Dr Joanna Rydzewska
Senior Lecturer
Media & Communication
Telephone: (01792) 602635
Room: Office - 425
Fourth Floor
Keir Hardie Building
Singleton Campus

Joanna was an undergraduate and postgraduate student at Lodz University, Poland, where she completed a BA in English Literature and an MA in American Studies. She also had close links with the Lodz Film School.

Prior to Swansea University, Joanna was a Fulbright Fellow at the Department of Rhetoric and Film, University of California, Berkeley, where she was supervised by Prof. Linda Williams and worked on Hollywood cinema and feminist film theory.

On joining Swansea, Joanna completed her PhD looking at Polish directors and characters in British cinema. She gained the PGCert HE (Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Joanna holds a Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Lodz.

Joanna’s research focuses on European, Eastern European and British cinema with particular emphasis on exile, migration and transnational film studies. She has written on émigré Polish directors – amongst others Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieslowski and Pawel Pawlikowski – as well as the representation of Polish migration in both Polish and British film and television. All Joanna’s research is implicitly or explicitly informed by gender studies and feminist film theory, and employs robust contextual analysis that informs aesthetic and thematic analyses of film and television texts.

She has published widely in the field of film and television. Most recently she has published on Shane Meadows for the Journal of British Cinema and Television, and on the representation of Polish migration to Great Britain in the Polish television series Londyńczycy/Londoners (2008 – 2009), the changing discourses of Eastern Europeannes in contemporary British cinema for Critical Studies in Television and Developments in Eastern European Cinema Since 1989 for The Routledge Companion to World Cinema (2017).

She has co-edited Gender in Cultures (with E.H. Oleksy; Peter Lang 2004) and is currently completing two books: a monograph on an Oscar-winning, Polish-British director, Pawel Pawlikowski, The Cinema of Pawel Pawlikowski: Sculpting Stories for Directors’ Cuts Series, Columbia University Press (2018), which is being translated into Polish (Universitas 2019), and preparing a manuscript for Remapping World Cinema: Regional Tensions and Global Transformations Series From Valiant Warriors to Bloody Immigrants: Poles in Cinema (Routledge 2019).

Areas of Expertise

  • European Cinema
  • British Cinema
  • Eastern European/Polish Cinema
  • Transnational Cinema
  • Gender in Film
  • Identity and Film
  • Pawel Pawlikowski
  • Television Studies


  1. The Cinema of Pawel Pawlikowski: Sculpting Stories. Columbia University Press.
  2. Memory, History, Ethics: Collective Responsibility and Guilt in Pawlikowski’s Ida. Studies in Eastern European Cinema
  3. & Developments in Eastern European Cinema since 1989. In R. Stone, P. Cooke, S. Dennison, A. Marlow-Mann (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to World Cinema. Routledge.
  4. Transnarodowosc, postsekularyzm i tajemnica winy w Idzie Pawla Pawlikowskiego/Transnationalism, Postsecularism and the Enigma of Guilt in Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida (2013). In S. Jagielski, M. Podsiadlo (Ed.), Kino polskie jako kino transnarodowe. (pp. 23-40). Krakow: Universitas.
  5. (2014). Anna, Ida et Wanda en Pologne (Ida de Pawel Pawlikowski) (Review of Ida (2013) by Pawel Pawlikowski). (Contreligne No. Juin 2014).

See more...


  • MS-103 Introduction to Film Studies

    Introduction to Film Studies provides students with the critical awareness and theories that will equip them to analyse films and film movements from a wide variety of angles. Students will examine key, representative films from several angles and learn to present their own analyses and findings in cogent, eloquent manner in seminars and in written work.

  • MS-311 Dissertation

    This dissertation enables students to engage in long term, in-depth research on a topic of their choice subject to the approval of the Department.

  • MS-M10 Dissertation

    An innovative practice-based alternative to a Masters dissertation. Students are encouraged to develop projects across more than one area of media practice and to do so with dual supervision that embraces both theory and practice. Work produced should be at a professional level, accompanied by a reflective essay and presentation exploring the contextual, theoretical and practical issues raised by the project.

  • MS-M11 MA Project and Dissertation Preparation

    This core module comprehensively prepares students for their Master¿s project or dissertation, which is an integral part of the requirements for the degree. It incorporates several key themes and issues across the communications, media practice and PR industries. It is a challenging, and stimulating module ¿ both for professional practitioners and those new to communications and media practice. The module encourages students to unite theory and practice in productive ways. It introduces students to a number of important research and project management methods essential for undertaking a successful project or dissertation.

  • MSS217 Approaches to Film Analysis

    This module assesses how various kind of screens function as media of representation, expression, communication and, increasingly of interactive contact. The general organising principle of this module is the use and abuse of different screens, with particular emphasis on cinematic screen. The module runs a blackboard where you can find all the relevant information, some reading and additional materials. We shall consider the general question of what is the relationship between the screen and the spectators, that is what does the screen `say¿ to the spectator, and what the spectator `read¿ from the screen. The module first analyses the notion of Ideology, ideas and hegemony within popular films to understand the film text, not as mere entertainment, but as the site where images are conveyed, and naturalized, to be ideological assumption of the world. Furthermore, the aim is to strengthen the affiliation between `us¿ and what we watch, considering the articulated relationship in the production of, seeing, hearing and sensually experiencing of the screen medium. The course will explore areas such as: ideological assumption of gender and sexuality, race, audience, sensation and new media, as ways of elaborating on the relationship between screens and spectator. A series of contemporary case studies will be used for close textual analysis and theoretical elaboration and testing across film, television and new media.

  • MSS302 Signing the Screen: Film and Television Authorship

    Signing the Screen: Film and Television Authorship examines, explores and challenges the theory of auteurism (that the director should be considered the 'author' of a film or programme as a writer is the sole author of the book) with a contextual analysis of the professional and artistic trajectory of key film and programme makers and in-depth analysis of their most important works.


  • The Use of Public Relations Communication Techniques in Raising Awareness about Breast Cancer in Saudi Arabia and the UK.«br /»«br /»«br /» (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Sian Rees
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Leighton Evans
  • Exploring the use of digital media (social media/ websites) as PR communications tools by Saudi charities in building a relationship based on mutual trust and transparency. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Sian Rees
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Lloyd Davies
  • 'Watching the Unwatchable: Contemporary Extreme Cinema and its Pleasures' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece