European Film (CS6) and on the topics of 'Weimar Film and Visual Culture' (Ge10: 'German Literature, Thought and History, since 1910') and 'Screening the Real: Documentary Cinema in the Twenty-first Century' (Ge15: Modern German Cultures of Performance). In January 2021, he presented his doctoral research to an MPhil seminar on 'The Moving Image Outside the Cinema' convened by Prof Emma Wilson.


Conference papers

‘”All the World’s A Stage: Performing Migrant Sex Work in Manuel Abramovich’s Blue Boy’, University of Cambridge Nationalisms & Identities Research Group’s (UnCaNI) ‘Identities in Motion’ symposium, held online, June 28, 2021.

‘”Double Occupancy” and Metaleptic Dynamics: Hito Steyerl Maps Berlin’s “Empty Centre”’ Early Research Academics conference on ‘Space, Place, and Locus: Mapping the New Europe’, held online, June 2, 2021.

‘Excavation and Entstellung: (Media-) Archaeological Activity and Postcolonial Memory Work in the Artistic Practices of William Kentridge’, British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) virtual conference on ‘Time and the Body in Film, Television and Screen Studies’, held online, April 7-9, 2021.

‘Face Value? Metaphor and Metalepsis in Harun Farocki's Interface’, World Picture Conference on ‘Value’, University of Toronto, Canada, November 8-9, 2019.

‘Foundation, Gloss, Concealer: Make-Up and the Minoritarian Subject in Jennie Livingston's Paris is Burning and Hito Steyerl's How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File’, ‘The Queer Art of Feeling’ conference, University of Cambridge, UK, May 2-3, 2019.

‘Saving Face: Faciality, Identity and (In)visibility in the Works of Trevor Paglen and William Kentridge’, British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) Conference on ‘Intersecting Identities: Race, Sex, Nation’, University of Birmingham, UK, April 25-27, 2019.



‘Violent Thresholds: Sights and Sounds of the Cinematic Baroque in Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs’, Screen Bodies 6.2 (forthcoming, November 2021).

Facing Off: From Abstraction to Diffraction in Hito Steyerl’s Abstract (2012)’, Frames Cinema Journal 18 (June 2021): 2–28,


Other activities and roles

Lawrence is a co-editor of the Weimar Film Network, a blog and resource hub founded by Molly Harrabin in Feburary 2021. He was co-convener of the German Graduate Research Seminar for the academic year 2019-20.

Lawrence is a member of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, British Association for Film, Television and Screen Studies, and the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies.