Television is my main area of interest, in particular British television history with a focus on docudrama and drama. My teaching focuses on documentary and terrorism across the media, and teaching core skills in the study of film and television style. I also contribute teaching on contemporary media industries and have taught widely across many areas of film studies including theory.
I have a first-class degree in English and History, and a Ph.D. in Film Studies, both from the University of Hull. I was a lecturer at the University of Hull before joining the University of Stirling in August 2009.
My main administrative role at present is divisional Admissions/Recruitment officer. My previous roles include senior Adviser of Studies for all CMC students and Programme Director of the Film & Media degree.
My main research areas are docudrama and British television drama. My work often crosses into terrorism and documentary. My methods include archival research, close textual analysis rooted in a sense of programme-making practice and industrial contexts, and attempts to conceptualise and interrogate methods of studying hybrid forms and television specificity.
My first book, Alan Clarke (2005), pioneered methods of studying television direction. Sight & Sound made it their 'Book of the Month'. I co-edited a collection of Dennis Potter's work, The Art of Invective: Selected Non-Fiction 1953-94 (2015), which was described by Jonathan Meades in Literary Review as 'one of the very finest collections of occasional (but far from ephemeral) writing I have read […] The scholarship of the editors is impeccable'.
Recent research topics include science documentary on mental illness using docudrama approaches; television branding in relation to coproduction; cinema and television convergence; television formats relating to community and welfare; Sunday night drama; unbroadcast programmes; how television presents feedback and tells its own history; torture in television drama on terrorism; and reflexive docudrama.
For many years I have been committed to disseminating research outwith conventional academic routes. I contributed to various DVD and blu-ray releases for the BBC, BFI and Network: these include the award-winning Dissent and Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC and, most recently, Pinter at the BBC. I have given public talks and Q&As at venues including the BFI Southbank. I made dozens of contributions to the BFI resources Screenonline and Mediatheque. I have written for many fanzines and non-academic book publishers. I edit and write for my own website: www.britishtelevisiondrama.org.uk.
Rolinson D (2017) Drama as Science Documentary: The Ethics of Making and 'Banning' The Black Pool. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 37 (1), pp. 96-112. https://doi.org/10.1080/01439685.2016.1272808
Rolinson D (2017) 'Rita, Sue and Bob Too', Essay in DVD/Blu-ray booklet. [Dual format DVD/Blu-ray booklet.] 22.05.2017. http://shop.bfi.org.uk/directors/alan-clarke/rita-sue-and-bob-too.html#.WOdf69LyuM8
Rolinson D (2016) British Docudrama: New Directions in Reflexivity. In: Ebbrecht-Hartmann T & Paget D (eds.) Docudrama on European Television: A Selective Survey. Palgrave European Film and Media Studies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 199-227. http://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9781137499783
Rolinson D (2016) Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC. Essays in accompanying book (6 in blu-ray version, 1 in DVD version). [Box Set Book] 06.2016. http://shop.bfi.org.uk/dissent-disruption-the-complete-alan-clarke-at-the-bbc-limited-edition-blu-ray-box-set.html#.V-UFJ4grJpg
Rolinson D (2015) A Sense of Place: Regional British Television Drama 1956-82. Review of: Lez Cooke, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2012. 240pp. ISBN 9780719086786. Critical Studies in Television, 10 (3), pp. 121-123. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.7227/CST.10.3.9; https://doi.org/10.1080/13619462.2015.982016
Rolinson D (2015) Studio as hybridised community space: For the Love of Albert. Critical Studies in Television, 10 (3), pp. 5-22. http://cst.sagepub.com/content/10/3/5.abstract; https://doi.org/10.7227/CST.10.3.2
Rolinson D (2014) The Beiderbecke Affair. Review of: William Gallagher, BFI TV Classics, British Film Institute/Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 128pp. ISBN 978-1-84457-469-8. Critical Studies in Television, 9 (3), pp. 127-128. https://doi.org/10.7227/CST.9.3.11
Rolinson D (2013) Report on The Singing Detective 25th Anniversary Symposium, University of London, 10 December 2011. Journal of Screenwriting, 4 (3), pp. 335-343. https://doi.org/10.1386/josc.4.3.335_7
Rolinson D & Woods F (2013) Is This England ’86 and ’88? Memory, haunting and return through television seriality. In: Fradley M, Godfrey S & Williams M (eds.) Shane Meadows: Critical Essays. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. http://www.euppublishing.com/book/9780748676392
Rolinson D (2013) The helium of publicity: mass-mediated 'terrierism'. In: Leggott J & Sexton J (eds.) No Known Cure: The Comedy of Chris Morris. London: BFI, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 223-247. https://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_26348.html
Rolinson D (2012) "You’re still living in the Middle Ages!": Time Travel in Doctor Who and Pseudo-Historical, Neomedieval, Alternate Realities. In: Robinson C & Clements P (eds.) Neomedievalism in the Media: Essays on Film, Television, and Electronic Games. hors série, 0. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press. http://mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?bookid=8617&pc=9
Rolinson D (2012) Shadows of Progress: documentary film in post-war Britain. Review of: Patrick Russell and James Piers Taylor (eds), London, British Film Institute–Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, xii+429 pp., ISBN 978-1844573219. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 32 (3), pp. 479-482. https://doi.org/10.1080/01439685.2012.699622
Rolinson D (2011) Small Screens and Big Voices: Televisual Social Realism and the Popular. In: Tucker D (ed.) British Social Realism in the Arts since 1940. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 172-211. http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=390272
Rolinson D (2010) The last studio system: a case for British television films. In: Newland P (ed.) Don’t Look Now: British Cinema of the 1970s. Bristol: Intellect, pp. 163-176. http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/books/view-Book,id=4699/
Rolinson D & Devlin K (2008) 'A new wilderness': memory and language in the television science fiction of Nigel Kneale. Science Fiction Film and Television, 1 (1), pp. 45-65. https://doi.org/10.3828/sfftv.1.1.5
Rolinson D (2007) 'The Surprise of a Large Town': depicting regional space in Alan Plater’s Land of Green Ginger. Journal of British Cinema and Television, 4 (2), pp. 285-306. https://doi.org/10.3366/jbctv.2007.4.2.285
Rolinson D (2007) Fires were started: British cinema and Thatcherism. Review of: Lester D Friedman (ed), London, Wallflower Press, 2005 (2nd edn), xxiv + 341 pp., ISBN 978-1904764717. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 27 (4), pp. 590-592. https://doi.org/10.1080/01439680701553560
Rolinson D (2007) 'Who done it': discourses of authorship in the John Nathan-Turner era. In: Butler D (ed.) Time and Relative Dissertations in Space: Critical Perspectives on Doctor Who. Reference,Information and Interdisciplinary Subjects Series. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 176-189.
Rolinson D (2007) Documentary: The Margins of Reality. Review of: Paul Ward, New York: Wallflower, 2005, 144pp. ISBN 9780231850094. Scope: An Online Journal of Film and TV Studies, (8). http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/scope/issues/2007/june-issue-08.aspx
Rolinson D (2005) Alan Clarke. Television Series. Manchester: Manchester University Press. http://manchester.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.7228/manchester/9780719068300.001.0001/upso-9780719068300
Rolinson D (2005) Sweet Sixteen. In: McFarlane B (ed.) The Cinema of Britain and Ireland. 24 Frames. London: Wallflower Press, pp. 251-259. http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-1-904764-39-7/the-cinema-of-britain-and-ireland
Rolinson D (2003) 'If they want culture, they pay': consumerism and alienation in 1950s comedies. In: MacKillop I & Sinyard N (eds.) British Cinema of the 1950s: A Celebration. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 87-97. http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9780719064890
Rolinson D & Cooper N (2002) "Bring something back": The strange career of Professor Bernard Quatermass. Journal of Popular Film and Television, 30 (3), pp. 158-165. https://doi.org/10.1080/01956050209602852
Rolinson D (2002) J. Lee Thompson. Review of: Steve Chibnall, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000, 380pp. ISBN 9780719060120. Scope: An Online Journal of Film and TV Studies, August 2002. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/scope/issues/2002/august.aspx
Rolinson D (2001) Documentary, Interpretivism and Positivism (Review Essay). Review of: No Other Way to Tell It: dramadoc/docudrama on television, Derek Paget, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1998, pp. vii + 237. ISBN 978-0719045332
New Documentary: a critical introduction, Stella Bruzzi, London, Routledge, 2000, pp. 199. ISBN 978-0415385244
Lies, Damn Lies and Documentaries, Brian Winston, London, BFI, 2000, pp. 186. ISBN 978-0851707976. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 21 (3), pp. 323-325. https://doi.org/10.1080/01439680120069443
Rolinson D (2001) Windows on the sixties: Exploring key texts of media and culture. Review of: Windows on the Sixties: exploring key texts of media and culture, Anthony Aldgate, James Chapman, and Arthur Marwick (eds), London, I.B. Taurus, 2000, 194 pp. ISBN 978-1860643835. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 21 (2), pp. 190-191. https://doi.org/10.1080/01439680120051523
I created and teach two current Honours-level modules - Documentary Film and Television: The Poetic Eye and Terrorism in the Media. I also teach the first-year core module on film and television style and form, The Moving Image, and usually contribute on industries to the first-year core module Media Studies and Industries.
In the past I have taught whole modules on film and television theory, European cinema, realism, and television drama. Over the years I have contributed to other modules classes on history, literature, gender studies, silent cinema, superheroes, Chinese cinema, medievalism in the media, British cinema, Hitchcock, New Hollywood Cinema, television ghost stories, comedy, Scottish film and television, and research methods.