The Film, Theatre & Television Research Division carries out cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in state-of-the-art facilities.
We have a vibrant and world-class research environment: in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 80% of our research was in the highest categories of Internationally Excellent and World Leading. Our research combines publications in leading journals and publishing houses with practice-based research and the provision of publicly available online resources.
Our research analyses the forms and conventions of film, theatre and television, their cultural and historical contexts (mainly 20th and 21st century), and the politics of representation. Close analysis is a hallmark of much of our research, and we were pioneers of practice-based research: the first Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Practice-as-Research Ph.D. grant was awarded to the Department of Film, Theatre and Television. Read more about Practice as Research.
Our staff provide substantial research leadership: including leadership of the Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures (headed by Professor Lucia Nagib), and the Beckett International Foundation (co-directed by Professor Anna McMullan), both based at the University of Reading.
We provide leadership to our disciplines through our editorial positions in leading journals (such as the film journal Screen, Critical Studies in Television, Transnational Cinemas and The Journal of Beckett Studies) and book series (IB Tauris 'World Cinema', Manchester University Press 'Television Series', Anthem Press 'Film Drama and Performance Studies').
Edited by Jonathan Bignell and Stephen Lacey. (2014) British television drama: past, present and future. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 9781137327581.0001
Edited by: Lucia Nagib, Anne Jerslev. (2013) Impure cinema: intermedial and intercultural approaches to film. I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN: 9781780765112
Purse, L. (2013) Digital imaging in popular cinema. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp208. ISBN: 9780748646906
John Gibbs. (2013) The life of mise-en-scène: visual style and British film criticism. Manchester University Press. ISBN: 9780719088667
Anna McMullan. (2012) Performing embodiment in Samuel Beckett's drama. Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-4156-34205
Edited by Teresa Murjas. (2012) Invisible country: four Polish plays. Intellect Ltd. ISBN: 9781841504148
All of our funded research projects involve activities that are geared to benefiting the wider public and/or the cultural sector.
We have an excellent record of major, externally funded research projects across all of the disciplines in the Division. These include projects on Intermedial Cinema, Staging Beckett's plays in the UK and Ireland, the Spaces of British television drama, and the Development of Theatre and Performance by the Arts Council of Great Britain.
We have well-established links with cultural institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Modern, the British Film Institute, the Cinemateca Brasileira (Brazil), AusStage (Australia) and IbsenStage (Norway).
Towards an Intermedial History of Brazilian Cinema: Exploring Intermediality as a Historiographic Method
This project, which is funded by the AHRC in collaboration with the Brazilian funding agency FAPESP, will raise awareness of the diversity of Brazilian cinema and of the possibilities of intermedial cinema through a Tropicália Film Season at Tate Modern; re-stagings of the Movie Prologues at the Cinemateca Brasileira and the Reading Film Theatre; and a Brazilian Music Film Season at the Reading Film Theatre.
Memory, Materiality and the Archive
Dr Murjas directed an Arts Council-funded exhibition on Huntley & Palmers’ ration biscuits decorated by soldiers in the trenches during World War I. The First World War in Biscuits was exhibited at Reading Museum and at the Colchester Minories.
'Disappearing War': Cinema and the politics of erasure in the war on terror Funded by: British Academy
This British Academy-funded project examines what experiences, people and places are routinely erased from cinematic and visual media representations of the war on terror, and the military campaigns fought in its name. The project brings together an interdisciplinary and international group of film and politics scholars with film practitioners in a workshop, an edited collection of essays, and a public event, to explore how we know contemporary war through film and the media.
For specific enquiries, please contact:
Professor Jonathan Bignell
Research Division Lead
Telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 4073
We have a strong, vibrant postgraduate community across all of our disciplines: our postgraduate students organise the annual Journeys Across Media conference, established in 2003.
We are housed in the Minghella Studios which include performance spaces, a digital cinema, multi-camera television studio, sound stage and editing suites, and which support staff and postgraduate research practice in multi-media performance and digital media.
Find out more about postgraduate opportunities relating to our research division: