Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Dr Beth Johnson

Director of Student Education; Associate Professor in Film and Media

0113 343 5853

Clothworkers' Building North, Room 1.20

BA (Hons), MA, PhD.


Dr. Beth Johnson undertook her AHRC funded PhD at Lancaster University, completing in 2008. After this she worked briefly as Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Media at Liverpool Hope University before taking up post as Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at Keele University. Over six and a half years at Keele she inaugurated successful undergraduate and postgraduate Film Studies degree programmes. She was awarded a 16 month Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2013 for a project on the transnational success and style of the television serial Shameless (Channel 4, 2004-2013; Showtime 2011- ), and became Programme Director of Film Studies on her return to work in summer 2014. She joined the University of Leeds in January 2016 taking up post as Associate Professor in Film and Media.

She is the author of Paul Abbott (Manchester University Press, 2013) and has published widely on screen representations of gender and class. She has recently completed co-editing a dossier on ‘English Television Stardom and Performing the North’ (with David Forrest, University of Sheffield) for Journal of Popular Television (4:2), and has co-edited, again with Forrest, a book collection entitled Social Class and Television Drama in Contemporary Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Her next co-edited collection, Teenage Dreams: Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Other Media (with Bentley and Zieleniec), will be published by Palgrave in May 2018.

Research Interests

My main research interests concern representations of gender, sex, class and place on film and television. In particular, I have a strong interest in visual articulations of the North of England on screen.


I am module leader for:

  • COMM3899 – Social Issues on Screen
  • COMM3805 – Script Project
  • COMM2655 – Screen Fiction

I also contribute to the School’s MA programmes, specifically on the taught modules:

  • COMM5170M – Television Narrative (led by Dr Alison Peirse)
  • COMM5250M – Feminism, Identity and Media (led by Dr Melanie Bell)


Director of Student Education



  • Forrest D, Johnson B (2017) Social class and television drama in contemporary Britain.
    DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-55506-9

  • Johnson B (2013) Paul Abbott. Manchester University Press.

  • Johnson B, Aston J, Glynn B (2012) Television, Sex and Society Analyzing Contemporary Representations. Continuum.

  • Johnson BL; Bentley N; Zieleniec A (eds.) Teenage Dreams: Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Other Media. Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music. Palgrave. (In preparation)

Journal articles

  • Forrest D, Johnson B (2016) “Lesley Sharp and the alternative geographies of Northern English Stardom”, JOURNAL OF POPULAR TELEVISION. 4.2: 199-212.
    DOI: 10.1386/jptv.4.2.199_1, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96013/

  • Forrest D, Johnson B (2016) “Northern English Stardom”, JOURNAL OF POPULAR TELEVISION. 4.2: 195-198.
    DOI: 10.1386/jptv.4.2.195_7

  • Johnson B (2016) “Art cinema and the arbor: Tape-recorded testimony, film art and feminism”, Journal of British Cinema and Television. 13.2: 278-291.
    DOI: 10.3366/jbctv.2016.0313, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/94320/

  • Johnson B (2016) “Getting On: Ageing, mess and the NHS”, Critical Studies in Television. 11.2: 190-203.
    DOI: 10.1177/1749602016642956, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96012/

  • Johnson B (2015) “Interview with Paul Abbott”, Journal of Screenwriting. 6.2: 239-246.
    DOI: 10.1386/josc.6.2.239_5, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96399/

  • Johnson B, Andrew J (2013) “Dead Man's Shoes: Revealing the Subtext of the Lost Maternal”, Journal of British Cinema and Television. 10.4: 863-877.
    DOI: 10.3366/jbctv.2013.0184

  • Johnson B, Featherstone M (2012) “Ovo Je Srbija: The Horror of the National Thing in A Serbian Film”, Journal for Cultural Research. 16.1: 63-79.
    DOI: 10.1080/14797585.2011.633837

  • Johnson B (2011) “Disavowing The Isle: Masochism and New Extremity”, Asian Cinema. 22.1: 70-82.
    DOI: 10.1386/ac.22.1.70_1

  • Johnson BL “#MoreInCommon: Jo Cox, Emotion and Hashtags as Helpers”, Open Library of Humanities. (In preparation)

  • Johnson BL, Minor LJ “Shameless Television: Gendering the Transnational”, Feminist Media Studies. (Submitted)


  • Johnson BL (2017) “Don’t Look Back in Anger: Manchester, Supersonic and Made of Stone”, In: Johnson B; Bentley N; Zieleniec A (eds.) Teenage Dreams: Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Other Media. Palgrave. (Accepted)
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/124328/

  • Johnson BL (2017) “The Age of Perversion: L’ennui, Erotic Combat and Intergenerational Existentialism”, In: Peberdy D; Kerr D (eds.) Tainted Love: Screening Sexual Perversities. I.B.Tauris. (Submitted)

  • Johnson B (2017) “This Is England: Authorship, emotion and class telly”, In: Social Class and Television Drama in Contemporary Britain. 13-28
    DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-55506-9_2, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/109497/

  • Johnson B (2016) “Council Estates, Culture and 'Shameless' Spaces”, In: Dobson J; Rayner Y (eds.) Mapping Cinematic Norths. Peter Lang.
    DOI: 10.3726/978-1-78707-082-0, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/100908/

  • Johnson B (2015) “Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll: Analysing Aesthetics, Performance and Pleasure in 9 Songs”, In: Coleman L (eds.) Sex and Storytelling in Modern Cinema: Explicit Sex, Performance and Cinematic Technique. London: I.B.Tauris. 137-157

  • Johnson B (2013) “The Fantastic Style of Shameless”, In: Peacock S; Jacobs J (eds.) Television: Aesthetics and Style. London and New York: Bloomsbury Press. 227-237

  • Johnson B (2012) “Shameless: Situating Sex Beyond the City”, In: Johnson B; Glynn B; Aston J (eds.) Television, Sex and Society: Analyzing Contemporary Representations. London: Continuum. 3-16

  • Johnson BL (2012) “Shortbus: Highbrow Hard-core”, In: Kerr D; Hines C (eds.) Hard to Swallow: Hard-core Pornography On Screen. Wallflower Press.

  • Johnson BL (2010) “Sex, Psychoanalysis and Sublimation in 'Dexter'”, In: Howard D (eds.) Dexter: Investigating Cutting Edge Television. London & New York: I.B.Tauris. 78-95

Research Projects & Grants

Leverhulme Fellowship (16 months) March 2013-July 2014

Title: Shameless: Aesthetics, style and putting ‘cool’ into the TV classics canon.


Research Centres & Groups

– Visual Media and Communication (co-lead with Dr Jason Cabanes)

– Political Communication

External Appointments

– 2016-2020: External Examiner (Film and Television Studies), Southampton Solent University

– 2017-2021: External Examiner (Film and Television Studies), Leeds Trinity University

– 2012-2016: Executive Board Member, British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies

– I served as external examiner for the undergraduate Film, Television and Radio Studies programme at Staffordshire University (2012-15).

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