Sian Barber


  • Room 02.002 - 21 University Square

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of: - British film history - Film censorship - Film controversy - Audiences


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interests cover British cinema, film and history and regulation of the moving image. My work explores the relationship between film, culture and society and the means by which we regulate film and cinema. 

I have published on British film and cinema, cinemagoing and audiences, regulation and classification and the work of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). My monographs include Censoring the 1970s: the BBFC and the Decade that Taste Forgot (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011) and The British Film Industry in the 1970s: Capital, Culture and Creativity (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

I have recently completed a monograph Using Film as a Source which details how film can be used as a source for different types of research.  This work was published in June 2015 by Manchester University Press in conjunction with the Institute of Historical Research. It is the first in a series of pedagogical study guides aimed at undergradte and postgradute students and researchers.

My current research focuses upon local censorship and is drawing on a number of historical case studies to explore the regulation of film within different locations. The first findings of this work are to be published in The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television in 2016.  

Since 2010 I have been a member of the EUscreen project, an EU-funded consortium of academics, technology providers and European broadcasters and archives which has created a fully searchable online database of moving image content. The collection currently houses over 40,000 freely available items. 



I currently convene and teach the following modules: 

  • Introduction to Film Studies 1 (FLM1001) level 1
  • British Cinema: nation, industry and identity (FLM2026) level 2
  • British Cinema: decades and debates (FLM3032) level 3
  • Censorship, Regulation and Audiences (MA)


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Research Output

  • 8 Article
  • 4 Chapter
  • 3 Book
  • 2 Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Discovering Film on Irish Television: fragments from the RTÉ Archives 1960-1965

Barber, S., 22 Oct 2018, In : Historical Research. 91, 254, p. 791-809

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Cinema and the Age of Television, 1950-1970

    Barber, S., 12 Jan 2017, The Routledge Companion to British Cinema History. Taylor and Francis Inc., p. 220-229 10 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    203 Downloads (Pure)

    Power struggles, regulation and responsibility. Reappraising the Video Recordings Act

    Barber, S., 09 Sep 2016, In : Media History. p. 1-16 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 136 Downloads (Pure)

    Using film as a source

    Barber, S., 01 Jun 2015, Manchester: Manchester University Press. 174 p. (IHR Research Guides ; vol. 1)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Activities

    2 Minute Masterpiece and pitching masterclass with BBC NI and NI Screen

    Sian Barber (Host)
    11 Feb 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    RTS Futures masterclass series

    Sian Barber (Session chair)
    08 Apr 201911 Apr 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Irish Film Institute series on British Cinema. Screening of 28 Days Later... and discussion of British horror cinema

    Sian Barber (Participant)
    26 Mar 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Exploring Cinema-going Past and Present

    Sian Barber (Participant)
    05 Apr 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Researching Past Cinema Audiences

    Sian Barber (Participant)
    26 Mar 201828 Mar 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Press / Media

    No sex please: how Northern Ireland was united by ‘evil’ films

    Sian Barber


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment


    Being Human - a festival of the humanities (Northern Ireland Hub)

    Franziska Schroeder (Participant), David Grant (Participant), Kurt Taroff (Participant), Cahal McLaughlin (Participant), Stefanie Lehner (Participant), Alex Murray (Participant), Sian Barber (Participant), Paul Murphy (Participant)

    Impact: Cultural Impact, Societial Impact