Sylvia Harvey, Visiting Professor

Sylvia Harvey, Visiting Professor


I have worked in Higher Education in Britain for 35 years, most recently at Sheffield Hallam University and at the University of Lincoln. Since 2010 I have been a Visiting Professor in theSchool of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds.

I completed my doctoral studies in film at the University of California, Los Angeles, returning to teach film studies in the North East of England where I was also involved in setting up a cross-sectoral association of film and television teachers. In the 1970s and 80s I was a member, and later an Executive member, of the Independent Film-makers Association (IFA). I served as a member of the British Film Institute's Production Board and the Arts Council's national Advisory Committee on Film, Video and Broadcasting; subsequently a member of the Board of Yorkshire Arts. In the early 1990s I was seconded to work as Media Advisor to Sheffield City Council where I worked with others in the Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) to establish a Media Development Fund, a Cultural Industries Quarter and a four-screen independent cinema. I was a founder member and served on the Board of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival (Doc/Fest) from 1993 to 2014; I was also awarded lifetime membership of the Festival.

I am a Trustee of the Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV) and of the Sheffield Media & Exhibition Centre (Showroom Cinema and Workstation), a member of the Royal Television Society, the Media, Communications & Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) and the International Association for Media & Communications Research (IAMCR); also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. I was the first secretary of AMFiT, the film and television teachers' association that was founded in the wake of the closure of the Society for Education in Film and Television (SEFT). I served as Chair of the Citizens' Coalition for Public Service Broadcasting (CCPSB) from 2009-11 when this alliance was established by the VLV and other organisations with an interest in the social role of broadcasting. My publications include May '68 & Film Culture and, as co-editor with John Corner, of the collections: Enterprise and Heritage: Cross Currents of National Culture, and Television Times; also editing The Regions, The Nations and The BBC with Kevin Robins. My edited collection Trading Culture: Global Traffic and Local Cultures in Film and Television was published in 2006.

I have also been published on the history and role of Channel Four in The Television History Book (Hilmes) and, elsewhere, on the organisation and regulation of broadcasting in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History and in Toward a Political Economy of Culture (Calabrese and Sparks) and in Blackwells Companion to Television (Wasko); also published on the issue of impartiality in British and American broadcasting in Media, Culture and Society, on the uses of documentary in Ten: 8,  on UK film policy in the journals Screen and Political Quarterly (both with Margaret Dickinson), on the impact of Brecht in the development of film theory in Screen, also on the British regulator, Ofcom, in Screen. I have commented on media ownership in The Conversation and on the importance of free-to-air broadcasting in Open Democracy made regular policy submissions in response to consultations by, for example, the BBC Trust, Ofcom and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and published with Marko Ala-Fossi on the issue of spectrum availability for broadcasters in the International Communication Gazette (2016) and on the same issue in the RIPE/Nordicom publication Crossing Borders and Boundaries in Public Service Media (2016). (updated at 20 November 2018).


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • B. A. Hons English, University of Southampton, 1968
  • Postgraduate Diploma in the History of Art, with distinction, University of Edinburgh 1971
  • M. A. in Theater Arts (Film Studies) University of California Los Angeles 1972
  • PhD in Film Studies/Department of Theatre Arts, Motion Picture-Television Division 1979

Professional memberships

  • Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)
  • Royal Television Society
  • Royal Society of Arts, Fellow