Film, Television and Media Studies Research Students Film, Television and Media Studies Research Students

W. Patrick Bingham

Research Project: ‘Tweet Your Scream: Horror, Female Audiences, and Viral Marketing.

The thesis investigates female audiences for horror films, the historical relationship between female readership and the female Gothic and the contemporary focus on ‘shaky-cam horror', and the female fandom of these films. The focus is on ‘shaky-cam horror' as there is an intrinsic link between the female Gothic and these films. But more importantly, these films are seen as widely successful, drawing in large audiences and much of the fan and the critic's attention.

Other Research Interests: Gender Studies, Queer Theory, popular television, popular culture.

Anna Blagrove

Research Project: ‘Cultural Cinema without Borders: The Spaces, Places and Meanings of Non-Mainstream Cinema for Young People'

The research explores the meanings of cinema-going for young people and the ways in which they use cinemas as cultural spaces. It examines how different social groups of young people attach different meanings and uses to different cinemas through interviews with industry professionals and focus groups with young audiences. Ultimately, the thesis aims to identify policies that might be appropriate for the development of youth audiences for cultural cinema in the UK.

Other Research Interests: Australian cinema, Audience research, Film education.

Miriam Bross

Research Project: Mainstreaming Gender: the transformation of gender roles in the process of film adaptation

The thesis analyses the differences in the depiction of gender roles in ‘chickflicks' based on books and their source texts.

Other Research Interests: Women in film, audience research, anorexia in film.

Llewella Burton

Research Project: Relocating Henry's Royal Palaces: Film, Television and the Interpretation Strategies in the Heritage Industry

The thesis researches how Henry VII is represented by film and television, which offers a different perspective on how the British heritage industry can approach their interpretation strategies. The purpose of this research is to understand how industry practitioners at heritage sites engage with and approach film and television representations of Henry VII to support and promote their sites. The project aims to determine the ways film and television provide a positive impact on visitor engagement and financial revenue in the heritage industry.

Other Research Interests: British tourism and heritage industries, British cinema and television, haptic cinema and fashion design in film, television and theatre. 

Kristiene Clarke |

Research Project: I am researching non-fiction film genres and investigating the intersection between event, creative treatment, documentary practice and the fictionalising of factual subject matter for audience entertainment.

Other Research Interests: I am a documentary practitioner whose films have won awards at many international film festivals; I teach moving image production at the University of Kent; I organised the Aldeburgh Documentary Festival 2011, a 3-day programme of screenings, film workshops and professional master-classes.

Carolyn Ellam

Research Project: The critical reception of fantasy film within the context of British cinema

Other Research Interests: Genre theory; historical reception studies; film and television criticism; contemporary fantasy, horror and science fiction

Benjamin W.L. Derhy Kurtz |

Research Project: The discourses of success within the transatlantic, anglophone television industry. By offering industry-based knowledge and perspective, this research aims at better understanding how such a subjective notion as success, can actually be delineated, quantified, or even forecasted. It then intends to uncover which criteria are considered as inducing success in the eyes of TV industry practitioners. Finally, by studying the discourses themselves, this thesis endeavours to find a relevant way to classify them, thereby mapping-out the main currents of thought among members of the television industry.

Other Research Interests: Television industry; television series; 'success'; industrial sociology; qualitative interviews; interpretive organizational research; production research; international distribution; cult; mainstream; genre; fandom; audience research

Stephanie Fuller |

Research Project: The US-Mexico border in 1950s Hollywood film

Other Research Interests: Border studies; material culture; literature; film history; American culture; cold war; national identities; cultural studies; thing theory; cartography

Mark Fryers

Research project: The Maritime and British Nautical identity in British film and television 1960-2012.

The thesis explores how the maritime, as a site of British identity formation, has changed in the post-empire period and how these changes are expressed in British visual culture.

Other research Interests: British film and TV; national cinemas; film and cultural history; methodology; silent cinema.

Ruchika Gurung

Research project: The construction of absurd realities in the films of Michel Gondry.

Other research Interests: The changing nature of Indian cinema; philosophy and film.

Charles Hamel-Cooke

Research project: The construction of a classic comedy script.

The thesis examines the form of situation comedy writing, focusing on the work of Jimmy Perry and David Croft.

Julia Eva Havas

Research project: ‘Representations of Feminisms in Contemporary US Television Series'

The thesis focuses on recent American television series that are popularly understood to be engaging in dialogues about concerns of feminism, and investigates their relationship with the postfeminist cultural, political and economic context. It aims to explore the tensions that arise when these media texts use an allegedly feminist rhetoric while at the same time being borne out of and situated in a postfeminist culture. The case studies include (but are not limited to) 30 Rock (2006-13), Parks and Recreation (2009-) and The Good Wife (2009-).

Other Research Interests: Gender, race and sexuality in film and TV; genre theory; Hungarian film history.

Natalie Haygarth

Research project: ‘Marketing and publicising mainstream American films which contain representations of sexual violence'

The thesis explores how mainstream American films that explore representations of sexual violence against women are marketed (by film companies) and publicised (by other media including the popular press, film magazines and television shows). By analysing this range of popular media, the thesis aims to engage in ongoing debates surrounding representations of sexual violence in film, but also to raise new questions regarding their presence in popular entertainment and how these interconnect with broader issues surrounding cultural attitudes toward violence against women.

Other Research Interests: Marketing; representation and identity; sociology of media; media effects; media, gender and Cultural Studies.

Sarah Hill

Research project: ‘Women in Contemporary British Cinema'

The thesis explores the representation of women in female-centred British films since the millennium

Other Research Interests: Feminism; post-feminism; gender and popular culture; contemporary British cinema.

Ekky Imanjaya

Research project: ‘"Crazy Indonesia": Indonesian exploitation cinema, transnational DVD distribution and global cult fandom'

Other Research Interests: Cult cinema; exploitation cinema; ‘B' movies; transnational cinema; global fandom; Indonesian cinema, Southeast Asian Cinema, world film history; film and realism; fantasy genre studies; fan culture.

Becky Innes

Research project: ‘The meaning and role of community cinema in rural Norfolk'

This project, funded through the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards Scheme, seeks to explore the meaning and role of rural community cinema projects as they are understood by members of rural communities. In particular, the project will focus upon the social relations of community cinema-going and the social experience of attendance at rural cinema screening events, and will explore the ways in which such experiences relate to the nature and characteristics of particular rural community cinema projects. The project's non-academic partner is Norfolk's arts development agency Creative Arts East, who run the region's Village Screen community cinema network (

Other Research Interests: film exhibition and distribution; cinema audiences and the social experience of cinema-going; film festivals; cultural policy.

Timothy Jones |

Research Project: Indian animation - community and cultural practice. Reflexive analysis of local and global practices, as well as the formation and evolution of both community structures cultural norms that are shaping the Indian animation industry.

Other Research Interests: Indian media culture and cultural industries - Bollywood; techno-cultural practice; South and East Asian animation; British stop-motion animation; Animation theory; Interactive and immersive media education and cognitive training; Avant-Garde cinema - cinema and poetry

Miriam Kent

Research project: ‘Representation of women in the Marvel superhero films'

The thesis offers an interrogation of women portrayed in adaptations of Marvel comic books, from superhero girlfriends to the heroines themselves. It seeks to understand how these representations link into broader cultural issues concerning gender, power, sexuality, race and postfeminism, as well as the source material.

Other Research Interests: Feminism; intersectionality; gender and culture; queer studies; comic books; ideology.

Michael Konstanellis

Research Project: ‘Spectatorship, cultural discourse and shifting audience composition in Greek commercial cinema 1975-1990'

Other research interests: the Balkans; European politics; film history; cult films; exploitation

Bingting Liu |

Research Project: Film Imports and Cultural Policy in Mainland China since the 1990s

Other Research Interests: Mainland Chinese film industry; domestic film market in mainland China; Chinese cinema audiences; Chinese foreign media policy; Sino-U.S. cultural trade

Michael Lovelock

Research Project: ‘Interrogating the politics of LGBTQ celebrity in British reality TV'

The thesis examines the social and political implications of media narratives in which LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) people become celebrities through appearing on reality television. It focusses specifically upon British reality shows such as Big Brother, The X Factor, and The Only Way is Essex.

Other research interests: celebrity culture; reality tv; gender; queer theory

Ksenia Malykh

Research Project: ‘Researching the audience for online television: content, technology and everyday life'

The thesis will examine how the technologies of the internet and the mobile phone are impacting upon how audiences engage with television content. The research will recognise television as a "medium", not just as a technology or as a form or style of content, and examine audiences' perceptions of what "television" actually means in the 21st century.

Other research interests: digital literacy, new media and childhood, gendered uses of media, the media of diaspora, fan studies

Linda McCarthy

Research Project: ‘Possessed: religion, consciousness and the self in horror cinema of the 1960s and 1970s'

The thesis focuses on the connections between the "possession film" cycle and the historical, cultural and political landscape of the "Me Generation"

Other research interests: genre; psychoanalysis; film history

Stephen Mitchell |

Research Project: A Deconstructive Study of American National Identity in Contemporary Independent Cinema

Other Research Interests: Film theory; American independent cinema; Jacques Derrida; narrative; deconstruction; cultural studies; continental philosophy; national Identity

Dolores Moreno

Research Project: Cannes' Best Screenplay Awards: a discourse and content analysis of recent Best Screenplay award-winning films

The thesis explores to what extent the meaning of the screenplay award at Cannes is significant for the cultural agents who construct the discourses around the Festival. Although in general an award at Cannes is assumed to add value to a film and a director, it remains uncertain whose work or what is being judged with the Best Screenplay award, as well as the impact of this prize at the festival site. Consequently, the thesis proposes that we reconceptualise screenplay studies to encompass screenplay discourses in the marketing and release stages of film production and distribution.

Other research interests: International film festivals; screenplay theory; screenwriting; world cinema; contemporary auteur theory. 

Claire Mortimer

Research Project: Female comedy actors in British film and TV comedy in the 1940s-60s, with particular interest in the older woman

Other Research Interests: Performance; film aesthetics; British film; film and TV comedy; Alexander Mackendrick; romantic comedy

Gopalan Mullik

Research Project: 'Film experience and classical Indian theories'

The thesis examines whether classical Indian theories can engage with a modern art form like cinema in generating alternative explanations or new insights in the understanding of the film experience.

Other research interests: Indian philosophy; the philosophy of science

Jennifer Oey

Research Project: ‘Practicing Adaptation: One Script, Five Films'

The thesis offers a production-based study designed to illuminate and challenge existing theories by giving five directors the opportunity to interpret one screenplay.

Other research interests: Alice Guy Blaché; philosophy and film; society and political agenda in Hollywood film; Alfred Hitchcock

Adam Scales |

Research Project: Identity in Crisis: Sexuality and the Slasher Film. My thesis places the slasher film in relation to broader debates around homosexuality and other cinematic attempts to 'handle' the issue in the 1970s and 80s. I intend to reconstruct a sense of the discourses surrounding queer sexualities and how these have been adopted in the emergence and establishment of the slasher film.

Other Research Interests: Horror film; gender studies; identity politics; cultural theory; politics of taste and American reality television

Alireza Shafiee |

Research Project: Popular narratives as springboard for social change: understanding the online fan culture as a site of ideological democratic struggle. I have been studying the ways that fandom connects to different forms of civic participation and activism. My project aims to explore the ways online platforms are being implemented by film fans, and other social groups to communicate and follow up their social causes. It is particularly important for me to understand what kind of people are involved in what has been termed ‘fan activism' - what kind of forms do their activities involve, and how are the current online communities functioning for and benefiting their members? Also, how the membership and participation in such communities affect people's habits, attitude, behaviour, and different aspects of people's daily lives. My approach is very much based on the first-hand experiences of community members within or in relation to their communities.

Other Research Interests: Popular culture studies, audience and particularly fandom theories, (new/old) media and participation, media and Middle Eastern studies, and general social-political and civic theories.

Shin-Yuu Shen

Research Project: Post-feminism in Taiwanese Television Drama and Film

The thesis explores discourses of post-feminism in relation to the representation of women in Taiwanese drama and film.

Other research interests: Feminism; post-feminism; gender studies; American cinema; British cinema; Asian cinema and television drama. 

Phillip Smith

Research Project: American cinema serials, their audiences and exhibition

Other Research Interests: Tom Wintringham - writer, poet, military and political theorist; film in the Spanish Civil War; newsreels and their audiences; British film serials; children's cinema clubs; Tijuana Bibles - pornographic comics and 1930s celebrity culture; Mary Field, film maker; relational frame theory and behaviourist approaches to film; early British anime audiences and distribution

Rhys Owain Thomas |

Research Project: My PhD research explores recent developments in American Telefantasy - particularly how the increasingly popular figure of the liminal human subject facilitates the exploration of personal identity in the 21st Century. Using Arnold Van Gennep's concept of liminality as developed by Victor Turner, I examine the concept as it is embodied by certain characters in recent examples of American telefantasy – Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, and Dollhouse.

Other Research Interests: Cultural theory, British film and television, television genre; gender and sexuality.

Jonathan Wroot |

Research Project: The distribution and marketing of Japanese films on DVD in the UK

Other Research Interests: Japanese and Asian film; DVD and new media; genre; remakes; reception studies