Christa Van Raalte

Dr Christa Van Raalte

  • Associate Professor in Film and Television
  • Weymouth House W129a, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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Christa van Raalte is Associate Professor of Film and Television, and Head of the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP) in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University. She joined Bournemouth from Teesside University in 2013, as Head of Department for Media Production. She was Deputy Dean of Faculty from 2018-2023.

Before taking up full time employment in Higher Education, Christa worked in a variety of roles within theatre, community arts and education. She gained her BA in English Language and Literature from Oxford, her MA in Cultural and Textual Studies from Sunderland, where she also completed her PHD: Women and Guns in the Post-War Hollywood Western.

Dr van Raalte is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.


My principal research interests are narrative and representation in film and television with an emphasis on gender, media education, and working conditions in the film and television industries. I am currently co-editing an anthology on twenty-first century action heroines, and am working on an article about the role of the mentor in recent female-led action narratives.

Meanwhile, arising out of our work on State of Play 2021 I have recently completed an article with Dr Richard Wallis addressing the issue of bullying in UK unscripted television, and have been undertaking a programme of public engagement work within the industry in relation to this theme.

I welcome proposals for collaborative projects or PhDs in any of these areas of interest.


Journal Articles


  • Action Heroines in the Twenty-First Century: Sisters in Arms. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


  • Van Raalte, C., 2024. Enola Holmes and the mystery of the missing mother. In: Madden, D., Margree,, V. and Mousoutzanis, A., eds. Neo-Victorian Provocations: Nostalgia, Empire, Transmediality. Routledge.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2024. Passing the baton: age, action and mentorship in three Hollywood films. In: Pheasant-Kelly, F., ed. Action Heroines in the Twenty-First Century: Sisters in Arms. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2023. ‘I’ll be back:’ Linda Hamilton and the Return of Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate. In: Monti, G. and Schingler, M., eds. Comebacks, Cameos, and Camp: The Return of the Aging Star. USA: Wayne State UP.
  • Van Raalte, C. and Helmers, M., 2022. Being Frank? Breaking the ’fourth wall’ in Netflix’s House of Cards. In: Cardwell, S., ed. Moments of Television volume 1: Complexity/ simplicity. Manchester University Press.
  • Van Raalte, C. and Helmers, M., 2022. The Rush of the Ride: affecting perception through acousmatic sound design in Bodyguard. Moments in Television Vol3: Sound/Image. Manchester University Press.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2020. The Femme Fatale on Screen. In: Ross, K., Bachmann, I., Cardo, V., Moorti, S. and Scarcelli, C.M., eds. The International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2018. The femme fatale in the aftermath: The older female antagonist in the Hunger Games and Divergent film franchises. In: Santos, M., ed. Handmaids, Tributes, & Carers: Dystopian Females’ Roles and Goals. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2017. Watching the warriors: the female hero and the ‘logistics of perception’ in 'Zero Dark Thirty'. In: Gildersleeve, J. and Gehrmann, R., eds. Memory and the Wars on Terror: Australian and British Perspectives.. Queensland, Australia: Palgrave McMillan.
  • van Raalte, C., 2017. Remembering the Warriors: Cultural Memory, the Female Hero, and the ‘Logistics of Perception’ in Zero Dark Thirty. Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies. 91-109.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2015. No Small-Talk in Paradise: Why Elysium Fails the Bechdel Test, and Why We Should Care. Media, Margins and Popular Culture. 15-27.
  • van Raalte, C., 2015. No small-talk in paradise: Why elysium fails the bechdel test, and why we should care. Media, Margins and Popular Culture. 15-27.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2012. Looking like a hero: constructions of the female gun-fighter in Hollywood cinema. In: Valente, A. and Capucho, R., eds. Avanca Cinema 2012. Avanca, Portugal: Avanca Film Festival.


  • van Raalte, C., Sanson, K., Saha, A., O'Brien, A., Jones-Lee, R. and Wallis, R., 2024. Proper jobs: Challenges of career sustainability in the media industries. In: Media Industries Conference 2024 16-19 April 2024 Kings College London.
  • Van Raalte, C. and Wallis, R., 2023. More than just a few bad apples: The need for a risk management approach to the problem of workplace bullying in the UK’s television industry. In: Critical Studies in Television 5-7 July 2023 Edgehill University.
  • Wallis, R., Aust, R. and Van Raalte, C., 2023. Where have all the PMs gone? Early conclusions from the Production Managers Survey and (historic and gendered) patterns of devalued work. In: BAFTSS 3-5 April 2023 Lincoln University.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2022. “No fate but what we make for ourselves”: agency and the action heroine in the Terminator films. In: Console-ing Passions 23-25 June 2022 Orlando, Florida.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2022. From stepmother to mentor: intergenerational heroism in the female-led action films. In: Action Heroines in the Twenty-First Century: Sisters in Arms 10 June 2022 Bournemouth.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2021. Enola Holmes and the mystery of the missing mother. In: The Neo-Victorian and the Late-Victorian: Texts, Media, Politics 2-3 September 2021 Brighton University.
  • Van Raalte, C. and Wallis, R., 2021. The value and purpose of a Media Production degree from the perspective of mid-career graduates. In: Media Education Summit 31 March-1 April 2021 Leeds/ online.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2021. Playing with the past: structures of nostalgia in Ready Player One. In: Genre/Nostalgia 6-7 January 2021 online.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2019. Kathryn Bigelow and the Grammar of Obsession. In: The Second International Conference on Twenty-First Century Film Directors: Kathryn Bigelow: A Visionary Filmmaker 11 July 2019 University of Wolverhampton/ Light House Media Centre, Wolverhampton.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2019. Assessment For Learning: addressing differentiation and skills gaps with Media Production undergraduates. In: The Widening Access and Success 27 March 2019 Open University, Milton Keynes.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2019. Twenty-first Century Cowboy: Deconstructing the Hero in Late Clint Eastwood Movies. In: Geriaction Cinema: A Symposium on the Ageing Action Star 10-11 May 2018 Bournemouth University.
  • Van Raalte, C. and Van Raalte, G., 2018. Waving, not drowning: an inter-generational perspective on the enactment of fourth wave feminism in the #metoo movement. In: CONSOLE-ING PASSIONS: International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media, and Feminism 11-13 July 2018 Bournemouth University.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2017. If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem: closing the achievement gap for BAME students on media degrees and in media careers. In: Generation TEF: Teaching in the spotlight 3-6 July 2017 Manchester Conference Centre.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2017. There’s no Business like Show Business – Drag, Camp and the Masquerade in the Western Musical. In: Current Thinking on the Western II 24-26 March 2015 Leeds University.
  • Woodfall, A., Van Raalte, C., Wallis, R. and Dent, T., 2016. Is Higher Education unfit for purpose in the preparation of young people work in media industries? In: Media Education Summit 4-5 November 2016 Rome.
  • Wallis, R., 2015. Industry knows best? Career narratives of Media Production students and graduates. In: International Media Education Summit 2015 20-21 November 2015 Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2015. Who is Salt? Disguise as discourse in the gendered narrative. In: Spying on Spies 3-5 September 2015 The Shard, London.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2015. Renegotiating the Spectacle: Authorship and the Gaze in Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty. In: London Film and Media 26-29 June 2013 London. The London Film and Media Reader 3, 100-110.
  • van Raalte, C., 2014. Why 'Elysium' fails the Bechdel Test, and why we should care. In: MECCSA Annual Conference 8-10 January 2014 Bournemouth.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2013. Mindset or Skill-set? What media employers think about graduate employability. In: CEMP Media Summit 19-20 September 2013 Sheffield.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2013. Employer perceptions of student interns in the media industries. In: Enhancing Employability Through Placements 9 July 2013 Huddersfield.
  • Van Raalte, C., 2013. Gender Dress and Power: Transvestite heroines in the Post-War Western. In: London Film and Media Conference 23-25 June 2011 London. The London Film and Media Reader 2, 1 (2), 165-175.
  • van Raalte, C., 2012. Looking like a hero: constructions of the female gun-fighter in contemporary Hollywood cinema. In: Avanca Film Festival 19-24 July 2012 Avanca, Portugal.


Internet Publications


Profile of Teaching PG

  • Narrative Constructions (2013-14)

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Media Dissertation (2013-present)
  • Media Theory Perspectives (2013- 2018
  • Media Scholarship (2018-19)
  • Industry Research Project (2020- Present)


  • Understanding the Production Management skills gap in UK TV. (British Academy, 03 Oct 2022). In Progress

External Responsibilities

  • Liverpool John Moores University, External Examiner (2021-)
  • Lincoln University, External Examiner (2020-)
  • University of York St John, External examiner (2014-2018)
  • Huddersfield University, External Examiner (2010-2014)

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • Not just a few bad apples (31 Mar 2022-22 Jul 2022)


  • PhD in Film Studies (Sunderland University, 2011)
  • MA in Cultural and Textual Studies (Sunderland University, 2000)
  • BA (Hons) in English language and Literature (Oxford University, 1983)


  • Higher Education Academy, Senior Fellow (2014-),
  • Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association, Member (2007-),