Dr Louise FitzGerald lectures in film and screen studies with research interests in contemporary cuture and feminism.
Her specialist interests are in the politics of representation on screen, especially the performativity of race and gender, with works on the figure of the lone mother, celebrity and female misogyny and the mediation of female pleasure.
Adopting an interdisciplinary approach and drawing upon film and television theory, history, sociology and cultural studies, Louise’s PhD research was titled ’Negotiating Lone Motherhood: Gender, Politics and Family Values in Contemporary Popular Cinema.’ This interrogated the political and social role of the lone mother who, she argued is commonly and simultaneously understood as an abject, redemptive, curative (particularly for the central male protaginist) and deviant female figure employed within film to channel fears about homosexuality, race, masculinity in crisis discourse, feminism and class through the analysis of films such as Fight Club, Mamma Mia, The Princess Diaries and Baby Bo. Recently FitzGerald’s interests have moved towards the politics of culinary culture, where she explores the relationship between class, taste, gender, discourses of morality and cookery programmes.
Her research threads have come together in her co-edited book, Mamma Mia The Movie: Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon which not only tries to explore the reason for the phenomenonal national and international success of the film but also raises questions about the scrutiny and mediation of female pleasure. Female pleasure, or the fear and mediation of female pleasure became a central theme of her research in to the phenomenon of the Reborn Doll featured in Channel Four’s Shock Doc, ‘My Fake Baby’, a programme that focused on the production of ‘life-like dolls’ by women and, in the main, for women and used these simulacrum babies to frame female consumption as indicative of female pathology.
Dr FitzGerald's research has informed the various film, media and cultural studies modules she has devised that interrogate film and cultural politics, screen comedy, screen histories, film theory, popular media and representations of gender and race and issues of screen authorship. She has given conference papers, nationally and internationally on various subjects connected to screen culture and screen practices and has been involved with the organisation of conferences that include Interrogating Postfeminism and Celebrity Scandals.
Fitzgerald, Louise (2015) Taking a pregnant pause: Interrogating the feminist potential of Call the Midwife In: Leggott, J. and Taddeo, J., eds. Upstairs and Downstairs: British Costume Drama Television from The Forsyte Saga to Downton Abbey. Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, pp. 249-263. ISBN 9781442244825
Fitzgerald, Louise and Godfrey, Sarah (2013) "Them over there" : Meadows, Motherhood and Marginality in Shane Meadows' Films In: Fradley, Martin, Godfrey, Sarah and Williams, Melanie, eds. Shane Meadows Critical Essays. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 155-170. ISBN 9780748676392
Fitzgerald, Louise and Williams, Melanie (2012) Mamma Mia The Movie! Exploring a cultural phenomenon [Edited Collections]
Fitzgerald, Louise (2011) 'Let's play mummy': Simulacrum babies and reborn mothers European Journal of Cultural Studies, 14 (1). pp. 25-39. ISSN 1367-5494