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Dr Davinia Thornley

MA PhD(N Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Senior Lecturer
 

Contact

Office: Richardson 6C14
Tel: 64 3 4794182
Email: davinia.thornley@otago.ac.nz
 

Current Projects / Possible Areas of Supervision

I have two ongoing interests that thread throughout all of my research projects: 1) the connections between Māori and Pākehā in Aotearoa/New Zealand (ANZ) and 2) questions of methodology i.e. that what we know is shaped by how we know--or the methods that we employ. All of my work has been centered on these two themes, but has broadened to include audience/reception studies, work on ANZ cinema more generally, and a new study investigating collaborative efforts in national cinemas.

I am currently working on a study of the ways that cinema crosses the borders of nation-states and joins together dispersed ANZ citizens. This study undertakes an examination of ‘community making’ by asking ANZ expatriates in London and Los Angeles about their movie-viewing habits. I am specifically interested in how national films work to create and sustain a feeling of belonging among New Zealanders even when they are geographically removed from their place of citizenship (e.g. travelers, emigrants, etc). Audience/reception studies methodology, while firmly established in the USA and the United Kingdom, is less well-known in ANZ; therefore, I see my skills in this area as a particular research strength of mine.

Recent publication

Cinema, Cross-Cultural Collaboration, and Criticism: Filming on an Uneven Field is a manifesto for a developing area, one that provides a new model for reading films about indigeneity. I investigate specific production partnerships in Canada, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, using the framework of scholarly and popular criticism to draw conclusions from these collaborative case studies. My book makes two very specific contributions to knowledge: it provides several industry-specific examples of collaboration in production, and it answers the question of how first world critics can approach the films created by indigenous and minority groups.

Cinema, Cross-Cultural Collaboration, and Criticism: Filming on an Uneven Field is available from Palgrave, Amazon (US and UK) and Fishpond among others.
 

Papers In 2017

Semester One:

MFCO 216 New Zealand Cinema
MFCO 318 Indigenous Cinemas

Semester Two:

MFCO 406 Audience Studies
 

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Publications

Thornley, D. (2014). Cinema, cross-cultural collaboration, and criticism: Filming on an uneven field. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 144p. doi: 10.1057/9781137411570

Thornley, D. (2013). Prime-time activists in 'Crooked Earth': The meta-narrative of Aotearoa New Zealand film. JGCinema: Cinema and Globalization. Retrieved from http://www.jgcinema.com/single.php?sl=Maori-meta-narrative-Aotearoa-New-Zealand

Thornley, D. (2012). Māori identity by way of New Zealand film or why 'I don't have to be a particular skin colour to feel beige'. Studies in Australasian Cinema, 6(2), 203-215. doi: 10.1386/sac.6.2.203_1

Thornley, D. (2011). 'From a Maori point of view to look at a Maori film': Maori New Zealanders talk about watching indigenous films. Journal of International Communication, 17(2), 107-120. doi: 10.1080/13216597.2011.589366

Thornley, D. (2009). Talking film, talking identity: New Zealand expatriates reflect on national film. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 12(1), 99-117. doi: 10.1177/1367549408098707

Authored Book - Research

Thornley, D. (2014). Cinema, cross-cultural collaboration, and criticism: Filming on an uneven field. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 144p. doi: 10.1057/9781137411570

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Chapter in Book - Research

Thornley, D. (2013). Playing with land issues: Subversive hybridity in The Price of Milk. In W. G. Pearson & S. Knabe (Eds.), Reverse shots: Indigenous film and media in an international context. Waterloo, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Thornley, D. (2010). Films, national identity and the Otago landscape. In J. Stephenson, M. Abbott & J. Ruru (Eds.), Beyond the scene: Landscape and identity in Aotearoa New Zealand. (pp. 111-120). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Thornley, D. (2006). 'Wellywood' and Peter Jackson: The local reception of The Lord of the Rings in Wellington, New Zealand. In E. Mathijs (Ed.), The Lord of the Rings: Popular culture in global context. (pp. 101-118). London: Wallflower Press.

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Journal - Research Article

Thornley, D. (2013). Prime-time activists in 'Crooked Earth': The meta-narrative of Aotearoa New Zealand film. JGCinema: Cinema and Globalization. Retrieved from http://www.jgcinema.com/single.php?sl=Maori-meta-narrative-Aotearoa-New-Zealand

Thornley, D. (2012). Māori identity by way of New Zealand film or why 'I don't have to be a particular skin colour to feel beige'. Studies in Australasian Cinema, 6(2), 203-215. doi: 10.1386/sac.6.2.203_1

Thornley, D. (2011). 'From a Maori point of view to look at a Maori film': Maori New Zealanders talk about watching indigenous films. Journal of International Communication, 17(2), 107-120. doi: 10.1080/13216597.2011.589366

Thornley, D. (2009). Talking film, talking identity: New Zealand expatriates reflect on national film. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 12(1), 99-117. doi: 10.1177/1367549408098707

Thornley, D. (2006). Indivisible: Mäori-Päkehä hybridity in Aotearoa New Zealand cinema. International Journal of the Humanities, 3(6), 67-75.

Thornley, D. (2006). The Scream reflex: Meta-horror and popular culture. Metro, 150, 140-147.

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Journal - Research Other

Thornley, D. (2007). [Review of the book Mana Tuturu: Māori treasures and intellectual property rights]. Oceania, 77(3), 375.

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Thornley, D. (2011). "I don't have to be a particular skin colour to feel beige": Mobilizing Māori identity by way of New Zealand film. Proceedings of the Screen Cultures Conference. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/languagescultures/screencultures.html

Thornley, D. (2008). Playing with land issues: Subversive hybridity in The price of milk. In C. Fowler & R. Simmons (Eds.), Proceedings of the XIVth Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand (Vol. 1: Refereed Abstracts). (pp. 72). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Film, Media and Communication, University of Otago. [Abstract]

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Thornley, D. (2013, August). Making Robert Sarkies's Out of the Blue: Adaptation and indigenization in Aotearoa New Zealand. Verbal presentation at the Screenwriting Research Network International Conference: Screenwriting in a Global and Digital World, Madison, Wisconsin.

Thornley, D. (2012, July). "Instrument of change": Cinematic cross-cultural collaboration in ISUMA's Before Tomorrow. Verbal presentation at the Crossroads in Cultural Studies International Conference, Paris, France.

Thornley, D. (2011, August). Out of the blue: A case of 'national genre confusion'? Verbal presentation at the Masculinities between the National and the Transnational: 1980 to the Present International Conference, Kent, OH.

Thornley, D. (2010, February). Cinematic cross-cultural collaboration: Alec Morgan and Australian Aboriginal communities. Verbal presentation at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Southwest/Texas Popular and American Culture Association (SWTX PCA ACA), Albuquerque, NM.

Thornley, D. (2010, November-December). ″My whole area has started to be about what's left over″: Alec Morgan, stolen histories, and Australian Aboriginal collaboration. Verbal presentation at the XVth Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand: Cinema, Modernity and Modernism, Sydney, Australia.

Thornley, D. (2010, November). ″I don't have to be a particular skin colour to feel beige″: Mobilising Māori identity by way of New Zealand film. Verbal presentation at the Mobilities Symposium: Towards a Movement-driven Social Science in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Thornley, D. (2008, July). Conceptions of empire: ″Pictures″ as a colonial war film. Verbal presentation at the Australian Historical Association Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Thornley, D. (2008, August). Illustrious energy: New Zealand's Chinese settler diaspora. Verbal presentation at the Transnational Cinema in Globalising Societies: Asia and Latin America Conference, Puebla, Mexico.

Thornley, D. (2007, June). ″I come from a really small country but look my country can produce″: New Zealand expatriates talking about national film. Verbal presentation at the 14th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Studies Association, London, UK.

Thornley, D. (2006, July). The scream reflex, meta-horror and popular culture. Verbal presentation at the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association Conference, Launceston, Australia.

Thornley, D. (2006, November). New ways of thinking about national cinema(s). Verbal presentation at the Postcolonial Politics Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Thornley, D. (2006, November). Prime-time activists: Meta-narrative in Crooked Earth. Verbal presentation at the XIII Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne, Australia.

More publications...