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2011 Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (Distinction), University of Glamorgan.

2008 PhD – ‘Television Fan Distinctions and Identity: An Analysis of ‘Quality’ Discourses and Threats to ‘Ontological Security’’, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University.

2004 MA Critical and Cultural Theory, School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University.

2003 BA (First Class Honours) Journalism, Film, and Broadcasting, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University.


Dr. Rebecca Williams is Senior Lecturer in Communication, Culture and Media Studies in the Faculty of Creative Industries and is the Course Leader for BA Media, Culture & Journalism.

She completed her PhD, a comparative study of online TV fans and their use of fandom to perform identity work, at Cardiff University, and also has a Masters in Critical and Cultural Theory and a BA (First Class Honours) in Journalism, Film, and Broadcasting from Cardiff University. Before taking up a post as Lecturer at the University of South Wales (formerly the University of Glamorgan) in 2009, she taught at Cardiff University and Swansea University and worked as a research assistant on the BBC Trust’s Four Nations Impartiality Review: An analysis of reporting devolution at Cardiff University and a BBC Audience Council Wales funded project entitled Screening the Nation: Wales and Landmark Television at the University of Glamorgan.


Rebecca currently teaches in the areas of TV Drama, digital media, audiences and fandom, and media and culture in Wales. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and achieved a Distinction in the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in 2011. Rebecca is also a member of the University’s Faculty Research Programmes Committee and a former member of the Faculty Research and Scholarly Activity Committee.

Her research specialisms include media audiences/fans and participatory cultures; self-identity and self-narrative; material cultures and audiences/fans; celebrity cultures (especially the relationships between audiences and celebrity, local forms of celebrity, and subcultural celebrity); and place and space (particularly how television represents and creates ideas of place, and media tourism).

Rebecca edited the collection Torchwood: Declassified for I.B. Tauris in 2013 and her first monograph, Post-Object Fandom: Television, Identity and Self-Narrative was published by Bloomsbury in 2015. Her most recent research focuses on how television audiences respond to endings, changes and revivals of programmes, with particular focus on how self-identity and self-narrative are impacted by changing media and digital contexts.This resulted in her first monograph, and her current work completing an edited collection for the University of Iowa Press and a guest-edited issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies. She is currently researching the links between transmedia, participatory cultures and theme park fandom, and exploring the intersections between television fan tourism, material cultures, and mediated place. This is demonstrated by her forthcoming monograph on Theme Park Fandom for Amsterdam University Press, and journal articles on the links between food, fandom and tourism.

Her research has previously been published in journals including Popular Communication_, Critical Studies in Television, Continuum, Media History, Journal of British Cinema and Television, Gothic Studies, Popular Music and Society, Television and New Media, Series: International Journal of TV Serial Narratives, Cinema Journal , European Journal of Cultural Studies , Celebrity Studies, and Participations.

Rebecca is a member of the Steering Group of the Centre for Media and Culture in Small Nations, and is former Book Reviews Assistant for Critical Studies in Television. She sits on the Editorial Boards of Celebrity Studies , Journal of Fandom Studies , Transformative Works and Cultures and the Editorial Advisory Board of Intensities: Cult Media Journal She is a Member of the Board of the Fan Studies Network and a former member of the Management Committee of Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal


Rebecca is Course Leader for BA Media, Culture & Journalism.

She is Module Leader for:

CK2S09 Digital Media & Society
CK2S10 Media Audiences & Fandom
CK3S02 Media & Culture in Wales

She also teaches on:

CK1S11 Understanding Communication in the Creative Industries
CK3S17 TV Drama.

She supervises and co-supervises a large range of undergraduate dissertations and postgraduate research students, including:

Doctoral Students

To what extent do policy decisions influence education and training for the TV industry in Wales and what role does Higher Education have in developing the business and entrepreneurial talent to meets the needs of the Welsh Television industry and ensure it maintains pace with the global media market? – Faye Hannah (2016-)

How is local celebrity created and managed in UK nations and regions? – Alex Brady (2013-)

BBC Television Drama Production in the Nations and Regions – Nina Jones (2010-2016)

AHRC-funded PhD: Spaces of television – Production, site and style – Ben Lamb (2010-2014)

Masters by Research Students

The Disneyfication of Star Wars?’: Media Franchising and Transmedia Storytelling – Charlie Andrews (2016-)

An exploration of the emerging YouTube Celebrity Gaming Culture – Katherine Edwardes (2016-)

Children’s television remakes and nostalgic viewing – Laura Jones (2014-2017)

UFO Culture in Wales in the 1970s – Emyr Davies (2013-2015)

Adventures in Time and Facebook: Evolution of Online Doctor Who fandom – Amy Genders (2012-2013)

The Branding of the Consumer Relationship: How the Online Brand Community is Animated by its Fans – Emma Leslie (2010-2012).

Rebecca welcomes enquiries from postgraduate research students interested in the areas of:

Audience and fan studies
Television studies
Stardom and celebrity
Spaces and places
Genres such as horror, fantasy & science-fiction.



Williams, R. (forthcoming, under contract) Theme Park Fandom: Distinction, Immersion and Participatory Culture, Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.

Williams, R. (ed.) (forthcoming, 2018) Everybody Hurts: Transitions, Endings, and Resurrections in Fandom University of Iowa Press.

Williams, R. (2015) Post-object Fandom: Television, Identity and Self-Narrative, London: Bloomsbury.

Williams, R. (ed.) (2013) Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television, London: I.B. Tauris.

Journal articles

Williams, R. (forthcoming, 2018) ‘‘Tumblr’s GIF culture and the infinite image: Fannish ruptures and ‘working through’ on a microblogging platform’, Transformative Works and Cultures.

Williams R. (forthcoming, 2018) ‘Funko Hannibal in Florence: Fan tourism, participatory culture,and paratxtual play’, Jomec Journal (Invited paper for special issue on Transmedia Tourism).

Williams, R. (2016) ‘No Lynch, No Peaks!’ Authorship, fan/actor campaigns and the challenges of Twin Peaks’ return Series: International Journal of TV Serial Narratives 2 (2): 55-65.

Williams, R. (2016) In Focus: Ontological security, authorship and resurrection: Exploring Twin Peaks’ social media afterlife Cinema Journal 55 (3):143-147.

Williams, R. (2016) Localebrities, adopted residents, and local characters: Audience and celebrity in a small nation, Celebrity Studies 7 (2): 154-168 .

Williams, R. (2014) The past isn’t dead…it’s deadly”: Horror, history and locale in ITV1’s Whitechapel, Journal of British Cinema and Television, 11 (1): 68-85.

Williams, R. (2013) Unlocking The Vampire Diaries: Genre, authorship, and quality in teen TV horror, Gothic Studies.15 (1): 88-99.

Williams, R. (2013) Anyone who calls Muse a Twilight band will be shot on sight”: Music, distinction, and the ‘interloping fan’ in the Twilight franchise, Popular Music and Society, 36 (3): 327-342.

Williams, R. (2011) Cannibals in the Brecon Beacons: Torchwood, Place and Television Horror, Critical Studies in Television, 6 (2): 61-73.

Williams, Rebecca (2011) ‘“This is the night TV died”: Television post-object fandom and the demise of The Wing Wing, Popular Communication, 8 (4): 266-279.

McElroy, R. and Williams, R. (2011) The Appeal of the Past in Historical Reality Television: Coal House at War and its audiences, Media History, 17 (1): 79-96.

McElroy, R. and Williams. R. (2011) Remembering Ourselves, Viewing the Others: historical reality television and celebrity in the small nation, Television and New Media, 12 (3): 187-206.

Williams, R. (2011) Wandering off into soap land”: Gender, genre and ‘shipping’ The West Wing, Participations: International Journal of Audience Research, 8 (1).

Williams, R. (2011) ‘“Endemol approved clones”: Big Brother, illusio and celebrity: Celebrity Forum special issue: Big Brother RIP: 10 years of celebrity production’, Celebrity Studies, 2 (2): 218-220.

Williams, R. (2010) ‘Good Neighbours?: Fan/producer relationships and the broadcasting field’, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 24 (2): 281-91.

Hills, M. and Williams, R. (2005) ’It’s All My Interpretation: Reading Spike Through the ‘Subcultural Celebrity’ of James Marsters’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 8 (3): 345-65.

Williams, R. (2004) It’s About Power”: Spoilers and Fan Hierarchy in On-Line Buffy Fandom, Slayage: The On-Line International Journal of Buffy Studies, 11-12.

Book Chapters

Williams, R. (forthcoming) ‘From Star Tours to Galaxy’s Edge: Immersion, transmediality and ‘haptic fandom’ in Disney’s Theme Parks’ in William Proctor and Richard McCulloch (eds.) Disney’s Star Wars: Forces of Participation and Reception. Iowa: University of Iowa Press.

Williams, R. (forthcoming) ‘“Putting the show out of its misery” – Textual endings, anti-fandom and the ‘rejection discourse’’ in Melissa Click (ed.) Dislike, Hate, and Anti-Fandom in the Digital Age, New York: New York University Press.

Williams, R. (forthcoming, 2018) ‘“Fate has a habit of not letting us choose our own endings”: Post-object fandom, social media & material culture at the end of Hannibal’ in Paul Booth (ed.) Wiley Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies, Oxford: Wiley.

Williams, R. (forthcoming, 2018) ‘Saving Maelstrom: Theme park fandom, replacement and the Disney brand’ in Rebecca Williams (ed.) Everybody Hurts: Transitions, Endings, and Resurrections in Fandom University of Iowa Press.

Williams, R. (2018) ‘Fan pilgrimage & tourism’ in Melissa Click and Suzanne Scott (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom London: Routledge, pp. 98-106.

Williams, R. (2016) ‘Walking Whitechapel: Ripper Street, Whitechapel, and place in the Gothic crime drama’ in Ruth McElroy (ed.) Contemporary British Television Crime Drama: Cops On The Box London: Routledge.

Williams, R. and R. McElroy (2016) ‘Omnisexuality And The City: Exploring national and sexual identity in BBC Wales’ Torchwood’ in Huw Osborne (ed.) Queer Wales:The History, Culture and Politics of Queer Life in Wales Lampeter: University of Wales Press.

Williams, R. (2016) “We live round here too”: Representing fandom and local celebrity in Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets’, in Lucy Bennett and Paul Booth (ed.) Seeing Fans: Representations of Fandom in Media and Popular Culture London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Williams, R. (2015) ‘“Anyone who Calls Muse a Twilight Band will be Shot on Sight”: Music, Distinction, and the “Interloping Fan” in the Twilight Franchise’, in Mark Duffett (ed.) Fan Identities and Practices: Dedicated to Music London: Routledge. [Reprint of journal article]

Williams, R. (2014) ‘Neighbours’ in Bridget Griffen-Foley (ed.) A Companion to the Australian Media , Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Williams, R. (2013) ‘Tweeting the Tardis: Interaction, live-ness and social media in Doctor Who fandom’, in Matt Hills (ed.) New Dimensions in Doctor Who: Exploring Space, Time and Television, London: I.B. Tauris.

Williams, R. (2013) ‘Introduction: Torchwood: Bridging the mainstream/cult rift’ in Rebecca Williams (ed.) Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television, London: I.B. Tauris.

Williams, R. (2013) ‘Tonight’s the Night with …Captain Jack!: John Barrowman as celebrity/subcultural celebrity/localebrity’, in Rebecca Williams (ed.) Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television, London: I.B. Tauris.

Williams, R. (2011) ‘Desiring The Doctor: Identity, gender and genre in online science-fiction fandom’ in James Leggott and Tobias Hochscherf (ed.) British Science Fiction Film and Television: Critical Essays, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland.

Williams, R and Kalviknes Bore, I.L. (2010) ‘Transnational Twilighters: A Twilight fan community in Norway’ in Melissa Click, Jennifer Stevens Aubrey, and Lissa Behm-Morawitz (ed.) Bitten by Twilight: Youth Culture, Media, and the Vampire Franchise, New York: Peter Lang.

Williams, R. (2007) ‘From Beyond Control to In Control: Investigating Drew Barrymore’s Feminist Agency/Authorship’, in Su Holmes and Sean Redmond (eds.) Stardom and Celebrity: A Reader, London: Sage.

Hills, M. and Williams, R. (2005) ’Angel’s Monstrous Mothers and Vampires with Souls: Investigating the Abject in ‘Television Horror’’ in Stacey Abbott (ed.) Reading Angel: The TV Spin-Off With A Soul, London: I.B. Tauris.

Guest Editing of Journals

Special issue of Journal of Fandom Studies on Endings, Beginnings, Transitions & Revivals in fandom (forthcoming), Issue 5 (3).

Special issue of Critical Studies in Television on the topic of Television Drama
and National Identity in Small Nations
with Steve Blandford, Stephen Lacey and Ruth McElroy (2011), Issue 6 (2).

Other Writing

Williams, R. (2017) ‘IWA Media Summit 2017: A look back and a look forward’, Centre for Media & Culture in Small Nations blog Online

Williams, R. (2016) ‘Twin Peaks without David Lynch is like …’, In Media Res. (Themed tie-in week with Cinema Journal on Twin Peaks). Online

Williams, R. (2016) ‘Analysing Online Postings: Exploring Television Fandom and Identity’, SAGE Research Methods Platform. Online

Williams, R. (2015) ‘Cooking with Hannibal: Food, fandom and participation’, In Media Res (Themed week on Hannibal). Online

Williams, R. (2013) ‘Torchwood and its Interim Fandom’, Who Watching. Online

Blandford, S. Lacey, S. McElroy, R. and Williams, R. (2010) ‘Comment: Screening the Nation? Contemporary Landmark Drama from Wales’, Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal, Vol. 7.

Blandford, S. Lacey, S. McElroy, R. and Williams, R. (2010) Screening the Nation: Wales and Landmark Television, BBC Audience Council for Wales research report.

Book/conference Reviews

Williams, R. (2016) Book review: The Writing Dead: Talking Terror with TV’s Top Horror Writers’ Critical Studies in Television 11 (3): 394-395.

Williams, R. (2015) Book review: ‘Fandom, Image and Authenticity: Joy Devotion and the Second Lives of Kurt Cobain and Ian Curtis Journal of Fandom Studies 3 (2): 229-230.

Williams, R. (2014) Book review: Screening Twilight , Viewfinder (British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC)).

Williams, R. (2014) Book review: Sherlock and Transmedia Fandom: Essays on the BBC Series, Critical Studies in Television 9 (2).

Williams, R. (2012) Book review: Enric Castello, Alexander Dhoest and Hugh O’Donnell (ed.) (2009) The Nation on Screen: Discourses of the National on Global Television, Critical Studies in Television 7 (2).

Williams, R. (2010) Cyfrwng Conference 2009 Report, Cyfrwng website

Williams, R. (2009) Book review: Jill Walker Rettberg (2008) ’Blogging: Digital Media and Society Series, Journalism Studies 10 (4): 568-569.

Williams, R. (2008) Conference review: Whoniversal Appeal: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference on Doctor Who, and its Spin-Offs, Cardiff University, 14-16 November, 2008, Critical Studies in Television Online

Williams, R. (2008) Book review: Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss and C. Lee Harrington (ed.) (2007) Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, Participations 5 (2)

Select Conference Presentations

‘Butterbeer, Dole Whip and Duff: Materiality, paratexts, and consumable culture in the theme park fan experience’, Paper to be presented at SCMS: Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2018, Toronto, Canada, March 2018.

‘Funko Hannibal in Florence: Transmediality and Paratextual Play in the Fan-Tourist Experience’, Fan Studies Network Conference, University of Huddersfield. June 2017.

‘Tomb Sweet Tomb: Transmediality, narrative and fandom at Disney’s Haunted Mansion’, Locating Imagination: Popular Culture, Tourism, and Belonging, Erasmus University Rotterdam, April 2017.

‘Immortal fandom?; The post-object afterlives of Joss Whedon’s television shows’. Keynote presentation, 7th Biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses Kingston University, UK, July 2016.

‘‘‘I need to work but…’: Subcultural celebrity, labour and the celebrity/fan in the No Lynch/No Twin Peaks campaign’, 3rd International Celebrity Studies Conference: Authenticating Celebrity, University of Amsterdam, June 2016.

‘R.I.P River Country: Abandoned theme park rides, ontological security and online memorialization’, Fan Studies Network Conference 2016, University of East Anglia, June 2016.

‘“Princess Elsa and her 13,000 square foot restroom”: Theme park fandom, replacement and the Disney brand’, Fan Studies Network Conference 2015, University of East Anglia, June 2015.

‘The resurrection of Twin Peaks: Fan identity, ontological security and authorship’, ‘"I’ll See You in 25 Years" The Return of Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult TV’, University of Salford, May 2015.

‘The show from another place: Twin Peaks’ social media afterlife’, SCMS: Society of Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada, March 2015.

‘Conceptualising ‘localebrity’: Stardom and celebrity in the small nation’, Topographies of Popular Culture, University of Tampere, Finland, October 2013.

‘Regeneration & replacement: Doctor Who, character, and post-object fandom’. Doctor Who: Walking in Eternity: An Interdisciplinary Conference Celebrating 50 Years of Adventures in Time and Space, University of Hertfordshire, September 2013.

’Wandering Whitechapel: Place, the past, and the domestic in the Gothic crime drama’, Cops on the Box: Crime Drama on Contemporary UK Television Screens, University of Glamorgan, March 2013.

‘Location, location, location: Exploring celebrity, locality, and identity in the small nation’, Narratives and Social Memory: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, June 2012.

‘Tonight’s the Night with …Captain Jack!: John Barrowman as celebrity/subcultural celebrity/localebrity’’,Alien Nation: A Conference on British Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Television, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, July 2011.

‘Transnational Twilighters: A Twilight fan community in Norway’, presented with Dr. Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore, 4th Edinburgh International Film Audiences Conference, Edinburgh, March 2011.

‘Unlocking The Vampire Diaries: Genre, authorship, and quality in the teen vampire series’, presented at Vegetarians, VILFs and Fang-Bangers: Modern Vampire Romance in Print and on Screen, de Montfort University, Leicester, November 2010.

‘Screening the Nation: Landmark television and the representation of a small bilingual nation’ with Dr. Ruth McElroy, ECREA European Communication Conference, University of Hamburg, October 2010.

‘Portrayal, nation and Welsh contemporary landmark drama’, with Dr. Ruth McElroy, Theorising Wales: Gender, Culture, Politics, University of Wales Conference Centre, July 2010.

‘Anyone who calls Muse a Twilight band will be shot on sight" Music, fandom, and distinction in the Twilight franchise’, Popular Music Fandom: A One-Day Symposium, University of Chester, June 2010.

‘Channeling horror: Torchwood, monstrosity and the road to BBC1’ , Investigating Torchwood: Texts, Contexts, Audiences, University of Glamorgan, June 2010.

‘Making Sense of the Past? Television history and its participatory audiences’, with Dr. Ruth McElroy, Television History Conference, University of Lincoln, July 2009.

‘Press coverage of landmark television and the small nation: Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Wales’, _Locating Mediaï: NECS Conference@, Lund University, Sweden, June 2009.

‘Remembering Ourselves, Viewing the Others: participant audiences of historical reality TV’ with Dr. Ruth McElroy, Big Reveal: Lifestyle TV Conference, University of Brighton, May 2009.

Invited Research Seminars

‘Transmediality, Materiality and Paratextual Play in the Fan-Tourist Experience’, Salford University, February 2018.

‘Researching Theme Park Fandom: Distinction, Identity & Immersion’, Invited research seminar, Birmingham City University, February 2016.

“I can’t believe he has died”: Post-object fandom, ontological security, and actor/character deaths’, Communication, Media and Cultural Studies Research Unit seminar series, University of South Wales, February 2014.

Invited panel member for screening and discussion of Warm Bodies, for SciScreen: Fiction and Fact in Film. Part of Cardiff University’s Before I Die Festival (, held at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, May 2013.

‘Location, location, location: Cult/mainstream celebrity in the small nation’, Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations, University of Glamorgan, November 2011.

Invited to present screening of Strigoi, for SciScreen: Fiction and Fact in Film, held at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, October 2011.

‘Historical reality television and its audiences: gender, place and nostalgia’, with Dr. Ruth McElroy, Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations and Centre for Gender Study in Wales Research Seminar, University of Glamorgan, May 2010.

Invited panel member for screening and discussion of The Wolfman, for SciScreen: Fiction and Fact in Film: The Imaginaries of Science and Society, held at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, March 2010.

‘Screening the Nation: Wales and Landmark Television’, with Prof. Steve Blandford, Prof. Stephen Lacey and Dr. Ruth McElroy, BBC Audience Council Wales/Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries seminar, March 2010.

Invited research seminar: ‘BBC Wales’ Coal House at War audience project’, with Dr. Ruth McElroy, Swansea University, October 2008.

Conference Organisation

Academic Symposium Coordinator, International Vampire Film and Arts Festival, Transylvania, Romania, May 2016.

Conference Team Member, Fan Studies Network Symposium, Cardiff University (June 2018), University of Huddersfield (June 2017); University of East Anglia (June 2016, June 2015, November 2013); Regents University (September 2014).

Conference Team Member, Cyfrwng: International Conference on Media and Culture in Small Nations, University of Glamorgan, June 2011.

Symposium Organiser, Investigating Torchwood: Text, Context, Audiences, University of Glamorgan, June 2010.

Conference Coordinator, Cyfrwng (Media Wales Journal) Annual Conference, BBC Cymru Wales, May 2009.


Member of Editorial Board of Transformative Works and Cultures

Member of Editorial Board of Celebrity Studies

Member of Editorial Board of Journal of Fandom Studies

Member of Editorial Advisory Board of Intensities: Cult Media Journal

Former Book Reviews Assistant for the journal Critical Studies in Television

Member of Board of Fan Studies Network

Former member of the management committee of Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal (2008-2014).

Member of the Steering Group of the Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations – University of South Wales

Member of the Centre for Gender Studies in Wales (University of South Wales) and the Music Media & Drama Research Unit (University of South Wales).

Member of SCMS – Society for Cinema and Media Studies Includes membership of Television Studies and Fan & Audience Studies Special Interest Groups.

Member of ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) and ECREA Television Studies Section.


Rebecca was recently interviewed about her research into Post-object Fandom for a short film to be screened at the 2017 Annual No Boundaries Conference

She has also been interviewed for press by:

The Sunday Times (2017)

The Guardian (UK, 2016)

Verdens Gang (Norway, 2016). Print only.

BBC One Wales: The Wales Report (UK, 2016)

Journalist Greg Lansdowne for book Living a Fan’s Adventure Tale: A-Ha in the Eyes of the Beholders

Information (Denmark, 2014)

Los Angeles Times (US, 2012)

The Western Mail (Wales, UK, 2012)

The Sunday Times (UK, 2012). Print only.

Areas of Expertise

Television Studies
Media audiences & fandom
Participatory cultures
Mediated space & place
Media and culture in Wales
Celebrity & stardom
Digital & social media
Horror, fantasy & science-fiction



If you are a journalist on deadline and you need to speak with a member of university staff with particular expertise, please contact the Press Office.