UCL News


UCL in the News: Lee Grieveson

15 February 2008

Jessica R.

Henderson, 'The Harvard Crimson'

Lee Grieveson [UCL English Language & Literature] is an expert on American gangster movies, censorship, and silent films. But despite a distinguished career as a scholar of American films, this semester marks his first time teaching cinema to students in the U.S.

Grieveson, current director of the graduate film studies program at UCL, will serve as Visiting Associate Professor in Harvard's Visual and Environmental Studies department for one semester. …

Growing up in Britain, Grieveson explains that he, like many Europeans, was continually influenced by American preeminence in cinema, rather than films from his own country.

LG: British cinema, at the beginning at least, was quite vibrant and important. But certainly from about the First World War onward, it's been dominated in various ways by America cinema...more commercial and mainstream British filmmaking tries to mimic the American tradition, and not always successfully. …

Grieveson is currently writing a book that has a topic similar to that of "Law, Order, and Cinema," one of the two courses he's teaching at the College.

LG: The book seeks to think about the way in which cinema has been used by various bodies which seek to influence and manage people's conduct. It really looks at American cinema from its beginning to probably the end of the 1930s.

Above all, Grieveson is optimistic about his experience this semester, eager to interact with Harvard students and professors.

LG: I hope to share some of these ideas with smart students, to see how they hold up and explore how they might develop. And I hope for really the same thing with my colleagues, in talking to the people around me. Of course I'm hugely excited about all these prospects. …