Prof Martin John Barker

BA Athroniaeth (Liverpool) 1967, DPhil Astudiaethau Diwylliannol (Prifysgol Orllewin Lloegr) 1993

Prof Martin John Barker

Emeritus Professor

Contact Details


Martin Barker took up his post as Professor of Film and Television Studies in January 2001. He has previously worked for 29 years at the University of the West of England, where he became Head of School of Cultural Studies, and then for two years as Reader in Media Studies at the University of Sussex.


PhD Supervision


In the last two decades the primary focus of my research has been on film audiences. My research has covered audience responses to, and understandings of, films as diverse as Judge Dredd, Crash, Straw Dogs, and Being John Malkovich. I directed the international project on the reception of the film of The Lord of the Rings, and most recently directed a project funded by the British Board of Film Classification into audience responses to screened sexual violence. I have side-line interests in a range of topics, including such topics as the history of the Iwo Jima image, and film failures. I also retain an active interest in various aspects of film history and textual form, and continue to collaborate with Roger Sabin (University of the Arts, London) into the continuing history of Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans. I was founder, and am co-editor (with Sue Turnbull, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia) of the online audience studies journal Participations.

I have been engaged in work within the broad cultural studies sphere since 1969, at various times exploring the cultural and ideological aspects of racism, and children's comics, addressing curricular issues in the field, and engaging in debates on topics around censorship, the control of culture, and the operation of 'figures of the audience' within public and policy debates.



Barker, M & Mathijs, E 2005, 'Understanding Vernacular Experiences of Film in an Academic Environment' Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, vol 4, no. 1, pp. 49-71. DOI: 10.1386/adch.4.1.49/1
Barker, M 2005, 'The Lord of the Rings and ‘Identification’: A Critical Encounter' European Journal of Communication, vol 20, no. 3, pp. 353-378. DOI: 10.1177/0267323105055262
Barker, MJ 2004, 'News, Reviews, Clues, Interviews and Other Ancillary Materials: A Critique and Research Proposal' Scope : an Online Journal of Film Studies.
Barker, M 2004, Violence Redux. in SJ Schneider (ed.), New Hollywood Violence. Manchester University Press, pp. 57-79.
Barker, M 2003, 'Assessing the ‘Quality’ in Qualitative Research The Case of Text–Audience Relations' European Journal of Communication, vol 18, no. 3, pp. 315-335.
Barker, MJ & Austin, T 2003, Contemporary Hollywood Stardom. Taylor & Francis.
Barker, M 2003, 'Crash, theatre audiences, and the idea of ‘liveness’' Studies in Theatre and Performance, vol 23, no. 1, pp. 21-39. DOI: 10.1386/stap.23.1.21/0
Barker, MJ 2002, The Newson Report: A case study in "common-sense". in W Brooker & D Jermyn (eds), The Audience Studies Reader. Taylor & Francis, London, pp. 74-90.
Barker, M 2002, 'Kicked into the Gutters: or, 'My Dad doesn't read comics, he studies them'' International Journal of Comic Art, pp. 64-77.
Barker, M 2002, 'Crashing Out' Screen, vol 43, no. 1, pp. 74-8. DOI: 10.1093/screen/43.1.74
Barker, MJ 2001, Reflections on "The Problems with Racism". in P Essed & DT Goldberg (eds), Race Critical Theories: Text and Context. Wiley, Oxford, pp. 471-480.
Barker, MJ & Petley, J 2001, Ill Effects: The Media-Violence Debate. Communication and Society, 2 edn, Taylor & Francis.
Barker, MJ & Petley, J 2001, Introduction: From bad research to good – a guide to the perplexed. in M Barker & J Petley (eds), Ill Effects: The Media/Violence Debate. 2 edn, Communication and Society, Taylor & Francis, Lonodn, pp. 1-26.
Barker, MJ 2001, On the problems of being a "trendy travesty". in M Barker & J Petley (eds), Ill Effects: The Media/Violence Debate. 2 edn, Taylor & Francis, Lonodn, pp. 202-224.
Harindranath, R, Barker, M & Arthurs, J 2001, The Crash Controversy: Censorship Campaigns and Film Reception. Wallflower Press.
Barker, MJ & Austin, T 2000, 'Reply to Brereton’s review of From Antz To Titanic' Film Philosophy, vol 4, no. 27.
Barker, MJ & Austin, T 2000, From Antz To Titanic: Reinventing Film Analysis. Pluto Press.
Barker, MJ & Brooks, K 1999, Bleak futures by proxy. in R Maltby & M Stokes (eds), Identifying Hollywood’s Audiences: Cultural Identity and the Movies. BFI Publishing, London, pp. 162-174.
Barker, MJ 1999, Getting a conviction: Or, how the British horror comics campaign only just succeeded. in JA Lent (ed.), Pulp Demons: International Dimensions of the Postwar Anti-Comics Campaign. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
Barker, MJ 1999, Fredric Wertham: The sad case of the unhappy humanist. in JA Lent (ed.), Pulp Demons: International Dimensions of the Postwar Anti-Comics Campaign. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
Barker, M, Egan, K, Philips, T & Ralph, S 2015, Alien Audiences: Remembering and Evaluating a Classic Movie. 1 edn, Springer Nature, Basingstoke.
Barker, M 2009, 'Changing lives, challenging concepts: Some findings and lessons from the Lord of the Rings project' International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol 12, no. 4, pp. 375.
Barker, M 2008, Lord of The Rings database user guide. Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University.
Barker, M 2008, Report for the British Board of Film Classification on viewers of the Lord of the Rings, aged under 16. British Board of Film Classification.
Barker, M 2008, 'The Pleasures of Watching an 'Off-beat' Film: the Case of Being John Malkovich' Scope : an Online Journal of Film Studies, vol 11.
Barker, MJ 2008, 'The Pleasures of Watching an “Off-beat” Film: The Case of Being John Malkovich' Scope : an Online Journal of Film Studies.
Mathijs, E & Barker, M 2008, Watching the Lord of the Rings. Peter Lang.
Barker, M 2008, Analysing Discourse. in Research Methods for Cultural Studies. Edinburgh University Press, pp. 150-172.
Egan, K & Barker, MJ 2007, The Books, the DVDs, the Extras and Their Lovers. in M Barker & E Mathijs (eds), Watching The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's World Audiences . Media and Culture, Peter Lang, New York, pp. 83-102.
Sexton, J, Mathijs, E, Egan, K, Hunter, R, Selfe, M & Barker, M 2007, Audiences and Receptions of Sexual Violence in Contemporary Cinema. British Board of Film Classification.
Mathijs, E & Barker, M 2007, 'Seeing The Promised Land From Afar: The Perception of New Zealand by Overseas The Lord of the Rings Audiences. in How We Became Middle-earth: A Collection of Essays on The Lord of the Rings. Walking Tree Publishers, pp. 10-28.
Barker, MJ 2006, Making Middle-earth Sound Real: The Cultural Politics of the BBC Radio Edition. in E Mathijs (ed.), The Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context. Columbia University Press, London, pp. 61-70.
Barker, M 2006, 'Envisaging ‘Visualisation’: Some challenges from the international Lord of the Rings audience project' Film Philosophy, vol 10, no. 3, pp. 1-25.
Egan, K & Barker, M 2006, 'Rings around the World: Notes on the Challenges, Problems & Possibilities of International Audience Projects' Participations, vol 3, no. 2.
Barker, MJ 2006, On being a 1960s Tolkien reader. in E Mathijs & M Pomerance (eds), From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. Contemporary Cinema, Brill, Amsterdam, pp. 81-100.
Barker, MJ, Egan, K & Mathijs, E 2006, 'De mondiale receptie van The Lord of the Rings: Een methodologische uitdaging' Tijdschrift voor Communiatiewetenschap, vol 34, no. 1, pp. 7-27.
Barker, M 2006, 'Menstrual Monsters: The reception of the Ginger Snaps cult horror franchise' Film International, vol 4, no. 21, pp. 68-77. DOI: 10.1386/fiin.4.3.68/1
Barker, M 2006, A very American fable: the making of a Mohicans adaptation. in RB Palmer (ed.), Nineteenth-Century American Fiction on Screen. Cambridge University Press, pp. 9-28.
Barker, M 2006, 'I have seen the Future and it is not here yet...: Or, on being Ambitious for Audience Research' Communication Review, vol 9, no. 2, pp. 123-141. DOI: 10.1080/10714420600663310
Barker, MJ 2006, I have seen the future and it is not here yet ...: Or, on being ambitious for audience research. in I Charpentier (ed.), Comment sont Recųes les Oeuvres?. Éditions Créaphis, Paris, pp. 27-42.
Barker, MJ, Beezer, A & Grimshaw, J 1983, Methods for cultural studies students. in D Punter (ed.), Introduction to Contemporary Cultural Studies. Longman.
Barker, MJ & Beezer, A 1983, 'Scarman and the language of racism' International Socialism, vol 18, pp. 108-125.
Barker, MJ 1982, Biology and ideology: The uses of reductionism. in S Rose (ed.), Against Biological Determinism. Allison & Busby, pp. 9-29.
Barker, MJ 1981, The New Racism: Conservatives and the Ideology of the Tribe. Junction Books.
Barker, MJ 1981, Human biology and the possibility of socialism. in J Mepham & D-H Ruben (eds), Issues in Marxist Philosophy. vol. 4, Harvester Press, pp. 43-82.
Barker, MJ 1980, 'Kant as a problem for Weber' British Journal of Sociology, vol 31, no. 2, pp. 224-245. DOI: 10.2307/589689
Barker, MJ 1998, Audiences R Us. in R Dickinson, O Linné & R Harindranath (eds), Approaches to Audiences. Taylor & Francis.
Barker, MJ & Brooks, K 1998, On looking into Bourdieu’s black box. in R Dickinson, O Linné & R Harindranath (eds), Approaches to Audiences. Foundations in Media, Taylor & Francis, pp. 218-232.
Barker, MJ & Brooks, K 1998, Knowing Audiences: Judge Dredd, its Friends, Fans and Foes. John Libbey Publishing.
Barker, MJ 1998, 'Film audience research: Making a virtue out of necessity' IRIS, vol 26, pp. 131-148.
Barker, MJ 1997, Taking the extreme case: Understanding a fascist fan of Judge Dredd. in D Cartmell, H Kaye, I Hunter & I Whelehan (eds), Trash Aesthetics: Popular Culture and its Audience. Pluto Press, pp. 14-30.
Barker, MJ & Petley, J 1997, Ill Effects: The Media-Violence Debate. 1 edn, Taylor & Francis.
Barker, MJ & Sabin, R 1996, The Lasting of the Mohicans: History of an American Myth. Studies in Popular Culture, University Press of Mississippi.
Barker, MJ 1995, 'Violence' Sight and Sound, pp. 10-14.
Barker, MJ 1995, Drawing attention to the image: Computers and comics. in M Lister (ed.), The Photographic Image in Digital Culture. Comedia, Taylor & Francis, pp. 188-213.
Barker, MJ 1995, Very nearly in front of the children: The story of Alternity. in C Bazalgette & D Buckingham (eds), In Front Of The Children: Screen Entertainment and Young Audiences. BFI Publishing, pp. 201-216.
Barker, MJ 1993, On seeing how far you can see: The fans of "Judge Dredd". in D Buckingham (ed.), Reading Audiences: Young People and the Media. Manchester University Press, pp. 159-183.
Barker, MJ & Beezer, A 1992, Reading into Cultural Studies. Taylor & Francis.
Barker, MJ 1992, Lost directions?: Cultural studies and the turn to ethnography. in B Musgrove & R Snow-McLean (eds), Signifying Others: Selected Papers from the Second Cultural Studies Association of Australia Conference. University of Southern Queensland Press, pp. 1-6.
Barker, MJ 1990, Action - The Story of a Violent Comic. Titan Books.
Barker, MJ 1989, Comics: Ideology, Power and the Critics. Cultural Politics, Manchester University Press.
Barker, MJ 1988, 'News bias and the miners' strike: the debate continues ...: TV and the miners' strike' Media, Culture and Society, vol 10, no. 1, pp. 107-112. DOI: 10.1177/016344388010001007
Barker, MJ 1987, 'Mass media studies and the question of ideology' Radical Philosophy, vol 46, pp. 27-33.
Barker, MJ 1984, A Haunt of Fears: The Strange History of the British Horror Comics Campaign. Pluto Press.
Barker, MJ 1984, The Video Nasties: Freedom and Censorship in the Arts. Pluto Press.
Barker, MJ 1983, 'Empiricism and racism' Radical Philosophy, vol 33, pp. 6-15.