Chris Davies


Telephone: 07912 616962 

College: College of Humanities
Discipline: Film Studies
Department: Film Studies

During my BA in Ancient History I opted to write my dissertation on the role played by Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000) in reviving the ancient historical epic genre in modern western cinema. This piece of work ignited my interest in studying Film; an area I had been passionate about for many years but had never studied.

I therefore decided to do an MA in English Studies (with Film Pathway). Alongside Film modules, I wrote my dissertation on the evolution of the American combat film since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In this study, I argued that during the late 1990s and early 2000s the combat film had distanced itself from the bleakness and pessimism that the Vietnam War had brought to the genre. I then explained how over the past decade events in Iraq, Afghanistan and the ways in which they have been covered in the American media and on the Internet has led the combat film to revert to its previous Vietnam War-influenced state. My research led me to interesting areas of study, including the role of the father figure in combat films, representations of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, memory, and the use of digital cameras within recent Iraq War films.

My PhD research combines elements of both my BA and MA dissertations. I am investigating representations of ancient history in American and British films released over the past decade, assessing whether they have been used as allegorical or analogous vehicles to comment on Western involvement in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Utilising sources from history, academic texts across numerous disciplines, and various media sources, I hope to contribute to the growing academic interest in representations of history in film by providing an informative analysis of recent additions to the epic genre, while emphasising the role played by cinema in engaging with contemporary Western culture and events.