Skip to main content

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.

Articles

'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.

Prisoner 

Spooks