Professor James Chapman

James ChapmanProfessor of Film Studies

Contact Details


James Chapman took his BA (History) and MA (Film Studies) at the University of East Anglia and then undertook his doctoral research at Lancaster University, writing his PhD thesis on the role of official film propaganda in Britain during the Second World War. In 1996 he joined The Open University, where he taught a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and was principal contributing author to the university’s first dedicated course on Film and Television History. He joined the University of Leicester as its founding Professor of Film Studies in January 2006. He is a Council member of the International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST) and in 2010 became editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. When Professor Chapman is not lecturing his students on why we should take James Bond seriously or decoding the semiotics of Diana Rigg, he can usually be found following Test Match Special.

Research Interests

Professor Chapman’s research focuses on British popular culture, especially cinema and television in their historical contexts. He is interested in the role of the media as propaganda, the representation of war and history, and the cultural politics of popular fictions – including, but not limited to, Dick Barton, Dan Dare, James Bond, The Avengers and Doctor Who. He has recently completed the first book to offer a cultural history of British comics from their origin to the present, and is currently researching books on Science Fiction Cinema and Contemporary British Television Drama. He is also co-investigator on a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council project ‘Spaces of Television’ in association with the University of Reading and the University of Glamorgan.

PhD Supervision

I am willing to supervise research students in any of my areas of interest, and am happy to discuss research proposals with potential applicants.


  • Peter Waymark: ‘Television and the Cultural Revolution: The BBC under Hugh Carleton Greene’, PhD, The Open University, 2006.
  • Sally Dux: ‘Richard Attenborough and the British Cinema’, PhD, The Open University, 2009.
  • Joy Payne: ‘The London Film Makers’ Co-operative: 1960s to the Present’, The Open University, 2010.

Currently supervising:

  • Andrew Croft: ‘Michael Balcon and the British Cinema: Gainsborough Pictures and the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation, 1926-1936’ (University of Leicester).
  • Julie Ives: ‘A History of ITV Regional Programming in the East Midlands’ (University of Leicester, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with the Media Archive of Central England).
  • Victoria Byard: ‘The spaces of British telefantasy’ (University of Leicester)
    Andrew Moule: ‘The legacy of the Second World War in post-war British cinema’ (University of Leicester)

 Learn more about research degrees in the Department of the History of Art & Film


Most Recent Publications

Projecting the Future: Science Fiction and Popular Cinema, co-authored with Nicholas J. Cull (London: I. B. Tauris,  2012)

British Comics: A Cultural History (London: Reaktion, 2011).

Inside the Tardis: The Worlds of Doctor Who – A Cultural History (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006).

Full listing of publications

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Contact Us

History of Art and Film,
University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester LE1 7RH

Telephone: 0116 252 2620

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The History of Art and Film at Leicester are seeking expressions of interest from prospective research students in the 2017 AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership. The deadline for AHRC funding applications will be in January 2017 and your case will be strongly enhanced if you engage in discussion with us well in advance of the deadline. For information about the Midlands 3 Cities Doctoral Training Centre and for details of eligibility, funding and research supervision areas please visit the consortium’s website, our own page or contact the PGR admissions team.