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Professor Kevin Rockett

Fellow Emeritus (Drama)


Dr Kevin Rockett is a Fellow Emeritus (2004) and former Professor in Film Studies in the School of Creative Arts, Trinity College Dublin, where he was Head of School during 2006-09. A former Chairman of the Irish Film Institute (1984 - 91), he taught film studies at the National College of Art and Design and University College Dublin before moving to Trinity College in 2000. Among his responsibilities as Head of School was the strategic development of the newly-formed (2006) School of Drama, Film and Music, now the School of Creative Arts. He also was responsible for film policy development during 2010-12, and was the School's Director of Research. He was involved in the introduction of Film Studies as a Two Subject Moderatorship degree subject, the first specialist undergraduate film studies degree in the Republic of Ireland, and which began in 2003, and had its first cohort of graduates in 2007, and helped plan the introduction of the M. Phil in Film Theory and History, which was introduced in 2006/07. He was also director of the Trinity College-based Irish Film & TV Research Online, 1896-2006 (, a major research tool for such research, which has documented 40,000 Irish film and television productions. The website also includes the Irish Research Council-funded 'Irish film censors records, 1923-38' (2008-10); and 'Irish Silent Films', a series of fiction films made in Ireland during 1910-15, released on the site in 2011. A specialist in all areas of Irish film history and of the representations of the Irish in world cinema, his D.Phil from the University of Ulster was entitled 'Cinema in Ireland: A Study of Production, Distribution, Exhibition and Censorship' (1989). He is author, co-author, or editor of thirteen books, including 'Cinema and Ireland' (1987), 'Neil Jordan: Exploring Boundaries' (2003), the award-winning 'Irish Film Censorship: A Cultural Journey from Silent Cinema to Internet Pornography' (2004), and, in 2011 (with co-author Emer Rockett), 'Magic lantern, Panorama and Moving Picture Shows in Ireland, 1786-1909' and 'Film Exhibition and Distribution in Ireland, 1909-2010'. 'Cinema and Ireland' was the first book to offer a fully contextualised and (almost) exhaustive history of Irish cinema and its representations. A germinal text, republished by Routledge in 2017, it has been referred to by subsequent film researchers as 'the pioneering work' or as 'seminal'. In recognition of its value to Irish diaspora studies Prof. Rockett's 'The Irish Filmography: Fiction Films 1896 - 1996' was launched by President Mary Robinson, while film-maker Bob Quinn described it as 'An extraordinary opus ... Rockett is an excellent and painstaking scholar. Never before has anybody attempted to document in one volume every film ever made in or about Ireland. ... The amount of detail he has unearthed is no less than stupendous. ... The nearest literary analogy I can think of is Dineen's Irish Dictionary.' 'Irish Film Censorship', which was the focus of much media interest and debate, was described as 'magisterial' (Hugh Linehan, 'Irish Times'), 'monumental' (RTE Radio 1), 'meticulous' (Luke Gibbons, 'Irish Times'), and 'fascinating' (Kim Bielenberg, Irish Independent). He was the initiator in 2003 of the Irish Postgraduate Film Research Seminar in association with the University of Ulster, Coleraine, which was was the recipient of significant funding from the Higher Education Authority under the North South Programme for Collaborative Research. As part of this support, four volumes of the proceedings of the Seminar were published in volumes co-edited by Prof. Rockett. Since retirement in 2016, Dr. Rockett has been researching the one-name family history of the Rochelle/Rokele/Rockett surname in Ireland from the thirteenth century onwards.
  Architecture   Cinema/Video   Cultural History   Digital Television   Journalism   Literary Criticism   Media Arts   One name history   Photography   Radio   Television   Theatre/Film Criticism   Twentieth Century History   Visual Arts
 Irish Film & TV Research Online, 1896-2006 (
 Researching Irish film history

Details Date From Date To
Member, Irish Film Institute 1979 Present
American Popuar lVisual Culture and Ireland, 1840s to 1920s in, editor(s)Fionnuala Walsh , The Americanisation of Ireland, 1841-1925: culture and society, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2021, [Kevin Rockett], Notes: [Forthcoming], Book Chapter, SUBMITTED
Irish Literary Cinema in, editor(s)Liam Harte , The Oxford handbook of modern Irish fiction, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2020, [Kevin Rockett], Notes: [Forthcoming], Book Chapter, APPROVED
Cinema in Ireland from the 1910s to the 1930s in, editor(s)John Hill , A Companion to British and Irish Cinema, Hoboken, NJ, Wiley Blackwell, 2019, pp29 - 48, [Kevin Rockett], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Film and the Irish Revolution in, editor(s)John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy , Atlas of the Irish Revolution, Cork, Cork University Press, 2015, [Kevin Rockett], Book Chapter, SUBMITTED
Kevin Rockett, Luke Gibbons, John Hill, Cinema and Ireland, second, London/ New York, Routledge/ Taylor & Francis, 2014, 1 - 144pp, Notes: [Republication of the 1988 Routledge edition, with postscript, of the foundational text of Irish film studies as part of Routledge's 'Library Editions: Cinema'. Originally published in 1987 by Croom Helm. The authors contributed separate chapters to the volume.], Book, PUBLISHED
Catholic film policy in twentieth century Ireland in, editor(s)Daniel Biltereyst and Daniela Treveri Gennari , Moralizing Cinema: Film, Catholicism, and Power, New York, Taylor & Francis/Routledge, 2014, [Kevin Rockett], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Panorama in Ireland in, editor(s)Nicola Figgis , Painting, 1600-1900, Art and Architecture of Ireland (series), vol. 2, Dublin/New Haven/London, Royal Irish Academy and Paul Mellon Centre by Yale University Press, 2014, pp77 - 80, [Kevin Rockett and Emer Rockett], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
'Irish Film Censorship: Refusing the Fractured Family of Foreign Films' in, editor(s)Daniel Biltereyst and Roel Vande Winkel , Silencing Cinema: Film Censorship Around the World, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp207-220 - [Kevin Rockett], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Kevin Rockett and Emer Rockett, Magic Lantern, Panorama and Moving Picture Shows in Ireland, 1786-1909, First, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2011, 1 - 403pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Kevin Rockett with Emer Rockett, Film Exhibition and Distribution in Ireland, 1909-2010, First, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2011, 1 - 652pp, Book, PUBLISHED

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Kevin Rockett, Keeping Ireland Pure, Revolutionary Papers, 1923-1949, (68), 2017, p4 - 4, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Kevin Rockett, Cinema and Revolution, Revolutionary Papers, 1916-1923, (14), 2016, p4 - 4, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Kevin Rockett, 'An Irish Director of Silent Specatcle', The Irish Times, Arts & Books, (17 January), 2015, p10 - 10, Review Article, PUBLISHED
Kevin Rockett, Dublin - Irish Film & TV Researh Online, Journal of Film Preservation, (87), 2012, p85 - 87, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Kevin Rockett, Emerald illusions: The Irish in Early American Cinema, Journal of Film Preservation, (87), 2012, p109 - 111, Notes: [Review article of Gary D. Rhodes' 'Emerald Illusions', Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2012.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Kevin Rockett, The O'Kalem Collection: 1910-1915, Journal of Film Preservation, (87), 2012, p122 - 124, Notes: [Review of DVD collection of films made in Ireland during 1910-15. See also to view online some of the films included on this DVD.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Kevin Rockett, Ireland through the newsreel eye, 2012, -, Notes: [Review published in 'Irish Tines' on 29 September 2012 of Ciara Chambers' 'Ireland in the Newsreel';, Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2012.], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Stephanie McBride and Roddy Flynn, eds,, Here's Looking at You, Kid!, 1996, -, Notes: [Autobiographical piece on childhood cinemagoing.], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
'Framing Ireland' in, Kilkenny Arts Week 95, Kilkenny, Kilkenny Arts Week, 1995, [Kevin Rockett], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Kevin Rockett, 'L'Irlande au Cinéma: Lion des Yeux, Près du C ur', ArMen, (45), 1992, Journal Article, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
Fellow, Trinity College Dublin 2004
Irish Film Institute Award for Contribution to Irish Film 2001
Honorary Member, Irish Film Institute 1992
Master in Arts (jure officii), Trinity College Dublin 2004
Full member, Irish Film and Television Academy 2010
Irish film in all its aspects: its history, representations, and national film production policy, as well as the cinemas of the Irish diaspora. Other research interests include pre-cinema visual culture, especially the histories of the magic lantern and the panorama. Medieval and early modern history have emerged as major interests as part of the research into the one-name history of the surname Rochelle/Rokele/Rockett.