Dr Dan Ward

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Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies

I am the Subject Leader for Media Studies Combined, as well as Personal Tutor for the BA (Hons) Media, Culture and Communication programme. My main teaching and research interests are in television, sports and their impact on popular culture.

Teaching and supervision

I am the module leader for a number of core and optional modules in the undergraduate suite of programmes. These include:

MAC101 Introduction to Media and Cultural Studies
MED124 Television Cultures
MED121 Contemporary Cinema
MAC202 Cultural Theory and Popular Culture

Research interests for potential research students

  • Television Studies
  • Cultural Constructions of Masculinity
  • Combat Sports and Society
  • The Cold War in Popular Culture

I have supervised dissertations on topics including gender representations in Game of Thrones, representations of the anti-hero in contemporary high-end TV, representations of masculinity in hip-hop music, and masculinity in men's fashion.


My PhD, awarded in 2013, focuses on the relationship between violence and masculinity in the contemporary US crime series. Using the TV series Oz, The Wire and The Shield as case studies, I examine the ways in which evolving models of production and distribution in the TV industry (such as the rise of subscription channels including HBO) have contributed to new cultural understandings of crime and male identity in 21st century American popular culture. 

I have published on evolving representations of the body in the James Bond films, and what this means for the franchise's treatment of gender, and also on how notions of 'authenticity' are articulated in documentaries on professional wrestling, with a close focus on the films Beyond the Mat and Wrestling with Shadows.

My most recent research continues this analysis of notions of the authentic within combat sports, most notably mixed martial arts.

Areas of expertise

  • Contemporary 'quality' television (HBO, Netflix, Nordic Noir)
  • Popular crime fiction
  • James Bond films
  • Professional wrestling and combat sports

Further information

As part of my ongoing research into the production process of contemporary TV and film, I have appeared on episodes of The Jeremy Kyle Show (2006), Inspector George Gently (2012), The Chase (2016) and Question Time (2017). I have also had small roles in the films Interview with a Hitman (2012) and Harrigan (2013).