Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies
In the last two decades the primary focus of my research has been on film audiences. My research has covered audience responses to, and understandings of, films as diverse as Judge Dredd, Crash, Straw Dogs, and Being John Malkovich. I directed the international project on the reception of the film of The Lord of the Rings, and most recently directed a project funded by the British Board of Film Classification into audience responses to screened sexual violence. I have side-line interests in a range of topics, including such topics as the history of the Iwo Jima image, and film failures. I also retain an active interest in various aspects of film history and textual form, and continue to collaborate with Roger Sabin (University of the Arts, London) into the continuing history of Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans. I was founder, and am co-editor (with Sue Turnbull, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia) of the online audience studies journal Participations.
I have been engaged in work within the broad cultural studies sphere since 1969, at various times exploring the cultural and ideological aspects of racism, and children's comics, addressing curricular issues in the field, and engaging in debates on topics around censorship, the control of culture, and the operation of 'figures of the audience' within public and policy debates.
Martin Barker took up his post as Professor of Film and Television Studies in January 2001. He has previously worked for 29 years at the University of the West of England, where he became Head of School of Cultural Studies, and then for two years as Reader in Media Studies at the University of Sussex.