Dr James Walters BA (Kent), MA, PhD (Warwick)

Photograph of Dr James Walters

Department of Film and Creative Writing
Reader in Film and Television Studies

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I research and teach film and television aesthetics. My work involves close reading and, particularly, I am interested in the relationship between this critical practice and questions of value and achievement.




I completed my PhD at Warwick University before spending a year as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Westminster. I joined the University of 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 film performance, Hollywood cinema, fantasy film, filmmaking practices, documentary, and television aesthetics. 

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome postgraduate applications in the areas of film and television studies.

Find out more - our PhD Film Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


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 Television Performance with Lucy Fife Donaldson.

Other activities

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.


Recent publications


Walters, J 2023, Television and Repetition. 1st edn, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003265283

Fife Donaldson, L & Walters, J 2019, Television Performance. Red Globe Press.

Walters, J 2016, The Thick of It. TV Classics, British Film Institute, London.

Walters, J 2011, Fantasy Film: A Critical Introduction. Berg.


Walters, J 2023, 'Finding words: Aesthetic criticism and television', Critical Studies in Television, pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1177/17496020231154462

Walters, J 2022, 'V.F. Perkins and Television', Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, no. 10, pp. 74-83. <https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/scapvc/film/movie/contents/movie_issue10_perkinsandtelevision.pdf>

Walters, J 2020, 'Contesting the Wheel: Hitchcock's Female Drivers', Film Studies, vol. 21, pp. 97-112.

Walters, J 2020, 'Small screen psychics: Television performance as dubious achievement', Journal of Popular Television, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 349-367.

Walters, J 2019, 'Moments Apart', Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, no. 8, pp. 1-6. <https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/film/movie/walters_moments_apart.pdf>

Walters, J & Fife Donaldson, L 2018, 'Inter(acting): Television, performance and synthesis', Critical Studies in Television, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 352–369. https://doi.org/10.1177/1749602018781465

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Walters, J 2023, Storms and Teacups: Russell T Davies, the epic and the everyday. in S Cardwell, J Bignell & L Fife Donaldson (eds), Epic / Everyday: Moments in Television. The Television Series, Manchester University Press, pp. 140-162. https://doi.org/10.7765/9781526170231.00014

Walters, J 2022, Depth in Two Dimensions: Complex/Simple Moments in Rick and Morty. in S Cardwell, J Bignell & L Fife Donaldson (eds), Complexity / Simplicity: Moments in Television. The Television Series, Manchester University Press, pp. 84-103. https://doi.org/10.7765/9781526148766.00012

Walters, J 2021, Skip Intro? Sense8’s Title Sequence. in D Shaw & R Stone (eds), Sense8: Transcending Televison. 1st edn, Bloomsbury Publishing, pp. 57-70. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781501352904.ch-003

Walters, J 2017, Perpetual Motion Pictures: Sisyphean Burden and the Global Screen Franchise. in R Stone, P Cooke, S Dennison & A Marlow-Mann (eds), The Routledge Companion to World Cinema. Routledge, Oxon/New York, pp. 382-392.

Walters, J 2013, Better or differently: Style and repetition in The Trip. in J Jacobs & S Peacock (eds), Television Aesthetics and Style. Bloomsbury Academic, UK, pp. 113-123.

View all publications in research portal