Sarah Thomas is Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media in the School of Arts. She was previously Lecturer in Film Studies at Aberystwyth University, and completed her PhD in Film Studies from the University of Warwick.
Sarah is the Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research for the School of the Arts (SOTA).
Sarah's areas of research expertise centre on stardom/celebrity, media industries, Hollywood and transnational cinema, screen performance, cult media, and immersive media. She has published the monographs ‘James Mason’ (BFI Film Stars series 2018), 'Peter Lorre - Face maker: Stardom and Performance in Hollywood and Europe' (Berghahn Books 2012), and the edited collection 'Cult Film Stardom: Offbeat Attractions and Processes of Cultification' (with Kate Egan, Palgrave Macmillan 2012) as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. Sarah is particularly interested in the screen actor within, and as a challenge to, existing parameters and methodologies of star studies, historically examining them through economic value, industrial labour and acting, across transnational and multimedia contexts and digital cultures. Her work has explored diverse areas, bringing together film studies, star and performance studies, cultural identity, émigré and theatre studies, transmedia and immersive media studies, and wider industrial histories of cinema, television, digital media and other formats. She is currently working on a large project on celebrity and immersive media, in addition to forthcoming chapters on Hollywood franchises and VR, Harrison Ford's stardom in the Indiana Jones franchise, and will be edited a special edition of Celebrity Studies Journal on Keanu Reeves.
Sarah is currently supervising PhDs on ‘Chinese transnational stardom in 21st century Hollywood’ and on ‘media convergence, promotional cultures and British soap operas’. She would be interested in supervising new PhD in the following topics, as well as welcoming general inquiries in the fields of film, media and television studies:
• Stardom and celebrity
• Hollywood and British cinema
• Screen labour and performance
• Immersive media formats, including digital personae and properties, digital rights of performers, AI-assisted software and the replication of celebrity in digital form
• Film and television history
• Media genres
• Cult media
• Media industries and practices