Dr Beth Johnson

Dr Beth Johnson


I undertook my AHRC funded PhD at Lancaster University, completing in 2008. After this I worked briefly as Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Media at Liverpool Hope University before taking up post as Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at Keele University. Over six and a half years at Keele I inaugurated successful undergraduate and postgraduate Film Studies degree programmes.

I was awarded a 18 month Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2013 for a project on the transnational success and style of the television serial Shameless (Channel 4, 2004–2013; Showtime 2011), and became Programme Director of Film Studies on my return to work in summer 2014.

I joined the University of Leeds in January 2016 taking up post as Associate Professor in Film and Media.

I am the author of Paul Abbott (Manchester University Press, 2013) and I have published widely on screen representations of gender and class. I co-edited a dossier on English Television Stardom and Performing the North (with David Forrest, University of Sheffield) for Journal of Popular Television (2016, 4:2), and co-edited, again with Forrest, a book collection entitled Social Class and Television Drama in Contemporary Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). My co-edited collection, Teenage Dreams: Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Other Media (with Bentley and Zieleniec), was published by Palgrave in May 2018.

I have co-authored Media Studies: Texts, Production, Context (3rd edition) with Paul Long, Shana MacDonald, Schem Rogerson Bader and Tim Wall (Routledge, 2021). 

I am currently working on a monograph entitled Class and Poverty on Popular Television: A Case for Change (E.U.P.), due for publication in 2023.

I am Chair of MeCCSA Women's Network (2019–Present), Vice-Chair of Royal Television Society (Yorkshire, 2022–), a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of British Cinema and Television. I led Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work for the Screen Industries Growth Network across 2020–2021. I am currently working as an academic consultant for the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity (2022).

I am an External Examiner for the University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield.

Research interests

My main research interests concern televisual and filmic representations of gender, social class, poverty, race and place on and off screen. I am also engaged in research on activism, performance, emotion and politics.

I am co-convener of the Visual Media and Communication Research Group in the School of Media and Communication. 

In my remit as EDI lead on SIGN, I collaborated with Candour Productions and industry professionals to create a film series called Industry Voices (2021), shortlisted for the BAFTSS Innovation Award.

Across 2018–19, I led and convened the Sadler Seminar Series The Performance of Political Feeling, funded by the Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute. My co-conveners were: Professor Stephen Coleman, Dr Kim Allen and Dr Philip Kiszely. 

A selection of recent press interviews include:

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


  • PhD
  • MA (Distinction)
  • BA (Hons)

Professional memberships

  • SCMS (Society for Cinema and Media Studies)
  • MeCCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association)
  • BAFTSS (British Association for Film, Television and Screen Studies)
  • PSA (Political Studies Association)
  • RTS (Royal Television Society)
  • Chair of MeCCSA Women's Studies Network
  • ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association)

Student education

In session 2021–22 I am module leader for COMM2125 Visual Communication.

I contribute to COMM3250/5250 Feminism, Identity, Media and COMM5800 MA Dissertation & Research Methods.

Research groups and institutes

  • Gender
  • Visual Media and Communication

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>