Mark Wheeler

Professor of Political Communications 

My teaching and research interests include the political economy of the global mass media, policy reforms to media systems within Britain and the European Union, the political relations between Hollywood and Washington, and the rise of celebrity politics. I am the module leader on GI2042C Power, Politics and the Mass Media; GI3015C Globalisation and the Mass Media and GI3027C The Politics and Culture of Hollywood. These modules analyse, assess and explain the political, economic, cultural, ideological and democratic implications of the mass media, the information communication technologies, political communications and the role of the American cinema in defining national mythologies. They provide a historical and contemporary analyse of these exciting and interesting features of the mass media and are designed to provide an insight into the role of information and entertainment in securing the democratic quality of modern societies.

I have published three books including Politics and the Mass Media (Oxford: Blackwells, 1997), European Television Industries (with Petros Iosifidis and Jeanette Steemers) (London, British Film Institute, 2005) and Hollywood: Politics and Society (London: British Film Institute, 2006) which was reviewed in The Guardian, The New Statesman, Medienwissenschaft, The Film Quarterly, the Historical Journal of Film Radio, and Television and Film International. In addition, I have contributed peer-reviewed articles for journals such as Democratisation, Convergence, the European Journal of Communication, the Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, the Canadian Journal of Communications and European Studies.

In 2004, I contributed ‘Supranational regulation: Television and the European Union’ to the European Journal of Communication (London, Sage, 2004), which has been widely cited by scholars. In 2006, it was translated into Chinese where it was appeared in Jin Guanjan, Zheng Han and Shaoyi Sun, Global Media Policies: New Perspectives (Shanghai, SJPC, 2006). I have published chapters in Jackie Harrison and Bridgette Wessels (ed.) Mediating Europe: New Media, Mass Communications and the European Public Sphere (New York, Oxford, Berghahn Books, 2009) and Petros Iosifidis (ed.) Reinventing Public Service Communication: European Broadcasters and Beyond (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). In this capacity, I had a paper accepted concerning the European Union’s Competition Policy to Public Service Broadcasters at the prestigious Re-Visionary Interpretations of Public Enterprise (RIPE) Conference ‘Public Service after the Recession’ which was held at the University of Westminster in September 2010. Previously, I was a research officer for the British Screen Advisory Council from 1998-2004.

I have presented conference papers both national and internationally, and as the joint founder of the Political Studies Association (PSA) Media and Politics Specialist Group (MPG), I was responsible for the creation of a network for academics working in similar or related fields, an annual  MPG conference and the sponsoring of panels at the PSA conference. Most recently, my research interests have focused on political representations in American films and the role of celebrity diplomacy in international affairs. To this end, I was invited by the Institute of the Study of the Americas to present a paper entitled ‘Darryl F. Zanuck’s Wilson (1944)’ at the inaugural symposium for the United States Presidency Centre in 2008 and by the British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR) for a roundtable celebrating the work of Professor John Street on Celebrity Politics at the 2010 PSA Conference. These papers will be published respectively as a chapter in Iwan Morgan (ed.) Presidents in the Movies: American History and Politics on Screen and as a journal article in a special edition concerning celebrity politics in the BJPIR. Moreover, I was asked by Dr. Jo Littler to provide a presentation entitled ‘Celebrity Diplomacy: UN Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace’ at Middlesex University and this will provide the basis of an article to be supplied to a special edition in the journal Celebrity Studies. Presently, I am developing this interest in celebrity and politics in the researching and writing of a book entitled Celebrity Politics: Image and Identity in Modern Political Communicatons for Polity Publishers.

I am currently supervising doctoral students in relation to matters of media regulation and the representation of political violence in the press and broadcasting. I would welcome PhD inquiries in areas related to the political economy of the media, media policy, political communication, celebrity politics and the Hollywood film industry.