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James Taylor


I hold a first class BA in Film Studies from the University of Kent and an MA in Film and Television Studies from the University of Warwick. My MA dissertation explored ways in which films have adapted the narrative content, formal properties and cultural perception of comic books.

My research interests include Hollywood cinema, media convergence, adaptation theory and comics studies.

Current Research

Thesis Title: The Adaptation of the Superhero Genre from Comic Book to Film

Supervisors: José Arroyo and Dr. Catherine Constable

My thesis explores how the superhero genre’s conventions are evoked aesthetically, ways in which these might alter when adapted from comic book to film and the significance of these alterations. Focusing on style and form enables me to explore representational relations between comic books and film, and identify tropes and motifs that have come to define superhero cinema. Meanwhile, situating my analysis in broader economic and cultural frameworks allows me to trace the role the superhero genre has played in shaping the New Hollywood Blockbuster. This is achieved through analysis of films that mark out key points in the genre’s history, from the first superhero blockbuster, Superman: The Movie (1978), to Spider-Man (2002), which exemplifies shifts at the start of the current cycle of superhero films, and The Avengers (2012), which demonstrates ways in which the genre is mapping out new models for franchising.

My thesis is funded through an AHRC Doctoral Award.

Other Work

During the Autumn term 2013 I assisted Professor Ed Gallafent in leading seminars on the Hollywood Cinema undergraduate module.

I am currently the third-year PhD representative on the Film & TV Staff-Student Liaison Committee, and contribute to the dual-review film criticism site Alternate Takes.


‘Beyond Kick-Ass Narratives: Exploring Formal Properties of Comic Books and Digital Media Converging in Cinematic Space’, Adventures in Textuality: Adaptation Studies in the 21st Century, University of Sunderland, 3-4 April 2013.

‘It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Coming Right at Us!: Staging Depth in Superman: The Movie’, The Digital in Depth: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on Depth in Digital Media, University of Warwick, 30 May 2014.

‘We are Iron Man: Forging Multiplicity in a Culturally Unfamiliar Superhero’, Association of Adaptation Studies Ninth Annual Conference: Adaptations and Multiplicities, Flagler College, 26-27 September 2014.