James Bennett

James Bennett

Director, StoryFutures, Director, StoryTrails, Co-Director, StoryFutures Academy: National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, Professor

  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile

Professor James Bennett is the Director of StoryFutures, the £6.3m R&D catalyst for creative industries in immersive technologies, and Director of StoryTrails, the UK's largest ever immersive storytelling project as part of UnBoxed, the national festival of creativity. He is also  the Co-Director of the £6m StoryFutures Academy: The National Centre for Immersive Storytelling both funded by UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Across both roles he has commissioned and executive produced immersive experiences with The National Gallery, Heathrow, BBC3, Discovery Channel, Nesta and more. In these role he has produced the UK’s first comprehensive skills report for immersive production (with Amanda Murphy) and also launched StoryFutures China as Co-Investigator with the National Gallery and Shanghai Museum of Science and Technology.

He is the former Head of Media Arts (2014/15-216/17) and a Professor in Digital Culture & Television. He was formerly the Principal Investigator on the 'Social Media as Television Production Technology' project as part of Royal Holloway's ADAPT TV History research. His work focuses on the production cultures and shape of television and celebrity in digital culture. His latest edited collection, Media Independence: Working with freedom or working for free (Routledge, 2014), examines the role independence plays in the formation and role of media systems around the world.

Prior to these roles he was Principal Investigator on a 2-year AHRC grant, multiplatforming public service broadcasting (AH-H018522-2), which examined the role independents and multiplatform productions play in the future of PSB (2010-2012).This produced the industry report: Multiplatforming Public Service Broadcasting. He was one of the founding editors of Celebrity Studies Journal, leading the organisation of the inaugural and second Celebrity Studies Conference in 2012 and 2014.

He is the author of Television Personalities: Stardom and the Small Screen (Routledge, 2010) and the editor (with Niki Strange) of Television as Digital Media (Duke University Press, 2011) and (with Tom Brown) Film & Television After DVD (Routledge, 2008). His work has been published in Screen, Cinema Journal, Convergence, New Review of Film & Television, and Celebrity Studies Journal. He remains on the Celebrity Studies Journal editorial board as well as the editorial board of Television & New Media.

Twitter: @james_a_bennett


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth


  • immersive
  • digital culture
  • celebrity
  • public service broadcasting
  • virtual reality
  • social media
  • Creative Industries
  • metaverse

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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