I am a media historian with a particular interest in production cultures. To date my research has explored the convergent social, technical, aesthetic and economic histories of marginal screen cultures by using the video nasties moral panic in the United Kingdom as a case study. This work explores the pivotal role that direct and indirect marketing practices played in the construction of a subculture, and how this in turn created illicit networks through which these suspect media forms could circulate. It investigates how the demand created by these subcultures led to a rebranding of the video nasties that in turn facilitated a gentrification of banned film in the UK. It is particularly concerned with the limitations of insular British readings of the moral panic and instead reconceptualises the moral panic as part of a broader transnational film cultures.
More recently, my work has built upon the foundation that this provides and employs the same methodological approach as a means of further exploring the 1980s as a point of media convergence. Through a study of Sylvester Stallone I am able to explore: a social history in which the function of memory and nostalgia in the continuation of Stallone’s celebrity are analysed; a technical history in which his recognition and early adoption of computer games and social media platforms as a means by which he could extend his celebrity beyond the confines of the film screen; an aesthetic history that considers promotional cultures from analogue processes through current digital trends; and an economic history that considers the importance that international film markets have historically played in the construction of Stallone’s celebrity and considers how the waning dominance of Hollywood, sees the star increasingly attempting to capitalising on transnational film markets with a particular emphasis on securing a foothold in the China.