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.



Alien Audiences: Remembering and Evaluating a Classic MovieBarker, M., Egan, K., Ralph, S. & Philips, T. 2015 1 ed. Basingstoke: Springer Nature. 150 p.
Changing lives, challenging concepts: Some findings and lessons from the Lord of the Rings projectBarker, M. 2009 In : International Journal of Cultural Studies.12, 4, p. 375375 p.
Lord of The Rings database user guideBarker, M. 2008 Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University.
Report for the British Board of Film Classification on viewers of the Lord of the Rings, aged under 16Barker, M. 2008 British Board of Film Classification.
The Pleasures of Watching an 'Off-beat' Film: the Case of Being John MalkovichBarker, M. 2008 In : Scope : an Online Journal of Film Studies.11
The Pleasures of Watching an “Off-beat” Film: The Case of Being John MalkovichBarker, M. J. 2008 In : Scope : an Online Journal of Film Studies.
Watching the Lord of the RingsMathijs, E. & Barker, M. 2008 Peter Lang.
Analysing DiscourseBarker, M. 2008 Research Methods for Cultural Studies.Edinburgh University Press, p. 150-17223 p.
The Books, the DVDs, the Extras and Their LoversEgan, K. & Barker, M. J. 2007 Watching The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's World Audiences . Barker, M. & Mathijs, E. (eds.). New York: Peter Lang, p. 83-10220 p. (Media and Culture)
Audiences and Receptions of Sexual Violence in Contemporary CinemaSexton, J., Mathijs, E., Egan, K., Hunter, R., Selfe, M. & Barker, M. 2007 British Board of Film Classification.
'Seeing The Promised Land From Afar: The Perception of New Zealand by Overseas The Lord of the Rings AudiencesMathijs, E. & Barker, M. 2007 How We Became Middle-earth: A Collection of Essays on The Lord of the Rings.Walking Tree Publishers, p. 10-2819 p.
Making Middle-earth Sound Real: The Cultural Politics of the BBC Radio EditionBarker, M. J. 2006 The Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context. Mathijs, E. (ed.). London: Columbia University Press, p. 61-70
Envisaging ‘Visualisation’: Some challenges from the international Lord of the Rings audience projectBarker, M. 2006 In : Film Philosophy.10, 3, p. 1-2525 p.
Rings around the World: Notes on the Challenges, Problems & Possibilities of International Audience ProjectsEgan, K. & Barker, M. 2006 In : Participations.3, 2
On being a 1960s Tolkien readerBarker, M. J. 2006 From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. Mathijs, E. & Pomerance, M. (eds.). Amsterdam: Brill, p. 81-10019 p. (Contemporary Cinema)
De mondiale receptie van The Lord of the Rings: Een methodologische uitdagingBarker, M. J., Egan, K. & Mathijs, E. 2006 In : Tijdschrift voor Communiatiewetenschap.34, 1, p. 7-27
Menstrual Monsters: The reception of the Ginger Snaps cult horror franchiseBarker, M. 2006 In : Film International.4, 21, p. 68-7710 p.
A very American fable: the making of a Mohicans adaptationBarker, M. 2006 Nineteenth-Century American Fiction on Screen. Palmer, R. B. (ed.). Cambridge University Press, p. 9-2820 p.
I have seen the Future and it is not here yet...: Or, on being Ambitious for Audience ResearchBarker, M. 2006 In : Communication Review.9, 2, p. 123-14119 p.
I have seen the future and it is not here yet ...: Or, on being ambitious for audience researchBarker, M. J. 2006 Comment sont Recųes les Oeuvres?. Charpentier, I. (ed.). Paris: Éditions Créaphis, p. 27-42
Understanding Vernacular Experiences of Film in an Academic EnvironmentBarker, M. & Mathijs, E. 2005 In : Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education.4, 1, p. 49-7123 p.
The Lord of the Rings and ‘Identification’: A Critical EncounterBarker, M. 2005 In : European Journal of Communication.20, 3, p. 353-37826 p.
News, Reviews, Clues, Interviews and Other Ancillary Materials: A Critique and Research ProposalBarker, M. J. 2004 In : Scope : an Online Journal of Film Studies.
Violence ReduxBarker, M. 2004 New Hollywood Violence. Schneider, S. J. (ed.). Manchester University Press, p. 57-7923 p.
Assessing the ‘Quality’ in Qualitative Research The Case of Text–Audience RelationsBarker, M. 2003 In : European Journal of Communication.18, 3, p. 315-33521 p.
Contemporary Hollywood StardomBarker, M. J. & Austin, T. 2003 Taylor & Francis.
Crash, theatre audiences, and the idea of ‘liveness’Barker, M. 2003 In : Studies in Theatre and Performance.23, 1, p. 21-39
The Newson Report: A case study in "common-sense"Barker, M. J. 2002 The Audience Studies Reader. Brooker, W. & Jermyn, D. (eds.). London: Taylor & Francis, p. 74-90
Kicked into the Gutters: or, 'My Dad doesn't read comics, he studies them'Barker, M. 2002 In : International Journal of Comic Art.p. 64-7714 p.
Crashing OutBarker, M. 2002 In : Screen.43, 1, p. 74-85 p.
Reflections on "The Problems with Racism"Barker, M. J. 2001 Race Critical Theories: Text and Context. Essed, P. & Goldberg, D. T. (eds.). Oxford: Wiley, p. 471-4809 p.
Ill Effects: The Media-Violence DebateBarker, M. J. & Petley, J. 2001 2 ed.Taylor & Francis. (Communication and Society)
Introduction: From bad research to good – a guide to the perplexedBarker, M. J. & Petley, J. 2001 Ill Effects: The Media/Violence Debate. Barker, M. & Petley, J. (eds.). 2 ed. Lonodn: Taylor & Francis, p. 1-26 (Communication and Society)
On the problems of being a "trendy travesty"Barker, M. J. 2001 Ill Effects: The Media/Violence Debate. Barker, M. & Petley, J. (eds.). 2 ed. Lonodn: Taylor & Francis, p. 202-224
The Crash Controversy: Censorship Campaigns and Film ReceptionHarindranath, R., Barker, M. & Arthurs, J. 2001 Wallflower Press.
Reply to Brereton’s review of From Antz To TitanicBarker, M. J. & Austin, T. 2000 In : Film Philosophy.4, 27
From Antz To Titanic: Reinventing Film AnalysisBarker, M. J. & Austin, T. 2000 Pluto Press. 240 p.
Bleak futures by proxyBarker, M. J. & Brooks, K. 1999 Identifying Hollywood’s Audiences: Cultural Identity and the Movies. Maltby, R. & Stokes, M. (eds.). London: BFI Publishing, p. 162-17412 p.
Getting a conviction: Or, how the British horror comics campaign only just succeededBarker, M. J. 1999 Pulp Demons: International Dimensions of the Postwar Anti-Comics Campaign. Lent, J. A. (ed.). Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Fredric Wertham: The sad case of the unhappy humanistBarker, M. J. 1999 Pulp Demons: International Dimensions of the Postwar Anti-Comics Campaign. Lent, J. A. (ed.). Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Audiences R UsBarker, M. J. 1998 Approaches to Audiences. Dickinson, R., Linné, O. & Harindranath, R. (eds.). Taylor & Francis
On looking into Bourdieu’s black boxBarker, M. J. & Brooks, K. 1998 Approaches to Audiences. Dickinson, R., Linné, O. & Harindranath, R. (eds.). Taylor & Francis, p. 218-23215 p. (Foundations in Media)
Knowing Audiences: Judge Dredd, its Friends, Fans and FoesBarker, M. J. & Brooks, K. 1998 John Libbey Publishing. 256 p.
Film audience research: Making a virtue out of necessityBarker, M. J. 1998 In : IRIS.26, p. 131-148
Taking the extreme case: Understanding a fascist fan of Judge DreddBarker, M. J. 1997 Trash Aesthetics: Popular Culture and its Audience. Cartmell, D., Kaye, H., Hunter, I. & Whelehan, I. (eds.). Pluto Press, p. 14-30
Ill Effects: The Media-Violence DebateBarker, M. J. & Petley, J. 1997 1 ed.Taylor & Francis. 171 p.
The Lasting of the Mohicans: History of an American MythBarker, M. J. & Sabin, R. 1996 University Press of Mississippi. 260 p. (Studies in Popular Culture)
ViolenceBarker, M. J. 1995 In : Sight and Sound.p. 10-14
Drawing attention to the image: Computers and comicsBarker, M. J. 1995 The Photographic Image in Digital Culture. Lister, M. (ed.). Taylor & Francis, p. 188-213 (Comedia)
Very nearly in front of the children: The story of AlternityBarker, M. J. 1995 In Front Of The Children: Screen Entertainment and Young Audiences. Bazalgette, C. & Buckingham, D. (eds.). BFI Publishing, p. 201-216
On seeing how far you can see: The fans of "Judge Dredd"Barker, M. J. 1993 Reading Audiences: Young People and the Media. Buckingham, D. (ed.). Manchester University Press, p. 159-183
Reading into Cultural StudiesBarker, M. J. & Beezer, A. 1992 Taylor & Francis. 208 p.
Lost directions?: Cultural studies and the turn to ethnographyBarker, M. J. 1992 Signifying Others: Selected Papers from the Second Cultural Studies Association of Australia Conference. Musgrove, B. & Snow-McLean, R. (eds.). University of Southern Queensland Press, p. 1-6
Action - The Story of a Violent ComicBarker, M. J. 1990 Titan Books. 286 p.
Comics: Ideology, Power and the CriticsBarker, M. J. 1989 Manchester University Press. (Cultural Politics)
News bias and the miners' strike: the debate continues ...: TV and the miners' strikeBarker, M. J. 1988 In : Media, Culture and Society.10, 1, p. 107-112
Mass media studies and the question of ideologyBarker, M. J. 1987 In : Radical Philosophy.46, p. 27-33
A Haunt of Fears: The Strange History of the British Horror Comics CampaignBarker, M. J. 1984 Pluto Press. 384 p.
The Video Nasties: Freedom and Censorship in the ArtsBarker, M. J. 1984 Pluto Press.
Empiricism and racismBarker, M. J. 1983 In : Radical Philosophy.33, p. 6-15
Methods for cultural studies studentsBarker, M. J., Beezer, A. & Grimshaw, J. 1983 Introduction to Contemporary Cultural Studies. Punter, D. (ed.). Longman
Scarman and the language of racismBarker, M. J. & Beezer, A. 1983 In : International Socialism.18, p. 108-125
Biology and ideology: The uses of reductionismBarker, M. J. 1982 Against Biological Determinism. Rose, S. (ed.). Allison & Busby, p. 9-29
The New Racism: Conservatives and the Ideology of the TribeBarker, M. J. 1981 Junction Books.
Human biology and the possibility of socialismBarker, M. J. 1981 Issues in Marxist Philosophy. Mepham, J. & Ruben, D-H. (eds.). Harvester Press, Vol. 4, p. 43-82
Kant as a problem for WeberBarker, M. J. 1980 In : British Journal of Sociology.31, 2, p. 224-245