Dr Carla Mereu Keating

BA, MA (Cagliari), PhD(R'dg)

  • BS8 1TB

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Personal profile

Research interests

Film Distribution, Audiovisual Translation Theory, History and Practice, History of Film Production, Censorship, Media Accessibility, Archival Research Methods, Italian Studies

Research interests

My main research interests lie in the distribution of films and audiovisual media content across different language markets. I am particularly interested in the historical, political, aesthetic, and material issues underpinning the production, circulation and reception of films across languages, as well as in the methodological and archival challenges that arise from working with film elements crossdisciplinarily and transnationally. 

Since March 2020 I am a member of the Department of Film and Television. Here I am Research Associate in the ERC-Advanced grant STUDIOTEC: Film Studios Infrastructure, Culture, Innovation in Britain, France, Germany and Italy (1930-60) led by PI Professor Sarah Street (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/223968/factsheet/en).

I was previously based in the School of Modern Languages on a three-year research contract funded by the British Academy’s postdoctoral fellowship scheme (2016-2019). My research project aimed to unearth the activities of Hollywood’s foreign departments between 1928 and 1945 and examines the developments of the film dubbing industry in the United States and in Europe during that time frame.

Another line of research explores the image of Italy and Italians in American, British and European media, and the formal and informal circulation and reception of Italian-language films abroad. My first post-doctoral project, funded by another competitive British funding scheme (2014-2015), explored the diplomatic relations between the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (the Hays Office) and the Italian Foreign Ministry during the 1930s. There I examined the role that the diplomatic body, often under pressure from local immigrant communities, played in the circulation of ‘offensive’ films before they were exhibited in Italy, in the United States and in other major cities worldwide. 

To carry out research for these projects, I have visited many Italian, European and North-American archives, including: The Library of Congress (Washington, DC), the Margaret Herrick Library, the UCLA Film and TV archive, and the USC Warner Bros’ archive in Los Angeles, the British Film Institute, the National film archive in Rome, the National Cinema Museum in Turin, the Cineteca di Bologna, the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam and several other (film) heritage institutions.

Alongside with the funding obtained from the British schemes mentioned above, in 2009 I was the recipient of a major European Union grant [€84,207.54] which allowed me to carry my PhD between the UK and Italy. My PhD thesis (University of Reading, 2013) discussed the developments of the film censorship system in Italy between 1913 and 1963 and documented the involvement of Mussolini’s administration in the ‘appropriation’ of foreign-language cinema. The doctoral thesis formed the basis of my first monograph The Politics of Dubbing (Oxford, Peter Lang 2016) and informed other peer-reviewed publications.

Since 2013 I curate the subtitling programme of Migrating Texts, currently in its 6th year, cross-disciplinary training events hosted by the Institute of Modern Languages Research, SAS, University of London, supported by the European Commission in London and by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership.


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