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Professor of Film Studies, University of Leicester

James Chapman 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.

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 recently published The Money Behind the Screen: A History of British Film Finance, 1945-1985 (Edinburgh University Press, 2022).and is currently writing a 'prequel' covering the period up to 1945.

The third edition of his book Licence To Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in May 2024.


  • –present
    Professor of Film Studies, University of Leicester