Dr Lisa Trahair

Senior Lecturer

BA (Honours Class 1, University Medal), PhD Syd.

School of the Arts & Media


+61 2 9385 5011
226, Level 2 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: Cinema Studies, Film, Television and Digital Media, Poststructuralism, Psychoanalytic Philosophy

Although I have taught in Film Studies for the last 20 years, my Honours and Doctoral degrees were in the discipline of Art History and Theory, and my interest in film continues to be in understanding the cinematic image. My research interests include: early cinema, cinematic comedy, the philosophy of comedy, cinema and psychoanalysis, theories of vision and the image, film and philosophy, the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, the philosophy of comedy.



    • Trahair L, 2007, Comedy of philosophy, the: Sense and Nonsense in Early Cinematic Slapstick

    Book Chapters

    • Trahair LM, 2017, 'Aberrant Movement and Somatography in the Hysterical Films of Roméo Bosetti', in Woodward A; Jones G (ed.), Acinemas: Lyotard's Philosophy of Film, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 180 - 180
    • Trahair L, 2012, 'Jean- François Lyotard', in Film, Theory and Philosophy: The Key Thinkers, pp. 222 - 232
    • Trahair LM, 2012, 'Godard and Ranciere: Automatism, Montage, Thinking', in Ross A; Deranty J-P (ed.), Jacques Ranciere and the Contemporary Scene: The Philosophy of Radical Equality, edn. Original, Continuum, London, pp. 43 - 66
    • Trahair LM, 2011, ''The General (C. Bruckman, B. Keaton, 1926)'', in Gandini L (ed.), Is Cinema Americano Attraverso I Film, edn. Original, Carocci, Rome, pp. 25 - 39
    • During L;Trahair L, 2008, 'Film theory', in Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, edn. 1, pp. 166 - 195, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ywcct/mbn009
    • Trahair L, 2007, 'Film theory', in Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, edn. 1, pp. 165 - 185, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ywcct/mbm018
    • Trahair LM, 1999, 'Fool`s gold: metamorphosis in Buster Keaton`s Sherlock, Jr.', in Falling for you: essays on cinema and performance, edn. Original, Power Publications, Sydney, Australia, pp. 209 - 244
    • Trahair LM, 1991, 'For the Noise of a Fly', in The Illusion of Life: Essays on Animation, Power Publications, Sydney, pp. 182 - 208

    Journal articles

    Conference Papers

    • Trahair LM, 2005, 'Lights, Camera, Editing: Understanding Film', in English Association English Teachers` Conference 2005, English Association English Teachers` Conference 2005, University of Sydney, NSW, presented at English Association English Teachers` Conference 2005, University of Sydney, NSW, 05 March 2005


Teaching and Supervision

ARTS1060 Introduction to Film

ARTS1062 Hollywood Cinema: Industry, Aesthetics, Technology (Convenor)

ARTS2063 National Cinemas (Convenor)

ARTS2064 Film Genres (Convenor)

ARTS3062 Aspects of Film History: Film as Philosophy (Convenor)

Honours and prizes

Grants and Awards

  • ARC Discovery Project 2010-2013 ($147,000) 'Film as Philosophy: What is Cinematic Thinking?' with Dr Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie University) and Dr Gregory Flaxman (University of North Carolina)
  • UNSW Vice Chancellor's Goldstar Award 2009 ($30,000)
  • ARC Discovery Project 2004-2006 ($80,000) ‘The Staging and Framing of Comic Performance in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, with Professor Jim Davis.
  • Residency at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France. University of Sydney, 2004.

Engagement and Professional contributions

  • Founding member of Cinematic Thinking Network
  • Member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • 2011-2018 Cinematic Thinking Network Director
  • 2018 - Review Panel for Bachelor of Art Theory Program, Art & Design, UNSW
  • 2018-Referee forHegel Studies
  • 2018-Book proposal reviewer for Palgrave
  • 2016-Manuscript Reader for SUNY
  • 2016-Research referee for tenure application, University of Toronto
  • 2015-Convener of film stream for the Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference, UNSW, December
  • 2015-Referee for Empedocles—European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication
  • 2010-2015 ARC Assessor
  • 2011-2015 Conference Organiser for 5 Cinematic Thinking Workshops (2011 Cinematic Thinking, 2012 Thinking Cinematically before Deleuze, 2013 Cinema and/as Ethics, 2014 Cinema’s Realisms,2015 Deleuze and Cinema)
  • 2009-2010 School representative, Honours Working Party, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • 2009 Honours Convenor for Media, Film and Theatre and Performance Studies.
  • 2009 School Representative, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Standing Committee
  • 2006 Invited speaker: Australia Research Council Discovery Project Workshop, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • 2005-2006 Promotions Committee (Level A to Level B) Faculty of Science
  • 2005-2007 School Representative, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Committee
  • 2004 Invited participant: University Level B to Level C Promotion Workshop
  • 2000-2004 Representative for the Presiding Member of the Academic Board at the College of Fine Arts, Faculty Board Meetings
  • 2003 Film Studies Convenor
  • 2001-2003 School Representative, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Standing Committee
  • 2001-2003 Promotions Committee (Level A to Level B) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • 2001 Appointment Committee, Lecturer in Film Studies
  • 2000 Appointment Committee, Lecturer in Film Studies
  • 1999-2002 School of Theatre, Film and Dance Honours Convenor
  • 1998 Appointment Committee, 3 Lecturing positions in Media, UNSW
  • Referee for the following journals Screening the Past, Fibreculture, Screen, M/C Journal, Cultural Studies Review, Deleuze Studies, Australian Feminist Studies,Bulletin de la Société Américaine dePhilosophie de Langue Française, Angelaki, Convergence, Form/Work
  • Thesis examiner, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, UNSW, University of Canterbury, University of Western Sydney, University of Sydney

Related links

Other information

Ph.D and MA Research Supervisions (past and current)

  • Richard Smith, The Traffic in Images: Deleuze’s Cinema Books and the New Action Image (2003) (Faculty Thesis Prize)
  • Roger Dawkins, Deleuze’s Cinema Books and the Semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce (2006) (School nominee for Faculty Thesis Prize)
  • Jenny Breukelaar, The Powers of the False: A New Look at Noir (2007)
  • Kimberley Tyrrell, Whiteness and Contemporary Monstrosity (2008)
  • Deborah Klika, Australian Television Comedy (2010)
  • Sean Mosely, The Australian Classification System: Practices and Policies Regarding Adult Animated Films (2011)
  • Sharon Mee, The Pulse in Cinema (2017) (School nominee for Faculty Thesis Prize)
  • Keyvan Manafi, Facing Images: Ethics, Realisms, and the Cinematographic Eye(2018)
  • Nitin Vengurlekar, Resistive Choreographies in Contemporary Dance-Theatre and Film: The Visual Strategies of Pina Bausch and Jacques Tati (current)
  • Vanessa Alexander, Reawakening: Female Comedy (current)
  • Albert Alba, Farce, (current)

Co-Supervisons (completed)

  • Teresa Rizzo, From the Cinematic Apparatus to the Cinematic Assemblage (2004)
  • Hamish Ford, Negativity and Time in Modernist Cinema (2005)
  • Megan Carrigy, Performing History, Troubling Reference: Troubling the Screen Re-enactment (2011) (Faculty Thesis Prize)
  • Gabriella Lowe, ‘Virtual Reality: Reframing the Cinema in the Digital Era’

Supervision areas (future)

  • Deleuze’s cinema books, cinematic comedy, cinema and psychoanalysis, French cinema, film aesthetics, early cinema, the horror film, animation, film and philosophy, semiotic approaches to cinema, theories of vision and the image, cinema and technology.