Biography

I have been at UEA since 2006, and was Head of School for 2011-13. Prior to UEA, I worked for the University of Glamorgan and the Open University, and did my PhD on television sitcom at Canterbury Christ Church College. I have published widely on comedy and popular television, including two books: Television Sitcom (British Film Institute, 2005) and The Sitcom (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). I have journal articles in a wide variety of publications (including Screen, Television and New Media, Journal of Popular Television, Journal of British Cinema and Television, and Celebrity Studies) and have edited and co-edited special editions of Participations, Comedy Studies and Critical Studies in Television. My interest in teaching and pedagogy has resulted in co-authoring the text book Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts (Pearson, 2009/12), now in its second edition.

Highlighted Publications

See All

Mills, B.

(2013)

The Animals Went in Two by Two: Heteronormativity in Television Wildlife Documentaries,

in European Journal of Cultural Studies

16.

pp. 100-114

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2013)

Invalid Animals: Finding the non-Human Funny in Special Needs Pets,

in Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies

7.

pp. 321-35

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Cassidy, A., Mills, B.

(2012)

'Fox Tots Attack Shock': Urban Foxes, Mass Media and Spacial Boundaries,

in Environmental Communication

6.

pp. 494-511

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B., Barlow, D.

(2012)

Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts. 2nd edition,

Pearson Education

ISBN 978-1-4082-8525-1

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2011)

Days of Future Past: Documenting the Future,

in Journal of British Cinema and Television

8.

pp. 81-98

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2011)

The Guardians of the General Interest: Discourses of Knowledge in QI,

in Television and New Media

12.

pp. 136-153

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2010)

Television wildlife documentaries and animals' right to privacy,

in Journal of Media and Cultural Studies

12.

pp. 193-202

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2010)

Being Rob Brydon: Performing the Self in Comedy,

in Celebrity Studies

1.

pp. 190-202

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2009)

The Sitcom,

EUP

ISBN 9780748637522

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2008)

'Paranoia, paranoia, everybody's coming to get me': Peep Show, sitcom, and the surveillance society,

in Screen

49.

pp. 51-64

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2005)

Television Sitcom,

British Film Institute

ISBN 1844570886

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2004)

Comedy Verite: Contemporary Sitcom Form,

in Screen

45 (1).

pp. 63-78

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


All Publications

See Highlights
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Mills, B., Rimmer, M.

(2017)

Pure and Simple: Music as a Personal and Comedic Resource in Car Share,

in Music in Comedy Television : Notes on Laughs.

Routledge

ISBN 978-1138193581, 9781138193567

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2016)

Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British television comedy industry,

in Humor

29

(2)

pp. 157–174

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2016)

Old Jokes: One Foot in the Grave, Comedy and the Elderly,

in British TV Comedies : Cultural Concepts, Contexts and Controversies.

Palgrave Macmillan

pp. 265-277

ISBN 978-1-137-55294-5

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2016)

‘If this was a human…’: Pets, vets and medicine,

in Critical Studies in Television

11

(2)

pp. 244-256

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B., Horton, E.

(2016)

Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry,

Routledge

ISBN 9781138807211

Full Text UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2016)

A Special Freedom: Regulating Comedy Offence,

in Taboo Comedy : Television and Controversial Humour.

Palgrave Macmillan

pp. 209-226

ISBN 978-1-137-59337-5

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2016)

"Out There, In the World": Representations of the Zoo and Other Spaces in the Madagascar Trilogy,

in The Zoo and Screen Media : Images of Exhibition and Encounter.

Palgrave Macmillan

pp. 137-152

ISBN 978-1-137-54342-4

Madagascar Trilogy">Full Text Madagascar Trilogy&order=-date%2Fcreators_name%2Ftitle" title=""Out There, In the World": Representations of the Zoo and Other Spaces in the Madagascar Trilogy">UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2015)

The Television Sitcom,

in The Routledge Companion to British Media History.

Routledge

pp. 451-459

ISBN 978-0-415-53718-6

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2015)

"Shoved Online": BBC Three, British Television and the Marginalisation of Young Adult Audiences,

in Media, Margins and Popular Culture.

Palgrave Macmillan

pp. 219-231

ISBN 978-1-137-51280-2

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B., Ralph, S.

(2014)

'Trying to Ride a Naughty Horse': British Television Comedy Producers,

in Beyond the Bottom Line : The Producer and Screen Studies.

Bloomsbury Academic

pp. 161-174

ISBN 9781441172365

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2014)

Sitcoms,

in Encyclopedia of Humor Studies.

Sage

pp. 695-698

ISBN 9781412999090

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2014)

Sketch Comedy Shows,

in Encyclopedia of Humor Studies.

Sage

pp. 698-700

ISBN 9781412999090

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2013)

The Animals Went in Two by Two: Heteronormativity in Television Wildlife Documentaries,

in European Journal of Cultural Studies

16

(1)

pp. 100-114

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2013)

Invalid Animals: Finding the non-Human Funny in Special Needs Pets,

in Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies

7

(3)

pp. 321-35

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2013)

'Complaints Were Received': Morris, Comedy and Broadcasting in Context,

in No Known Cure: The Comedy of Chris Morris.

British Film Institute

pp. 98-110

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2013)

'Shane, Don't Film This Bit': Comedy and Performance in Le Donk and Sco-Zay-Zee,

in Shane Meadows: Critical Essays.

Edinburgh University Press

pp. 142-154

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Mills, B.

(2012)

'American Remake - Shudder': Online Debates About Life on Mars and Britishness,

in Life on Mars: From Manchester to New York.

University of Wales Press

pp. 133-44

ISBN 978-0708323595

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Cassidy, A., Mills, B.

(2012)

'Fox Tots Attack Shock': Urban Foxes, Mass Media and Spacial Boundaries,

in Environmental Communication

6

(4)

pp. 494-511

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Mills, B., Barlow, D.

(2012)

Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts. 2nd edition,

Pearson Education

ISBN 978-1-4082-8525-1

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Ralph, S., Mills, B.

(2012)

Written evidence submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Inquiry into Support for the Creative Economy.: Make Me Laugh Research Project,

(Other contribution)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

I’m interested in popular television, especially that which is routinely ignored by academics and critics (I explored this idea in a special edition of Critical Studies in Television I edited in 2010, called ‘Invisible Television’). This has primarily centred around comedy, but I’m also interested in other genres, such as the panel show and wildlife documentaries.

I’m currently leading the 3-year (2012-4) Arts and Humanities Research Council project, ‘Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry’ (http://www.makemelaugh.org.uk/) which is working with comedy writers, producers and commissioners to explore their creative processes and to examine how comedy gets made. This follows the earlier AHRC-funded project ‘Funny Business’ (2005-6), in which I interviewed comedy workers about their activities.

A more recent research interest concerns the representation of animals on television, in particular in wildlife documentaries. My publications on this topic in European Journal of Cultural Studies (2013) and Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies (2010) received widespread international media attention.
I’m interested in supervising PhD students on topics including comedy, popular culture, television, genre, and media and animals.

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • I’m a member of the editorial boards for Journal of Popular Television and Critical Studies in Television.
  • I’m the external examiner for BA Film and Television Studies at the University of Northumbria, and was previously the external examiner for BA Broadcasting and New Media at Kingston University.
  • I’ve contributed to a wide number of television and radio programmes about television comedy, including Funny Gals: Lucille Ball (BBC Radio 2, 2011), Sex and the Sitcom (BBC4, 2011), The One Show (BBC1, 2011) and Men About the House (BBC4, 2010).