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Dr

Matthew Freeman

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Personal Statement

Dr Matthew Freeman is Reader in Transmedia Communication and Director of the Media Convergence Research Centre. He completed his PhD in Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham and holds an MA and a BA (Hons) in Film and Television Studies, both from the University of Warwick. Before taking up his post at Bath Spa University in 2015, he taught at the University of Nottingham and at Birmingham City University.

His research concentrates on cultures of media production across the borders of platforms, cultures, industries and history, publishing extensively on the cultural histories, industrial workings and generic contexts of transmediality. He has also published on such topics as media branding, convergence cultures, and methodological approaches to media industry studies.

Matthew is the author of Historicising Transmedia Storytelling: Early Twentieth-Century Transmedia Story Worlds (Routledge, 2016), Industrial Approaches to Media: A Methodological Gateway to Industry Studies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and Transmedia Archaeology: Storytelling in the Borderlines of Science Fiction, Comics and Pulp Magazines (with Carlos A. Scolari and Paolo Bertetti, Palgrave Pivot, 2014). His forthcoming monographs and edited collections include Transmedia Storytelling: Rethinking Genre and Media Convergence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), The World of The Walking Dead (Routledge 2018), Global Convergence Cultures: Transmedia Earth (with William Proctor, Routledge, 2018), and The Routledge Companion to Transmedia Studies (with Renira Rampazzo Gambarato, Routledge, 2018).

His research can also be found in numerous edited collections and in journals such as The International Journal of Cultural Studies, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, International Journal of Communication, Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media, VIEW: Journal of European Television History and Culture, Journal of Fandom Studies, Kultura Popularna, and Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN.

As well as being Director of the Media Convergence Research Centre, Matthew also acts as REF Champion for the University's Communication, Cultural and Media Studies submission for REF 2021. He is also the Subject Lead for Film, Television and Media PhD applications regarding Bath Spa's involvement in the AHRC's South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. He therefore welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students interested in the Research Centre's broad range of specialisms in digital cultures and materialities, film and its social contexts, gender, gameplay and videogame studies, and multiplatform or transmedia industries.

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) University of Warwick
  • MA University of Warwick
  • PhD University of Nottingham.

Professional qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Teaching specialism

  • Transmedia/cross-media
  • Global media industries
  • Promotional cultures
  • Digital platforms

Professional memberships

  • Associate of Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research
  • Member of Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS)
  • Member of International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST)
  • Member of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)

Interviews and blogs

 Invited talks and keynotes

  • "Wizards, Jungles and Men of Steel: The Industrial History of Transmedia Storytelling" (Public lecture, EAFIT University, October 2015)
  • "Histories of Transmedial Popular Culture" (Keynote lecture, 9th Annual Conference of NECS – European Network of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Łódź, May 2015)
  • "Transmedia Entertainment" (week-long course taught in the Film and Audiovisual Department, Masaryk University, May 2016)
  • "Transmedia Archaeologies in North and South America: 'The clue to reconciliation in our country'" (Research seminar, MediaCityUK, University of Salford, November 2016)
  • "Small Change – Big Difference: Tracking the Non-Fictionality of Social Transmedia" (Reseaech seminar, Bournemouth University, May 2017)
  • "Following the... Ethos?: Rethinking the Migration of Audiences Across Multiple Media Platforms" (Keynote lecture, EAFIT University, October 2017)
  • "Transmedia Genres: Reconfiguring Stories of Horror vs. Comedy Across Media" (Research seminar, Bournemouth University, February 2018).

Conferences and events organised

  • Industrial Approaches to Media: A Methodological Gateway to Industry Studies (research methods training workshop, University of Nottingham, May 2014)
  • Kick-Starting Media: Cultures of Funding in Contemporary Media Industries (academic symposium, Bath Spa University, June 2016)
  • We Make Stuff: Film & Social Context (public engagement event, Holburne Museum, March 2017)
  • Journal of Media Practice and MeCCSA Practice Network Annual Symposium 2017 (academic symposium, Bath Spa University, June 2017)
  • Transmedia Earth Conference: Global Convergence Cultures (academic conference, EAFIT University, October 2017)
  • Transmedia UK: Sector by Sector (academic-industry workshop, Bath Spa University, November 2017).

Other external roles

External PhD Examiner:

  • Brian Fagence, "Scriptwriting and the Transformation of Realities: A Critical Discussion of Story Creation, Transformation and Transmedia Storytelling in Animation, Comics and Computer Games" (University of South Wales, September 2016)
  • Ronald Irwin, "Storytelling Across Cultures: Narrative Branding Over Multiple Platforms" (University of Cape Town, February 2016)

Journal Editorship:

  • Articles Editor, "Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies" (2012-2013)
  • Editor, Networking Knowledge: "Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN" (2012-2013)

Research Assistant:

  • "Data-Asset-Method: Harnessing the Infinite Archive", AHRC Research Network (2012-2013)

Current scholarship

As well as working on numerous books and articles, Matthew is currently developing ‘Transmedia Sectors’, a workshop for an academic and creative industry audience. This project aims to map the ways in which different media and creative sectors in the UK are responding to ideas and pressures of transmediality and to evaluate how the transmedia practices in one media sector (e.g. digital marketing, gaming, television, publishing) can be better harnessed by others, in turn helping to develop new vocabulary for transmedia as a cross-sector phenomenon. The project’s industry partners include HarperCollins, e3 Media, StoryCentral Ltd. and Conducttr.

Matthew is also acting as transmedia advisor on Disarmados, a collaborative project based at EAFIT University, Colombia that benefits from involvement from the Colombian Ministry of Culture and which aims to develop transmedia approaches to teaching school children about the impact of the Colombian armed conflict.

 

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Transmedia storytelling: rethinking genre and media convergence
book

Freeman, M (2019) Transmedia storytelling: rethinking genre and media convergence. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. (Forthcoming)


The world of The Walking Dead
book

Freeman, M (2019) The world of The Walking Dead. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


Transmedia archaeology in Latin America
book

Gómez, C.T, Freeman, M and Velásquez, E.M, eds. (2018) Transmedia archaeology in Latin America. EAFIT University Press, Medellín. (Forthcoming)


The Routledge companion to transmedia studies
book

Freeman, M and Gambarato, R.R, eds. (2018) The Routledge companion to transmedia studies. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


Global convergence cultures: transmedia earth
book

Freeman, M and Proctor, W, eds. (2018) Global convergence cultures: transmedia earth. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


Historicising transmedia storytelling: early twentieth-century transmedia story worlds
book

Freeman, M (2016) Historicising transmedia storytelling: early twentieth-century transmedia story worlds. Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138217690


Industrial approaches to media: a methodological gateway to industry studies
book

Freeman, M (2016) Industrial approaches to media: a methodological gateway to industry studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. ISBN 9781137551757


Transmedia archaeology: storytelling in the borderlines of science fiction, comics and pulp magazines
book

Scolari, C.A, Bertetti, P and Freeman, M (2014) Transmedia archaeology: storytelling in the borderlines of science fiction, comics and pulp magazines. Palgrave Pivot, Basingstoke. ISBN 9781137434364


New paths in transmediality as vast narratives: the state of the field
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Freeman, M (2018) 'New paths in transmediality as vast narratives: the state of the field.' In: Reading contemporary serial television universes : a narrative ecosystem framework. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


Introduction: conceptualizing national and cultural transmediality
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Freeman, M and Proctor, W (2018) 'Introduction: conceptualizing national and cultural transmediality.' In: Freeman, M and Proctor, W, eds. Global convergence cultures: transmedia earth. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


Portugal: transmedia brand narratives, cultural intermediaries and port wine
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Freeman, M and Meira, A.M (2018) 'Portugal: transmedia brand narratives, cultural intermediaries and port wine.' In: Freeman, M and Proctor, W, eds. Global convergence cultures: transmedia earth. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


Introduction: transmedia studies - where now?
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Freeman, M and Gambarato, R.R (2018) 'Introduction: transmedia studies - where now?' In: Freeman, M and Gambarato, R.R, eds. The Routledge companion to transmedia studies. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


Transmedia charity: constructing the ethos of the BBC’s Red Nose Day across media
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Freeman, M (2018) 'Transmedia charity: constructing the ethos of the BBC’s Red Nose Day across media.' In: Freeman, M and Gambarato, R.R, eds. The Routledge companion to transmedia studies. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


Transmedia attractions: the case of Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter
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Freeman, M (2018) 'Transmedia attractions: the case of Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter.' In: Freeman, M and Gambarato, R.R, eds. The Routledge companion to transmedia studies. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


India: augmented reality, transmedia reality and Priya’s Shakti
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Freeman, M (2018) 'India: augmented reality, transmedia reality and Priya’s Shakti.' In: Freeman, M and Proctor, W, eds. Global convergence cultures: transmedia earth. Routledge, London. (Forthcoming)


Re-building transmedia 'Star Wars': strategies of branding and un-branding a galaxy far, far away
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Freeman, M (2018) 'Re-building transmedia 'Star Wars': strategies of branding and un-branding a galaxy far, far away.' In: Proctor, W and McCullough, R, eds. Disney’s Star Wars: forces of production and promotion. University of Iowa Press. (Forthcoming)


Up all night: home media formats in the age of transmedia storytelling
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Freeman, M and Proctor, W (2017) 'Up all night: home media formats in the age of transmedia storytelling.' In: Willis, A and Wroot, J, eds. DVD, Blu-ray and beyond: navigating formats and platforms within media consumption. Springer. ISBN 9783319627571 (Forthcoming)


From sequel to quasi-novelization: 'Splinter of the mind’s eye' and the 1970s culture of transmedia contingency
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Freeman, M (2017) 'From sequel to quasi-novelization: 'Splinter of the mind’s eye' and the 1970s culture of transmedia contingency.' In: Guynes, S and Hassler-Forest, D, eds. Star Wars and the history of transmedia storytelling. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam. ISBN 9789462986213 (Forthcoming)


Interactive and participatory worlds
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Freeman, M (2017) 'Interactive and participatory worlds.' In: Wolf, M. J. P, ed. The Routledge companion to imaginary worlds. Routledge, New York. ISBN 9781138638914 (Forthcoming)


A world of Disney: building a transmedia storyworld for Mickey and his friends
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Freeman, M (2017) 'A world of Disney: building a transmedia storyworld for Mickey and his friends.' In: Boni, M, ed. World building: transmedia, fans, industries. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam. ISBN 9789089647566 (Forthcoming)


The first step into a smaller world: the transmedia economy of 'Star Wars'
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Proctor, W and Freeman, M (2016) 'The first step into a smaller world: the transmedia economy of 'Star Wars'.' In: Wolf, M.J.P, ed. Revisiting imaginary worlds: a subcreation studies anthology. Routledge, pp. 223-245. ISBN 9781138942059


The killer who never was: complex storytelling, the Saw saga, and the shifting moral alignment of puzzle film horror
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Freeman, M (2015) 'The killer who never was: complex storytelling, the Saw saga, and the shifting moral alignment of puzzle film horror.' In: Clayton, W, ed. Style and form in the Hollywood slasher film. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. ISBN 9781137496461


James Bond as transmedia fan anomaly
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Freeman, M (2015) 'James Bond as transmedia fan anomaly.' In: Hines, C, ed. Fan phenomena: James Bond. Intellect, Bristol, pp. 28-37. ISBN 9781783205172


“Who knows about the future? Perhaps only the dead”: configuring the trans-temporal timespan of Planet of the Apes as a transmedia saga
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Freeman, M (2015) '“Who knows about the future? Perhaps only the dead”: configuring the trans-temporal timespan of Planet of the Apes as a transmedia saga.' In: Jones, M and Ormrod, J, eds. Time travel in popular media : essays on film, television, literature and video games. McFarland & Company, North Carolina, pp. 165-177. ISBN 9780786478071


Author-as-franchise-product: Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and Tarzan™ as historical branded entertainment
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Freeman, M (2015) 'Author-as-franchise-product: Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and Tarzan™ as historical branded entertainment.' In: Martí-Parreño, J, Ruiz-Mafé, C and Scribner, L.L, eds. Engaging consumers through branded entertainment and convergent media. IGI Global, Pennsylvania, pp. 53-73. ISBN 9781466683426


Woman on top: postfeminism and the transformation narrative in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
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Freeman, M (2013) 'Woman on top: postfeminism and the transformation narrative in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.' In: Farghaly, N, ed. Examining Lois Lane: the scoop on Superman’s sweetheart. The Scarecrow Press, Lanham, pp. 189-210. ISBN 9780810892361


Why doesn't Hannibal kill Clarice? The philosophy of a monstrous romantic in Hannibal
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Freeman, M (2013) 'Why doesn't Hannibal kill Clarice? The philosophy of a monstrous romantic in Hannibal.' In: Barkman, A, King, N and Barkman, A, eds. The culture and philosophy of Ridley Scott. Lexington Books, Lanham, pp. 219-230. ISBN 9781498511773


“I read comics from a feministic point of view”: conceptualising the transmedia ethos of the Captain Marvel fan community
article

Taylor-Ashfield, C and Freeman, M (2017) '“I read comics from a feministic point of view”: conceptualising the transmedia ethos of the Captain Marvel fan community.' Journal of Fandom Studies, 5 (3). ISSN 2046-6692 (Forthcoming)


Funding and management in the media convergence era: introduction
article

Freeman, M (2017) 'Funding and management in the media convergence era: introduction.' International Journal on Media Management, 19 (2). pp. 103-107. ISSN 1424-1250


Small change - big difference: tracking the transmediality of Red Nose Day
article

Freeman, M (2016) 'Small change - big difference: tracking the transmediality of Red Nose Day.' View: Journal of European Television History and Culture, 5 (10). pp. 87-96. ISSN 2213-0969


Intertexts, transtexts and paratexts: following the yellow brick roads of fin-de-siècle children’s fiction
article

Freeman, M (2016) 'Intertexts, transtexts and paratexts: following the yellow brick roads of fin-de-siècle children’s fiction.' Kultura Popularna, 47 (1). pp. 4-15. ISSN 1644-8340


Branding consumerism: cross-media characters and story-worlds at the turn of the 20th century
article

Freeman, M (2015) 'Branding consumerism: cross-media characters and story-worlds at the turn of the 20th century.' International Journal of Cultural Studies, 18 (6). pp. 629-644. ISSN 1460-356X


Up, up and across: Superman, the Second World War and the historical development of transmedia storytelling
article

Freeman, M (2015) 'Up, up and across: Superman, the Second World War and the historical development of transmedia storytelling.' Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 35 (2). pp. 215-239. ISSN 1465-3451


Transmediating Tim Burton’s Gotham City: brand convergence, child audiences, and Batman: The Animated Series
article

Freeman, M (2014) 'Transmediating Tim Burton’s Gotham City: brand convergence, child audiences, and Batman: The Animated Series.' Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN, 7 (1). pp. 41-54. ISSN 1755-9944


The Wonderful Game of Oz and Tarzan jigsaws: commodifying transmedia in early twentieth-century consumer culture
article

Freeman, M (2014) 'The Wonderful Game of Oz and Tarzan jigsaws: commodifying transmedia in early twentieth-century consumer culture.' Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media, 7. pp. 44-54. ISSN 1471-5031


Advertising the Yellow Brick Road: historicising the industrial emergence of transmedia storytelling
article

Freeman, M (2014) 'Advertising the Yellow Brick Road: historicising the industrial emergence of transmedia storytelling.' International Journal of Communication, 8. pp. 2362-2381. ISSN 1932 – 8036


Transmedia archaeologies in North and South America: "the clue to reconciliation in our country"
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Freeman, M (2016) Transmedia archaeologies in North and South America: "the clue to reconciliation in our country". In: Culture, Communication and Media Research Seminars, 30 November 2016, MediaCityUK, University of Salford, UK.


"Real” transmedia: cultures and communities of multiplatform media in Colombia
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Freeman, M (2016) "Real” transmedia: cultures and communities of multiplatform media in Colombia. In: Kick-Starting Media: Cultures of Funding in Contemporary Media Industries, 9 June 2016, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.


The first step into a smaller world: the transmedia economy of Disney's Star Wars
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Proctor, W and Freeman, M (2016) The first step into a smaller world: the transmedia economy of Disney's Star Wars. In: Fantasies of Contemporary Culture, 23 May 2016, Cardiff University, Cardiff.


Author-as-franchise-product: Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and Tarzan as historical transmedia entertainment
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Freeman, M (2016) Author-as-franchise-product: Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and Tarzan as historical transmedia entertainment. In: BAFTSS Annual Conference – British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies, 14-16 April 2016, University of Reading, Reading, UK.


Promoting transmedia 'Star Wars': strategies of branding and un-branding a galaxy far, far away
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Freeman, M (2016) Promoting transmedia 'Star Wars': strategies of branding and un-branding a galaxy far, far away. In: SCMS Annual Conference, 30 March - 3 April 2016, Hilton Atlanta, Atlanta, USA.


Crossing media, time and countries: understanding transmedia as contexts of cultural specificity
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Freeman, M (2016) Crossing media, time and countries: understanding transmedia as contexts of cultural specificity. In: SCMS Annual Conference, 30 March - 3 April 2016, Hilton Atlanta, Atlanta, USA.


Deciphering models of transmedia production: history, creativity and technological change
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Freeman, M (2015) Deciphering models of transmedia production: history, creativity and technological change. In: Cultures and Industries of Creativity in Contemporary Media Landscapes, 16 November 2015, University of Salford, UK.


Wizards, jungles & men of steel: the industrial history of transmedia storytelling
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Freeman, M (2015) Wizards, jungles & men of steel: the industrial history of transmedia storytelling. In: Public Lecture Series, 29 October 2015, EAFIT University, Medellín, Colombia.


The historical rise of transmedia storytelling
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Freeman, M (2015) The historical rise of transmedia storytelling. In: The 9th Annual Conference of NECS – European Network of Cinema and Media Studies: Transmediality in Modern Popular Culture, 17-20 June 2015, University of Łódź, Poland.


Deciphering models of transmedia production: history and technological change
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Freeman, M (2014) Deciphering models of transmedia production: history and technological change. In: New Directions in Film and Television Production Studies, 14-15 April 2015, Bristol, UK.


Following the Yellow Brick Road: child audiences, L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz, and the historical origins of transmedia storytelling
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Freeman, M (2013) Following the Yellow Brick Road: child audiences, L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz, and the historical origins of transmedia storytelling. In: XXV International Association for Media and History Conference: Childhood and the Media, 17-20 July 2013, University of Leicester, UK.


Transmediating the Yellow Brick Road: L. Frank Baum, Land of Oz, and early comic strip advertising as the historical rise of transmedia storytelling
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Freeman, M (2013) Transmediating the Yellow Brick Road: L. Frank Baum, Land of Oz, and early comic strip advertising as the historical rise of transmedia storytelling. In: International Communication Association Annual Conference – Transmedia Storytelling: Theories, Methods and Research Strategies, 17-21 June 2013, Hilton Metropole London, UK.


Adapting expansion: L. Frank Baum and adaptation as the origins of transmedia
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Freeman, M (2013) Adapting expansion: L. Frank Baum and adaptation as the origins of transmedia. In: Adventures in Textuality: Adaptation in the Twenty-First Century, 3-4 April 2013, University of Sunderland, UK.


Across the rainbow: L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz as the historical origins of transmedia storytelling
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Freeman, M (2013) Across the rainbow: L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz as the historical origins of transmedia storytelling. In: Returning to Oz: The Afterlife of Dorothy, 7 February 2013, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester, UK.


Across the rainbow: the Land of Oz and the historical origins of transmedia storytelling
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Freeman, M (2012) Across the rainbow: the Land of Oz and the historical origins of transmedia storytelling. In: MeCCSA-PGN Conference, 17-18 September 2012, Loughborough University, UK.


Between the gaps and across the crevices: classical Hollywood, Superman, and the historical origins of transmedia storytelling
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Freeman, M (2012) Between the gaps and across the crevices: classical Hollywood, Superman, and the historical origins of transmedia storytelling. In: Alphaville Inaugural Conference: Cinema in the Interstices, 7-9 September 2012, University College Cork, Ireland.


Up, up and away: Superman, classical Hollywood, and the historical development of transmedia storytelling
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Freeman, M (2012) Up, up and away: Superman, classical Hollywood, and the historical development of transmedia storytelling. In: Contemporary Screen Narratives: Storytelling’s Digital and Industrial Contexts, 17 May 2012, University of Nottingham, UK.


Who's monster?: Monsters, subjectivity, and the figure of the child in Doctor Who
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Freeman, M (2012) Who's monster?: Monsters, subjectivity, and the figure of the child in Doctor Who. In: Monsters: Subject, Object, Abject, 12-13 April 2012, Manchester Museum, Manchester, UK.


Wizards, jungles & men of steel: the industrial history of transmedia storytelling
thesis

Freeman, M (2015) Wizards, jungles & men of steel: the industrial history of transmedia storytelling. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.


'Hunting the Dark Knight: twenty-first century Batman' by Will Brooker and 'The James Bond phenomenon: a critical reader' edited by Christoph Lindner [book review]
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Freeman, M (2014) 'Hunting the Dark Knight: twenty-first century Batman' by Will Brooker and 'The James Bond phenomenon: a critical reader' edited by Christoph Lindner [book review].


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