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Dr Mark Fryers

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Mark Fryers joined the Open University in Film and Media in December 2022.

He received his PhD from the University of East Anglia in 2016, which, like his Masters degree, was fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He also obtained an Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Since then, he has lectured at the University of East Anglia, New York University, London and the University of Greenwich while building a research portfolio of peer-reviewed publications in screen media, including in the Journal of Popular Television and numerous edited collections.

Mark has also worked in several capacities as a freelance worker within the film and television industries.

Research interests

Mark’s particular focus concerns depictions of the maritime sphere within media representations and its implications upon identity formation in its many forms. The history, counter-history, construction and dissemination of all aspects of marine culture is a central concern of his research, relating as it does to our most vital and endangered natural environment. This has built from specialisms and empirical research in British fictional film and television to embrace global screen cultures, documentary, independent filmmaking and, particularly, animation.

A current research interest building from this is the politicisation of landscape and mythology as they relate to the maritime sphere, particularly as they also relate to Britain’s historic and ongoing continental relationships.

Mark also has a concomitant research interest in the fields of horror and the gothic as it exists in all forms of culture and literature, but especially within the audio-visual forms of film, television and video games. His research and publications in this field focus on landscape and environment as counter-history within these forms as well as the specific cultural use of form and aesthetics.

Following on from both of these research strands and specialisms, Mark also holds an interest in both marine/environmental representations and gothic horror within children’s culture, reflected in several publications and ongoing research. This traditionally neglected and misunderstood yet vital audience demographic is still one which demands more scholarly focus.

Teaching interests

Mark’s teaching specialisms have been within British and American popular film and television but he has taught widely across global screen cultures and disciplines of Film, TV, Media and Communications including convergent screen medias which is also a current research interest.

Impact and engagement

Mark worked on the AHRC impact case-study ‘Amateur Women Filmmakers in Britain’ and regularly writes and gives public presentations on topics related to screen history and theory for local, national and international productions. His research was recently cited in The Washington Post.

External collaborations

Mark has worked alongside the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA), both in teaching collaboration at the University of East Anglia and on the research project ‘Amateur Women Filmmakers in Britain’.

Mark is currently working on several projects in collaboration with Dr Marcus Harmes from the University of Southern Queensland.


‘A chilling story from today’s headlines:’ Community, Maritime Apocalypse and Discourses of Eco-Dystopia’s in Doomwatch (1972) (2024-03)
Fryers, Mark
Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural(10) (pp. 27-44)

The haunted seas of british television: nation, environment and horror (2021)
Fryers, Mark
Gothic Nature, II (pp. 131-155)

Horrific ‘in-betweenness’: spatial and temporal displacement and british society in 1970s children’s supernatural television’ (2020)
Fryers, Mark
Supernatural Studies, 6(2) (pp. 30-58)

'Cash and catamarans': 1980s British society through Howards’ Way (2019-10-01)
Fryers, Mark
The Journal of Popular Television, 7(3) (pp. 261-277)

Children’s maritime television in Britain: Environment, representation and identity (2022)
Fryers, Mark
In: Olson, Debbie and Schober, Adrian eds. Children, Youth and International Television (pp. 91-110)
ISBN : 9781032150734 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

‘It’s not ghosts, it’s history’: The Sonic Tradition of British Horror Television (2021-03)
Fryers, Mark
In: Abbott, Stacey and Jowett, Lorna eds. Global TV Horror (pp. 33-48)
ISBN : 9781786836946 | Publisher : The University of Wales Press | Published : Cardiff

‘An Impulse of Anger, Instantly Regretted’: Rebellion and Reaction in the early 1960s Naval Film (2020-03)
Fryers, Mark
In: Petrie, Duncan; Williams, Melanie and Mayne, Laura eds. Sixties British Cinema Reconsidered (pp. 209-222)
ISBN : 9781474443883 | Publisher : Edinburgh University Press | Published : Edinburgh

Thalassophobia: Jaws (1975) and the Nautical Spaces of Horror (2020-01)
Fryers, Mark
In: Pascuzzi, Francesco and Waters, Sandra eds. The Spaces and Places of Horror. Critical Media Studies (pp. 127-144)
ISBN : 9781622737420 | Publisher : Vernon Press | Published : Wilmington, Delaware

'I will not fight for my country...for my King...or Captain': Redefining Imperial Masculinities in To the Ends of the Earth (2019-10-30)
Fryers, Mark
In: Byrne, Katherine; Leggott, James and Taddeo, Julie Anne eds. Conflicting Masculinities: Men in Period Television Drama (pp. 35-51)
ISBN : 978-1-3509-8580-3 | Publisher : I. B. Tauris | Published : London; New York

Songs of the sea: sea beasts and maritime folklore in global animation (2018)
Fryers, Mark
In: Hackett, John and Harrington, Seán eds. Beasts of the Deep: Sea Creatures and Popular Culture (pp. 185-198)
ISBN : 9780861967339 | Publisher : John Libbey Publishing Ltd | Published : East Barnet

"It’s not the navy—we don’t stand backwards to stand upwards": The Onedin Line and the Changing Waters of British Maritime Identity (2014-12)
Fryers, Mark
In: Leggott, James and Taddeo, Julie eds. Upstairs and Downstairs: British Costume Drama Television from The Forsyte Saga to Downton Abbey (pp. 139-151)
ISBN : 9781442244825 | Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield | Published : London