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Joseph Oldham

N.B.: This page is a mirror for my current Associate Fellow profile.

I am an Associate Fellow of the department, and over the last academic year (2014-15) I have led seminars on "The Hollywood Cinema" (all year) and "Basic Issues & Methods: Film Criticism" (Autumn term only). Previously I have I led undergraduate seminars on "Basic Issues & Methods: Film History" (2011-12) .

My PhD thesis, 'Serial Narratives of the Secret State in British Television Drama', was a study of the history of the spy and conspiracy genres on British television. This analysed a broad variety of programmes including Cold War spy series such as The Sandbaggers (ITV, 1978-80), classic spy novel adaptations such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (BBC 2, 1979), topical conspiracy thrillers of the 1980s such as Edge of Darkness (BBC 2, 1985) and A Very British Coup (Channel 4), and more recent 'war on terror' spy series such as Spooks (BBC, 2002-11). I situated such programmes within broader socio-political history and also used them as a lens through which to develop a new perspective on the history of British television institutions. This research was supervised by Professor Charlotte Brunsdon and funded by an AHRC Doctoral Award. I am currently developing this into a monograph entitled Paranoid Visions: Spies,
Conspiracies and the Secret State in British Television Drama.

I hold a BA (Hons) in Film with Television Studies (1st Class) and an MA for Research in Film and Television Studies (Distinction), both from the University of Warwick.


'Changing Narratives of Conspiracy on British Television: A Review of Hunted, Secret State, Complicit and Utopia', Journal of Intelligence History 13:1 (January 2014), pp. 94-103.

‘“Disappointed Romantics”: Troubled Heritage in the BBC’s John Le Carré Adaptations’, Journal of British Cinema and Television 10:4 (October 2013), pp. 727-745.

Conference Papers Delivered

‘“This is the 80s – death by violence counts as natural causes”: Forging a “paranoid style” for the early 1980s in Bird of Prey (BBC 1, 1982)’, Television Drama: The Forgotten, the Lost and the Neglected, Royal Holloway, University of London, 22-24 April 2015.

‘Deviant Protagonists and the Restoration of Consensus in 1980s British Television Conspiracy Dramas’, The Second International Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media Conference, University College Cork, Ireland, 4-6 September 2014.

‘Spy Chiefs in British Television Drama’, at Spy Chiefs: Intelligence Leaders in History, Culture and International Relations, University of Warwick, Venice, Italy, 7-8 May 2014.

'Spaces of "Realist" Spy Dramas on British Television, 1978-82', at Spaces of Television: Production, Site and Style, University of Reading, 18-20 September 2013.

'Anxieties of Cosmopolitanism in British Clandestine Television Serials, 1979-89', at Screen Studies Conference 2013: Cosmopolitan Screens, University of Glasgow, 28-30 June 2013.

'Perspectives on the War on Terror on British Television', at Watching Politics: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Impact of Visual Culture on Politics, University of Warwick, 31 May 2013.

'The Material Archive vs. The Human Archive: Combining Written and Interview Material in Television Research', at Researching Film and Television Through the Archive, University of Warwick, Coventry, 9 November 2012.

'Biographical Treatments of the Cambridge Spies on British Television', at Writing Lives: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Uses of Biography, University of Warwick, Coventry, 25 May 2012.

'"Disappointed Romantics": Troubled Heritage in the BBC's John Le Carré Adaptations', at Re-Thinking Cinema and Television History, De Montfort University, Leicester, 3 April 2012, and Journeys Across Media 2012: Time Tells, University of Reading, 19 April 2012.