Television Drama Research Group

tvdramaresearchWe promote the study of the past development and current trends in television fiction of all kinds, both in Britain and abroad.

The group is involved in:

  • coordinating research projects led by its participants
  • seeking funding for academic research in Television Drama Studies
  • disseminating results of our research, through publication, conferences, symposia or presentations
  • developing links with researchers both nationally and internationally
  • facilitating dialogue between academics and present and past practitioners in the television industry
  • providing a research culture for postgraduate students working in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television
  • maintaining and developing links with television archives, other research groups and professional bodies.

The excellence of our staff and their work has resulted in several major research awards being based here. The first was The BBC Wednesday Play and Post-War British Drama, funded by the British Academy/Arts & Humanities Research Board from 1996-2000. The project generated several publications and events about BBC drama in the 1960s. We then hosted the AHRB research project Cultures of British Television Drama, 1960-82, from 2002-5. That project linked three universities, and involved five team members working on popular programming, professional working practices and regional identities in TV drama. In 2005, the Arts & Humanities Research Council awarded us a grant to study British TV Drama and Acquired US Programmes (1970-2000), which studied transatlantic relationships. From 2007-10, the Acting with Facts research project was based here, which the AHRC funded to study how performers represent real people in the many documentary-drama productions being made for television and theatre. From 2010-2015, the AHRC funded the Spaces of Television project, which explored how the spaces where TV drama was made, in studios and on location, impacted on the forms and styles of programmes across the 1955-94 period. Our current project is Harold-Pinter-Histories-and-Legacies, funded by the AHRC until 2019, which documents and analyses Pinter's work for stage and screen.

The research group includes current postgraduate students and welcomes applications to work on television drama's aesthetics, history, cultural contexts, institutions, and connections with other media such as film or theatre.

Please contact Professor Jonathan Bignell for more information.

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