Dr Jonathan Driskell

Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies
School of Arts and Social Sciences

+603 5514 6128
Room 2-6-03

Dr Jonathan Driskell wrote his PhD thesis at King’s College London on “Female Cinematic Stardom in 1930s French Film”. He has published a book on Marcel Carné, which forms part of the Manchester University Press French Film Directors series, and a book entitled The French Screen Goddess: Film Stardom and the Modern Woman in 1930s France. He has also written about Southeast Asian cinema, particularly the film star P. Ramlee and the Malay cinema of the 1950s and 1960s.

He has spoken at conferences locally and internationally on various aspects of his research and has appeared on BFM: The Business Radio Station to discuss his work on P. Ramlee. Listen to the podcast here.

In the School of Arts and Social Sciences, he is the coordinator for the Major in Film, Television and Screen Studies and has previously served as the Undergraduate Course Coordinator and as the Deputy Head of School (Education).


PhD (Film Studies), King's College London

MA (Film Studies), Sheffield Hallam University

BA (Film and Video), University of Wales, Newport

Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE), Monash University

Research Interests

Dr Jonathan Driskell’s research interests are in film history, film authorship and star studies. He focuses in particular on French and Southeast Asian cinemas, especially the Malay cinema of the 1950s-1960s.

He has published two books on French cinema. The first is a study of the french film director Marcel Carné, who is well-known for his contributions to the Poetic Realist film movement of the 1930s and his ‘masterpiece’ Les Enfants du paradis, which is frequently listed as one of the best French films of all time. The second looks at 1930s French film stars and is entitled The French Screen Goddess: Film Stardom and the Modern Woman in 1930s France.

He has also published on Malay cinema and in particular the film star P. Ramlee.

Research Projects

Dr Jonathan Driskell is currently conducting research on Malay cinema, editing a book entitled Film Stardom in Southeast Asia, which is to be published by Edinburgh University Press and is based on a workshop he organised in 2016, and is co-organising (with A/Prof Andrew Ng and Dr Marek Rutkowski) a workshop on “The Malayan Emergency in Film and Literature”, which will be held in the School of Arts and Social Sciences in November 2021.


Before working at Monash, Dr Jonathan Driskell was a sessional lecturer at King’s College London, Kingston University and the University of Southampton in the UK, where he taught a wide-range of Film Studies subjects, including film history, film authorship, the representation of gender in film, and 1930s French cinema.

He has contributed to the development of the Film and Television Studies curriculum at Monash University Malaysia, helping to introduce the Major in Film, Television and Screen Studies in 2019.

He has also created several new Screen Studies units and currently teaches three of these: Film, Television and Screen Studies: Forms (AMU1224); Film Histories: From 1895 to the present (AMU2449); Stardom: Celebrity, Society and Power (AMU3127).


Jonathan Driskell (2015), The French Screen Goddess: Film Stardom and the Modern Woman in 1930s France (London: I. B. Tauris)

Jonathan Driskell (2012), Marcel Carné (Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press).

Journal Articles

Jonathan Driskell (2019), “Islam and Stardom in Malay Cinema: From Ibu Mertuaku to Salam Cinta”, Situations, 12:2, pp. 53-70.

Jonathan Driskell (2008), “The female ‘metaphysical’ body in poetic realist film”, Studies in French Cinema, 8:1, pp. 57-73.

Book Chapters

Jonathan Driskell (2020), “Hussain Haniff and the Place of the Auteur in Popular Malay Cinema”, in Gaik Cheng Khoo, Thomas Barker and Mary Ainslie (eds.), Southeast Asia on Screen: From Independence to Financial Crisis (1945-1998) (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press).

Jonathan Driskell (2019), ‘Majallah Filem and Stardom in the Golden Age of Malay cinema', in Tamar Jeffers McDonald and Lies Lanckman (eds.), Star Attractions: Twentieth-Century Movie Magazines and Global Fandom (Iowa: University of Iowa Press)

Jonathan Driskell (2017), "Southeast Asian Independent Cinema: A World Cinema movement", in Paul Cooke, Stephanie Dennison, Alex Marlow-Mann and Rob Stone (eds.), The Routledge Companion to World Cinema (London; New York: Routledge)

Jonathan Driskell (2015), "Space, nostalgia and loneliness: Authorship and politics in the films of Azharr Rudin", in James Chin and Joern Dosch (eds.), Malaysia Post-Mahathir: A Decade of Change?  (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions)

Jonathan Driskell (2015), "Michèle Morgan" and "Danielle Darrieux", in Michaël Abecassis (ed.) with Marcelline Block, French Cinema in Close-up: La Vie d’un acteur pour moi (Dublin: Phaeton).

Jonathan Driskell (2012), "Un mauvais garçon", in Charlie Michael and Tim Palmer (eds.), Directory of World Cinema: France (Bristol: Intellect).

Jonathan Driskell (2012), "Quelle drôle de gosse: Danielle Darrieux et la comédie française des années 30", in Delphine Chedaleux, Gwénaëlle Le Gras, Raphaëlle Moine and Geneviève Sellier (eds.), Revisiter le cinéma français classique: les genres et leurs acteurs et actrices (Rennes: Les Presses Universitaires de Rennes).

Jonathan Driskell (2010), "The meaning of that French word chic: Annabella’s Franco-British stardom", in Lucy Mazdon and Catherine Wheatley (eds.), Je t’aime…moi non plus: Franco-British Cinematic Relations (New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books).

Other Works

Jonathan Driskell (2018), P. Ramlee, the Star. Interview conducted by Ahmad Fuad Rahmat. BFM: The Business Station.

Jonathan Driskell (2016), “P. Ramlee: From Malay to Malaysian”. Monash University Malaysia.

Driskell, J, Ng, A and Rutkowski, M,  2021: The Malayan Emergency in Film and Literature Workshop, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash Malaysia, RM19,407.

Driskell, J, 2016: Film Stardom in Southeast Asia Workshop, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash Malaysia, RM 15,000.

Driskell, J, 2015: Southeast Asian Independent Cinema: A World Cinema Movement?, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash Malaysia, RM 7,920.

Driskell, J, 2014: Stardom across borders in the Malay world: The reception of P. Ramlee in 1950s Indonesia, Social and Economic Transformation in Asia (SETA), Monash Malaysia, RM 7,800.

Driskell, J, 2014: Transformations in P. Ramlee’s star persona, from the 1950s to the present day, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash Malaysia, RM 6,915.

Areas of Research & Supervision

Dr Jonathan Driskell is interested in supervising research in the following areas: film stardom and celebrity, film history, French cinema and Southeast Asian cinema.

Postgraduate (Monash University)

Matthew Yap Tuck Mun (with main supervisor: Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon)

The Reality of TV: Identity, Authenticity and Personal Power within Reality TV based Science-Fiction


Stephanie Tan Li Hsia (with main supervisor: Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon)

Everyday Life in Practice: The Everyday as Identity, Resistance, and Tradition in Virginia Woolf


Chrishandra Sebastiampillai (with associate supervisor: Professor Roland B. Tolentino (external))

Loveteams in Philippine Cinema


Rohini Sreekumar (with Associate Supervisor: Dr Sony Jalarajan Raj (external))

The reception of Bollywood in Malaysia (1991-2012): a contextual study


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