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Teaching Staff

Prof. Mette Hjort

Chair Professor in Humanities, Dean of Arts

Office: OEW1102

Tel: 3411 7200

Email: mettehjort@hkbu.edu.hk

Professor Hjort’s research spans the fields of literary studies, theatre studies, philosophy, and film and media studies. Much of her research has focused on the cinemas of small nations, with an emphasis on practitioner’s agency, creativity under constraint, gift culture, talent development, transnational collaboration, and artistic projects as alternatives or complements to cultural policy. Current research interests include moving images in the context of health and well-being, the ethics of image-based biographical fiction, and environmental aesthetics and green filmmaking.

Professor Hjort obtained her bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Theatre, and Film and Communications and master’s degree in Communications from McGill University, and her PhD in History and Civilizations from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Transnational Cinema Studies by Aalborg University in Denmark in 2017. Previous positions include Professor of Film Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Professor II of Arts and Media Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Associate Vice President (Academic Quality Assurance and Internationalisation) and Chair Professor of Visual Studies at Lingnan University, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature (and Head of Department) at Hong Kong University, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Aalborg University, and Associate Professor of Film and Communications (and Programme Director) at McGill University. Professor Hjort has held visiting professorships at St Andrews University and University College London, and has also taught at Fudan University. She is an Affiliate Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. A founding fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities, Professor Hjort has served on the University Grants Committee (appointed by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive) and on the Board of the Danish Film Institute (appointed by the Danish Minister of Culture). Professor Hjort’s community engagement includes projects with FilmLab: Palestine and with the alternative film school, IMAGINE, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 

Selected Projects

Alternative film schools, capacity building, and talent development

Involving field work in Africa and the Middle East, this film-based project looks at transnational partnerships (Nordic region – Middle East; Nordic region – East Africa; Nordic region – West Africa), milieu-building efforts, and the development of transferable models, all within the context of an exploration of moving images as a significant source of public value.


Moving images, health, and well-being

A community-oriented project involving collaboration with scholars in the areas of positive psychology and neuro-cinema, and with hospitals and homes for the elderly. A key goal is to identify, explain, and explore the potential of moving images to contribute to health and well-being.


The ethics of image-based biographical fiction

An analytic project aimed at developing a typology of approaches to fictionalizing lives, and at articulating the moral duties of both producers and viewers. 


Environmental aesthetics and green filmmaking

A wide-ranging project focusing on the use of cinematic depictions of nature for the purposes of health outcomes, on best practices in green filmmaking, and on policy-oriented measures to promote environmentally responsible filmmaking.


Recent Publications (2015-2019)

2019 (forthcoming), Hjort, Mette, and Eva Jørholt (eds). African Cinema & Human Rights, “Studies in the Cinema of the Black Diaspora” series, edited by Michael T. Martin and David C. Wall. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press and the Black Film Center/Archive.


2019 (forthcoming), Hjort, Mette. ‘What is Denmark doing in the Middle East? Soft Power, Capacity Building, and Film as Art.’ In Cinemas of Elsewhere: A Globalized History of Nordic Film Cultures, edited by Anna Stenport and Arne Lunde.


2019 (forthcoming), Hjort, Mette. ‘In Defense of Human Rights Filmmaking: A response to the sceptics, based on Kenyan examples.’ In African Cinema & Human Rights.


2019 (forthcoming), Hjort, Mette, with Eva Jørholt. ‘Filmmaking on the African Continent: On the centrality of human rights thinking.’ In African Cinema & Human Rights.


2018 (forthcoming), Hjort, Mette. ‘The Public Value of Film: Moving Images, Health, and Well-being.’ In Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, special issue devoted to Movings Images, Health and Well-being, edited by Mette Hjort and Tommy Gustafsson.


2018, Hjort, Mette. ‘Guilt-based filmmaking: moral failings, muddled activism, and the dogumentary Get a Life.’ In special issue of Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, edited by Elisabeth Oxfeldt. 10.P1: 6–13, https://doi.org/10.1080/20004214.2018.1447219.


2018, Hjort, Mette. ‘Gender Equity in Screen Culture: On Susanne Bier, the Celluloid Ceiling, and the Growing Appeal of TV Production.’ In Refocus: The Films of Susanne Bier, edited by Missy Molloy, Mimi Nielsen and Meryl Shriver-Rice, 130-144. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


2018, Hjort, Mette. ‘Soft Power, Talentförderung und Filmschaffen im Mittleren Osten,’ translated by Patrick Vonderau. Montage AV: Zeitschrift für Theorie & Geschichte audiovisueller Kommunikation (Special Issue: Arab Cinema) 26.2: 49-58.


2017, Hjort, Mette. ‘Eyes on the Future: World Cinema and Transnational Capacity Building.’ In Routledge Companion to World Cinema, edited by Rob Stone, Paul Cooke, Stephanie Dennison, Alex Marlow-Mann, 482-496. London: Routledge.


2017, Hjort, Mette. ‘Creative Strategies: Lars von Trier’s Medea.’ In Blackwell Companion to the Reception of Classical Myth, edited by Vanda Zajko, 447-461. Malden, MA: Blackwell.


2017, Hjort, Mette. ‘Unlikely Empathy: The Process and Effect of Identification in Listen.’ In Short Film Studies. 8.1: 73–77, doi: 10.1386/sfs.8.1.73_1.


2017, Hjort, Mette. 跨越国界:丹麦“特色”电影培训、能力建设与人才扶持的跨国实践, translated Wang Xinying, 当代电影 (Contemporary Cinema) 250.2, 2017: 80-88.


2016, Hjort, Mette. ‘Talent Development and Capacity Building in Small Nations: On the Twinning of Film-Makers.’ Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, special issue edited by Ilona Hongisto, Bill Nichols, and Malin Wahlberg. 6.2: 81-100. doi: 10.1386/jsca.6.2.81_1


2016, Hjort, Mette. ‘What Does It Mean to be an Ecological Filmmaker? Knut Erik Jensen’s Work as Eco-Auteur.’ Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind 10.2: 104-124. doi: 10:3167/proj.2016.100206


2016, Hjort, Mette. ‘Facilitating Student Engagement: A Performative Model of Transnational Film Pedagogy.’ In Teaching Transnational Cinema, edited by Katarzyna Marciniak and Bruce Bennett, 155-176. London: Routledge.


2016, Hjort, Mette. ‘Crossing Borders: The Transnational Turn in “Danish” Film Training, Capacity Building, and Talent Development.’ In A Companion to Nordic Cinema, edited by Mette Hjort and Ursula Lindqvist, 148-172. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.


2015, Hjort, Mette. ‘The Risk Environment of Filmmaking.’ In European Visions, edited by Janelle Blankenship and Tobias Nagl, 49-64. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.


Professor Hjort has published 4 monographs, 13 edited books, 4 interview books, and 2 translated books (with Harvard UP, Chicago UP, Oxford UP, HKUP, BFI Publications, Routledge, Johns Hopkins UP, U of Washington P, Indiana UP, Edinburgh UP, Wayne State UP, Wiley-Blackwell, and Intellect). See the full CV for details.


Selected Grants:

2018-2021, member, research project ‘Cinema of Mobility in the Hispanic Atlantic,’ Ministry of Economy, Spain, Principal Investigator Miguel Fernandez-Rodriguez Labayen, Co-Investigator José Francisco Cerdán Los Arcos.


2017, Hjort, Mette, Film:Exchange, internal research grant to support collaborative research (DK 50,000, University of Copenhagen).


2016, Hjort, Mette, Film:Exchange, internal research grant to support collaborative research (DK 50,000, University of Copenhagen).


2013-2015, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, GRF (Hong Kong Research Grants Council), ‘Practice-oriented Film Education and Its Institutions: Values, Methods, Transferable Models’ (RGC Ref No.340612; HK $309,266).


2012-2013, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Teaching Development Grant, ‘Independent Chinese Cinema: A Pedagogical Resource’ (TG11A9; HK $375,000, Lingnan University).


2011-2012, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Direct Grant, ‘Contemporary Documentary Filmmaking in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the PRC: Understanding Practitioner’s Agency,’ Co-Investigators Cheung Tit Leung, Ma Ran, Hu Liu Bin (DA11B1; HK $ 15,000, Lingnan University).


2010, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Teaching Development Grant, ‘Film and Education: Documentary Film’ (TG10B1; HK $19,840, Lingnan University).


2010, Hjort, Mette, Teaching Development Grant, ‘Key Issues in Contemporary Documentary Filmmaking: Practitioners’ Perspectives’ (TG10B2; HK $14,400, Lingnan University).


2010, Hjort, Mette, Co-Investigator, Teaching Development Grant, ‘Developing a Virtual World Teaching Resource.’ With Brant Knutzen, David M. Kennedy and Christine Shirley (HK $398,402, Lingnan University).


2010, Hjort, Mette, Direct Grant, with Meaghan Morris, ‘Instituting Cultural Studies’ (DA10A2; HK $30,000, Lingnan University).


2008-2010, Hjort, Mette, Direct Grant, ‘Art and Risk’ (DA08A7; HK $29,000, Lingnan University).


2007-2009, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator,  CERG (Hong Kong Research Grants Council competitive grant), ‘The Cinema of Lone Scherfig’ (HK $400,000).


2007, Hjort, Mette, Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Leverhulme Trust, ‘Transnational Cinema’ (UK £19,000, University of St Andrews).


2006-2007, Hjort, Mette, with Meaghan Morris, Direct Grant, ‘University Culture: Markets, Globalization, Norms’ (DA06A7; HK $27,000, Lingnan University).


2006-2007, Hjort, Mette, Direct Grant, ‘Small Nations, Film Culture, and Transnationalism’ (HK $64,340, Lingnan University).


2002-2004, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Research Initiation Grant, University of Hong Kong (HK $109,000).


2001-2002 (declined), Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Danish Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, ‘Small National Cinemas’ (450,000 Danish Crowns).


1995-1998, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), ‘Cinema and the Politics of Recognition.’ (Cdn $45,000, McGill University).


1995-1998, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Release Time Stipend (Cdn $13,500, McGill University).


1991-94, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Fonds de recherche du Québec (FCAR), ‘Cinema and the Politics of Recognition,’ (Cdn $47,600, McGill University).


1991-94, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), General Research Grant (Cdn $20,779, McGill University).


1989-91, Hjort, Mette, Principal Investigator, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Postdoctoral Research Grant (Cdn $24,000, McGill University).