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Roberta Pearson

Professor of Film and Television Studies, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I received my BA from Duke University, my MPhil from Yale University and my Phd from New York University. I taught at the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania and Cardiff University before coming to Nottingham in 2004. I served as the Director of the Institute of Film and Television Studies from 2004 to 2010 and then as Head of the new Department of Culture, Film and Media from 2010 to 2013.

Expertise Summary

My research and publications encompass a wide variety of topics and interests.

1) American television drama: I am interested in the multiple determinants of textual meaning from the production context to textual characteristics (narrative/genre) to audience reception and fandom. At the moment, I am fascinated by the emergence of multi-platform, transmedia storytelling and its historical antecedents. I have co-edited an anthology on cult television, edited an anthology on Lost and co-authored a book on Star Trek and American Television.

2) Shakespeare and media: I am primarily concerned with Shakespeare as cultural icon, rather than adaptations of individual texts, although have written about film and television adaptation as well.

4) acting and actors: I have a long standing interest in film acting that goes back to my PhD dissertation, which was published as Eloquent Gestures. I am also interested in the craft of the actor and have recently interviewed Patrick Stewart about his interpretation of Mark Antony in an interview which appeared in the journal Shakespeare.

5) early cinema/film history: I have written quite a bit about early American cinema.

6) film/television and history: how do moving image media represent the past? How do representations of particular historical events vary over time or across a range of media at the same time. My own work in this area has focused on the ill-fated American general, George Armstrong Custer.

7) culturally iconic figures: a theme that runs through much of my research in an interest in the cultural significance of particular historical or fictional figures such as Shakespeare, Custer, Batman or Sherlock Holmes.

8) fan studies: I have written several book chapters and articles about fandom

9) Sherlock Holmes: I have written several book chapters about Holmes and am working on a major monograph titled 'I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere': Multi-media, Transatlantic, Post-Millenial Holmes

Teaching Summary

I am interested in supervising Mres and Phd students with interests in popular culture, fan studies, American and British television,international television distribution, popular culture icons such… read more

Research Summary

I have just publlished a co-edited collection titled Storytelling in the Media Convergence Age: Screen Narrative Contexts. The essays in the collection connect industrial conditions of production to… read more

I am interested in supervising Mres and Phd students with interests in popular culture, fan studies, American and British television,international television distribution, popular culture icons such as Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes, television narrative, the representation of history and cultural memory. I am currently supervising Phd students working on projects on web drama, the internationalisation of UK television, the history of transmedia storytelling, the branding of authorship in film, television and video games, the history of Bermudan television as well as several other topics.

Current Research

I have just publlished a co-edited collection titled Storytelling in the Media Convergence Age: Screen Narrative Contexts. The essays in the collection connect industrial conditions of production to the way stories are told across a range of media (television, comics, films and video games) in several different countries from the UK and the US to India. The collection reflects my interest in narrative theory and intermediality, that is the relations between different media.

My own contribution compares the UK and US adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock and Elementary, by placing them within the context of their national broadcasting cultures. This reflects my interests in television, media industries and Sherlock Holmes. I am currently working on a monograph entitled 'I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere': Multi-media, Transatlantic, Post-Millennial Holmes which compares the representation and reception of Holmes in the UK and the US.

Currently in press is Many More Lives of the Batman, an updated sequel to my classic co-edited book The Many Lives of the Batman, first published in 1991. The new book reprints the best essays and interviews from the original and contains several new chapters. The book reflects my interests in both comics and popular culture icons.

I am currently working on a collaborative project with colleagues at our Ningbo campus and at Loughborough University. The project concerns China, heritage and comparative memory studies. This reflects my interest in cultural memory and the representation of history in popular culture.

Past Research

I have just published a co-authored book called Star Trek and American Television. The book uses Star Trek as a case study to investigate the history of American television, the way that television shows get made and the ways that television tells stories. It is based on interviews with more than twenty Star Trek personnel including Sir Patrick Stewart (who wrote the foreword for the book) and William Shatner.

I have in the past co-edited books on Batman and on the television show Lost. I have published book chapters and journal articles on Shakespeare, on fandom, on screen acting and on the representation of history.

Department of Culture, Film and Media

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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