Jon Burrows holds an undergraduate honours degree from the University of Exeter and an MA and PhD from the University of East Anglia. Most of his research is focused on the subject of silent cinema, with a particular emphasis on early British cinema. He has written numerous essays and articles about different aspects of British silent film culture and monographs about the employment of famous theatre stars in British cinema of the 1910s, and the investment boom which created the British cinema industry in the period between 1909 and 1914.
I have just completed a book about the transformation of the cinema into a mass medium in Britain during the Edwardian era, and am currently principal-investigator on the £512,000 AHRC-funded ‘Projection Project’, which examines the changing roles and professional status of cinema projectionists throughout the history of the British film industry.
- Legitimate Cinema: Theatre Stars in Silent British Films, 1908-1918 (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2003).
- The British Cinema Boom, 1909-1914: A Commercial History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
- 'Piccadilly' in Steve Neale (ed.), Silent Features (Middletown, CT: Weslyan University Press, forthcoming 2018).
- '"The Great Asta Nielsen", "The Shady Exclusive" and the Birth of Film Censorship in Britain, 1911-1914', in Martin Loiperdinger and Uli Jung (eds), Importing Asta Nielsen: The International Film Star in the Making 1910-1914 (New Barnet: John Libbey, 2013).
- 'The Art of Not "Playing to Pictures" in British Cinemas, 1906-1914' in Julie Brown and Annette Davison (eds), The Sounds of Early Cinema in Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).
- '"She Had So Many Appearances": Alphonse Courlander and the Birth of the "Moving Picture Girl", in Andrew Shail (ed.), Reading the Cinematograph: The 'Kinema' in Short Fiction, 1895-1914 (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2011).
- 'West is Best; or What We Can Learn from Bournemouth', Early Popular Visual Culture, 8:4 (November 2010), pp. 351-362.
- 'Near Broke But No Tramp: Billie Ritchie, Charlie Chaplin and "That Costume"', Early Popular Visual Culture, 8:3 (August 2010), pp. 247-262.
- (co-authored with Richard Brown) 'Financing the Edwardian Cinema Boom, 1909-1914', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 30:1 (March 2010), pp. 1-20.
- '"A Vague Chinese Quarter Elsewhere": Limehouse in the Cinema 1914-36', Journal of British Cinema and Television, 6:2 (Summer 2009), pp. 282-301.
I have supervised seven PhDs to successful completion since 2008, and I’m very interested in supervising doctoral theses which look at any aspect of European or American cinema in the silent era, and also any projects which focus upon issues relating to film exhibition and distribution, industry politics and economics, or the aesthetic consequences of technological innovation in British or American cinema, from the 1890s to the present day.
- Departmental Senior Tutor (Autumn 2016)
National roles and professional associations
- Principal Investigator on The Projection Project