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Cathy Johnson

Associate Professor in Culture, Film and Media, Faculty of Arts

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Expertise Summary

Key words: digital television, online television, media industries, television history, promotional media, public service broadcasting, media policy.

My research explores the media industries (primarily television). I am particularly interested in the changes that have taken place within the media industries over their histories and the impact that this has had on how these industries work and what they produce. This includes looking at issues such as changes in regulation, the rise of cable, satellite and digital television, and the threat to public service broadcasting, the emergence of new genres and styles of television programming, as well as new media policies and funding regimes. My current research is examining the development of online television, specifically the ways in which the internet is used to access television programmes while television sets are increasingly offering internet-enabled services.

My most recent book, Promotional Screen Industries (written with Paul Grainge) examines the creative industry sectors that produce promotional screen content, such as idents, logos and trailers. This was based on an AHRC-funded project with Paul Grainge which involved collaboration and knowledge exchange with Red Bee Media and the British Film Institute. More information about that project can be found here.

Promotional Screen Industries Branding Television ITV Cultures Telefantasy

My previous books have examined the rise of branding by the UK and US television industries (Branding Television, Routledge, 2012), television history across borders (Transnational Television History, Routledge, 2012, edited with Andreas Fickers), the history of the UK's commercial public service broadcaster ITV (ITV Cultures, Open University Press, 2005, edited with Rob Turnock), and the history of the production of UK and US fantasy and SF TV (Telefantasy, BFI, 2005).

I have worked with media archivists on two EU-funded projects that made audio-visual material available from across Europe online (Video Active and EUscreen), and acted as consultation with the British Film Institute's National Archive and the British Universities Film and Video Council around television archiving.

PhD supervision: I have supervised many PhD students successfully to completion on a range of topics, from transmedia and transnational television, to political comedy, web drama, television acting and various aspects of television history. I am interested in supervising doctoral research projects on contemporary and historical television, as well as promotional screen media and the impact of digital media and the internet on the media industries.

Teaching Summary

I believe that students learn best through being active learners. In my teaching I use a range of methods to encourage active and applied learning, from giving students specific seminar preparation… read more

Research Summary

My research explores the media industries (primarily television). I am particularly interested in the changes that have taken place within the media industries over their histories and the impact… read more

Selected Publications

  • JOHNSON, C., 2013. The authorial function of the television channel: augmentation and identity. In: GRAY, J. and JOHNSON, D., eds., A companion to media authorship Wiley-Blackwell. 275-295
  • CATHERINE JOHNSON, 2013. Doctor Who as programme brand. In: MATT HILLS, DAVID MELLOR and BENJAMIN EARL, eds., New Dimensions of Doctor Who I.B.Tauris. 256

I believe that students learn best through being active learners. In my teaching I use a range of methods to encourage active and applied learning, from giving students specific seminar preparation tasks each week, to devising modes of assessment that encourage independent learning, to encouraging critical participation in lectures. Such techniques offer students structured opportunities to take control of their own learning in ways that are always tied to the goals and assessments of the module.

I have many years of experience in teaching film, television and media studies. In the Department of Culture, Film and Media I have taught the following modules:

Film and Television in Social and Cultural Context

Film and TV Genres 2

Understanding the Cultural Industries

TV Cultures

Media and Society

Dissertations

Marketing and Promotion (MA module)

Culture Industries (MSc Module)

Current Research

My research explores the media industries (primarily television). I am particularly interested in the changes that have taken place within the media industries over their histories and the impact that this has had on how these industries work and what they produce. This includes looking at issues such as changes in regulation, the rise of cable, satellite and digital television, and the threat to public service broadcasting, the emergence of new genres and styles of television programming, as well as new media policies and funding regimes. My most recent book, Promotional Screen Industries (written with Paul Grainge) examines the creative industry sectors that produce promotional screen content, such as idents, logos and trailers. This was based on an AHRC-funded project with Paul Grainge which involved collaboration and knowledge exchange with Red Bee Media and the British Film Institute. More information about that project can be found here.

I am currently working researching the development of online television in the UK. I work closely with archive and industry partners, such as the BBC and Ofcom.

  • PAUL GRAINGE and CATHERINE JOHNSON, 2015. Promotional screen industries New York ; Routledge.
  • CATHERINE JOHNSON and PAUL GRAINGE, 2015. 'From Broadcast Design to On-Brand TV': Repositioning Expertise in the Promotional Screen Industries. In: MIRANDA BANKS, BRIDGET CONOR and VICKI MAYER, eds., Production Studies, the sequel!: Cultural Studies of Global Media Industries Routledge. 46-58
  • PAUL GRAINGE and CATHERINE JOHNSON, 2015. ‘Show Us Your Moves’: trade rituals of television marketing Arts and the Market. 5(2), 126-138
  • JOHNSON, CATHERINE, 2015. Telefantasy. In: CREEBER, GLEN, ed., The Television Genre Book 3rd. Palgrave MacMillan/BFI.
  • JOHNSON, C., 2013. The authorial function of the television channel: augmentation and identity. In: GRAY, J. and JOHNSON, D., eds., A companion to media authorship Wiley-Blackwell. 275-295
  • CATHERINE JOHNSON, 2013. Doctor Who as programme brand. In: MATT HILLS, DAVID MELLOR and BENJAMIN EARL, eds., New Dimensions of Doctor Who I.B.Tauris. 256
  • CATHERINE JOHNSON, 2013. The Continuity of "Continuity": Flow and the Changing Experience of Watching Broadcast Television Keywords: A journal of cultural materialism. 11, 3
  • 2013. Cult Television e Industria Televisiva. In: Cult TV Rigel Edizioni. 51-65
  • JOHNSON, C., 2012. Branding Television Routledge.
  • CATHERINE JOHNSON and ANDREAS FICKERS, eds., 2012. Transnational Television History Routledge.
  • JOHNSON, C., 2010. Cult TV and the Television Industry. In: ABBOTT, S., ed., The Cult TV Book I.B.Tauris. 135-154
  • JOHNSON, C. and FICKERS, A., 2010. Transnational Television History: a comparative approach Media History. 16(1), 1-11
  • BOURDON, J., IBÁÑEZ, J.C., JOHNSON, C. and MULLER, E., 2008. Searching for an Identity for Television: Programmes, genres, formats. In: BIGNELL, J. and FICKERS, A., eds., A European Television History Wiley-Blackwell. 101-126
  • JOHNSON, CATHERINE, 2007. Negotiating Value and Quality in Television Historiography. In: WHEATLEY, HELEN, ed., Re-viewing Television History: Critical Issues in Television Historiography I.B.Tauris.
  • JOHNSON, CATHERINE, 2007. Tele-branding in TVIII: the Network as Brand and the Programme as Brand New Review of Film and Television. 5(1), 5-24
  • JOHNSON, CATHERINE, 2005. Quality/Cult Television: The X-Files and Television History. In: HAMMOND, M. and MAZDON, L., eds., Previously On: Approaches to the Contemporary Television Serial Edinburgh University Press. 57-71
  • JOHNSON, CATHERINE, 2005. Telefantasy British Film Institute.
  • JOHNSON, CATHERINE and TURNOCK, ROB, eds., 2005. ITV Cultures: Independent Television Over Fifty Years Open University Press.
  • JOHNSON, CATHERINE, 2002. Exploiting the Intimate Screen: The Quatermass Experiment, Fantasy and the Aesthetic Potential of Early Television Drama. In: THUMIM, J., ed., Small Screen, Big Ideas: Television in the 1950s I.B.Tauris. 181-194

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