Kevin Rockett

Fellow Emeritus, Creative Arts



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

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

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

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

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

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, Luke Gibbons, John Hill, Cinema and Ireland, second, London/ New York, Routledge/ Taylor & Francis, 2014, 1 - 144ppBook, 2014

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

'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 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, '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

Kevin Rockett with Emer Rockett, Film Exhibition and Distribution in Ireland, 1909-2010, First, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2011, 1 - 652ppBook, 2011

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 John Hill, (editors), , National Cinemas and World Cinema,Studies in Irish Film 3,, 1st, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2006, 5 - 149ppBook, 2006

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 , Dion Boucicault, Staging, and Early Cinema, Princeton University Library Chronicle, LXViii, (1-2), 2006, p33 - 59Journal Article, 2006

John Hill and Kevin Rockett, editors, Film History and National Cinema, first, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2005, 1 - 176ppBook, 2005

'The Miracle' in, editor(s)Brian McFarlane , British and Irish Filmmakers , London, Wallflower Press, 2005, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2005

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

Kevin Rockett, 'Something Rich and Strange: James Joyce, Beatrice Cenci and the Volta', Film and Film Culture, vol. 3, 2004Journal Article, 2004

'Ireland', Richard Abel, The Encyclopaedia of Early Cinema, first, London, Routledge, 2004, [Kevin Rockett]Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2004

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, 'Emmet on Film', History Ireland, 11, (3), 2003Journal Article, 2003

Emer Rockett and Kevin Rockett, Neil Jordan: Exploring Boundaries, First, Dublin, The Liffey Press, 2003, 1 - 316ppBook, 2003 URL

Kevin Rockett, Ten Years After: The Irish Film Board 1993 - 2003, First, Galway, Irish Film Board, 2003, viii - 157ppBook, 2003 URL

'Irish Cinema' in, editor(s)Gian Piero Brunetta , Storia del cinema mondiale, vol. 4, Torino, 2001, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2001

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

'(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

'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

'Immigration to Ireland on Film' in, editor(s)Xavier Spirlet , Immigration in Europe in the 1990s, Brussels, 2000, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 2000

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

'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

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, 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

'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

'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

Kevin Rockett, 'Phases of The Moon: A Short History of Cinema in Ireland', Film Comment, 1994Journal Article, 1994

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, Luke Gibbons and John Hill, Cinema and Ireland, second, London, Routledge, 1987, v - 293ppBook, 1987

'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, 'Stars Get in Your Eyes' , Framework, (25), 1984, p28 - 41Journal Article, 1984

Kevin Rockett, 'Irish Cinema-notes on some nationalist fictions' , Screen, 20, (3/4), 1980, p115 - 123Journal Article, 1980

Kevin Rockett, 'Film Censorship and the State', Film Directions, 3, (9), 1979, p11 - 125Journal Article, 1979

Kevin Rockett, 'Down the Corner (and the Realism Debate)' , Film Directions, 1, (2), 1978, p18 - 19Journal Article, 1978

Kevin Rockett, 'Constructing a Film Culture: Ireland', Screen Education, (27), 1978, p23 - 33Journal Article, 1978

Kevin Rockett, 'Caoineadh Airt Ui Laoire' , Film Directions, 1, (1), 1977, p18 - 19Journal Article, 1977

Kevin Rockett, Keeping Ireland Pure, Revolutionary Papers, 1923-1949, (68), 2017, p4 - 4Journal Article, 2017

Kevin Rockett, Cinema and Revolution, Revolutionary Papers, 1916-1923, (14), 2016, p4 - 4Journal Article, 2016

Kevin Rockett, 'An Irish Director of Silent Specatcle', The Irish Times, Arts & Books, (17 January), 2015, p10 - 10Review Article, 2015

Kevin Rockett, Ireland through the newsreel eye, 2012, -Miscellaneous, 2012

Kevin Rockett, The O'Kalem Collection: 1910-1915, Journal of Film Preservation, (87), 2012, p122 - 124Journal Article, 2012

Kevin Rockett, Emerald illusions: The Irish in Early American Cinema, Journal of Film Preservation, (87), 2012, p109 - 111Journal Article, 2012

Kevin Rockett, Dublin - Irish Film & TV Researh Online, Journal of Film Preservation, (87), 2012, p85 - 87Journal Article, 2012

Stephanie McBride and Roddy Flynn, eds,, Here's Looking at You, Kid!, 1996, -Miscellaneous, 1996

'Framing Ireland' in, Kilkenny Arts Week 95, Kilkenny, Kilkenny Arts Week, 1995, [Kevin Rockett]Book Chapter, 1995

Kevin Rockett, 'Le Cinéma en Irlande', le film français, (4416), 1992Journal Article, 1992

Kevin Rockett, 'L'Irlande au Cinéma: Lion des Yeux, Près du C ur', ArMen, (45), 1992Journal Article, 1992

Kevin Rockett, 'Kindling the Flame', Film Base News, (March-April), 1991Journal Article, 1991

Kevin Rockett, '"Like an Expedition..."', IFT News, 5, (2), 1982, p4 - 6Journal Article, 1982

Research Expertise

    • Title
      • Irish Film & TV Research Online, 1896-2006 (
    • Summary
      • 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
      • 2003
    • Date To
      • 2007


    • Title
      • Researching Irish film history
    • Summary
      • 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
      • 2003
    • Date To
      • 2007

Publications and Further Research Outputs

    Fellow, Trinity College Dublin2004

    Irish Film Institute Award for Contribution to Irish Film2001

    Honorary Member, Irish Film Institute1992

    Master in Arts (jure officii), Trinity College Dublin2004

    Full member, Irish Film and Television Academy


Member, Irish Film Institute

1979 – Present