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Dr Nathan Townsend
Lecturer in Creative Industries



I was appointed Lecturer in the Creative Industries in summer 2020 and teach predominantly on the Business of the Creative Industries (BCI) degree programme. Prior to this, I worked as a Research Fellow on XR Stories and Beyond the Multiplex, two research projects which respectively focused on immersive technologies and the distribution and exhibition of specialised films in the English regions. Before that, I was an Associate Lecturer in Film and Television Studies and taught on a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules across the Film and Television Production (FTP) programme within the School of Arts and Creative Technologies.



My research cuts across several intersecting areas which are of central importance to the creative industries. On one hand, it engages with the determinants of structure, process and strategy within specific media institutions which, in turn, invokes 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. Such issues are pursued in my first monograph, Working Title Films: A Creative and Commercial History (2021), which offers a wide-ranging account of what is arguably the most important production company in the history of British cinema.


External activities


I am a member of the British Association of Film and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) and its Screen Industries Special Interest Group. I have presented several conferences in the UK and Europe, including New Frontiers? Channel 4’s Move Out of London, University of the West of England (2021), Media Industries Conference, King’s College London (2018), MeCETES European Screens Conference, University of York (2016), ECREA Conference: European Cinemas, Intercultural Meetings: Aesthetics, Politics, Industry, History, University of Copenhagen (2015) and White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) Symposium: Researching European Film and Television, University of York (2015).


Selected publications

Townsend, Nathan (2021), Working Title Films: A Creative and Commercial History, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 

Townsend, Nathan (2020), ‘PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Working Title Films Part II: The rise and fall of a film studio’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 772-803.

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.


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Contact details

Dr Nathan Townsend
Research Fellow and Lecturer
School of Arts and Creative Technologies
University of York
Baird Lane,
Campus East
YO10 5GB

Tel: +44 (0)1904 325292