Current Areas of Research
Much of Sadie's research and teaching centres on the analysis of film. Specifically, the ways in which cinematic narratives articulate contested cultural processes including questions of public memory, national identity, heritage and belongings, gender sexuality and aging. She has written on the questions raised by adaptations of literary and biographical texts and the specificity of cinematic forms of memory and forgetting and at how these might be understood in relation to the politics of feeling, tone, postcolonial theory, postfeminism and contemporary formations of celebrity. Her current research has two main strands, a research project on the filmmaker Jill Craigie, and a longstanding research interest in representations of aging.
Jill Craigie, Film and Feminism in Post-War Britain
Jill Craigie Film Pioneer (https://www.jillcraigiefilmpioneer.org/) is a four year(2018-2022) research project funded by the AHRC. The investigators on the Project are Lizzie Thynne (PI, University of Sussex)), Yvonne Tasker (CI, University of Leeds) and Sadie Wearing(CI LSE). Jill Craigie (1911 – 1999) was one of Britain’s earliest women documentary makers whose films stand out because of their overtly feminist and socialist politics, and their attempt to combine activism and entertainment. Located within women’s film history, the project aims to explore Craigie as a significant force in British cinema history whose films warrant closer attention. Forthcoming work from the project includes a book, Jill Craigie: Film and feminism in Postwar Britain (co-authored with Yvonne Tasker)which seeks to centralize Craigie’s film work, locating it for the reader within the particular context of British wartime and postwar visual culture and society. We trace the links between the themes and political tones of her films and her preoccupations with equality, housing, feminist histories, art, culture and socialism through her varied work in the culture industries in the 1940s, 1950s and beyond.
Aging in Contemporary Culture
This research, which has been published across a range of journals and edited collections, is concerned with representations and theorisations of the aging body in contemporary popular culture exploring the intersections of discourses of race, class, disability, gender and sexuality in shifting conceptualisations of age. The research examines the ways in which film, literature and media reflect and complicate wider cultural assumptions about aging, memory and temporality and the ways in which aging subjectivities are produced and reproduced via cultural discourses and the affective management of aging. This work explores links with affect theory, postfeminism, performativity, celebrity and disability studies to reflect on the complexity and paradoxes of prevailing representations of aging and suggests the ways in which recent popular culture might be understood as a crucial site on which negotiations of contemporary aging are being explored. Particular attention is paid to the emotional register of representations of dementia across a range of genres. Forthcoming work includes analysis of the role of genre in some of the most recent high profile feature films screened in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.