Languages and Literature, University of Birmingham
This thesis aims to remap film genre theory to make it newly relevant to the rapidly evolving reality of World Cinema. Genre theory is a field of research within film studies that remains strongly dependent of a colonial hierarchy that places Hollywood as the main referent over the rest of cinemas in the world, thus creating a relation of dominance through notions of periphery and centre. The writings of Rick Altman and Steve Neale in the early 2000s are revised and repurposed by this thesis, considering them as nuanced analyses of genre theory that work locally, that is, within the industrial context of Hollywood. In a world of cinemas, each mode of filmmaking has to be studied without creating relations of hierarchy, but rather considering them in regard to their specific contexts and, indeed, transnational relations. Therefore, Hollywood genre theory as has been studied by these authors cannot be claimed to be a general genre theory, which is in turned pursued by this research.
To achieve this objective, this thesis utilises the post-2000 Westerns as its research context. However, following the title’s notion of “de-Westernising the Western”, my case studies are not circumscribed to the US Western, but rather constitute a wide array of worldwide iterations of the iconography, narratives, stylistic tropes and themes of the Western, including films from Europe, East- and South-Asia, South-Africa, South America, Australia and, indeed, the US. The significance of choosing the Western lies within its iconic and as yet uncontested status as the genre that uniquely reflects the idiosyncrasy of the USA, because if the Western can be de-Westernised through these World Cinema Westerns, then this operation is possible for any World Cinema genre. This thesis will thus provide a significant step forward in the fields of World Cinema and genre studies because it will attempt a theoretical redrawing of genre that has not been approached and reveal the possibilities of using global genres as tool for understanding between othering cultures.
Articles in Journals
Chapters in Edited Books
Freijo, L. (2021) ‘Borders Outside, Borders Within: European Citizenship and Neocolonialism in Valeska Grisebach’s Western’, 2nd University of Birmingham-University of Zaragoza Colloquium, 16 December.
Freijo, L. (2021) 'World Cinema Between the Rock of the Unknowable and the Hard Place of the As Yet Unknown', Society for Cinema and Media Studies: Special Interest Group Transnational Cinemas, 19 November.
Freijo, L. (2021) 'Professionalism and Employment in the Media', School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester: 8 November.
Freijo, L. (2021) ‘”Let the Land Decide”: The World Cinema Western and the Language of Colonialism in Five Fingers for Marseilles’, B-Film Seminar Series 2021-2022. University of Birmingham: 21 October.
Freijo, L. (2021) ‘”I Am Also a We”: Sense8’s Aspiration to a Cosmopolitan Frontier’, SERCIA Conference. University of Zaragoza: 8-10 September.
Freijo, L. (2021) ‘El personaje en el Western global: Un enfoque narratológico’, Comunicación y Lenguajes Audiovisuales. University of Medellín: 31 August.
Freijo, L. (2021) 'De-Westernising the Western: Genre Under Erasure as a Methodology of Resistance in Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014)', Screen Studies Conference 2021. University of Glasgow (online): 25-27 June.
Freijo, L. (2021) ‘The Nation in Transit: the Reconfiguration of Modern Spain through Migration in Luz de domingo (José Luis Garci, 2007)’, Necs Conference 2021: Transitions: Moving Images and Bodies. University of Palermo (online): 7-13 June.
Freijo, L. (2021) ‘Mediterranean Migrations: Transitory Identities in Italian and Spanish Cinema’, panel organiser, Necs Conference 2021: Transitions: Moving Images and Bodies. University of Palermo (online): 7-13 June.
Freijo, L. (2021) '"Where the Centuries Don't Follow One Another": Ritualising the Nation in Global Westerns', video-essay presented at the M4C Digital Research Festival, 7-10 June. Virtual Gallery: https://my.ltb.io/#/showcase/midlands4cities-digital-research-festival-2021/ Video-essay: https://vimeo.com/552848805.
Freijo, L. (2021) 'Cosmopolitanism at the Urban Frontier: Discussing a Glocal Sense8', 4th Annual B-Film PGR Symposium. University of Birmingham: 5 March.
Freijo, L. (2021) 'Unearthing the Colonial Ghosts of the Patagonian Western', B-Film PGR Seminars 2020-2021. University of Birmingham: 21 June.
Freijo, L. (2020) 'De-Westernising the Western: A Trailer', video-essay presented at the M4C Digital Research Festival, 13-14 July. Virtual Gallery: https://my.ltb.io/?fbclid=IwAR0Q3TZz01VCyLRXRwEjhia2h1q6eTFXVfByD8P4cBLt1axHZ6Dt4foP3z0#/showcase/midlands4cities-digital-research-festival-2020 Video-essay: https://vimeo.com/424506558.
Freijo, L. (2020) Member of the organising team of ‘World Cinema Summit: The Longitude and Latitude of World Cinema’, University of Birmingham, 4-5 June 2020. https://2020worldcinemasummit.wordpress.com/home/about/
Freijo, L. (2020) Organiser of the 3rd Annual B-Film PGR Symposium on Identities in Transnational Cinemas. University of Birmingham: 17 February.
Freijo, L. (2019) 'Héroes cansados, familias extrañas: Dibujando la masculinidad post-industrial en Old Man Logan', 2nd International Congress of Interdisciplinary Studies about Comics. University of Zaragoza: 15-17 May.
Freijo, L. (2019) Organiser of the 2nd Annual B-Film PGR Symposium on World Cinema. University of Birmingham: 15 March.
Freijo, L. (2018) 'A Gun of One´s Own. Gender Representation in Contemporary Westerns' [Poster]. Exhibited at 12th UoB Research Poster Conference. University of Birmingham: 13 June. Winner of Social Engagement Award.
Freijo, L. (2018) 'Slowness, Art Cinema, and Poetry in Contemporary Westerns. Toward a Definition of Slow Westerns", 1st B-Film PGR Symposium. University of Birmingham, 2 March.
Freijo, L. (2017) 'El Viñedo en Celuloide. Valores de Representación del Vino en Cine', Vino, letras y un par de besos callados: el viñedo en el paraíso, San Lorenzo del Escorial, Summer Course of Universidad Complutense de Madrid: 17-21 July.
Department of Film and Creative Writing, University of Birmingham
B-Film: The Birmingham Centre for Film Studies
November 2021-April 2022: PG Film Studies Demonstrator at the Department of Film and Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham.
October 2021-June 2022: Teaching Associate at the Department of Film and Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Modules: Introduction to Film Studies: Styles and Forms (5 hours). Film Genre (17 hours).
January 2021-June 2021: Teaching Associate at the Department of Film and Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Modules: Film Genre (15 hours).
October 2019-November 2019: Postgraduate Teaching Assistant at the Department of Film and Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Modules: Studying Film A (4 hours); Film Theory and Criticism (6 hours).
July 2019: Visiting lecturer in the Birmingham International Summer School of Media, organised by the Department of Film and Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham, with the session 'Film Genre, World Cinema and the Western'.
March 2019-July 2019: Project Support Assistant with the University of Birmingham Graduate School in the organisation of the 14th University of Birmingham Research Poster Conference.
October 2018-Present: Research Assistant and member of the Management Committee of the research centre B-Film: The Birmingham Centre for Film Studies, attached to the Departments of Film and Creative Writing and Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham.
September 2018-June 2019: Contributor in the digital marketing company Syndicali as content writer.
September 2017-September 2018: Contributor in the Film section of Redbrick newspaper.
March 2017-July 2017: Contributor in the Culture section of the digital newspaper bez.es.
April 2016-Present: Panellist at the cultural radio show El Marcapáginas, hosted by David Felipe Arranz in Capital Radio.
September 2015-February 2017: Editor in the TV show 'Qué tiempo tan feliz', hosted by María Teresa Campos. Mandarina Productions, Mediaset.
June-August 2015: Intern editor in the TV show 'Qué tiempo tan feliz', hosted by María Teresa Campos. Mandarina Productions, Mediaset.
June 2015: Intern for Red Shoes Cultural Communication.
May 2014: Cameraman covering the National Female Basketball Championship (Junior Category) in Guadalajara, Spain.
May and June 2013: Cameraman covering the National Male Basketball Championship (Junior Category) and the National Female Basketball Championship (Youth Category) in Guadalajara, Spain.
February 2013-April 2017: Director and co-founder of the online cultural magazine Gran Imaginador.
January 2013-October 2016: Co-founder, producer and editor of the radio show Jarra y Siete, in Radioenlace (Madrid).