Professor Matt Hills
Professor of Film & TV Studies
BA (Sussex), MA (Goldsmiths), PhD (Sussex)
Office: FS 3, Parry Williams Building
Phone: 01970 621594
Fax: 01970 622831
Leader of Film & TV Research Group
Media audiences and fandom; Doctor Who; Torchwood; Sherlock; cult film and TV more generally; digital culture.
After completing his PhD at Sussex, Matt started work as a lecturer at the University of Central England before then moving to Cardiff University in 2000. He joined Aberystwyth University as Professor of Film & TV Studies in October 2012.
I was awarded a £72,795 ‘BBC/AHRC Knowledge Transfer’ grant in 2007. This project, ‘Listener online engagement with BBC radio programming’, ran for one year, and I had a part-time Research Associate working with me. Acting as a co-investigator with colleagues based at Birmingham City University and London Metropolitan, my strand of the research involved studying online fan cultures in relation to celebrity DJs such as Terry Wogan. As well as reporting back to BBC Future Media and Technology and BBC Audio and Music, I published a journal article based on this research in a special issue of The Radio Journal.
I have also been the recipient of a £48,000 ‘Innovation Award’ Grant by the AHRB in 2002. This project, on which I was sole investigator, was entitled ‘Reconceptualising the unconscious in qualitative audience research’, and ran for one year. I appointed a Research Associate, Dr. Jamie Sexton, to work with me on the project. Research outcomes included article for the US journal American Behavioral Scientist and for the USC journal Spectator (both special issues on media fandom that I was invited to write for).
I have also benefitted from a British Academy Small Grant which was awarded to support the establishment of a cross-institutional study group on Transitional Phenomena and Cultural Experience (TPACE), led by Professor Annette Kuhn. Research outcomes are forthcoming from this work, including a chapter in an edited collection on Winnicottian theory and film studies.
Transmedia Torchwood: Investigating a Television Spin-off's Tie-in Novels and Audio Adventures. In R. Williams (ed), Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television., I.B. Tauris2013.
Media Users: An Introduction. In A. Kuhn (ed), Little Madnesses: Winnicott, Transitional Phenomena & Cultural Experience. International Library of Cultural Studies, I.B. Tauris, London and New York2013.
From Chris Chibnall to Fox: Torchwood's Marginalized Authors and Counter-Discourses of TV Authorship. In J. Gray, D. Johnson (eds), A Companion to Media Authorship., John Wiley & Sons pp. 200-220.2013.
From Fan Tourists to Fan Residents: Revisiting Cardiff's Cult Geography. In M. Hills (ed), New Dimensions of Doctor Who: Adventures in Space, Time and Television: Exploring Space, Time and Television. Reading Contemporary Television, I.B. Tauris, London and New York2013.
Hyping Who and Marketing the Moffat Era: The Role of “Prior Paratexts”. In A. O'Day (ed), Eleventh Hour: Critical Approaches to the Steven Moffat and Matt Smith Era of Doctor Who., I.B. Tauris, London and New York2013.
Cult TV Remakes: The Prisoner Miniseries as Neo-cult. In E. Thompson, J. Mittell (eds), How to Watch Television., New York University Press, New York2013.
”Twilight” Fans Represented in Commercial Paratexts and Inter-Fandoms: Resisting and Repurposing Negative Fan Stereotypes. In A. Morey (ed), Genre, Reception, and Adaptation in the 'Twilight' Series. Ashgate Studies in Childhood, 1700 to the Present, Ashgate Publishing Group, Aldershot2013.
Whatever Happened to the Time Lord?: Mythology and Fandom in Neil Gaiman's Contributions to Unfolding Texts. In A. Burdge, J. Burke, K. Larson (eds), The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman., CreateSpace.com pp. 64-80.2013.
Recorded Transitional Objects and Fan Re-readings of Puzzle Films. In A. Kuhn (ed), Little Madnesses: Winnicott, Transitional Phenomena & Cultural Experience. International Library of Cultural Studies, I.B. Tauris, London and New York2013.
Cult movies with and without cult stars: Differentiating discourses of stardom. In K. Egan, S. Thomas (eds), Cult Film Stardom: Offbeat Attractions and Processes of Cultification., Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke pp. 21-36.2012.
The Medium is the Monster... or the World? Discourses of Uncanny “Old Media” and Immersive “New Media” in Life on Mars. In S. Lacey, R. McElroy (eds), Life on Mars: From Manchester To New York. Contemporary Landmark Television, Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, Cardiff2012.
“Proper distance” in the ethical positioning of scholar-fandoms: Between academics' and fans' moral economies? In K. Larsen, L. Zubernis (eds), Fan Culture: Theory/Practice., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle pp. 14-37.2012.
Sherlock's Epistemological Economy and the Value of “Fan” Knowledge: How Producer-Fans Play the (Great) Game of Fandom. In L. Stein, K. Busse (eds), Sherlock and Transmedia Fandom: Essays on the BBC Series., McFarland & Company2012.
Psychoanalysis and digital fandom: Theorizing spoilers and fans’ self-narratives. In R. Lind (ed), Produsing Theory in a Digital World: The Intersection of Audiences and Production in Contemporary Theory. Digital Formations, Peter Lang2012.
Cutting into Concepts of "Reflectionist" Cinema?: The Saw Franchise and Puzzles of Post-9/11 Horror. In A. Briefel, S. Miller (eds), Horror After 9/11: World of Fear, Cinema of Terror., University of Texas Press, Austin2012.
Blade Runner. Cultographies, Wallflower Press2011.
'Doctor Who' and 'Torchwood'. In D. Lavery (ed), The Essential Cult TV Reader. Essential Readers in Contemporary Media and Culture, University Press of Kansas, Kansas2011.
Television Aesthetics: A Pre-structuralist Danger? Journal of British Cinema and Television 8 (1) pp. 99-117. 10.3366/jbctv.2011.00082011.
Triumph of a Time Lord: Regenerating Doctor Who in the Twenty-First Century., I.B. Tauris2010.
Making Sense of M. Night Shyamalan: Signs of a Popular Auteur in the “Field of Horror”. In J. Weinstock (ed), Critical Approaches to the Films of M. Night Shyamalan: Spoiler warnings., Palgrave Macmillan, London pp. 103-118.2010.
“Mythology Makes You Feel Something”: The Russell T. Davies Era as Sentimental Journey. In A. Burdge, J. Burke, K. Larsen (eds), The Mythological Dimensions of Doctor Who., Kitsune Books, Crawfordville2010.
'Subcultural Celebrity' and 'Mainstream Cult'. In S. Abbott (ed), The Cult TV Book: From Star Trek to Dexter, New Approaches to TV Outside the Box., I.B. Tauris2010.
Afterword: Scholar-Fandom's Different Incarnations. In R. Garner, M. Beattie, U. McCormack (eds), Impossible Worlds, Impossible Things: Cultural Perspectives on Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle Upon Tyne2010.
When Television Doesn't Overflow 'Beyond the Box': The Invisibility of 'Momentary' Fandom. Critical Studies in Television 5 (1) pp. 97-110. Other2010.
Attending horror film festivals and conventions; Liveness, subcultural capital and “flesh-and-blood genre communities”. In I. Conrich (ed), Horror Zone: The Cultural Experience of Contemporary Horror Cinema., I.B. Tauris, London and New York pp. 87-102.2009.
Absent, Epic, Implied Story Arcs, and Variation on a Narrative Theme: Doctor Who (2005-2008) as Cult/Mainstream Television. In P. Harrigan, N. Wardrip-fruin (eds), Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives., MIT Press, Boston pp. 333-342.2009.
Singularity or Multiplicity in Explanations of Cult Media: Toward “Residual” and “Emergent” Cults. In V. Rautavuoma, E. Haaverin (eds), Cult and Community., University of Jyväskylä Press, Finland2009.
Doing Things with Theory: From Freud’s Worst Nightmare to (Disciplinary) Dreams of Horror’s Cultural Value. In S. Schneider (ed), Psychoanalysis and the Horror Film: Freud’s Worst Nightmares., Cambridge University Press pp. 205-221.2009.
Participatory Culture: Mobility, interactivity and identity. In G. Creeber, R. Martin (eds), Digital Cultures: Understanding New Media., Open University Press, Maidenhead pp. 107-121.2008.
The Question of Genre in Cult Film and Fandom: Between Contract and Discourse. In J. Donald, M. Renov (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Film Studies., Sage Publications, London pp. 436-453.2008.
Media Fandom, Neo-Religiosity and Cult(ural) Studies. In E. Mathijs, X. Mendik (eds), The Cult Film Reader., Open University Press, Maidenhead pp. 133-148.2008.
Fan Cultures: Between 'Fantasy' and 'Reality'. In M. Ryan (ed), Cultural Studies: An Anthology., John Wiley & Sons pp. 1140-1165.2008.
The dispersible television text: theorising moments of the new Doctor Who. Science Fiction Film and Television 1 (1) pp. 25-44.2008.
Les Diaboliques. In S. Schneider (ed), 100 European Horror Films. BFI Screen Guides, BFI Publishing2007.
Tesis. In S. Schneider (ed), 100 European Horror Films. BFI Screen Guides, BFI Publishing, London2007.
Media academics as media audiences. In J. Gray, C. Sandvoss, C. Lee Harrington (eds), Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World., New York University Press, New York2007.
Televisuality without television?: The Big Finish audios and discourses of ‘tele-centric’ Doctor Who’. In D. Butler (ed), Time and Relative Dissertations in Space: Critical Perspectives on Doctor Who., Manchester University Press, Manchester2007.
Investigating CSI Television Fandom and Fans: Textual Paths through the Franchise. In A. Michael (ed), Reading CSI: Television Under the Microscope. Reading Contemporary Television, I.B. Tauris, London pp. 208-221.2007.
Para-Paracinema: The Friday the 13th Film Series as Other to Trash and Legitimate Film Cultures. In J. Sconce (ed), Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style and Politics., Duke University Press, Durham and London pp. 219-239.2007.
“The Devil made me do it!”: Representing Evil and Disarticulating Mind/Body in the Supernatural Serial Killer Film. In M. Norden (ed), The Changing Face of Evil in Film and Television. At the Interface/Probing the Boundaries, Brill Publishers2007.
‘Gothic’ Body Parts in a ‘Postmodern’ Body of Work?: The Hinchcliffe/Holmes Era of Doctor Who (1975-77). Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media 42007.
FROM THE BOX IN THE CORNER TO THE BOX SET ON THE SHELF: 'TVIII' and the cultural/textual valorisations of DVD. New Review of Film and Television Studies 5 (1) pp. 41-60. 10.1080/17400300601140167 Other2007.
Academic Textual Poachers: Blade Runner as Cult Canonical Movie. In W. Brooker (ed), The Blade Runner Experience: The Legacy of A Science Fiction Classic., Columbia University Press pp. 124-141.2006.
Not just another “powerless elite”?: When fans become subcultural celebrities. In S. Holmes, S. Redmond (eds), Framing Celebrity: New directions in celebrity culture., Taylor & Francis pp. 101-117.2006.
Realising the cult blockbuster: LOTR fandom and residual/emergent cult status in the mainstream. In E. Mathijs (ed), "Lord of the Rings": Popular Culture in Global Context., Columbia University Press, London2006.
Audiences. In G. Creeber (ed), Tele-visions: An Introduction to Studying Televisions., BFI Publishing2006.
Fandom. In G. Creeber (ed), Tele-visions: An Introduction to Studying Televisions., BFI Publishing2006.
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary
Fans and Fandom. In B. Grant (ed), Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film., Cengage Learning2006.
Fans and Fan Culture. In G. Ritzer (ed), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology., John Wiley & Sons2006.
Essential Tensions: Winnicottian Object-Relations in the Media Sociology of Roger Silverstone. International Journal of Communication (1)2006.
Doctor Who Discovers… Cardiff: Investigating trans-generational audiences and trans-national fans of the BBC Wales Production. Cyfrwng (3)2006.
The Pleasures of Horror., Bloomsbury Publishing, London and New York2005.
How To Do Things With Cultural Theory., Bloomsbury Publishing, London2005.
Ringing the changes: cult distinctions and cultural differences in US fans: readings of Japanese horror cinema. In J. McRoy (ed), Japanese Horror Cinema., Edinburgh University Press pp. 161-174.2005.
Superintending Seriality: Cult TV, Quality and the Role of the Episode/Programme Guide. In M. Hammond, L. Mazdon (eds), Previously On: Approaches to Contemporary TV Seriality., Edinburgh University Press2005.
Who wants to be a fan of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. In C. Johnson, R. Turnock (eds), ITV Cultures: Independent Television Over Fifty Years., Open University Press pp. 177-195.2005.
Angel’s Monstrous Mothers and Vampires with Souls: Investigating the Abject in ‘Television Horror’. In S. Abbott (ed), Reading Angel: The TV Spin-off with a Soul., I.B. Tauris pp. 203-220.2005.
Patterns of Surprise: The "Aleatory Object" in Psychoanalytic Ethnography and Cyclical Fandom. American Behavioral Scientist 48 (7) pp. 801-821. 10.1177/00027642042731692005.
From “Get a Life” to “Everyone Has To Be a Fan of Something”: Returning to Hegemony Theory in Fan Studies. Spectator: The University of Southern California Journal of Film & Television2005.
Dawson's Creek: ‘Quality Teen TV' and ‘Mainstream Cult’? In G. Davis, K. Dickinson (eds), Teen TV: Genre, Consumption and Identity., BFI Publishing2004.
Doctor Who, The Prisoner, Star Trek, and Twilight Zone. In G. Creeber (ed), Fifty Key Television Programmes., Bloomsbury Publishing2004.
Strategies, tactics and the question of un lieu propre: what/where is "media theory?". Social Semiotics 14 (2) pp. 133-149. 10.1080/10350330420002382862004.
Defining Cult TV: Texts, Inter-Texts and Fan Audiences. In R. Allen, A. Hill (eds), The Television Studies Reader., Taylor & Francis pp. 509-523.2003.
Star Wars in Fandom, Film Theory and the Museum: The Cultural Status of the Cult Blockbuster. In J. Stringer (ed), Movie Blockbusters., Taylor & Francis pp. 178-189.2003.
Putting away childish things: Jar Jar Binks and the virtual star as object of fan loathing. In T. Austin, M. Barker (eds), New Approaches to Movie Stardom., Taylor & Francis2003.
An event-based definition of “art-horror”. In S. Schneider, D. Shaw (eds), Dark Thoughts: Philosophical Reflections on Horror., Rowman & Littlefield, Maryland2003.
“Subcultural celebrity” and cult TV fan cultures. Mediactive (2)2003.
Counterfictions in the Work of Kim Newman: Rewriting Gothic SF as “Alternate Story Stories”. Science Fiction Studies 30 (3) pp. 436-455. Other2003.
Fan Cultures. Sussex Studies in Culture and Communication, Taylor & Francis2002.
Substituting fandom for academia. In D. Lavery, J. Hague (eds), Teleparody: Predicting/Preventing the Future Discourses of TV Studies., Columbia University Press2002.
Virtually out there: Strategies, tactics and affective spaces in online fandom. In S. Munt (ed), Technospaces: Inside the New Media., Bloomsbury Publishing2001.
In the Company of Strangers: The Mobile Phone and Everyday Life. In S. Munt (ed), Technospaces: Inside the New Media. Critical Research in Material Culture, Bloomsbury Publishing2001.
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary
Entries on ‘Fandom’ and ‘Cultural Reproduction’. In R. Pearson, P. Simpson (eds), The Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory., Taylor & Francis2001.
Media fandom, neoreligiosity, and cult(ural) studies. Velvet Light Trap 46 pp. 133-148.2000.
Mapping Pratchett: Hyper-diegesis and Fantasy. In E. James, F. Mendlesohn (eds), Terry Pratchett: Guilty of literature., Old Earth Books1999.
The common sense of Cultural Studies: Qualitative Audience Research and the role of theory in(-)determining method. Diegesis: Journal of the Association for Research in Popular Fictions 51999.
The (dis)pleasures of consuming: Extrapolations of consumer society in the science fiction of Michael Marshall Smith. In H. Grice, T. Woods (eds), Consuming for Pleasure., Liverpool John Moores University Press pp. 64-77.1998.