Skip to main content

Dr Helen Wheatley

Profile picture
Associate Professor (Reader) in Film & Television Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Tel: +44 2476 573871
Email: helen dot wheatley at warwick dot ac dot uk

Room A0.22
Millburn House
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7HS


Helen Wheatley holds a BA in American and English Literature from the University of East Anglia and an MA and PhD in Film and Television Studies from the University of Warwick. Helen has taught at the University of Warwick since 1998, with a brief sojourn to the University of Reading as Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the AHRB-funded project Cultures of British Television Drama, 1960-82 between 2003 and 2005. Helenwas recently co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project A History of Television for Women in Britain, 1947-89. She also serves on the editorial boards of the following journals: Screen, Critical Studies in Television, Intensities, Revenant.

Research interests

I have research interests in various aspects of British television history, and have published work on popular genres in television drama in the UK, US, including the monograph Gothic Television (2006). I have an ongoing interest in issues of television history and historiography, the topic of my edited collections Re-viewing Television History: Critical Issues in Television Historiography (IB Tauris, 2007) and Television for Women: New Directions (Routledge, 2016, with Rachel Moseley and Helen Wood). My monograph Spectacular Television: Exploring Televisual Pleasure has just been published by IB Tauris; this combines research on the history of particular television technologies as spectacular, with analysis of the ways in which, for example, landscape, bodies (both human and animal), and action are rendered visually pleasurable or spectacular on the small screen. I was recently Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded project ‘A History of Television for Women in Britain, 1947-1989’, running between Warwick and De Montfort University, 2010-2014, with Rachel Moseley (Warwick) and Helen Wood (Leicester University). The project brought together archival and audience research methods in order to map this untold history and explore women viewers’ memories of the television that has been addressed to them. The project was awarded the 2012 Arts Impact Award for public engagement with its Pop-Up TV Pop Shop in Coventry City Centre. I recently initiated and consulted on the large-scale touring exhibition The Story of Cildren's Television, From 1946 to Now which was curated by colleagues at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum which will tour the UK from May 2015 until December 2018, and for which Rachel Moseley and I won the University of Warwick's Community Contribution award. The exhibition can be seen at the Derby Museum from October 15th to January 29th.

Selected Publications


  • Gothic Television (Manchester University Press, 2006).
  • Re-viewing Television History: Critical Issues in Television Historiography (IB Tauris, 2007).
  • Spectacular Television: Exploring Televisual Pleasure (IB Tauris, 2016).
  • Television for Women: New Directions (Routledge, 2016, with Rachel Moseley and Helen Wood).


  • ‘Television in the Ideal Home’ in R. Moseley, H. Wheatley and H.
    Wood (eds) Television for Women: New Directions (Routledge, 2016).
  • ‘“Marvellous, awesome, true-to-life, epoch-making, a new dimension”: Reconsidering the early history of colour television in Britain’, in Laura Mee and Johnny Walker (eds) Cinema, Television and History (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014).
  • ‘At home on safari: colonial spectacle, domestic space and 1950s television’, Journal of British Cinema and Television. Volume 10, pp. 257-275 (2013).
  • ‘Uncanny children, haunted houses, hidden rooms: Children’s Gothic television in the 1970s and 80s’, Visual Culture in Britain, 13: 3, pp. 383-397 (2012).
  • 'Beautiful images in spectacular clarity: spectacular television, landscape programming and the question of (tele)visual pleasure' Screen, 52:2 (2011).
  • ‘Is Archiving a Feminist issue? Historical Research and the Past, Present and Future of Television Studies’ [with Rachel Moseley], Cinema Journal, 47:3 (2008).
  • ‘Rooms within rooms: ITV and the studio heritage drama of the 1970s’ in C. Johnson and R. Turnock (eds), ITV Cultures: Independent Television Over Fifty Year, pp. 143-158 (Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2005).
  • ‘The limits of television? Natural history programming and the transformation of public service broadcasting’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 7:3, pp. 325-339 (2004).

Teaching and supervision

I teach across many areas of television history and criticism, and in relation to a number of popular genres (e.g. horror film and television, the road movie).

In 2016-17 I am teaching on the MA core module Screen Cultures and Methods, delivering an introduction to television history on the second year module Television History and Criticism, and the third year module Horror and the Gothic.

I am especially interested in supervising PhD projects on television history and historiography, television drama, the UK and US television industries and programming more broadly.

I have recently supervised doctoral work on authorship and style in American television drama, the male makeover, and the fanvid.

I am currently supervising doctoral students working on:

  • The children’s horror film (Catherine Lester)
  • Television kinaesthetics (Zoe Shacklock)

Administrative roles

  • Director of Undergraduate Studies

National roles and professional associations

Spectacular Television