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Professor Jonathan Bignell


Research Division Lead for Film, Theatre & Television

REF Unit of Assessment Lead

Areas of interest

I work primarily on television history and the methodologies of television and film analysis. So my work includes using archival sources alongside the detailed study of the audiovisual form and style of films and television programmes, mainly from the UK and USA. I was taught by Raymond Williams, Stephen Heath and other screen theorists, studying at the universities of Cambridge and Sussex.

I also have longstanding research interests in Samuel Beckett's media drama. I have led teams of researchers on several major collaborative externally-funded research projects: 

And most recently, on Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies, funded by AHRC from 2017-20, I led research into Pinter's work for television, radio and cinema. 

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students who would like to work on such topics as the history or theory of television, children's media, or Samuel Beckett's work in film and television. I have supervised over 20 PhD theses on topics in TV drama, science fiction film and television, Beckett's media plays, and screen adaptations of British classic novels.


I have taught television, cinema, critical theory and literature at the universities of Sussex, Royal Holloway and Reading.

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • General Editor, The Television Series, Manchester University Press
  • Member of the editorial advisory board, Journal of Science Fiction Film and Television
  • Member of the editorial advisory board, Studies in Documentary Film
  • Member of the editorial advisory board, Journal of Popular Television
  • Scientific Committee, Revue LISA/LISA e-journal
  • Member of the Board of Trustees, the Beckett International Foundation 
  • Member of the Advisory Committee, the British Association for Modernist Studies
  • Member of the Executive Committee, the Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures (CFAC)

Selected publications

Full-text PDFs of some of my publications can be downloaded for free on Academia or from the list of publications below.


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