Professor Jason Jacobs


School of Communication and Arts
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 52593
+61 7 336 53136


Jacobs has an international reputation as a historian of television drama, its institutions, technology and aesthetics. He has taught film and television studies at the University of East Anglia, the University of Warwick, and Griffith University. His first book, The Intimate Screen (Oxford University Press, 2000) is a pioneering study of early television drama; his second book Body Trauma TV (British Film Institute, 2003) explores the aesthetics of the hospital drama in relation to the contemporary cultural imagination. More recently he published Deadwood (Palgrave Macmillan/British Film Institute, 2012), as part of the BFI TV Classics series. He is currently working on an Australian Research Council funded project called ’The Persistence of Television: How the Medium Adapts to Survive in the Digital World', and is writing a book on David Milch, the author of Deadwood (Manchester University Press).

Research Interests

  • Television aesthetics
    especially contemporary debates about judgement and value.
  • The history of television (and other kinds of broadcasting)
    which connects textual production to institutional, commercial and technological contexts.
  • Aspects of television art and achievement
    especially in relation to contemporary television drama and authorship. The history and present of screen aesthetics in relation to television, videogames, film, etc., especially issues, theorisations and debates concerning medium specificity.


  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Warwick
  • PhD, E. Anglia


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Book Chapter

  • Jacobs, Jason (2015). Television Drama. The SAGE Handbook of Television Studies. (pp. 315-324) edited by Manuel Alvarado, Milly Buonanno, Herman Gray and Toby Miller. Los Angeles, CA United States: SAGE Reference. doi: 10.4135/9781473910423.n23

  • Jacobs, Jason and Peacock, Steven (2013). Introduction. Television aesthetics and style. (pp. 1-20) New York, NY, United States: Bloomsbury Academic.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2011). Christopher, Osama and AJ : Contemporary narcissism and terrorism in the Sopranos. The essential Sopranos reader. (pp. 65-80) edited by David Lavery, Douglas L. Howard and Paul Levinson. Lexington, KY, United States: University Press of Kentucky.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2011). Television interrupted : Pollution or aesthetic. Television as digital media. (pp. 255-280) edited by James Bennett and Niki Strange. Durham, NC, United States: Duke University Press.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2010). South Park. The Essential Cult TV Reader. (pp. 229-236) edited by David Lavery. Lexington, KY, U.S.A.: The University Press of Kentucky.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2006). Al Swearengen, Philosopher King. Reading Deadwood: a western to swear by. (pp. 11-22) edited by Lavery, David. London: I. B. Tauris.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2006). Television and history: Investigating the past. Tele-visions: An introduction to studying television. (pp. 107-115) edited by Glen Creeber. London, United Kingdom: British Film Institute Publishing.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2005). Violence and therapy in The Sopranos. The contemporary television series. (pp. 139-158) edited by Michael Hammond and Lucy Mazdon. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2004). Charlie's Angels. Fifty key television programmes. (pp. 45-49) edited by Glen Creeber. London: Arnold.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2004). ER. Fifty key television programmes. (pp. 80-84) edited by Glen Creeber. London: Arnold.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2004). Experimental and live TV in the US. The television history book. (pp. 72-75) edited by Michele Hilmes and Jason Jacobs. London: British Film Institute.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2004). Marty. Fifty key television programmes. (pp. 115-119) edited by Glen Creeber. London: Arnold.

  • Jacobs, Jason (2003). Early Television in Great Britain (The Coronation). The television history book. (pp. 69-72) edited by Michele Hilmes and Jason Jacobs. London, United Kingdom: British Film Institute.

Journal Article

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Completed Supervision