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Nathan Townsend

Research Fellow XR Stories, Lecturer in Creative Industries, University of York

I am currently a Research Fellow on the AHRC-funded XR Stories project, but will transition to become Lecturer in the Creative Industries in summer 2020. Prior to this, I worked as a Research Fellow on Beyond the Multiplex, a research project about the distribution and exhibition of specialised films in the English regions and as an Associate Lecturer within TFTI. In the latter position, I taught on a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules which were primarily concerned with issues of history, theory and analysis in film and television studies.

My research cuts across several intersecting areas which are of central importance to film and television studies as disciplines. On one hand, it engages with the determinants of structure, process and agency within specific media institutions which, in turn, invoke debates about the interplay between creativity and commerce. On the other, it encompasses a consideration of the relationship between media industries and cultures in national, transnational and global terms. These approaches are central to my work on the London-based production company, Working Title films, and its successive parent companies, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Universal.

Townsend, Nathan (2019), ‘WT2: a low budget experiment in “heart, humour and horror”’ Studies in European Cinema, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 38-54.

Townsend, Nathan (2018), ‘Working Title Films and Universal: The integration of a British production company into a Hollywood studio’. Journal of British Cinema and Television, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 179–203.

Townsend, Nathan (2018), ‘PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Working Title Films: the making of a film studio and its production label’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 555-583.

Townsend, Nathan (2014), ‘The Trans/national Divide: Towards a Typology of “Transatlantic British Cinema” during the 1930s and 1940s’, in Laura Mee & Johnny Walker, eds., Cinema, Television & History: New Approaches, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.121-141.


  • –present
    Research Fellow XR Stories, Lecturer in Creative Industries, University of York