Accessibility statement

Dr Nathan Townsend
Research Fellow XR Stories, Lecturer in Creative Industries



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.

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 a number of conferences in the UK and Europe, including the 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 (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.

Profile photo

Contact details

Dr Nathan Townsend
Research Fellow and Lecturer
Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
University of York
Baird Lane,
Campus East
YO10 5GB

Tel: +44 (0)1904 325292