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Personal profile


I am Lucy Rivers, currently living and working in Norwich as a Postgraduate Researcher in Film, part of the Arts, Media and American Studies school.  My thesis regards the Representation of Mental Illness in Contemporary US Sitcom.   


Background:  I moved to Bahrain, Middle East, when I was five years old and moved back to the UK at 15.  I was home-educated from the age of 13 so I didn't have a traditional education pathway and lacked A-Levels.  Always obsessed with films and television, it was no surprise to anybody who knew me that my first job at 18 was working in a cinema.  However, I decided I wanted to know more and needed to persue higher education. 


After several years working in jobs I did not enjoy, I combined Open University experience with a Higher Education course in order to secure a place at UEA for my Undergrad degree.  After graduating with a 1st, I moved right onto the Masters in Film.   


Production Work/Experience:

I was responsible for the editing of a documentary film made by Eylem Atakav, Sr. Lecturer in Film and TV at UEA, in 2016.  The documentary Growing Up Married is about child brides in Turkey and has been shown all over the world at conferences. It has also been picked up by the Norfolk police force to help train their recruits, and it was presented at the House of Lords and has had a direct impact on UK policy. With any luck, I will help Eylem with a new documentary focusing on similar issues soon. 

I undertook a course with MET Film School between my MA and PhD courses.  6-Month Post-Production was a part-time course that covered all aspects of professional post-production, and was located in the MET Film School campus in Ealing Studios, London.  


Now, at PhD level, I am well on my way to fulfilling the cliche of students who love Norwich so much they can never leave! 


Specific areas of Academic interest include (but not limited to): Sitcom, Comedy, Feminism, Postfeminism, Masculinity, Gender, TV Genres, Fandom, Documentary and Reality TV.



Academic Background

Doctor of Philosophy in Film | University of East Anglia, Norwich | 2018 - Current.



(Provisional title) Mental Illness, Comedy and American Television.  An interdisciplinary exploration of the Representation of Mental Illness in Contemporary US Sitcom.  Combining media studies with a disability studies approach, I hope to focus on the representation of Depression, Anxiety Disorders and Eating Disorders within current American comedy television and explore the ways in which these portrayals affect and inform society.


Post-Production Course | MET Film School, Ealing Studios, London. | 2017

Grade: Pass.  6-Month part-time course covering the full range of post-production skills ranging from editing to colour grading to sound mixing. 


Master of Arts | University of East Anglia, Norwich. | 2015 - 2016

Grade: Merit.  Awarded a £10,000 scholarship to cover my tuition.

Modules studied were as diverse and interesting as: Women and Film, Fantasy Genres, TV and Reality and Film History, Theory and Criticism. 



The Killjoy, The Grotesque and The Ditz: Three Enduring Modes of Female Representation in Hit US Sitcom.  This combined my passions for feminist media theory and sitcom into a chronological exploration of recurring female archetypes in sitcom throughout the years. It spanned decades starting from I Love Lucy all the way up to the contemporary The Big Bang Theory.  


Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television StudiesUniversity of East Anglia, Norwich. | 2012 - 2015

Grade: First (Honours).

Awarded a Cash Grant for Achieving AAA+ A Level Equivalent grades prior to entering University.

Modules of note included: Sitcom; Women, Islam and Media; Gender in Film; Video Production; Television History; Film History. 


Examined the role of female characters in hit US TV series Dexter.  It attempted to tease out the problematic depictions of the females represented in the series by categorising them into women who work, housewives, and victims.  

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, University of East Anglia


Award Date: 23 Jul 2016

Bachelor of Arts, University of East Anglia


Award Date: 23 Jul 2015