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Communications, Drama and Film

Photo of Dr Amelia Morris

Dr Amelia Morris

Lecturer in Media and Communications (E&R)


I am a cultural and media theorist, with research that spans a wide range of topics, including: austerity, poverty, reality TV, gender, the body, dieting, celebrity culture and cults. Although these interests are varied, the crux of my work's focus is the relationship between popular culture and socioeconomic issues, and theoretically, I am inspired by the work of scholars such as Stuart Hall, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Noam Chomsky and Angela McRobbie.

I published my first book in 2019 with Palgrave Macmillan, which built upon my PhD thesis. The Politics of Weight: Feminist Dichotomies of Power in Dieting explored women and non-binary people's experiences of dieting culture and self-surveillance utilising Foucault's work on discipline. In 2024, I will publish her co-authored book with Dr. Nicola Smith from the University of Birmingham, which explores the relationship between austerity and the representation of the 'obesity crisis.' I am currently writing a paper on Taylor Swift, bedroom cultures and digital spaces, which she will submit for peer-review in 2023, as well as a book proposal (co-authored with Dr. Catherine Oliver) on modern-day cults. Inspired by my dog, Teddy, I am also thinking more about human-animal connections, and the ways that vegetarianism/veganism are embedded within wider social justice movements. 

Pedagogically, I see popular culture as an essential point of exploration, and it is a central part of my teaching. I encourage students to 'connect the dots' across media discourses, theory, social issues and activism. This might involve analysing clips of Love Island using Butler's theory of performativity, or considering Chomsky's work on manufacturing consent to discuss the representation of the monarchy on Eastenders. Overall, I hope to inspire students to think critically about the media that they consume in the everyday and consider how ubiquitous discourses construct narratives about the world and eachother. 

I have written articles for Tribune magazine and appeared on the Surviving Society podcast.

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Morris, A. and Smith, N. (submission date, June 2023). Fat State: Hunger, Poverty and ‘Obesity.’  Target publisher: Oxford University Press.

MorrIs, A. and Oliver, C. (proposal, in progress). Cults, Communes and Conspiracy Theories: Friendship in a Neoliberal Economy. Target publisher: Oxford University Press.

Morris, A. (2019). The Politics of Weight: Feminist Dichotomies of Power in Dieting. London. Palgrave Macmillan. 

Journal articles:

Morris, A. (in progress). ‘We’re happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way’: exploring Taylor Swift, girlhood and connectivity in a neoliberal economy. Media, Culture and Society.

Morris, A. and Oliver, K. (2022). The politics of friendship as resistance to the neoliberal university at UK conferences. British Journal of Sociology of Education. Impact factor: 1.324

Morris, A., Coles-Kemp, L. and Jones, W. (2020). Digitalised welfare: Systems for both seeing and working with mess. In WebSci’20 Workshop: Digital (In)Equality, Digital Inclusion, Digital Humanism. ACM. Impact factor: 2.353

Coles-Kemp, L., Ashenden, D. and Morris, A. (2020). Universal Credit and Digital Design. Policy, Design and Practice. Impact factor: 6.02

Oliver, K. and Morris, A. (2019). (dis-)Belonging Bodies: negotiating outsider-ness and embodied surveillance at academic conferences. Gender, Place and Culture. Impact factor: 1.18

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External impact and engagement


Quoted in The Washington Post article by Emily Yahr, entitled 'After this year, we're all majoring in Taylor Swift' (2023)

Quoted in Glamour for an article by Megan Warren-Lister, entitled 'Why being hailed 'wifey material' isn't the compliment you think it is' (2023)

Quoted in Medium for an article by Darshita Goyal, entitled 'Does it matter if Taylor Swift is a girl's girl?'  (2023)

Multi-Level Marketing Companies are Cashing In on the Crisis for Tribune (co-authored with Katie Oliver) 

After Surviving Cancer, You Have to Survive Capitalism for Tribune 

Surviving Society (podcast)

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