Dr Conor’s research interests are at the intersection of screen production studies, gender and feminist theory and critical creative labour studies. Her recent research has focused on the dynamics of cultural labour, precarious working lives and gendered inequalities in cultural production industries. She has been teaching and researching in the fields of media, communications and film studies for fifteen years in both the UK and New Zealand.
Her work has been published in book collections and in journals such as Television and New Media, The Sociological Review and the Journal of Screenwriting. Her first book Screenwriting: Creative Labour and Professional Practice (2014) was published by Routledge and she has co-edited two recent collections: Gender and Creative Labour (with Rosalind Gill and Stephanie Taylor and Production Studies The Sequel! Cultural Studies of Global Media Industries (with Miranda Banks and Vicki Mayer).
Dr Conor has secured funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for work on inequalities and exclusions in the cultural industries (with Professor Kate Oakley) and is currently a member of the KCL team undertaking a large EU H2020 grant titled ‘DISCE: Developing Inclusive and Sustainable Creative Economies’, in partnership with the University of Turku, Gran Sasso Science Institute, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Culture and Media Agency Europe and Trans Europe Halles.
Bridget is an interdisciplinary scholar who has worked within and across the fields of media and communication studies, sociology, cultural studies and film studies. Her current fields of research include critical labour studies, gender theory, screenwriting theory and screen production studies. Her first book: Screenwriting: Creative Labour and Professional Practice (2014) is published by Routledge. The research project the book is based on is an analysis of industrial screenwriting, critically analysing the careers and experiences of British screenwriters and their (both) elite and liminal work as writers and filmmakers in the ‘new cultural economy’. Bridget conducted empirical fieldwork for the project – a combination of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with British-based screenwriters and teachers of screenwriting, textual analysis of screenwriting manuals and analysis of labour market data.
Bridget’s previous research analysed the political economy of the New Zealand film industry and the ‘runaway production’ phenomenon in the context of the filming of The Lord of The Rings trilogy. Methodologically, this work utilised historiographic analysis, economic data and creative industries policy analysis, discourse analysis of mainstream media coverage and commentary and interviews with filmmakers and film policy analysts.
As well as continuing to research and publish in these areas, Bridget is currently developing new projects focused on a) the working life management of women in creative self-employment and b) the rise of wellness (or ‘wellthness’) media which mobilise the language of feminism and empowerment in addressing the health and wellbeing (physical, emotional, spiritual) of women. These projects build on her previous interests and expertise in cultural labour and gendered practices of cultural production.
For more details, please see her full research profile.
Bridget loves teaching and has taught in a number of institutions in both the UK and New Zealand. She teaches on both the MA Cultural and Creative Industries and the MA Arts and Cultural Management at KCL. She has developed taught modules on theories of cultural labour and transnational screen production and also contributes to team-taught modules across both degrees. She has been nominated for a number of Arts and Humanities Teaching Excellence Awards.
Bridget also supervises both MA and PhD students in CMCI and is always looking for strong PhD candidates who share her research interests.
Expertise and Public Engagement
Bridget has delivered keynote and invited presentations at academic conferences and public/industry events in the UK, Europe, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
She is a member of the steering committee of the MeCCSA Women’s Network, is part of the editorial collective of the Media Industries journal and is on the editorial board of the New Working Lives monograph series from Palgrave MacMillan (edited by Susan Luckman and Stephanie Taylor).
She has worked with and presented her research to unions and activist groups working on issues of gender and other inequalities in the cultural industries in the UK.
And Bridget has had a lot of fun developing a research podcast series called Doublespeaking. The six episode pilot season is available on iTunes and at doublespeaking.com.