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. I am also interested in comparative work, especially the different ways that television developed in the UK, in Europe and in the 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: Spaces of Television (2010–2015)
, Acting with Facts (2007–2010)
, Beckett and the Phenomenology of Doodles (2006–2009)
, British TV Drama and Acquired US Programmes, 1970–2000 (2005–2008)
, Cultures of British Television Drama, 1960–1982 (2002–2006)
and The BBC Wednesday Play and Post-War British Drama (1996–2000)
. My current project is Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies
, funded by AHRC, in which I lead research into Pinter's work for television, radio and cinema.
Full-text PDFs of some of my publications can be downloaded for free on Academia
Acting on Television symposium: Keynote by Professor Jonathan Bignell, 2016
The Acting on Television symposium at the University of Reading was opened on 8 April 2016 with a keynote lecture by Jonathan Bignell, titled "Performing Television History".
Jonathan Bignell: Spaces of Television, YouTube, 2014
Jonathan Bignell spoke about the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) research project Spaces of Television at the Inheriting British Television symposium, National Media Museum on 11 February 2014.
Live Annotation: Jonathan Bignell, YouTube, 2018
Jonathan Bignell analyses a TV broadcast from the Open University course "A305 An Architect at Work" (1975), commenting on its television form for the exhibition "The University is Now on Air" by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal.
Full Interview with Jonathan Bignell: Doctor Who in the '60s, Daleks, Britishness, Peter Capaldi and Doctor Who Favourites, Audioboom, 2013
Matthew Hall interviewed Jonathan Bignell for Junction 11 Radio about the early days of Doctor Who, Daleks, the series' significance in British culture, and Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor, on 24 November 2013.