Minette Hillyer

Dr Minette Hillyer profile picture

Lecturer School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


Teaching in 2018


MA Auckland, PhD University of California, Berkeley

Current research projects

My research is focused on moving image historiography and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on amateur, ephemeral, and social scientific films and television programmes, and New Zealand silent cinema. I am especially interested in local experiences of modernity, displays of culture and settler cultures, and theories of labour and amateurism. Current projects focus on:

  • The intersection of ethnographic film and popular culture on mid-century American television shows
  • The display of home movies on mid-century American television, and the implications for the relative status of film and television as domestic technologies in the postwar years
  • The performance of indigeneity, and its place in displays of modern settler culture in late silent period New Zealand film.

Areas of supervision

  • Media historiography, particularly moving image
  • New Zealand film and media studies, pre-1950
  • Domesticity, amateurism, and labour
  • Media and everyday life
  • Cultural theory

Selection of publications

Book chapters and journal entries

Hillyer, Minette. “Labours of Love: Home Movies, Paracinema, and the Modern Work of Cinema Spectatorship.” After Taste: Cultural Value and the Moving Image. Ed. Constantine Verevis and Julia Vassilieva. New York: Routledge, 2011.

“Labours of Love: Home Movies, Paracinema, and the Modern Work of Cinema Spectatorship.” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Vol. 24, Number 5, October 2010. 763-775.

Hillyer, Minette. “Underexposed Overexposure: One Night in Paris” The Velvet Light Trap, Number 65, Spring 2010. 20-21.

Hillyer, Minette. “Dominion Screen Types and Local Beauty Spots: New Zealand’s Pre-war Community Films.” New Zealand Journal of Media Studies, 11.2, 2009.

Hillyer, Minette. “Sex in the Suburban: Porn, Home Movies, and the Live Action Performance of Love in Pam and Tommy Lee: Hardcore and Uncensored.”  Porn Studies.  Ed. Linda Williams.  Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2004.  50-76.

Recent conference presentations


“Being at Home, Acting in Public, or, Your Funny, Funny Life: The Pre-Reality Display of Home Movies on TV” Gender Cultures and Reality Television Symposium. University of Auckland.

“To Dance the Native Dance: The Performance of Culture in The Adventures of Algy”, Department of Film, Television and Media Studies Research Seminar series, University of Auckland. Invited Speaker.

“Being at Home.” Culture+Context Seminar Series, School of Design, Victoria University of Wellington. Invited Speaker.

Re-modernism.” Adam in the City ART FORUM series, 2011. City Gallery, Wellington. Invited speaker and panellist.


“‘The Diverse Figures of the True’: Home Movies and the National Archive.” Contained Memory Conference, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.

“Primitive Survivals: Maoriland, Modernity, and the New Zealand Feature Film.” Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, University of New South Wales, Sydney.


“Media ‘After’ Modernity.” “The Future is Unwritten” Night Talks. Adam Art Gallery, Wellington. Invited speaker.

“B for Boring.” B for Bad Cinema Conference. Monash University, Melbourne. April.

Major achievements

Chancellor’s Dissertation Year Fellowship, University of California. 2005-2006

Townsend Fellow, Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California Berkeley. 2004-2005

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley. 2000-2002

Fulbright New Zealand Graduate Student Award 1999-2000

Professional links and responsibilities

Editorial Board Member, New Zealand Journal of Media Studies


Teaching in 2018