Dr Felicity Gee

Supervised by

  • Mandy Merck First/primary/lead supervisor


Personal profile

Felicity has recently submitted her PhD in Media Arts entitled 'The Critical Roots of Cinematic Magic Realism: Franz Roh, Alejo Carpentier, Fredric Jameson'. Her research examines the concurrent emergence of theoretical texts on the marvellous in German Post-Expressionism and French Surrealism in the 1920s and 1930s, and traces how these ideas took root in Latin America in the late 1940s. The thesis takes an intermedial approach to the marvellous - discussing its practical application in painting, photography, collage, photomontage - culminating in Fredric Jameson's appropriation of magic realism and the marvellous for a new cinematic mode. In the mid-1980s Jameson became interested in so-called 'Third World' literature and its cinematic equivalent - what he chooses to term magic realism. Jameson's theorisation of the cinematic marvellous provides both a geo-political and aesthetic re-imagining of the mode that I argue corresponds to theoretical concepts rooted in the European modernist avant-garde. 

Felicity is interested in critical debates regarding modernist aesthetics in contemporary film, in particular the work of Guy Maddin and Raúl Ruiz, and is currently working on a monograph on cinematic magic realism. Her theoretical framework is based around critical texts from André Breton’s Manifestos of Surrealism and Pierre Mabille’s Mirror of the Marvellous, Roh and Carpentier’s respective definitions of the magic and marvellous, to Jameson’s and Theodor Adorno’s aesthetic theories. This research addresses the ways in which each of these critical texts explores the relation of the art object to social and cultural change, and in particular how the ‘irrational’ or ‘unknowable’ elements within a given cultural period are expressed through realism rather than in opposition to it.

After working in Japan for a number of years Felicity has also cultivated a strong interest in Japanese avant-garde film of the 1960s and 1970s, and the novels and screenplays of Abe Kobe, and the writing of Mishima Yukio. 

She has taught film theory, film analysis, genre criticism, and gender studies to undergraduates, both in the UK and Japan.

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