Dr Mikel Koven

Senior Lecturer and Course Leader, Film Studies

English Media and Culture

Contact Details

email: m.koven@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 85 5297

Mikel Koven is the author of Blaxploitation Film (2010), Film, Folklore & Urban Legends (2008) and La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film (2006); he co-editedFolklore/Cinema: Popular Film as Vernacular Entertainment (2007) and a special issue of Western Folklore on the topic of Folklore & Film. He was formerly Editor of the journal Contemporary Legend before taking up the role of President of the International Society of Contemporary Legend Research (ISCLR). He is currently working on an edited volume entitled Global Mythologies and World Cinemas, as well as contributing research to books on the television shows True Blood and Supernatural. In addition to folklore, horror cinema and exploitation films, Mikel has researched cult movies, Jewishness in film and TV, representations of the Holocaust, and fandom.

Mikel teaches modules including Introduction to Film Studies, National CinemaandFilm Genre.He is also responsible for specialist modules in Cult & Exploitation Cinema and Film & Folklore.


  • 1999: PhD Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. Johns(An Ethnography of Seeing: A Proposed Methodology for the Ethnographic Study of Popular Cinema)
  • 1994: M.A Film and Television Studies, University of Warwick(thesis: How Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema Defines the Human Through the Tension Between Rhetorical and Interpellated Discourses as Exemplified in the Alien Trilogy)
  • 1992: BA (with Honours), Humanities (Classics), York University, Toronto(thesis: Transformation of Myth through Media: The Mythic Vision of Pier Paolo Pasolini)

Professional Bodies

International Society of Contemporary Legend Research (ISCLR), 1996 present

The American Folklore Society (AFS), 1996-present

Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA), 1997-present

Screen Studies Association, 2000-present

The Folklore Society (UK), 2000-present

Folklore Studies Association of Canada (FSAC)/L'Association Canadienne d'Ethnologie et de Folklore (ACEF), 1995-1999

Film Studies Association of Canada (F-SAC)/Association Canadienne desÉtudes Cinématographiques (ACÉC), 1995-1999


'"A Fairy?! How lame is that?!": True Blood as Fairy Tale' in Brigid Cherry, ed. True Blood: Investigating Southern Gothic. London: I. B. Tauris, 2012 (forthcoming)

'Televisual Folklore: Rescuing Supernatural from the Fakelore Realm (with Gunnella Thorgeirsdottir), in David Lavery & Stacey Abbott, eds. Supernatural: TV Goes to Hell. Toronto: ECW Press, 2011

Blaxploitation Films Kamera Books, 2010

'The Jewish Giallo, or What’s a Nice Jewish Motif Like You Doing in a Movie Like This?', in M. Waligórska and S. Wagenhofer eds. Cultural Representations of Jewishness at the Turn of the 21st Century. Florence: EUI Working Papers, 2010: 135-146

'The X-Files' in David Lavery ed. The Essential Cult Film Reader. University Press of Kentucky, 2010: 337-344

Film, Folklore and Urban Legends Scarecrow Press, 2008

'Coding within Jewish Cultural Studies and Jewish-American Cinema' in Simon Bronner ed. Jewish Cultural Studies, vol. 1. Oxford: Littman, 2008: 291-310

'The Folklore of the Zombie Film' in Marc Leverette and Shawn McIntosh eds. Zombie Culture: Studies of the Monster That Won’t Go Away. Scarecrow Press, 2008: 19-34

'The Folklore Fallacy: A Folkloristic/Filmic Perspective on The Wicker Man' Fabula 48.3-4 2007

'Most Haunted and the convergence of traditional belief and popular television'. Folklore 118 August, 2007: 183-202

Folklore/Cinema: Popular Film and Vernacular Culture co-edited with Sharon Sherman, Utah State University Press, 2007

Co-editor, with Sharon Sherman special issue: 'Film and Folklore', Western Folklore 64, 3-4 2005

Editor, special issue: 'Cool Jewz: Contemporary Jewish Identity in Popular Culture' Shofar, 25.4 Summer 2007

'Adapting Legends: Urban Legends and their Adaptation in Horror Cinema' in Richard Hand and Jay McRoy eds. Monstrous Adaptations: Generic and Thematic Mutations in Horror Film. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007:157-171

'The Folklore Files: In(corp)orating Legends in The X-Files' in Sharon Yang, The X-Files and Literature: Unweaving the Story, Unraveling the Lie to Find the Truth, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007: 91-104

'Buttgereit’s Poetics: Schramm as Cinema of Poetry' in Steffen Hanke ed. Caligari’s Heirs: The German Cinema of Fear after 1945. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2007. 185-187

La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film Scarecrow Press, 2006

'Space & Place in Italian Giallo Cinema: the ambivalence of modernity in Wendy Everett & Axel Goodbody eds. Revisiting Space: Space and Place in European Cinema. Bern: Peter Lang, 2005: 115-131

'Folklore Studies and Popular Film and Television: A Necessary Critical Survey'. Journal of American Folklore 116.2 2003: 176-195

‘"Have I Got a Monster for You!”: Some Thoughts on the Golem, The X-Files and the Jewish Horror Movie’ Folklore 111.2 2000: 217-230

‘Candyman Can: Film and ostension.’ Contemporary Legend N.S. 2 1999: 137-154

‘Feminist Folkloristics and Women’s Cinema: Towards a Methodology’. Literature Film Quarterly 27.4 1999: 292-300

‘"You Don’t Have to be Filmish”: The Toronto Jewish Film Festival’. Ethnologies 21.1 1999: 115-132

External Responsibilities

1st Vice President (President Elect), International Society for Contemporary Legend Research (ISCLR), 2011-2014

Editor, Contemporary Legend (ISCLR). 2006-2011

Membership Secretary, International Society of Contemporary Legend Research (ISCLR), 2002 2008

Committee Member, The Folklore Society, 2005 present