Tom is a Lecturer in Humanities in the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities. Prior to this he has been a Senior Research Associate for CREATe, the RCUK funded Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, contributing to Work Packages at UEA and the University of Edinburgh. Tom studied at UEA, achieving his BA and MA before completing his AHRC-funded PhD thesis (‘Fandom and Beyond: Online Community, Culture, and Kevin Smith Fandom’) in 2013.
Tom’s current research interests include online fandom, audience and reception studies, and the cultural, economic, and political concerns of the UK videogames industry.
"A step into the abyss" Transmedia in the UK Games and Television IndustriesFull Text UEA Repository
Discussions with Developers: F2P and the Changing Landscape of Games Business DevelopmentUEA Repository
What Do Musicians Talk About When They Talk About Copyright?Full Text UEA Repository
Wrestling with Grief: Fan Negotiation of Professional/Private Personas in Response to the Chris Benoit Double Murder-SuicideFull Text UEA Repository
Copyright and Musicians at the Digital MarginsFull Text UEA Repository
“Don't clone my indie game, bro”: Informal cultures of videogame regulation in the independent sectorFull Text UEA Repository
Alien Audiences: Remembering and Evaluating a Classic MovieUEA Repository
Understanding the Cultural Value of 'In Harmony-Sistema England'
Intellectual Property Values: What do musicians talk about when they talk about copyright?Full Text
Community Arts: Sustainability in Austerity
Shifting Fandoms of Film, Community, and FamilyUEA Repository
The Fan Studies Network: New Connections, New ResearchUEA Repository
Too Fat to Fly: A Case Study of Unsuccessful Fan MobilizationFull Text UEA Repository
Comedy Audiences - Editor's Introduction: Foregrounding The Comedy AudienceUEA Repository
When Film Fans Become Fan Family: Kevin Smith Fandom and Communal ExperienceUEA Repository
Embracing the “Overly Confessional”: Scholar-Fandom and Approaches to Personal ResearchUEA Repository
Key Research Interests
Broadly speaking, Tom's research concerns the production and reception of popular media.
In terms of production his work focuses on the videogames industry in the UK, examining the contexts in which games are made and distributed, particularly at the independent level. This work is chiefly shaped by the input of industry professionals via interviews and workshop discussions. This has led to outputs examining issues affecting the contemporary sector such as cloning, free-to-play business models, cultural value, and transmedia planning.
Focusing on reception, Tom is interested in media audiences, particularly the study of fandom and fan culture. His work is frequently concerned with online communities and their responses to popular culture, and he has researched the new media contexts of a variety of fan cultures, including fans of professional wrestling, Star Wars, and Kevin Smith.
Research Group Membership
Tom is currently affiliated with CREATe, the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, based at the University of Glasgow. CREATe is funded jointly by the AHRC, EPSRC, and the ESRC. He has previously contributed to two work packages, and is currently undertaking a literature review on the value of videogames tax relief.
Tom is also affiliated with the Tracking IP Across Creative Technologies project (TRI-PACT), based at the Universiy of Brighton and funded by the AHRC. He is contributing to the videogames strand of the project, which broadly aims to facilitate knowledge exchange across a cross-disciplinary spectrum of partners and stake holders, from film, broadcast, and games domains.
Now working on the Humanities Foundation Year, Tom has teaching experience across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, including modules in Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies, and the School of Art, Media and American Studies.
Humanities: The Key Concepts
New Media and Society
Reception and Audience Studies in Film and Television
Film, Television, and New Media
Analysing Film and Television
External Activities and Indicators of Esteem
Fan Studies Network
Tom is the co-founder and co-chair of The Fan Studies Network, an international collective of scholars working in the study of fandom and fan culture. Formed in 2012, the FSN was created with the idea of cultivating a friendly space in which scholars of fandom could easily forge connections with other academics in the field, and discuss the latest topics within fan studies.
Since 2013, Tom has helped organise four FSN conferences, three of which were held at UEA (2013, 2015, 2016) and a fourth at Regent's University London (2014). In addition, under the FSN banner Tom co-edited a special issue of Participations journal, featuring work from members of the Network.
Norwich Gaming Festival
In 2016 Tom received a UEA Engagement Award for his work with the Norwich Gaming Festival. Running since 2014, the festival is a major celebration of the cultural importance of videogames and highlights the local creative sector as part of this growing industry.
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