Dr Lorna Jowett joins expert panel at BFI Southbank, in celebration of LGBT characters in Science Fiction

News Page 16th November 2015

The University of Northampton’s Dr Lorna Jowett, Reader in Television Studies within the School of The Arts, joined an expert panel at the British Film Institute last week for an event entitled Gays of Fear and Wonder: Queer Sci-Fi TV.

The event, which sold out over three weeks in advance, welcomed over 100 participants.

Dr Jowett was joined on the panel by the University of Roehampton’s Stacey Abbott, and Ewan Kirkland (University of Brighton). Dr Jowett and Stacey Abbott are no strangers to working together, having co-written 2013’s TV Horror: Investigating the Darker Side of the Small Screen and co-organising the TV Fangdom series of conferences with the University of Northampton’s Michael Starr.

The events’ panellists each gave a short 10 minute talk including a clip of their choice, and then answered questions about why television seens more advanced in terms of representation of LGBT characters than cinema in terms of science fiction. Dr Jowett’s short talk, ‘Commanders and Clones’, covered female bisexual and lesbian characters from Babylon 5 to Orphan Black. A wide ranging discussion about science fiction TV followed, covering not only LGBT characters but also audience responses and production issues.

Dr Jowett commented: “The large turnout for this event demonstrates a lively interest in television and how it can tackle issues of representation differently to cinema.”

For more information regarding the BFI, visit the website.

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