Phil Wintle

PhD Student in History of Art and Film working on a current project: 'The Representation of the Ku Klux Klan in Mainstream American Cinema (1988-2016)'

Phil WintleContact


  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)
  • MA (with Merit) in English – Loughborough University
  • BA (Hons) in Drama with English – Loughborough University


The Representation of the Ku Klux Klan in Mainstream American Cinema (1988-2016)


The success of The Birth of a Nation and the film’s role in revitalising the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s has prompt both academic readings on early cinema and the Klan, yet little work exists on the field beyond this, despite the Klans continued use in American cinema over the past century.

From the late 1980s the Klan have been used simplistically as figures of melodramatic evil and (between 1999 and 2013) as figures of comedy. My study looks at this representation and the oxymoronic removal of race and meaning from Klan iconography through these narratives – a trend contrasted by ‘black narrative’ films of the period.


Dr. Guy Barefoot and Dr. Claire Jenkins


Wintle, Phil, 'Book Review: Nazism and Neo-Nazism in Film and Media by Jason Lee', Open Screens, 1.1 (2018), 3,  DOI: 10.16995/os.10

Conference Papers

'An Exploration of the Longevity of the Ku Klux Klan in American Cinema' - Presented at History, Politics and International Relations Postgraduate Researchers' Conference, University of Leicester, 9 April 2018

‘Tracking the Popularity and Trends of the ‘Torture-Porn’ Film Through the Saw Series’ - Presented at 'Symposium: Exploitation Cinema in the 21st Century' at Canterbury Christ Church University 9 June 2017


Research Bytes - Three Minute Competition, an exploration of the findings of my thesis - Presented at the University of Leicester, 22 June 2018

‘The Ku Klux Klan in American Comedy Films’ - Presented at Leicester Council's Lunchtime Lectures, 23/06/2017

‘The History of the Klan and American Cinema’ - Presented at Leicester Council's Lunchtime Lectures, 11/11/2016

Film Reviews

I am currently working with the Read at Leicester team at the David Wilson Library to produce film reviews based on the library's amazing catalogue.

Teaching Experience

I have been teaching in seminar groups for the modules ‘American Film and Visual Culture’ and ‘Reading Film’ since October 2016.

Due to this experience I studied with the Leicester Learning Institute to achieve Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).

Before undertaking my PhD study, I worked as a Cover Supervisor, Tutor, and Teaching Assistant, for both primary and secondary age groups. I have also previously been trained at the Curve Theatre as a Young Arts Facilitator.

Research interest

I am interested in representations of race and violence in contemporary American cinema, television, and video games. I also have a keen interest in black comedies, especially the works of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. I also have experience with creating and performing in short films and theatre.

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