Dr Simon Hobbs
I joined the University of Portsmouth as a Lecturer in Visual Culture in 2017 and was made Senior Lecturer in 2019. I teach across the Visual Culture programme, and run a research-led module entitled Cult, Taste and Collecting for second year Art and Design students. I have previously taught Film Studies and Media Studies at Southampton Solent University, Bournemouth University and the International College Portsmouth, and I have an MA and PhD in Film Studies from the University of Portsmouth. My PhD thesis explored the paratextual presentation of extreme art cinema and discussed the manner in which home video objects manage filmic identities and prepare audiences for certain experiences. Since completing my PhD at the end of 2014, I have published a book on the subject called Cultivating Extreme Art Cinema: Text, Paratext and Home Video Culture (2018). I continue to be interested in issues surrounding cultural taste, the ways highbrow and lowbrow cinema intersect, and the manner in which objects are acted upon by people. I would be interested in supervising postgraduate research projects in the areas of material culture, film fandom, collecting, cultural taste and extreme cinema.
My research has explored the slippage between highbrow art cinema and lowbrow exploitation cinema, horror films, film fandom and the paratextuality of cinema. I have published in the areas of transnational cinema, horror cinema, extreme cinema and the role of animals in film. I am interested in the ways cultural taste, particularly ideas of ‘good’ taste, are challenged and transgressed by images of extremity. I am further interested in the manner in which these subsequent ‘slips’ are communicated to an audience through the presence of filmic objects (including DVDs, Blu-rays and streaming platforms). More recently, I have been researching material culture and second-hand consumption, with a specific focus on car boot sales. In looking at themes that have informed my research in the past (such as cultural taste, fandom and collecting) and newer areas (such as sustainability), I hope to explore a currently under-developed area in greater depth and detail.