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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 4, 2016
Canadian Excellence
Philippa Gates

Dr. Philippa Gates

Professor, Film Studies Undergraduate Advisor

Contact Information
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext.2476
Fax: 519.884.8307
Office Location: 3-153 Woods Bldg.
Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:30-3:30pm (Jan 5 to Mar 29) or by appointment
Languages Spoken


Academic Background
  • PhD in Film and Visual Culture (University of Exeter)
  • MA in History of Cinema & Popular Culture (University of Exeter
  • HBA (Specialist) in Cinema Studies (University of Toronto)


  • Edgar Award - Nomination for 'Best Critical/Biographical Book' (2012) for Detecting Women
  • Anthony Award - Nomination for 'Best Critical Nonfiction Work' (2012) for Detecting Women

External Funding  

  • SSHRC Insight Grant (2012-16) for Chinese/Americans in Classical Hollywood Film
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2005-09) for Softboiled Men and Hardboiled Women

Philippa Gates specializes in the representations of gender, age, and race in American genre films—both classical and contemporary. Her books Detecting Men: Masculinity and the Hollywood Detective Film (SUNY Press, 2006) and Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective Film (SUNY Press, 2011) examine the shifting representation of the figure of the detective through classical Hollywood film to the 2000s in a negotiation of changing social factors and film industry practices. Her secondary area of research expertise is the cultural and generic exchange between Hong Kong cinema and American film, culminating in the co-edited collection, Transnational Asian Identities in Pan-Pacific Cinemas: The Reel Asian Exchange (Routledge, 2012). Her articles on gender, race, and age in Hollywood film have appeared in the British Journal of Canadian Studies, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Framework, Journal of Film & Video, Journal of Popular Film & Television, Post Script, and Quarterly Review of Film and Video, as well as in various edited collections. She is also a contributor to the online sites the Crime Fiction Canada and She is currently finishing her next book, Criminalization/ Assimilation: Chinese/ Americans in Classical Hollywood Film, which offers an in-depth and wide-ranging exploration of how Hollywood processed changing American attitudes towards Chinese immigrants and citizens in the first half of the twentieth century. Professor Gates is the Film Studies Program Coordinator at Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as the former President of the Film Studies Association of Canada.


Gates, P. and Lisa Funnell, eds. Transnational Asian Identities in Pan-Pacific Cinemas: The Reel Asian Exchange. New York: Routledge, 2011. 244pp.

Gates, P. Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective Film. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2011. 416 pp.

Gates, P. Detecting Men: Masculinity and the Hollywood Detective Film. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006. 346pp.

Gillis, Stacy and P. Gates, eds. The Devil Himself: Villainy in Detective Fiction and Film. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002. 217 pp.

Journal Articles (selected)

Gates, P. “The Assimilated Asian American as American Action Hero: Anna May Wong, Keye Luke, and James Shigeta in the Classical Hollywood Detective Film.” Canadian Journal of Film Studies 22.2 (Fall 2013): 19-40. 

Gates, P. “The Asian Renovation of Biracial Buddy Action: Negotiating Globalization in the Millennial Hollywood Cop Action Film.” Journal of Popular Film and Television 40.2 (2012): 83-93.

Gates, P. “Acting His Age?: The Resurrection of the 80s Action Heroes and their Aging Stars.” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 27.4 (2010): 276-89.

Gates, P. “The Maritorious Melodrama: Film Noir with a Female Detective.” Journal of Film and Video 61.3 (Fall 2009): 24-39.

Gates, P. “The Three Sam Spades: The Shifting Model of American Masculinity in the Three Films of The Maltese Falcon.” Framework 49.1 (Spring 2008): 7-26.

Gates, P. “‘Fighting the Good Fight’: The Real and the Moral in the Contemporary Hollywood Combat Film.” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 22.4 (Oct-Dec 2005): 297-310.

Gates, P. “Manhunting: The Female Detective in the Contemporary Serial Killer Film.” Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities 24.1 (Fall 2004): 42-61.

Gates, P. “Always a Partner in Crime: Black Masculinity and the Hollywood Detective Film.” The Journal of Popular Film and Television 32.1 (Spring 2004): 20-9.

Gates, P. “The Man’s Film: Woo and the Pleasure of Male Melodrama.” The Journal of Popular Culture 35.1 (Summer 2001): 59-79.

Book Chapters (selected)

Gates, P. “Independence Unpunished: The Female Detective in Classic Film Noir.” Kiss the Blood off my Hands: On Classic Noir. Ed. Robert Miklitsch. Champaign, IL: Illinois University Press (2014), 17-36.

Gates, P. “’Hidden in the Snow’: Female Violence against the Men Who Hate Women in the ‘Millennium’ Adaptations.” Rape in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and Beyond: Contemporary Scandinavian and Anglophone Crime Fiction. Eds. Berit Ǻström, Katarina Gregersdotter, and Tanya Horeck. London: Palgrave Macmillan (2012). 193-214.

Gates, P. “A Good Vintage or Damaged Goods? Clint Eastwood and Aging in Hollywood Film.” Clint Eastwood, Actor and Director: Volume II. Ed. Leonard Engel. Salt Lake City: Utah UP (2012): 168-89.

Gates. P. “Hong Kong Noir: American Film Noir and Asian Innovation, 1956-66.” Transnational Asian Identities in Pan-Pacific Cinemas: The Reel Asian Exchange. Ed. P. Gates and L. Funnell. New York: Routledge (2011). 3-16.

Gates, P. “Criminal Investigation on Film.” Blackwell Companion to Crime Fiction. Eds. Charles J. Rzepka and Lee Horsley. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing (2010). 344-355.

Gates, P. “Getting Away with It: Villainy in the Contemporary Hollywood Detective Film.” The Devil Himself: Villainy in Detective Fiction and Film. Eds. S. Gillis and P. Gates. Westport: Greenwood Press (2002). 183-96.

Interview Article

Gates, P. “Conversation with Scholars of American Popular Culture: Featured Guest Philippa Gates. Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture 1900 to the Present 8.2 (Fall 2009) <http://www.americanpopularculture/journal/articles/fall_2009/gates.htm> (4826 words).

Professional Service
  • President of the Film Studies Association of Canada (2010-2012)
  • Board Member of Cinematheque Waterloo (2008-2011)
  • Series Editor for Wilfrid Laurier University Press’s Film and Media Studies Series (2006 - )
  • Contributor to Crime Fiction Canada <> (2005 - )
  • Contributor to Crimeculture <> (2002 - )
  • Juror for the Brantford Film Festival Competition (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Juror for Grand River Film Festival’s “Short Shorts” Competition (2009, 2010)
  • Juror for the Multicultural Cinema Club’s Local Focus Film Festival Competition (2010, 2011)

Graduate Seminars Taught

  • EN 616—Women and Crime in Fiction and Film
  • EN 650—Hardboiled Fiction and Film
  • EN 615—Film Spectatorship

Undergraduate Courses Taught

  • FS 101—Film and Narrative
  • FS 103—Film and Genre
  • FS 243Hollywood Auteurs
  • FS 249—The Detective Film
  • FS 252—Film Noir
  • FS 257—The Western
  • FS 264—American Film 1929-1969
  • FS 341—Classical Film Theory
  • FS 344—American Film Since 1969
  • FS 443a—War in Literature and Film
Additional Information
Student Opportunities / Supervising

I have supervised doctoral students working on topics including transnational Chinese action heroines, women in silent war films, and Hollywood auteurs & digital cinema. I am open to supervising graduate students in the areas of American film history, gender, and genre.