Audience and Fan Studies
The study of audience reception and consumption is a core strand running through much of our work. Staff have published important studies examining how media influence might operate (e.g. Jenny Kitzinger and Justin Lewis).
In addition we have a particularly flourishing strand of research into internet engagement, on-line communities and studies of cult media and fandom. A study funded by the AHRC focused on: ‘Reconceptualising ‘the unconscious’ in Qualitative Audience Research' Project (AHRC funded). Books by school staff include:
- Matt Hills (2002) Fan Cultures, Routledge.
- Sara Gwenllian-Jones and Roberta Pearson (eds) (2004) Cult Television, University of Minnesota Press.
- Matt Hills (2005) The Pleasures of Horror, Continuum.
In addition much of our work goes beyond studying the mass media alone to explore the broader cultural practices which form part of the social world we live in (e.g. see Race, Representation and Cultural Studies Group).
Staff are also contributing to broader debates about cultural studies practice and theory. For example, Matt Hills wrote How To Do Things With Cultural Theory, (2005) Hodder-Arnold, and Justin Lewis co-edited (with Toby Miller) Cultural Policy: A Critical Reader, (2002) Blackwell.
(See individual staff profiles for additional relevant chapters and articles.)
PhDs focussing on aspects of fans, on-line communities and/or audience engagement include: ‘Commonality of interest within an online community’ (Lucy Bennett); ‘Audience engagement with television comedy in Britain and Norway’ (Inger-Lise Bore); ‘Cross-Cultural Audience Engagement with a docu-drama representations of Genetic Risk' (Grace Reid); ‘Audience engagement with fictions about GM crops’ (Emma Hughes); ‘The X-Files and online fandom’ (Bertha Lu Phin Chin); ‘Pleasure and Power: Television Genre, Value and Fan Practice’ (Rebecca Williams); 'Discursive Gender Identity Construction in a Male Reading Group' (Amy Luther); 'The Arthurian Myth and its role in contemporary culture’ (Ben Earl); 'The Cultural Significance of the Bomb and Secular Apocalypse in Cold War Britain' (Gwilym Thear).