Dr James Aston

Lecturer/ Programme Director for Film Studies

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education


01482 465642

James Aston's principal research interest lies in the field of extreme horror.

He has published numerous articles in this research area including co-editing To See the Saw Movies: Essays on Torture Porn and Post-9/11 Horror.

He has also written a monograph on the horror filmmakers Fred Vogel, Shane Ryan, and Lucifer Valentine, entitled Beyond Videodrome: Hardcore Horror in the 21st Century [working title. Forthcoming 2018].


Research Interests

  • Horror cinema

  • Extremity in film

  • Apocalyptic cinema

  • East Asian cinema

Research groups

Identity and Hybridity Research Cluster and Transnationality Studies at the University of Hull


Monograph, Hardcore Horror, North Carolina: McFarland Books, forthcoming 2018.

Aston J & Walliss J (eds.), To See the Saw Movies: Essays on Torture Porn and Post-9/11 Horror, North Carolina: McFarland Books, 2013.

Aston J & Walliss J (eds.), Small Screen Revelations: Apocalypse and Prophecy in Contemporary Television, Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2012.

'“A Malignant, Seething Hatework”: An Introduction to US 21st Century Hardcore Horror', Senses of Cinema, Issue 80, September 2016.

‘Movies Outside the Mainstream: August Underground and Real/Reel Horror’, in Reyas X A & Blake L (eds.), Digital Horror: Haunted Technologies, Network Panic and the Found Footage Phenomenon, London: I.B. Tauris, 2016.

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • East Asian Cinema

  • Global Nightmares: Contemporary Horror Cinema From Around the World

  • American Alternative Cinema

  • Screen, Nation, Identity

  • American Film and History

Research PhDs

Horror cinema, particularly extreme horror and contemporary North American horror.

Completed PhDs

Martin Hall, 1960s British and European Art cinema.

Adam Chapman, The Great Game of History: An Analytical Approach to and Analysis of, the Videogame as a Historical Form.

Lee Freeman, 'The Mild Revolution’: The Politics of Ealing Studios.

Emma Horrex, The Representations of the Girl Gang in American Films of the 1990s and 2000s.

Current PhD supervisions

Supervising four PhD researchers whose topics are Folk horror, Italian gothic horror, memory and aging in teenage dystopian fiction and cinema, and the Disney princess franchise.

Also second supervisor for a Sheffield Hallam PhD student as part of NECAH. The thesis is on British Horror Cinema and the Production of Space.

Teaching awards and accolades

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCTLHE) 2009

  • HEA Fellow

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, Movie-Made Memories: Prosthetic Memory and the Representation and Reception of the American Past in New Hollywood From 1967 – 1974. Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD). 2007.

  • MA: Visual Culture. Thesis: Hollywood and War: The Resurgence of the World War II Combat Film and the Cinematic Representation of History. 2003.