Portrait of Professor Matt Hills Professor Matt Hills

m.j.hills@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472096


I joined the University of Huddersfield as Professor of Media and Journalism in July 2016. With Professor Cornel Sandvoss I am co-director of the Centre for Participatory Culture, and supervise a number of PhD students in this area, focusing significantly on media fandom and fan studies.

Prior to joining Huddersfield I was Professor of Film and TV Studies at Aberystwyth University, and before that I worked for more than a decade at Cardiff University, beginning as a Lecturer and leaving as a Reader.

I have written six sole-authored research monographs, starting with Fan Cultures in 2002 and coming up to date with Doctor Who: The Unfolding Event in 2015, as well as publishing more than a hundred book chapters and journal articles in the areas of media fandom, cult film/TV, and audiences in the digital era.

Research and Scholarship

I am currently completing chapters for a number of publications: The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom; the Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Fans and Fan Studies; The Scandinavian Invasion (on Nordic Noir audiences); The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds (an entry on fandom); and Revisiting Imaginary Worlds (writing about the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff). I also have two new Forewords forthcoming, one in Paul Booth’s Digital Fandom 2.0, and one in Tom Powers’ Gender and the Quest in British Science Fiction Television

In addition, I have journal articles forthcoming on fansubbing and neoliberalism (Transnational Cinemas), Sherlock Holmes and digital culture (Journal of Popular Film and Television), British TV anniversaries (Critical Studies in Television) and theatre fandom (in Popular Communication). I am also currently working on commissioned journal articles for themed special issues of Television and New Media, the Journal of British Cinema and Television, and Literature/Film Quarterly

Major ongoing book projects include Sherlock: Detecting Quality TV for IB Tauris and Fan Studies, a follow-up to Fan Cultures, for Routledge. With Michele Hilmes and Roberta Pearson I am also co-editing Transatlantic TV Drama for Oxford University Press.

With Dan Hassler-Forest I am co-commissioning editor for the Amsterdam University Press book series ‘Transmedia’, and am interested in receiving book proposals on all forms of participatory culture, media convergence and transmedia.


I am on the masthead editorial team of SCMS’s Cinema Journal (2012-2017), and am on the editorial boards of seven other international journals including Science Fiction Film and Television and Celebrity Studies. I have also co-guest-edited special issues of journals for New Review of Film and TV Studies and Transnational Cinemas, with work about to begin on a themed special issue of Journal of Fandom Studies.  

As a Professor, I have given invited talks and keynotes at 13 UK Universities across the past 4 years as well as at 12 overseas Universities across the same time frame, including speaking by invite at institutions in Canada, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Japan, and Russia.

Alongside my own PhD student completion numbers being in double figures, I have also externally examined more than 20 PhDs ranging across the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Research Degree Supervision

I am interested in supervising PhDs on any aspect of media fandom or any kind of audience study, particularly in areas that have been under-explored to date. I am also interested in cult film and TV, including programmes such as Sherlock, Doctor Who and telefantasy/science fiction TV more broadly. In terms of theoretical approaches, I have used psychoanalysis and psychosocial theory in my own fan studies’ research as well as drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault. As co-director of the Centre for Participatory Culture I would welcome PhD submissions in this field of study, including work on digital audiences/produsers/prosumers as well as transmedia/convergence culture.

Current PhD projects that I’m supervising include: continuations of cult TV and fandom from “first wave” Internet cultures to Web 2.0; rethinking fan studies and normative/disciplined fan participation; Furry fandom as a subculture; videogamers-as-fans and Let’s Play; local and generational digital audiences; developing and using apps in audience research.

Past and successfully completed PhD projects have focused on King Arthur as a cultural icon; psychosocial approaches to film audiences; an audience ethnography working with mental health service users and tackling issues of representation; nostalgia and TV drama; male readers of popular fiction; fans as subcultural celebrities; fans of TV comedy; post-object fandom; online REM fans; Torchwood fans and Welsh identity.

Enterprise Activities

I currently hold a Collaborative Doctoral Award from the AHRC (£50,000) which has funded a PhD studentship for work on digital audiences, in collaboration with a commercial app developer.

Administrative Responsibilities

I am involved in mentoring research-active staff ahead of REF 2020.

Teaching and Professional Activities

I am contributing to modules on Media Audiences and Fandom, alongside supervising 6 PhD students and co-supervising MRes students.