Following undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Lancaster and Nottingham universities I came to Portsmouth in 2004, when I joined as Lecturer in Media Studies. In January 2007, I become Principal Lecturer in Media Studies and was Subject Leader for the BA (Hons) Media Studies and combined honours degree programmes until 2011. That year I was made Reader in Popular Media Cultures. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Royal Society of Arts. In September 2019 I became Professor of Media Cultures.
My PhD, from the University of Nottingham, focussed on Star Trek fans and American culture and my research interests have rested mainly in the areas of science fiction, popular culture, American film and television and fandom. As I have continued to publish on fans and fan practices my research has turned to examine more closely the cultural and creative links between audiences and the media entertainment industries; particularly the affective and nostalgic relationships fans create when collecting media merchandise and children’s toys from their past.
My main publications are Living with Star Trek: American Culture and the Star Trek Universe (IB Tauris, 2007), American Science Fiction Film and Television (Berg, 2009) and Cult Collectors: Nostalgia, Fandom and Collecting Popular Culture (Routledge, 2014). I have edited The Influence of Star Trek on Television, Film and Culture (McFarland, 2008), Channeling the Future: Essays on Science Fiction and Fantasy Television (Scarecrow, 2009), The Smallville Chronicles: Critical Essays on the Television Series (Scarecrow, 2011), and, with Mark Jancovich, The Shifting Definitions of Genre: Essays on Labeling Film, Television Shows and Media (McFarland, 2008). I am Editor for the multi-volume Directory of World Cinema: American Hollywood from Intellect Books (2011 & 2015), and my most recent collection, entitled Popular Media Cultures: Fans, Audiences and Paratexts, waspublished by Palgrave in 2015.
In addition to my own research activities I serve as editorial advisor for The Journal of Popular Culture, Reconstruction, Journal of Fandom Studies and Journal of Popular Television with interests in science fiction film and television, fandom, and collecting in popular culture. I was recently appointed Senior Editor for the new online open access journal from Taylor Francis, Cogent Arts and Humanities.