Screen and Film Studies

Screen and Film Studies 

Screen and Film Studies is a long-established research group in the Department of Communication and Media. The group's main areas of expertise are film and television studies, though the continuous impact of digital technology, the rapid rise of streaming platforms and the increasingly diverse ways in which such legacy media are now produced, distributed and consumed, have placed a lot of our research in these areas within a converged screen media landscape. This includes branching out to other cognate areas, such as videogame studies and sports media studies, while also interested in how social media are increasingly utilised for entertainment purposes by creators/entrepreneurs and other media disruptors.  

As part of this work, we are looking at technological, industrial, cultural and economic issues, while also partnering with companies and institutions as well as individual practitioners to help them navigate this new environment. We produce cutting edge research that tackles important socio-cultural issues in the field (online media cultivation of young people’s masculinities; online platforms’ facilitation of curated forms of feminism; neoliberal ideologies’ corruption of videogame play), that speaks to key developments in the screen industries (migration of filmmakers to television; tensions between star brands and media franchises; virtual reality’s increasing proximity to film) and that opens up new ways to understand media histories (queering US independent cinema of the 1980s; understanding television as a useful medium in the household; reframing Hollywood runaway film production; examining media production music in the 1960s and 1970s; investigating how contemporary media represent the past). 

In 2023, the group established the Centre for Converged Screen Media and Entertainment (COSME) with a view to focusing on three interrelated fields that connect the expertise of its members: the interrogation of technological advances in terms of how they reshape screen media in the era of digital convergence; the examination of how the practices of converged media industries and institutions include and exclude marginalised groups; and the exploration of how changing cultural attitudes and /or shifting economic and policy infrastructures impact screen media production and distribution. COSME also benefits from links to the the Digital Media and Society Institute (DMSI) at the University of Liverpool  

Key research areas include: 

  • American cinema, ranging from mainstream Hollywood film to independent, underground, oppositional, avant-garde and non-fiction expressions of filmmaking 
  • Broadcasting history, institutions and their programming, including the rise of narrowcasting and streaming services 
  • Science fiction, fantasy and 'cult' TV and film, with a strong interest in questions of performance, stardom and celebrity 
  • Representation of queer histories, practices and cultures in film, television and games 
  • Film and television industries within a converged screen media landscape   
  • Screen entertainment and its shaping by the impact of digital technology, streaming platforms and algorithmic cultures 
  • Sports media industries, with a focus on football, broadcasting and streaming rights 

Current members of the Screen and Film Studies research group include: