Emma Anne James

Postgraduate Researcher

Contact Details

Project title

The post-apocalyptic paradox: The iconography of the American post-apocalyptic film

Description of project

In my thesis I hope to consider the under-researched iconography of the post-apocalyptic film and its cultural relevance to American society. My thesis focuses on the images of landscape in post-apocalyptic films in American cinema. These images contain an inherent paradox that both condemns the present and yet is nostalgic for it. The reason for this paradox can be understood in terms of American national identity, and the peculiarities of it being a ‘created nation’. I will be examining the images that create this paradox through close textual analysis in conjunction with critical theory. Various critical works influence this research but the emerging work on urban/landscape and film theory is particularly important. However, ideas about post-modernism, the science fiction genre and semiotics are also relevant.


Other research activities

I am also interested in genre and iconography in recent video games, and hope to write an article or give a paper on this topic soon. Science fiction and fantasy genres interest me in general and I continue to be interested by the vampire fiction I did my MA dissertation on.



2011 Conference Proceedings volume The London Film and Media Reader 1


‘Mythic Vampires and Sexual Allegory in Cinema’. Film and Media 2011 conference in London (July 2011).

‘Loving the monster: How the themes of love and fear are explored in the film Let The Right One In’. The Monster Inside Us, The Monsters Around Us: Monstrosity and Humanity' at De Montfort University (November 2011)

‘Landscape after the end of the world: How national and cultural identity is represented in the iconography of The Road’. Affective Landscapes conference at Derby University (Upcoming, May 2012)

‘Landscape and Identity in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema: John Hillcoat's The Road' Film and Media 2012 in London (Upcoming, June 2012).

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