Professor Helen Wood

Head of Department

Professor of Media and Communication (monitored email)
0116 223 1816
BA Combined Honours Birmingham University
PhD Open University

Personal details

BA Combined Honours Birmingham University
PhD Open University

I started at Leicester in September 2013 having been Professor of Media at De Montfort University where I worked for six years. I was previously Lecturer in Sociology at the Universities of Manchester and Worcester, and Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the Universities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton.


I currently teach the undergraduate module ‘Media and the Body’ and the postgraduate module, ‘Gender Issues in Contemporary Media’.



  • (2012) with Beverley Skeggs Reacting to Reality Television: Audience, Performance and Value London and New York: Routledge. 978-0-415-69370-7
  • (2011) With Beverley Skeggs Reality Television and Class British Film Institute Palgrave: London. 978-1-84457-397-4
  • (2009) Talking With Television University of Illinois Press, Urbana. (single authored monograph) 978-0-252-03391-9
  • (2007) With Campbell, J., Erickson, M., Gray, A., Hanson, S. (eds.) (2007) Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies Stencilled Occasional Papers Volumes 1 and 2  Routledge, London. Co-author, ‘Introduction to Volume 2’.Volume 1 ISBN 978-0-415-32-440-3, Volume 2 ISBN 978-0-415-32- 441- 0

Journal articles

  • (2014) with Rachel Moseley and Helen Wheatley (eds.) ‘Television in the Afternoon’ for guest edited special issue of Critical Studies in Television
  • (2013) with Rachel Moseley and Helen Wheatley ‘Why Television for Women’ in guest edited ‘Dossier: Television for Women’, Screen, 54 (2): 238-243.
  • (2013) With Hazel Collie, Mary Irwin, Rachel Moseley and Helen Wheatley ‘Researching the History of Television for Women in Britain: 1947-1989’ Media History DOI:10.1080/13688804.2012.752761
  • (2011) With Beverley Skeggs ‘Turning it on is a class act: Immediated object relations with television’ Media, Culture and Society 30 (6): 941-951. ISSN 0163-4437.
  • (2009) With Beverley Skeggs ‘Moral Economy of Person Production: the Class Relations of Self-Performance on ‘Reality’ Television’, Sociological Review, 57:4:626-644. ISSN 0038-0261.
  • (2008) ‘My Media Studies 0.0’ Television and New Media ISSN 1552-8316
  • (2008) With Beverley Skeggs ‘Sadness and Reality TV: Affect, judgement and emotional labour’ in Tidskrift For Genusvetenskap (Swedish Journal for Gender Studies) Vol. 3-4: pp 7-25.
  • (2008) With Beverley Skeggs (2008) ‘The Labour of Transformation and Circuits of Value ‘around’ Reality TV’ Continuum 22 (4): 559-572.  ISSN 1030-4312
  • (2008) With Lisa Taylor ‘Feeling Sentimental about Television and Audiences’ in C Brunsdon and A Gray (eds.) special ‘In Focus’ collection in Cinema Journal 47:3: 144-151. 144-151. ISSN 0009-7101
  • (2008) With Beverley Skeggs and Nancy Thumim, 'Oh goodness, I am watching Reality TV': How methods make class in multi-method audience research. European Journal of Cultural Studies 11 (1): 5-24. ISSN 1367-5494
  • (2007) ‘Television is Happening: Methodological Considerations for Capturing Digital Television Reception’ European Journal of Cultural Studies 10 (4): 485-506 ISSN 1367-5494
  • (2007) ‘The Mediated Conversational Floor: An interactive approach to audience reception analysis’. Media, Culture and Society 29(1): 75-103. ISSN 0163-4437
  • (2004) ‘What Reading the Romance did for us’, European Journal of Cultural Studies 7 (2): 147-154 ISSN 1367-5494
  • (2005) ‘Texting the Subject: Women, Television and Modern Self-reflexivity’ Communication Review 8:2 pp.115-135. ISSN 1071-4421
  • (2004) With Beverley Skeggs ‘Notes on Ethical Scenarios of Self on British Reality TV’ Feminist Media Studies 4 (2). ISSN 1471-5902

Chapters in books

  • (2014 in press) ‘Audiences: The lived experience of popular culture’ Routledge Companion to Popular Culture, Toby Miller (ed.) London Routledge
  • (2014 in press) ‘Active Audiences and Uses and Gratifications’ for Handbook of Television Studies Toby Miller, Milly Buannano and Jonathan Gray (eds.) London, Sage.
  • (2011) With Beverley Skeggs ‘Reacting to Reality TV: The affective economy of an 'extended social/public realm'’ In Katherine Sender, and Marwan Kraidy (eds.) Real Worlds: The Global Politics of Reality TV New York: Routledge.  ISBN978-0-415-58825-6
  • (2010) ‘From Media and Identity to Mediated Identity’ in Wetherell, Margaret and Mohanty, Chandra Talpade (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Identities, London and New York: Sage  ISBN 978-1-412-93411-4
  • (2009) With Beverley Skeggs ‘The Transformation of Intimacy: Classed Identities in the moral economy of reality television’ in M. Wetherell (ed.) Identity in the 21st Century: New Trends in Changing Times Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-58087-9
  • (2009) ‘Television: Tufte’s Living With the Rubbish Queen’ in Devine, F. and Heath, S. (eds.) Sociological Research Methods in Context. London: Palgrave. ISBN 978-0-230-53789-7
  • (2008) With Beverley Skeggs ‘The Labour of Transformation and Circuits of Value around reality TV viewing’ reprint for T. Lewis (ed.) TV Transformations: Revealing the Makeover Show. London and New York: Taylor and Francis. ISBN 978 0415 451482
  • (2008) With Beverley Skeggs and Nancy Thumim ‘It’s just sad: Affect, judgement and emotional labour in reality TV viewing’ in Hollows, J. and Gillis, S. (ed.) Homefires: Domesticity, feminism and popular culture. London, Routledge. ISBN 0-415-96314-1
  • (2008) With Beverley Skeggs ‘Spectacular Morality: Reality television, individualisation and the re-making of the working class’ for Hesmondhalgh, D and Toynbee, J. (eds.) The Media and Social Theory London, Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-44799-7
  • (2001) ‘’No, YOU Rioted!’: The Pursuit of Conflict in the Management of Expert and Lay Discourses on Kilroy’ in, Tolson, A. Television Talk Shows: Discourse, Performance, Spectacle Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey.


  • (2014 forthcoming) ‘Reacting to Reality Television’ Sociology Review A level journal.
  • (2014) with Jilly Boyce Kay Oxford Bibliographies: ‘Talk Shows’ Oxford University Press.
  • (2014) ‘Benefits Britain: The Live Debate: Hiding in the Light’
  • (2014) Book Review, Anna Pertierra and Graeme Turner (2013) Locating Television: Zones of Consumption Routledge. Critical Studies in Television 9:1:5-8.
  • (2013) "Stuart Hanson, Andrew Tolson, and Helen Wood Interview", ‘Contributions to a History of CCCS’ in Cultural Studies 27:5-6. DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2013.773663.
  • (2013) ‘Women and Banter in British Television Entertainment’
  • (2013) ‘The Documentary of Magic: Dynamo Magician Impossible’
  • (2013) ‘States of Televisual Consciousness: Watching My Friends and Family on Undercover Boss’
  • (2010) Book review Vicki Mayer, Miranda J Banks and John Caldwell (2009) Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries for Global Media and Communication. 6: 1:118-120
  • (2008) ‘Text-in-action’ Interview for Communicare, Brazilian Media & Communication Review, Vol 8, No 1: 5-22. ISSN 1676-3475
  • (2006) ‘Mediated Interaction’ in George Ritzer (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Sociology Blackwell, Massachusetts. ISBN 978-1-4051-2433-1 and ‘Mediated Interaction’ Concise Enclyclopedia of Sociology 2010.


My main research interests are in media, culture and society, particularly as these are framed around the formations of gender, class and the television audience. My first book, Talking With Television: Women, Talk Shows and Modern Self-Reflexivity (2009) University of Illinois Press, was concerned with women’s interactions with television where I developed the ‘text-in-action’ methodology to capture TV viewing as a dynamic communicative relationship. I therefore also have a broad interest in issues related to broadcast talk and discourse analysis.
I completed an ESRC funded project with Professor Bev Skeggs on the class politics of reality television, reception and the workings of affect. This culminated in the books Reacting to Reality Television: Performance, Audience and Value (2012) Routledge, and the edited collection Reality Television and Class (2011) BFI: Palgrave.
I have recently completed an AHRC funded project with Dr Rachel Moseley and Dr Helen Wheatley on ‘The History of Television for Women 1947-1989’.  Some of the ongoing findings can be found in the journals Screen, Media History and Critical Studies in Television.
Having an undergraduate degree from Birmingham, I am committed to Cultural Studies and I am assistant editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies and also co–edited the CCCS Occasional Papers for Routledge in 2007.  I am currently writing a book about media audiences and write occasional blogs for Critical Studies in Television.


I am interested in supervising research students on any aspect of media discourse, television, broadcasting history, audiences or media ethnography, especially in relation to the social formations of gender and/or class.

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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785

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