Senior Lecturer in Film


Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Michael Stewart (BA, MPhil, PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in film in the Media Communication & Performing Arts Division. He is also a full member of the Centre for Communication, Culture and Media Studies.

I have degrees from Moray House Edinburgh, Glasgow University, the Open University and Queen Margaret University, and have been a lecturer in film, media and cultural studies at QMU since 2000. Before this, I was a lecturer and tutor at Liverpool John Moores University and Glasgow University. I am secretary of the Scottish Media and Communication Association, and I’m a member of the Melodrama Research Consortium. I am on the editorial board of Film Criticism. I have peer reviewed for various film, media and culture journals, and am currently a peer reviewer for European Journal of Cultural Studies; Images: The International Journal of European Film, Performing Arts and Audiovisual Communication; and Cogent Arts and Humanities. I am a Panel B member of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities’ Cohort Development Fund.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Secretary of the Scottish Media and Communication Association. Member of the Melodrama Research Consortium.

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

My primary research interest is film melodrama, and, alongside and related to this, genre and adaptation. My main focus is on film family melodramas – feature films about families, family relations and identities; films which include more pathos than action. I have published work on this subject in various journals, for example Cinema Journal, Journal of British Cinema and Television and Critical Studies in Television.

I also recently edited an international collection of essays on contemporary film and television melodrama – Melodrama in Contemporary Film and Television (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). I welcome applications from PhD candidates with interests in film melodrama, film genre, film adaptation, European film, and globalised art film.

Dr Michael Stewart research publications and outputs (QMU eResearch profile)

 Currently working on: An edited collection (with my colleague Robert Munro) to be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2020. This collection comes out of the symposium Robert and I organized at QMU in June 2017, details below.

Also: Julieta (Almodóvar, 2016) as intercultural text.

And: Genre and politics in Toni Erdmann (Ade, 2016).

And: Whisky Galore (2016) as a remake

Recently organized events: One day symposium at QMU (with Robert Munro): ‘Adaptation and nation: screen cultures in national, post-national and transnational contexts’, 22nd June 2017, details here:

Two day conference at QMU (with Douglas McNaughton): ‘Becoming Scotland: screen cultures in a small nation’, 28-29 August 2014.


Recently presented papers

Stewart, M. (2019) ‘Looking for the greatest love of all: social melodrama and the absurd in Toni Erdmann’, at the Media Mixing International Symposium, Lund University, 14th March 2019.

Stewart, M. (2017) ‘Motherhood, memory and punishment: Julieta as transnational guilt’, at the one day symposium, ‘Adaptation and nation: screen cultures in national, post-national and transnational contexts’, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, 22nd June 2017.

Stewart, M (2016) ‘Pathos and aftershock: rethinking the national in Calvary’, European screens conference, University of York, 5-7 September 2016.

Stewart, M. (2015) ‘Melodrama and fatherhood in Shetland’, at the Re-visiting melodrama in contemporary television symposium, University of York, 27th March 2015.

Stewart, M. (2014) ‘Curation, precarity and melodrama in Father of My Children’, Edinburgh film seminar, School of literatures, languages and cultures, University of Edinburgh, 27th November 2014.

Stewart, M. (2014) ‘The death of the father and cultural renewal in The Edge of Heaven and Father of My Children’, Film and media conference, University of London: ‘Visions of identity: global film and media’, 26-28 June 2014.

Stewart, M. (2013) ‘Melodrama as an enduring form in film and culture’, Keynote address at the 5th workshop of the Genre Studies Network: ‘Genre and canons of representation’. Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, 29th April 2013.

Film, media and cultural studies; narrative; genre; melodrama; realism; textual analysis; qualitative methods in film, media and cultural studies. I have led and taught on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate modules at three different UK universities, always in the area of film, media and cultural studies. At QMU, from 2004-2016, I was the programme leader of the BA (Hons) Film and Media, and before that, programme leader of the BA (Hons) Media and Culture.