Dr. Martin Flanagan
School of Arts and Media
Lecturer in Film Studies
My research explores the cultural functions, textual strategies and interpretive modes of contemporary film, increasingly focusing on the intersection with comics. I am also developing the comics theme within my teaching at Salford.
My Ph.D thesis (Sheffield) evaluated the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin as a framework for understanding the narrative dynamics and ideological implications of Hollywood texts, arguing that concepts such as chronotope and dialogism can reinvigorate disciplinary thinking around spectatorship, narrative and genre. This led to my 2009 monograph (with Palgrave Macmillan). A series of articles in journals and edited collections also emerged from my work around Bakhtin. I was invited by editors Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland to contribute a Bakhtinian piece to The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory (2014).
My most recent major project is the co-authored book, The Marvel Studios Phenomenon, which Bloomsbury published in summer 2016. Academic attention has recently been given to issues of adaptation in Marvel texts, but this work has a different focus in that it reads the texts as defined by the particular industrial formation within which they have arisen. Understanding the new (to large-scale, mainstream film practice) aesthetic patterns brought by the ‘shared universe’ concept requires a holistic perspective encompassing transmedia modes of organisation, the thematics of superhero fiction, the role of fandom, and an understanding of business histories as they apply both to Hollywood and to comic publishing/intellectual property. The book has created a new set of film readings, and provides a cogent assessment of the studio’s long term plans (as well as probing its identity within the structures of parent organisation Disney). Related to this work on Marvel, I have recently presented on a British comics theme to ‘Transitions’ conference (part of the London Comica Festival).
Areas of research
Film Studies, British and American Comics, The Intersection of Comics/Film, Popular Film/Hollywood, Bakhtinian Theory
I teach both ‘Critical Approaches’ modules in the first year, as well as modules focusing on American Cinema, Film History and Film Theory.
- (Hollywood, particularly action cinema; the blockbuster; Westerns, technology, industry and studios)
- Mikhail Bakhtin/ Bakhtinian theory and film
- Society of Cinema and Media Studies