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Dr Lesley Speed

Senior Lecturer, Humanities

Humanities & Social Sciences


Humanities & Social Sciences


Mt Helen Campus, Online


Dr Lesley Speed’s research encompasses various aspects of popular screen texts. Dr Speed’s areas of expertise include contemporary and early screen comedy within and outside Australia, Australian screen genres, genre-mixing including documentary and fiction, cultural value and social aspects of screen texts, and cultural discourses relating to video games.

Lesley is author of the books Australian Comedy Films of the 1930s: Modernity, the Urban and the International (Australian Teachers of Media, 2015) and Clueless: American Youth in the 1990s (Routledge, 2018). She has been a Scholar in Residence at the National Film and Sound Archive and a judge for the ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) Awards.

Lesley is a Senior Lecturer and researcher in media and screen studies at Federation University Australia. She joined the University of Ballarat (now Federation University) in 2004 and previously taught at La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne and Monash University.

A seamless wedding: Comedy, diversity, and the international

Contemporary Australian comedy has diversified around familiar subgenres and themes that draw on...

Comic investigation and genre-mixing: the television docucomedies of Lawrence Leung, Judith Lucy and Luke McGregor

In an era in which comedians have been positioned as public commentators, a cycle of Australian...

Renditions from the inside: Prison Songs, documusical and performative documentary

Produced for SBS Television, Kelrick Martin’s Prison Songs is unusual as a documentary in which...

Clueless: American Youth in the 1990s

Clueless: American Youth in the 1990s is a timely contribution to the increasingly prominent...

Fishing the waters of life: Zane Grey's White Death, exploitation film and the Great Barrier Reef

Edwin G. Bowen’s White Death (1936) is an Australian–American film about shark fishing that...

Prurient Exuberance: Early Australian Sex Hygiene Films and the Origins of Ozploitation

Australian exploitation films that were made since the 1960s have received considerable attention...

  • Journals


No abstract

  • Journals

Way hilarious: Amy Heckerling as a female comedy director, writer, and producer

  • Book Chapters

Australian Comedy Films of the 1930s: Modernity, the Urban and the International

  • Book

Comedian comedy

  • Book Chapters

Director: Ken G. Hall

  • Book Chapters

In the best film star tradition': Claire Adams and Mooramong

  • Journals

The warrior woman in Harlequin's Bombshell Athena Force series

The theme of the warrior woman – the woman prepared to fight – appears in popular romance and...

A handshake and a smile: video-making, young people and mental health

  • Journals


  • Book Chapters

Loose Cannons: White Masculinity and the Vulgar Teen Comedy Film

Strike Me Lucky: Social Difference and Consumer Culture in Roy Rene's Only Film

  • Journals

Win and Lose. Subculture and social difference in Dogs in Space

  • Journals

The comedian comedies: George Wallace's 1930s comedies, Australian cinema and Hollywood

  • Journals

Out of the Frying Pan: From Casual Teaching to Temp Work

  • Book Chapters

The Possibilites of Roads Not Taken: Intellect and Utopia in the Films of Richard Linklater

  • Journals

The possibilities of roads not taken: Intellect and utopia in the films of richard linklater

This article examines the relationship between the films of Richard Linklater and Hollywood....

"No matter how far you run"; Looking for Alibrandi and coming of age in Italo-Australian Cinema and girlhood.

  • Journals

When the Sun Sets Over Suburbia: Class and Subculture in Bruce Beresford's Puberty Blues

  • Journals

Life as a pizza: The comic traditions of wogsploitation films

  • Journals

You and me against the world: Revisiting puberty blues

  • Journals

A world ruled by hilarity: Gender and low comedy in the films of Amy Heckerling

  • Journals