Exploring film history by using fandom as a pedagogical tool


  • Ellen Wright De Montfort University




Affinity space, Experiential learning, Interpretive archaeology, New film history, Relational frame theory, Threshold concepts


An exploration of the terrain of how to engage learners effectively and why that matters. Using fan engagement in the field of film history reveals that encouraging learners to self-identify as fans shifts the power balance, placing the learner in the position of expert, thereby increasing the chances of learner engagement and enabling learners to gain a more nuanced understanding of their field while also making for a more invested, lively, and varied learning and teaching experience. Based on firsthand experience designing and delivering a research-focused undergraduate film history module combined with a multidisciplinary pedagogical approach, this work demonstrates that treating students as fans with affective stakes in history and exploring historical moments experientially offers learners significant benefits.

Author Biography

Ellen Wright, De Montfort University

Dr Ellen Wright is VC 2020 Senior Lecturer in Cinema and Television History at De Montfort University.
She has taught film studies, media studies and photographic theory and her research expertise is in the leisure industries, consumer culture and broader social contexts surrounding Hollywood cinema in the mid-twentieth century, focusing, in particular, upon representations of gender and sexuality often found in the material culture of film.
Her most recent publications are due to appear in Celebrity studies and the Routledge edited collection Sport, Film and National Culture later this year.




How to Cite

Wright, E. (2021). Exploring film history by using fandom as a pedagogical tool. Transformative Works and Cultures, 35. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2021.1969