Department of Film and Creative Writing
Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies
Head of Department of Film and Creative Writing
- Arts Building
University of Birmingham
I research and teach film and television aesthetics. My work involves close textual analysis and, particularly, I am interested in the relationship between this critical practice and questions of value and achievement.
- BA Hons (Kent)
- MA (Warwick)
- PhD (Warwick)
James completed his PhD at Warwick University before moving the University of Westminster, where he spent a year as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He joined Birmingham in 2007 and was Head of American and Canadian Studies before becoming Founding Head of Film and Creative Writing in 2014.
At Birmingham, I have taught classes on documentary film, Hollywood cinema, filmmaking practices, film research skills, and television aesthetics.
I welcome postgraduate applications in the areas of film and television studies.
My work is divided between film and television studies. I have written two monographs on aspects of screen fantasy, Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema and Fantasy Film, and a third monograph on the television series The Thick of It. I have co-edited the international collection Film Moments with Tom Brown and I am currently editing the volume Television Performance with Lucy Fife Donaldson.
I have acted as external examiner for courses at King’s College London, University of Bedfordshire and Bath Spa University. I have delivered keynote addresses at University of Lisbon, King’s College London and University of St Andrews.
- Television Performance (co-edited with Lucy Fife Donaldson), British Film Institute/Palgrave, 2018 (forthcoming)
- The Thick of It, British Film Institute/Palgrave, 2016
- Film Moments: Criticism, History, Theory (Chinese edition), Beijing World Publishing Corporation, 2015
- Fantasy Film: A Critical Introduction, Berg/Bloomsbury, 2011
- Film Moments: Criticism, History, Theory (co-edited with Tom Brown), British Film Institute/Palgrave, 2010
- Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema, Intellect/ Chicago University Press, 2008
Chapters in books
- The Enduring Act: Performance and Achievement in Serial Television, in Lucy Fife Donaldson and James Walters (eds.) Television Performance, BFI/Palgrave, 2018 (forthcoming)
- Perpetual Motion Pictures: Sisyphean Burden and the Global Screen Franchise, in Rob Stone et al (eds.) The Routledge Companion to World Cinema, Routledge, 2017 (forthcoming)
- Film Analysis, in Fabienne Darling-Wolf (ed.) The International Encyclopaedia of Media Studies vol. 7, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014
- Better or Differently: Style and Repetition in The Trip, in Jason Jacobs and Steven Peacock (eds.) Television Aesthetics and Style Bloomsbury/Continuum, 2013
- Ambiguity and Achievement: Alec Guinness’ Ealing Performances, in Melanie Williams et al (eds.) Ealing Revisited Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
- Sense and Sensibilities: The Value of Coherence in the Contemporary Twist Film, in Laura Hubner (ed.) Valuing Films Palgrave Macmillan, 2011
- Style and Sincerity in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill vol. 2, in Tom Brown and James Walters (eds.) Film Moments British Film Institute, 2010
- The Bigger Picture: Preschool Television in its Critical and Aesthetic Contexts (co-authored), in Jeanette Steemers Creating Preschool Television Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
- When People Run in Circles: Structures of Time and Memory in Donnie Darko, in Christina Lee (ed.) Violating Time: History, Memory and Nostalgia in Cinema Continuum, 2008
- Repeat Viewings: Television Analysis in the DVD Age, in James Bennett & Tom Brown (eds.) Film and Television After DVD Routledge, 2008
- (Inter)Acting: Television, Performance, Synthesis, in Critical Studies in Television, 2018 (forthcoming, co-authored with Lucy Fife Donaldson)
- Making Light of the Dark: Understanding the World of His Girl Friday, in Journal of Film and Video, Volume 60, Number 3-4, 2008
- ‘Emotional Blood on the Undusted Carpets:’ The Citizen as Subject in Wife Swap, in Critical Survey, Volume 18, Number 3, 2006
- Saving Face: Inflections of Character Role-play in Shameless, in Journal of British Cinema and Television, Volume 3, Number 1, June 2006
- ‘Some people are disappointed to only get the film:’ What is a DVD?, in Screen, Volume 46, Number 4, Winter 2005
- Timotheus Vermeulen, Scenes from the Suburbs, in Critical Studies in Television, vol. 10, no. 1, March 2015
- John Gibbs and Douglas Pye (eds.) Style and Meaning: Studies in the detailed analysis of film, in Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies, issue 6, October 2006