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Lance Hayward


I achieved a first-class BA in Film at the University of Kent in 2018. During my time at Kent, I studied for a year as an exchange student in the Comparative Literature department of the University of Hong Kong. During my final year, I completed a dissertation on collective memory and trauma in Joshua Oppenheimer's recent documentaries. I then achieved an MA (with distinction) in Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick in 2019. My MA dissertation explored the rhetoric of, and viewer engagement with, true crime documentary series on Netflix. Before returning to Warwick to begin my PhD research, I briefly worked at a private higher education company.

Doctoral Research

I commenced PhD study in October 2020. My PhD thesis is tentatively titled The Serialised Documentary: Aesthetics, Authorship, Engagement, and concerns the intersection between documentary and serial form. Long form documentary seems to be booming in both quantity and popularity in the contemporary media environment, and despite the wave of scholarly interest in seriality in dramatic forms, there has so far been little research into a) how serial form is textually manifest in documentary, b) how these elements affect the ways in which documentary has historically been conceived as primarily an educational, rather than entertaining, form, and c) whether these elements have changed over time. I aim to fill this gap through close analyses of serial documentary programmes, ranging from Paul Watson's observational series The Family and Sylvania Waters, to docu-soaps such as The Cruise and Driving School, longitudinal documentaries, and contemporary true crime documentary serials like Making a Murderer and Tiger King. By closely analysing the interaction between serial narration and documentary style in these programmes, I attend to their place in the information-entertainment binary and the modes of viewer engagement which they invite in their viewers.

My PhD research is supervised by Dr Richard Wallace and Prof Rachel Moseley. It is funded by a Midlands4Cities AHRC studentship.


In 2021-2022 I led seminars on the second year-core module Classical Hollywood in the Autumn term, and the second and third-year option Queer Screens in the Spring term.

In 2022-23 I led seminars on the first-year core module Film and Television Analysis in the Autumn term.

In 2023-4 I am leading seminars on the first-year core Film and Television Analysis in the Autumn term and on the second-year option Television History and Criticism in the Spring.

Symposium and Conference Papers

"Seven Up, serial documentary form and narrative openness" Midlands4Cities Research Festival 2022, 16th June 2022 [online].

"The Limits of Fictional Equivalences: Sylvania Waters and Narrative Openness" Film and Television Studies Departmental Research Day, 18th May 2022

“Documentary and Serial Segmentation” Film and Television Studies Departmental Research Day, University of Warwick, 19th May 2021 [online].

"Spike Lee's Reality Checks" 2nd Annual PGR Conference, Centre for Film Studies, University of Birmingham, March 2019.


I am a member of the Centre for Television Histories at Warwick, and am a member of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS).


For office hours appointments: consult the FTV Moodle Hub to book, or e-mail me.