Dr Jonathan Driskell
Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies
School of Arts and Social Sciences
After completing a BA (Hons) degree in Film and Video (University of Wales) and an MA in Film Studies (Sheffield Hallam University), Dr Jonathan Driskell wrote his PhD thesis at King’s College London on ‘Female Cinematic Stardom in 1930s French Film’. In this he explores the significance of a new type of female star that emerged in France during the 1930s consisting of performers who entered the cinema directly, rather than beginning their careers on stage as was customary at the time.
This work is part of a broader interest in film stardom: he wrote his MA dissertation on Bette Davis and, while at King’s College London, co-organised a conference entitled ‘New Developments in Stardom’. He also teaches a third year unit at Monash entitled ‘Stardom: Celebrity, Society and Power’ and in 2016 organised a workshop on ‘Film Stardom in Southeast Asia’. Since completing his PhD he has written a number of pieces on French cinema, including a book on Marcel Carné, which forms part of the Manchester University Press French Film Directors series, and a book entitled The French Screen Goddess: Film Stardom and the Modern Woman in 1930s France, which is based on his PhD thesis.
He has spoken at conferences locally and internationally on various aspects of his research and has appeared on BFM: The Business Radio Station to discuss his work on P. Ramlee. A link to the podcast can be found here:
In the School of Arts and Social Sciences, he serves as Deputy Head of School (Education) and as the coordinator for the Major in Film, Television and Screen Studies.
PhD (Film Studies), King's College London
MA (Film Studies), Sheffield Hallam University
BA (Film and Video), University of Wales, Newport
Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE), Monash University
Dr Jonathan Driskell’s research interests are in film history, film authorship, star studies, and the representation of gender in film. He focuses in particular on French and Southeast Asian cinemas, especially the Malay cinema of the 1950s-1960s.
He has published two books on French cinema. The first is a study of the french film director Marcel Carné, who is well-known for his contributions to the Poetic Realist film movement of the 1930s and his ‘masterpiece’ Les Enfants du paradis, which is frequently listed as one of the best French films of all time. The second looks at 1930s French film stars and is entitled The French Screen Goddess: Film Stardom and the Modern Woman in 1930s France.
He is currently conducting research on the stardom of P. Ramlee, and is also editing a book entitled Film Stardom in Southeast Asia, which is to be published by Edinburgh University Press and is based on a workshop he organised in 2016. He has plans for other projects on the representation of Kuala Lumpur in film and on popular film during the golden age of Malay cinema (1950s-1960s).
Dr Jonathan Driskell is editing a book entitled Film Stardom in Southeast Asia, which is to be published by Edinburgh University Press. It includes contributions on stars and stardom from Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaya, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
He is also working on a project on the stardom of P. Ramlee, which examines his star persona from the 1950s to the present day.
Before starting work at Monash, Jonathan was a sessional lecturer at King’s College London, Kingston University and the University of Southampton in the UK, where he taught a wide-range of Film Studies subjects, including film history, film authorship, the representation of gender in film, and 1930s French cinema.
He has made a number of contributions to the Film and Television Studies curriculum at Monash University Malaysia, having taken it from being a subject that was initially only offered as an elective to one that can now be taken as a full Major - following the introduction of the Major in Film, Television and Screen Studies in 2019.
He has also created several new Film Studies units and currently teaches two of these - a first year subject, Film Studies: Forms and Approaches, and a third year unit, Stardom: Celebrity, Society and Power.
Jonathan Driskell (2015), The French Screen Goddess: Film Stardom and the Modern Woman in 1930s France (London: I. B. Tauris)
Jonathan Driskell (2012), Marcel Carné (Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press).
Book Chapters and Journal Articles
Jonathan Driskell (2019), ‘Islam and Stardom in Malay Cinema: From Ibu Mertuaku to Salam Cinta’, Situations, 12:2, pp. 53-70.
Jonathan Driskell (2017), "Southeast Asian Independent Cinema: A World Cinema movement", in Paul Cooke, Stephanie Dennison, Alex Marlow-Mann and Rob Stone (eds), The Routledge Companion to World Cinema (London; New York: Routledge)
Jonathan Driskell (2015), "Space, nostalgia and loneliness: Authorship and politics in the films of Azharr Rudin", in James Chin and Joern Dosch (eds), Malaysia Post-Mahathir: A Decade of Change? (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions)
Jonathan Driskell (2015), ‘Michèle Morgan’ and ‘Danielle Darrieux’, in Michaël Abecassis (ed) with Marcelline Block, French Cinema in Close-up: La Vie d’un acteur pour moi (Dublin: Phaeton).
Jonathan Driskell (2012), ‘Un mauvais garçon’, in Charlie Michael and Tim Palmer (eds.), Directory of World Cinema: France (Bristol: Intellect).
Jonathan Driskell (2012), ‘Quelle drôle de gosse: Danielle Darrieux et la comédie française des années 30’, in Delphine Chedaleux, Gwénaëlle Le Gras, Raphaëlle Moine and Geneviève Sellier (eds.), Revisiter le cinéma français classique: les genres et leurs acteurs et actrices (Rennes: Les Presses Universitaires de Rennes).
Jonathan Driskell (2010), ‘The meaning of that French word chic: Annabella’s Franco-British stardom’, in Lucy Mazdon and Catherine Wheatley (eds.), Je t’aime…moi non plus: Franco-British Cinematic Relations(New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books), pp. 185-96.
Jonathan Driskell (2008), ‘The female ‘metaphysical’ body in poetic realist film’, Studies in French Cinema, 8:1, pp. 57-73.
Driskell, J, 2016: Film Stardom in Southeast Asia Workshop, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash Malaysia, RM 15,000.
Driskell, J, 2015: Southeast Asian Independent Cinema: A World Cinema Movement?, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash Malaysia, RM 7,920.
Driskell, J, 2014: Stardom across borders in the Malay world: The reception of P. Ramlee in 1950s Indonesia, Social and Economic Transformation in Asia (SETA), Monash Malaysia, RM 7,800.
Driskell, J, 2014: Transformations in P. Ramlee’s star persona, from the 1950s to the present day, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash Malaysia, RM 6,915.
Areas of Research & Supervision
Dr Jonathan Driskell is interested in supervising research in the following areas: film stardom and celebrity, cinema and gender, film history, French cinema and Southeast Asian cinema.
Postgraduate (Monash University)
Shana binti Sanusi (with main supervisor: Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon)
The Domestic Space and Familial Trauma in East Asian Horror Cinema
Stephanie Tan Li Hsia (with main supervisor: Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon)
Everyday Life in Practice: The Everyday as Identity, Resistance, and Tradition in Virginia Woolf
Matthew Yap Tuck Mun (with main supervisor: Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon)
The Reality of TV: Identity, Authenticity and Personal Power within Reality TV based Science-Fiction
Chrishandra Sebastiampillai (with associate supervisor: Professor Roland B. Tolentino (external))
Loveteams in Philippine Cinema
Rohini Sreekumar (with Associate Supervisor: Dr Sony Jalarajan Raj (external))
The reception of Bollywood in Malaysia (1991-2012): a contextual study