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 (2020) and preparing a manuscript for Remapping World Cinema: Regional Tensions and Global Transformations Series From Valiant Warriors to Bloody Immigrants: Poles in Cinema (Routledge 2021).

Areas of Expertise

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


  1. Rydzewska, J. The Cinema of Pawel Pawlikowski: Sculpting Stories Columbia University Press
  2. Rydzewska, J., Ostrowska, E. Developments in Eastern European Cinema since 1989 (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to World Cinema Routledge
  3. Rydzewska, J. Transnarodowosc, postsekularyzm i tajemnica winy w Idzie Pawla Pawlikowskiego/Transnationalism, Postsecularism and the Enigma of Guilt in Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida (2013) (Ed.), Kino polskie jako kino transnarodowe 23 40 Krakow: Universitas
  4. Rydzewska, J. Anna, Ida et Wanda en Pologne (Ida de Pawel Pawlikowski) (Review of Ida (2013) by Pawel Pawlikowski) Contreligne Juin 2014
  5. Rydzewska, J. Masculinity, Nostalgia and Polishness in Somers Town Journal of British Cinema and Television 10 4 890 908

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-310 Dissertation Preparation

    This course introduces the practice of dissertation writing and research approaches for the study of media forms. texts and systems and their contribution to social life. It begins to explore the breadth of media studies through attention to the ways in which media matter. In what ways, and how significant are the media in the formation of individual identities and in the practices of everyday life? In the more public world, to what extent are media key to providing knowledge and enabling the debate necessary to the practices of democracy? The course enables students to build on their own experiences of media as consumers and users. But it also encourages critical attention to how the field of media studies has historically been forged: through argument and contestation between different academic approaches and disciplines.

  • 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 or Project

    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.

  • MSS106 Hollywood: A History of American Film

    Hollywood: A History of American Cinema is a contextual and chronological study of the history of Hollywood, its effect on American society and its attempts to reflect the changes of that society. Key films are studied in depth and in relation to each other and to social and political developments in the USA.

  • 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.

  • MSS311 Contemporary Film and Television

    Contemporary Film and Television provides a contextual, theoretical, geo-political and socio-historical analysis of film and television since 1995. The module examines prevailing trends, emerging film-makers, new technologies, dominant themes, key figures and stars against a background of the evolution of the EU and its relationship with member countries and those beyond its borders. The module incorporates contextual analysis of the film industry that includes analyses of festivals, marketing, distribution and reception. The module therefore brings together many of the strands of investigation that were followed by the single and joint honours media/film students throughout their degree studies. This module is structured to apportion sufficient emphasis on the various strands of film theory and criticism, with special emphasis on concepts of European cinema and representative works and figures but also extends it to World Cinema. Subjects studied will include such themes as displacement, migration, globalization as well as an emphasis on film form that includes analysis of fractal narratives, aesthetics, subversion of genre and technological innovation. The module assumes that students will be prepared to watch a substantial number of films.


  • An exploration of the use of social media (websites/ Twitter) as a public relations communication technique by Saudi charities in order to build a relationship of trust, based on credibility and transparency. (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Sian Rees
  • The Use Of Strategic Public Relations Communication Techniques In Campaigns To Rais Awareness Of Breast Cancer: A Case Study Of Breast Cancer Campaigns In Saudi Arabian Charities (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Sian Rees
  • A screenplay exploring masculine identity in contemporary Wales and a supporting exegesis which will investigate the ways in which the cinema of Wales constructs culturally and nationally specific forms of masculine identity. (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Elain Price
    Other supervisor: Dr Elain Price
    Other supervisor: Prof David Britton
  • The Forging of a Brand Presidency: An Analysis of Oratories by Donald Trump that Disrupted the Picture of Politics (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Sian Rees
  • Representation of colonialism, gender and power in selected works by Mario Vargas Llosa (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Lloyd Davies
  • Exploring the Role of Cyberspace and Social Networks on Migration: The case of Poles in the UK (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Leighton Evans
  • 'Watching the Unwatchable: Contemporary Extreme Cinema and its Pleasures' (awarded 2017)

    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece