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Joe Harrison


I hold an MA (with Distinction) in Culture and Thought after 1945 (2014-15) and a BA (Hons) in English and Related Literature (2011-14) from the University of York. My MA dissertation, ‘An Attempt to Make the Indigestible Appetising: A Queer Analysis of the Marketing and Content of Russell T. Davies’s Cucumber, Banana and Tofu’ partially forms the basis of my PhD research, which I began in October 2018. In the intervening years between my MA and my PhD I worked in admissions and recruitment at the University of Warwick and Warwick Business School.

My research interests include queer television studies, queer theory, queer cinema, film theory, digital content streaming, medium specificity and Public Service Broadcasting. I am a co-founder of the Queer Television Reading Group, and I am a member of the Centre for Television HistoriesLink opens in a new window and the Midlands Television Research GroupLink opens in a new window.

Current Research

Too Gay for Broadcast: Digital Content Streaming and the Queering of Television

My research examines the role queer programming has in television’s most recent augmentation: digital content streaming. I investigate whether digital content streaming is an example of queer disruption or further evidence of the assimilation of queers within the corporatist, heterosexist, patriarchal and de-racialised hegemony. I am focused predominantly on online streaming services (e.g. Netflix and Amazon Prime), combining a systemic analysis of their formal specificities as delivery systems with close reading of their content, specifically their depiction of queerness. As their initial flagship shows, Transparent (Amazon, 2014-) and Orange is the New Black (Netflix, 2013-), centre on queer protagonists, and are highly acclaimed, well-marketed and prominently displayed on their respective services, I contend that queerness is central to Amazon and Netflix’s programming and brand identities, catalysing their transformation of television as a medium.

My research is funded by the University of Warwick’s CADRE (Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence) Scholarship.

Supervisors: Dr Michele Aaron and Dr Karl Schoonover


For the 2019-2020 academic year, I taught on the modules Visual Cultures and Television History and Criticism in the Autumn term, and on the Film Theory module in the Spring term. For the 2021-2022 academic year, I taught on Queer Screens in the Spring term.


'"Rainbow is the New Black": Netflix's Queer Marketing Moment', Flow, 2 March 2020.

Conference papers

'Queer(s) on Screen(s): Commerce, Culture and Convergence', Rethinking Approaches in Theatre and Media postgraduate symposium, Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, University of York, June 2015.


On Wednesday 5th February 2020, I was a speaker and panellist, alongside Dr Sharon Lockyer (Brunel University London) and Amy Zala (University of Leicester), at the Queer History Warwick reading group’s screening and discussion of Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette.

At this event, I presented my paper "'Classic New Gay Comic 101': Netflix and Nanette's Queer Affects".


Queer as Folk


Netflix marketing, Milan

Transparent Musicale Finale

Orange is the New Black, series one

Hannah Gadsby, Nanette