Brett Mills

Brett Mills

Professor

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Personal profile

Biography

I have been at UEA since 2006, and was Head of School for 2011-13. Prior to UEA, I worked for the University of Glamorgan and the Open University, and did my PhD on television sitcom at Canterbury Christ Church College. I have published widely on comedy and popular television, including two books: Television Sitcom (British Film Institute, 2005) and The Sitcom (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). I have journal articles in a wide variety of publications (including Screen, Television and New Media, Journal of Popular Television, Journal of British Cinema and Television, and Celebrity Studies) and have edited and co-edited special editions of Participations, Comedy Studies and Critical Studies in Television. My interest in teaching and pedagogy has resulted in co-authoring the text book Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts (Pearson, 2009/12), now in its second edition.

External Activities

  • I’m a member of the editorial boards for Journal of Popular Television and Critical Studies in Television.
  • I’m the external examiner for BA Film and Television Studies at the University of Northumbria, and was previously the external examiner for BA Broadcasting and New Media at Kingston University.
  • I’ve contributed to a wide number of television and radio programmes about television comedy, including Funny Gals: Lucille Ball (BBC Radio 2, 2011), Sex and the Sitcom (BBC4, 2011), The One Show (BBC1, 2011) and Men About the House (BBC4, 2010).

Key Research Interests and Expertise

I’m interested in popular television, especially that which is routinely ignored by academics and critics (I explored this idea in a special edition of Critical Studies in Television I edited in 2010, called ‘Invisible Television’). This has primarily centred around comedy, but I’m also interested in other genres, such as the panel show and wildlife documentaries.

I’m currently leading the 3-year (2012-4) Arts and Humanities Research Council project, ‘Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry’ (http://www.makemelaugh.org.uk/) which is working with comedy writers, producers and commissioners to explore their creative processes and to examine how comedy gets made. This follows the earlier AHRC-funded project ‘Funny Business’ (2005-6), in which I interviewed comedy workers about their activities.

A more recent research interest concerns the representation of animals on television, in particular in wildlife documentaries. My publications on this topic in European Journal of Cultural Studies (2013) and Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies (2010) received widespread international media attention.
I’m interested in supervising PhD students on topics including comedy, popular culture, television, genre, and media and animals.

Specialisms

Contemporary and popular television; comedy and sitcom; genre; industry and creativity; animals in media.

Areas Of Expertise

Television; the popular; comedy; the sitcom; genre; industry and creativity; animals in media.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Kent

Award Date: 1 Jan 2000

Network

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