Summer School 2021

The cinema of Alfred Hitchcock

Emeritus Professor John Higgins, senior research scholar, Centre for Extra-Mural Studies, UCT

Hitchcock is perhaps the Shakespeare of cinema: constantly innovative, crossing and intermixing the genres of comedy, romance and thriller, and eliciting exciting interest and commentary from both academic and popular audiences. This course examines films from the full range of his career. The discussion will be framed with commentary from a wide range of critics and analysts. In this sense the course hopes to touch on multiple dimensions of inquiry, for to study Hitchcock is in many ways to study the history of twentieth century cinema and its obsessions. 


  1. Introduction: Hitchcock and twentieth century cinema
  2. Early days: The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) and The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935)
  3. Rear Window (1954)
  4. Vertigo (1958) and Psycho (1960)
  5. Hitchcock’s readers: Truffaut, Godard and Zizek


This course will be offered on the Microsoft Teams platform. Participants will be sent a link.


Recommended reading and viewing

Slavoj, Z. (ed.). 1992. Everything you wanted to know about Lacan but were afraid to ask Hitchcock. London and New York: Verso.

Truffault, F. 1983. The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock. New York: Touchstone.

Jean-Luc Godard. 1988. Histoire(s) du Cinema. (DVD)

Slavoj Zizek: 2006. The Pervert’s Guide to the Cinema. (DVD)


Date: 18–22 January
Time: 11.15 am