Photograph of Professor Matt Hills.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.

Additional Interests

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.



Hills, M. 2015. Cult cinema and the ‘mainstreaming’ discourse of technological change: revisiting subcultural capital in liquid modernity. New Review of Film and Television Studies 13 (1) pp. 100-121. 10.1080/17400309.2014.982928

Hills, M. 2015. Rebranding Doctor Who and reimagining Sherlock: ‘Quality’ television as ‘makeover TV drama’. Cultural Studies 18 (3) pp. 317-331. 10.1177/1367877913513692

Hills, M. 2015. The expertise of digital fandom as a ‘community of practice’: Exploring the narrative universe of Doctor Who. Convergence 21 (3) pp. 360-374. 10.1177/1354856515579844


Hills, M. 2013. BBC Wales' Torchwood as TV I, II and III: Changes in Television Horror. Cinephile: The University of British Columbia's Film Journal 6 (2) pp. 23-29. Other Other

Hills, M. 2013. Cult TV Remakes: The Prisoner Miniseries as Neo-cult. In E. Thompson, J. Mittell (eds), How to Watch Television. New York University Press, New York

Hills, M. 2013. 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. 1st edn, Wiley pp. 200-220.

Hills, M. 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 York

Hills, M. 2013. 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 York

Hills, M. 2013. 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 York

Hills, M. 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 York

Hills, M. 2013. 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. Tauris

Hills, M. 2013. 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. 1stth edn, pp. 64-80.

Hills, M. 2013. ”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 Taylor & Francis, Aldershot


Hills, M. 2012. 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.

Hills, M. 2012. 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, Austin

Hills, M. 2012. 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 1st edn, Peter Lang

Hills, M. 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 & Company

Hills, M. 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 | University of Wales Press, Cardiff

Hills, M. 2012. “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.


Hills, M. 2011. 'Doctor Who' and 'Torchwood'. In D. Lavery (ed), The Essential Cult TV Reader. Essential Readers in Contemporary Media and Culture University Press of Kansas, Kansas

Hills, M. 2011. Blade Runner. Cultographies Wallflower Press

Hills, M. 2011. Listening from behind the sofa?: The (un)earthly roles of sound in BBC Wales' Doctor Who. New Review of Film and Television Studies 9 (1) pp. 28-41. 10.1080/17400309.2011.521716 Other

Hills, M.J. 2011. Television Aesthetics: A Pre-structuralist Danger? Journal of British Cinema and Television 8 (1) pp. 99-117. 10.3366/jbctv.2011.0008


Hills, M. 2010. '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. Tauris

Hills, M. 2010. 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 Tyne

Hills, M. 2010. 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.

Hills, M. 2010. Triumph of a Time Lord: Regenerating Doctor Who in the Twenty-First Century. I.B. Tauris

Hills, M.J. 2010. When Television Doesn't Overflow 'Beyond the Box': The Invisibility of 'Momentary' Fandom. Critical Studies in Television 5 (1) pp. 97-110. Other

Hills, M. 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. 1stth edn, Kitsune Books, Crawfordville


Hills, M. 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.

Hills, M. 2009. 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.

Hills, M. 2009. 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.

Hills, M. 2009. From BBC radio personality to online audience personae: the relevance of fan studies to Terry Wogan and the TOGs. Radio Journal 7 (1) pp. 67-88. 10.1386/rajo.7.1.67/1 Other

Hills, M. 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, Finland


Hills, M. 2008. Fan Cultures: Between 'Fantasy' and 'Reality'. In M. Ryan (ed), Cultural Studies: An Anthology. 1stth edn, Wiley pp. 1140-1165.

Hills, M. 2008. Media Fandom, Neo-Religiosity and Cult(ural) Studies. In E. Mathijs, X. Mendik (eds), The Cult Film Reader. Reprintth edn, Open University Press, Maidenhead pp. 133-148.

Hills, M. 2008. Participatory Culture: Mobility, interactivity and identity. In G. Creeber, R. Martin (eds), Digital Cultures: Understanding New Media. Open University Press, Maidenhead pp. 107-121.

Chin, B., Hills, M. 2008. Restricted confessions? Blogging, subcultural celebrity and the management of producer-fan proximity. Social Semiotics 18 (2) pp. 253-272. 10.1080/10350330802002424 Other

Hills, M. 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.

Hills, M. 2008. The dispersible television text: theorising moments of the new Doctor Who. Science Fiction Film and Television 1 (1) pp. 25-44.


Hills, M. 2007. 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 Other

Hills, M., Luther, A. 2007. 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.

Hills, M. 2007. Les Diaboliques. In S. Schneider (ed), 100 European Horror Films. BFI Screen Guides BFI Publishing

Hills, M. 2007. 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 York

Hills, M. 2007. Michael Jackson Fans on Trial? "Documenting" Emotivism and Fandom in Wacko About Jacko. Social Semiotics 17 (4) pp. 459-477. 10.1080/10350330701637056 Other

Hills, M. 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.

Hills, M. 2007. 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, Manchester

Hills, M. 2007. Tesis. In S. Schneider (ed), 100 European Horror Films. BFI Screen Guides BFI Publishing, London

Hills, M. 2007. ‘Gothic’ Body Parts in a ‘Postmodern’ Body of Work?: The Hinchcliffe/Holmes Era of Doctor Who (1975-77) . Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media 4

Hills, M., Schneider, S.J.. 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


Hills, M. 2006. Academic Textual Poachers: Blade Runner as Cult Canonical Movie. In W. Brooker (ed), The Blade Runner Experience : The Legacy of A Science Fiction Classic. Firstth edn, Columbia University Press pp. 124-141.

Hills, M. 2006. Audiences. In G. Creeber (ed), Tele-visions: An Introduction to Studying Televisions. BFI Publishing

Hills, M. 2006. Doctor Who Discovers… Cardiff: Investigating trans-generational audiences and trans-national fans of the BBC Wales Production. Cyfrwng (3)

Hills, M. 2006. Essential Tensions: Winnicottian Object-Relations in the Media Sociology of Roger Silverstone. International Journal of Communication (1)

Hills, M. 2006. Fandom. In G. Creeber (ed), Tele-visions: An Introduction to Studying Televisions. BFI Publishing

Hills, M. 2006. Fans and Fan Culture. In G. Ritzer (ed), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Wiley

Hills, M. 2006. Fans and Fandom. In B. Grant (ed), Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film. Cengage Learning

Hills, M. 2006. Not just another “powerless elite”?: When fans become subcultural celebrities. In S. Holmes, S. Redmond (eds), Framing Celebrity: New directions in celebrity culture. Newth edn, Taylor & Francis pp. 101-117.

Hills, M. 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, London


Hills, M. 2005. 'It's all my interpretation': Reading Spike through the subcultural celebrity of James Marsters. European Journal of Cultural Studies 8 (3) pp. 345-365. 10.1177/1367549405054866 Other

Hills, M., Williams, R. 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.

Hills, M. 2005. 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 & Television

Hills, M. 2005. How To Do Things With Cultural Theory. Bloomsbury Publishing, London

Hills, M. 2005. Patterns of Surprise: The "Aleatory Object" in Psychoanalytic Ethnography and Cyclical Fandom. American Behavioral Scientist 48 (7) pp. 801-821. 10.1177/0002764204273169

Hills, M. 2005. 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.

Hills, M. 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 Press

Hills, M. 2005. The Pleasures of Horror. Bloomsbury Publishing, London and New York

Hills, M. 2005. 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. Firstth edn, Open University Press pp. 177-195.


Hills, M. 2004. Dawson's Creek: ‘Quality Teen TV' and ‘Mainstream Cult’? In G. Davis, K. Dickinson (eds), Teen TV: Genre, Consumption and Identity. Firstth edn, BFI Publishing

Hills, M. 2004. Doctor Who, The Prisoner, Star Trek, and Twilight Zone. In G. Creeber (ed), Fifty Key Television Programmes. Bloomsbury Publishing

Hills, M. 2004. Strategies, tactics and the question of un lieu propre: what/where is "media theory?". Social Semiotics 14 (2) pp. 133-149. 10.1080/1035033042000238286


Hills, M. 2003. An event-based definition of “art-horror”. In S. Schneider, D. Shaw (eds), Dark Thoughts: Philosophical Reflections on Horror. Rowman & Littlefield, Maryland

Hills, M. 2003. Counterfictions in the Work of Kim Newman: Rewriting Gothic SF as “Alternate Story Stories”. Science Fiction Studies 30 (3) pp. 436-455. Other

Hills, M. 2003. Defining Cult TV: Texts, Inter-Texts and Fan Audiences. In R. Allen, A. Hill (eds), The Television Studies Reader. Taylor & Francis pp. 509-523.

Hills, M. 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 & Francis

Hills, M. 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.

Hills, M. 2003. “Subcultural celebrity” and cult TV fan cultures. Mediactive (2)


Hills, M. 2002. Fan Cultures. Sussex Studies in Culture and Communication Taylor & Francis

Hills, M. 2002. Substituting fandom for academia. In D. Lavery, J. Hague (eds), Teleparody: Predicting/Preventing the Future Discourses of TV Studies. Columbia University Press


Hills, M. 2001. Entries on ‘Fandom’ and ‘Cultural Reproduction’. In R. Pearson, P. Simpson (eds), The Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory. Taylor & Francis

Hills, M., , 2001. 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 Publishing

Hills, M. 2001. Virtually out there: Strategies, tactics and affective spaces in online fandom. In S. Munt (ed), Technospaces: Inside the New Media. Bloomsbury Publishing


Hills, M. 2000. Media fandom, neoreligiosity, and cult(ural) studies. Velvet Light Trap 46 pp. 133-148.


Hills, M. 1999. Mapping Pratchett: Hyper-diegesis and Fantasy. In E. James, F. Mendlesohn (eds), Terry Pratchett: Guilty of literature. Old Earth Books

Hills, M. 1999. 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 5


Hills, M. 1998. 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.