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Dr Donna Peberdy

Associate Professor of Performance, Sex and Gender

Department of Film and Media

Dr Donna Peberdy headshot


Donna undertook a studentship-funded PhD at the University of Nottingham, completing in 2009. She joined Solent University in 2007, during which time she has been course leader of the successful undergraduate (BA Film and Television 2009-2020; BA Film 2020-present) and postgraduate (MA Film Production 2018-present) programmes. Donna was appointed University Teaching and Learning Fellow in 2010 and led on numerous cross-university pedagogic initiatives, including establishing the University’s teaching and learning conference, peer practice exchange scheme and championing research-informed teaching and undergraduate research. Donna was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2020 in recognition of transforming the student experience through creative, experiential, and authentic teaching, learning and assessment design. In 2020, Donna was appointed the University Research Lead for Media, Culture and the Arts, leading UoA34 (Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management) for Solent’s Research Excellence Framework return and is doctoral coordinator for the subject area.

Donna is the the author of Masculinity and Film Performance: Male Angst in Contemporary American Cinema (Palgrave Macmillan 2011), awarded Outstanding Academic Title by Choice (American Library Association); and has published widely on screen acting and performance, sex, gender and masculinity. She edited a special issue on acting and performance for Transnational Cinemas (now Transnational Screens) in 2014. Her co-edited collection, Tainted Love: Screening Sexual Perversion, was published by I. B. Tauris in 2017. Donna is the co-director of the Screening Sex project, which has established an international research network, blog, a special interest group for the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies. She is co-editor of the Screening Sex book series, published with Edinburgh University Press and is currently co-editing the first two titles in the series – two volumes examining the sex scene in film, television and culture.

Since 2018, Donna has been a member of the jury and selection committee for 16Days16Films, the first ever UK female film competition on gender violence and collaboration between Modern Films, UK SAYS NO MORE, Hestia and the Kering Foundation.

Research interests

Donna’s main research interests concern acting and performance, masculinity, sex and gender in contemporary film, television and American culture, identity politics and representation. Her wider interests include stardom and celebrity, classical Hollywood, film noir, dystopian and utopian fiction. Donna’s current research concerns representations of sexual harassment and rape in contemporary film and television drama.


Further information

Donna has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to pursue her research project ‘Screening Sexual Violence: Silence Breaking and Performance Activism Post #MeToo’ in 2024. The 12-month fellowship will be dedicated to a comprehensive analysis of current ways sexual violence is depicted on screen, assessing the role of film and television shaping public understanding.

Donna’s monograph Masculinity and Film Performance: Male Angst in Contemporary American Cinema was awarded Outstanding Academic Title by Choice (American Library Association) in 2012 in recognition of excellence in presentation and scholarship, importance to other literature in the field, and originality or uniqueness of treatment.

Donna was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2020 in recognition of outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education.

Taught courses

BA (Hons) Film Production

Build the right skills, and develop your talent, and your portfolio to break into the film industry. Our high-end kit, and industry connections provide the ingredients for a successful career.

MA Film Production

Got a passion for filmmaking? Want to improve your professional showreel and boost your employability? Solent’s MA Film Production programme is ideally suited to students who...

BA (Hons) Film and Television

Unleash your creativity with a TV and film career. Learn from industry experts in professional-grade facilities, and join our internationally successful graduates at the BBC, Sky, Disney and beyond.