Professor Kevin Rockett

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.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

  • 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, 2014
  • 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, 2015
  • Kevin Rockett, Irish Film Censorship: A Cultural Journey from Silent Cinema to Internet Pornography , First, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2004, 1 - 496ppBook, 2004, URL
  • Kevin Rockett, Ten Years After: The Irish Film Board 1993 - 2003, First, Galway, Irish Film Board, 2003, viii - 157ppBook, 2003, URL
  • Emer Rockett and Kevin Rockett, Neil Jordan: Exploring Boundaries, First, Dublin, The Liffey Press, 2003, 1 - 316ppBook, 2003, URL
  • Kevin Rockett, The Irish Filmography: Fiction Films 1896-1996, First, Dublin, Red Mountain Media, 1996, i - 757ppBook, 1996
  • John Caughie and Kevin Rockett, The Companion to British and Irish Cinema, first, London, Cassell/British Film Institute, 1996, 1 - 204ppBook, 1996
  • Kevin Rockett and Eugene Finn, Still Irish: A Century of the Irish in Film, first, Dublin, Red Mountain Press, 1995, 1 - 156ppBook, 1995
  • Kevin Rockett, Luke Gibbons and John Hill, Cinema and Ireland, second, London, Routledge, 1987, v - 293ppBook, 1987
  • 'The Miracle' in, editor(s)Brian McFarlane , British and Irish Filmmakers , London, Wallflower Press, 2005, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2005
  • 'Irish Cinema' in, editor(s)Gian Piero Brunetta , Storia del cinema mondiale, vol. 4, Torino, 2001, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2001
  • 'Representations of Irish History in Fiction Films made prior to the 1916 Rising' in, editor(s)Lawrence Geary , Rebellion and Remembrance in Modern Ireland, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2000, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2000
  • 'Gli irlandesi nel cinema americano' ('Representations of the Irish in American Cinema') in, editor(s)Gian Piero Brunetta , Storia del cinema mondiale, vol. 2, Torino, 1999, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 1999
  • 'The Irish Migrant and Film' in, editor(s)Patrick O'Sullivan , The Creative Migrant, vol. 3 in The Irish World Wide series, Leicester / London / New York, Leicester University Press, 1994, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 1994
  • 'Culture, Industry and Irish Cinema' in, editor(s)John Hill, Martin McLoone and Paul Hainsworth , Border Crossings: Film in Ireland Britain and Europe, Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 1994, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 1994
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Something Rich and Strange: James Joyce, Beatrice Cenci and the Volta', Film and Film Culture, vol. 3, 2004Journal Article, 2004
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Emmet on Film', History Ireland, 11, (3), 2003Journal Article, 2003
  • Kevin Rockett, 'From Radicalism to Conservatism: Contradictions within Fianna Fail Film Policies in the 1930s',, Irish Studies Review, 9, (2), 2001, p155 - 165Journal Article, 2001
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Protecting the Family and the Nation: The Official Reception of American Cinema in Ireland 1923-1954, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 20, (3), 2000, p283 - 300Journal Article, 2000
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Irish Cinema: the National in the International' , Cineaste (New York), 24, (2-3), 1999, p23 - 25Journal Article, 1999
  • Kevin Rockett, '... aus Irland: Das irische Kino in drei Etappen' , Cinema 42 (Basel), 1997, p134 - 144Journal Article, 1997
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Phases of The Moon: A Short History of Cinema in Ireland', Film Comment, 1994Journal Article, 1994
  • '(Mis) Representing the Irish Urban Landscape' in, editor(s)Mark Shiels and Tony Fitzmaurice , Cinema and the City, Oxford, Blackwell, 2001, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2001
  • Kevin Rockett and John Hill (eds), National Cinema and Beyond, Studies in Irish Film 1, first, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2004, 1 - 170ppBook, 2004, URL
  • 'Immigration to Ireland on Film' in, editor(s)Xavier Spirlet , Immigration in Europe in the 1990s, Brussels, 2000, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2000
  • 'Form, Content and Irish Television' in, editor(s)Martin McLoone and John MacMahon , Television and Irish Societ, Dublin, RTE, 1984, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 1984
  • Kevin Rockett, 'From Atlanta to Dublin', Sight and Sound, 1992, p50 - 52Journal Article, 1992
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Aspects of the Los Angelesation of Ireland', Irish Communications Review, 1, 1991, p18 - 23Journal Article, 1991
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Stars Get in Your Eyes' , Framework, (25), 1984, p28 - 41Journal Article, 1984
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Film Censorship and the State', Film Directions, 3, (9), 1979, p11 - 125Journal Article, 1979
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Irish Cinema-notes on some nationalist fictions' , Screen, 20, (3/4), 1980, p115 - 123Journal Article, 1980
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Constructing a Film Culture: Ireland', Screen Education, (27), 1978, p23 - 33Journal Article, 1978
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Down the Corner (and the Realism Debate)' , Film Directions, 1, (2), 1978, p18 - 19Journal Article, 1978
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Caoineadh Airt Ui Laoire' , Film Directions, 1, (1), 1977, p18 - 19Journal Article, 1977
  • 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, 2019
  • Irish Literary Cinema in, editor(s)Liam Harte , The Oxford handbook of modern Irish fiction, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2020, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2020
  • 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]Book Chapter, 2021
  • 'Ireland', Richard Abel, The Encyclopaedia of Early Cinema, first, London, Routledge, 2004, [Kevin Rockett]Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2004
  • John Hill and Kevin Rockett, editors, Film History and National Cinema, first, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2005, 1 - 176ppBook, 2005
  • Cinema and Irish Literature in, editor(s)Margaret Kelleher and Philip O'Leary , The Cambridge History of Irish Literature, vol. 2, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp531 - 561, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2006
  • Kevin Rockett and John Hill, (editors), , National Cinemas and World Cinema,Studies in Irish Film 3,, 1st, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2006, 5 - 149ppBook, 2006
  • Kevin Rockett , Dion Boucicault, Staging, and Early Cinema, Princeton University Library Chronicle, LXViii, (1-2), 2006, p33 - 59Journal Article, 2006
  • Martin McLoone and Kevin Rockett, editors, Irish Films, Global Cinema, Studies in Irish Film 4, , first,, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2007, 5 - 197ppBook, 2007
  • Kevin Rockett and Emer Rockett, Magic Lantern, Panorama and Moving Picture Shows in Ireland, 1786-1909, First, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2011, 1 - 403ppBook, 2011
  • Kevin Rockett with Emer Rockett, Film Exhibition and Distribution in Ireland, 1909-2010, First, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2011, 1 - 652ppBook, 2011
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Contesting the Past in Irish Film and Television' in, editor(s)Katie Homes and Stuart Ward , Exhuming Passions: The Pressure of the Past in Ireland and Australia, Dublin, Irish Academic Press, 2011, pp125 - 142, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2011
  • '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, 2013
  • Kevin Rockett, Luke Gibbons, John Hill, Cinema and Ireland, second, London/ New York, Routledge/ Taylor & Francis, 2014, 1 - 144ppBook, 2014
  • 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, 2014
  • Kevin Rockett, 'An Irish Director of Silent Specatcle', The Irish Times, Arts & Books, (17 January), 2015, p10 - 10Review Article
  • Kevin Rockett, Cinema and Revolution, Revolutionary Papers, 1916-1923, (14), 2016, p4 - 4Journal Article
  • Kevin Rockett, Keeping Ireland Pure, Revolutionary Papers, 1923-1949, (68), 2017, p4 - 4Journal Article
  • Stephanie McBride and Roddy Flynn, eds,, Here's Looking at You, Kid!, 1996, -Miscellaneous
  • 'Framing Ireland' in, Kilkenny Arts Week 95, Kilkenny, Kilkenny Arts Week, 1995, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter
  • Kevin Rockett, 'L'Irlande au Cinéma: Lion des Yeux, Près du C ur', ArMen, (45), 1992Journal Article
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Le Cinéma en Irlande', le film français, (4416), 1992Journal Article
  • Kevin Rockett, 'Kindling the Flame', Film Base News, (March-April), 1991Journal Article
  • Kevin Rockett, '"Like an Expedition..."', IFT News, 5, (2), 1982, p4 - 6Journal Article
  • Kevin Rockett, Dublin - Irish Film & TV Researh Online, Journal of Film Preservation, (87), 2012, p85 - 87Journal Article
  • Kevin Rockett, Ireland through the newsreel eye, 2012, -Miscellaneous
  • Kevin Rockett, Emerald illusions: The Irish in Early American Cinema, Journal of Film Preservation, (87), 2012, p109 - 111Journal Article
  • Kevin Rockett, The O'Kalem Collection: 1910-1915, Journal of Film Preservation, (87), 2012, p122 - 124Journal Article

Research Expertise

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.

  • Title
    Irish Film & TV Research Online, 1896-2006 (
    This is a complementary project to Kevin Rockett's 'The Irish Filmography: Fiction Films 1896 - 1996', published in 1996. It has documented almost 40,000 fiction and non-fiction films, as well as newsreel and animated films, made in Ireland and about the Irish produced worldwide since the beginnings of cinema to 2007, and includes both cinema and television productions. The project drew on the archive records of RTE, TG4, BBC, ITV, the Irish Film Archive, and film production companies. Two other projects have since been added to the website: Irish film censors' records, 1923-38; and nine restored Irish silent films made during 1910-15.
    Funding Agency
    Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences; Irish Film Board
    Date From
    Date To
  • Title
    Researching Irish film history
    This was a collaborative venture between Film Studies at Trinity College, led by Prof. Kevin Rockett, and the School of Media & Performing Arts, University of Ulster, Coleraine led by Prof. John Hill, and from 2005 administered at Coleraine by Prof. Martin McLoone. The support received included; 1. Funding of three Irish film studies Ph.D. students for three years, two of whom are based at Trinity College and one at the University of Ulster, Coleraine. 2. Support for the annual Irish Postgraduate Film Research Seminar and associated film research workshops. 3. Support for the publication of four volumes of the proceedings of the Film Research Seminar.
    Funding Agency
    Higher Education Authority
    Date From
    Date To


  • Fellow, Trinity College Dublin 2004
  • Irish Film Institute Award for Contribution to Irish Film 2001
  • Honorary Member, Irish Film Institute 1992
  • Full member, Irish Film and Television Academy 2010
  • Master in Arts (jure officii), Trinity College Dublin 2004
  • Member, Irish Film Institute Present