Listening to the world through French environmental documentary (start date Sept 2021)

About the project or challenge area

This project offers the chance to study representations of the natural world on screen from the unique perspective of the listener. You will analyse a selection of French environmental documentaries through a focus on sensory perception, examining how our listening informs our awareness of different habitats and life forms and increases our sensitivity towards the natural environment. Drawing on scholarship in soundscape studies, acoustic ecology and theories of listening, you will undertake the wider task of evaluating the extent to which this popular genre of documentary film cultivates the capacity for environmental empathy and responsibility.

Why choose this opportunity?

You will have the opportunity to develop a broad understanding of the social importance of documentary film from an ecocritical perspective, while developing an interdisciplinary skill set that interweaves advanced research and writing skills with creative critical analysis and the handling of scientific knowledge about natural spaces and species. You will develop skills in film analysis, and knowledge of contemporary French documentary production. Combining factual research with subjective experience, this project will lead to a deeper understanding of how our involvement with film might affect our engagement with the natural world. It will provide a useful foundation for career paths in the cultural and creative industries, and in media research roles more generally.

About you

A background in French and/or Film Studies would be beneficial, as would an interest in audiovisual media and critical theory.

How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Master's by Research Admissions Statement. Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Masters by Research Statement Template (Office document, 68kB).

Before applying, we recommend getting in touch with the project's supervisors. If you are interested in this project and would like to learn more about the research you will be undertaking, please use the contact details on this page.


Your supervisor for this project will be Albertine Fox, Lecturer in French film in the School of Modern Languages, Department of French. You can contact her at +44 117 9287760 or email 

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Environmental Change theme is a vibrant community of researchers who integrate expertise across multiple disciplines to provide the evidence base and solutions to tackle the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Find out more about the Environmental Change research theme.

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