Luca Barra is Associate Professor at Università di Bologna, Department of the Arts (DAR) since October 5th, 2019. He teaches courses of Radio and Television History (M-Z) and Theory and Techniques of Digital Media at the first cycle degree in DAMS – Drama, Arts and Music Studies, and of Contemporary Television Series at the second cycle degree in CITEM - Cinema, Television and Multimedia Production. In November 2018, he obtained the national scientific qualification (ASN – Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale) as a full professor for the 10/C1 – Teatro, musica, cinema, televisione e media audiovisivi sector. From 2016 to 2019 he has been fixed-term senior assistant professor at the same Department.
His main field is media and television studies, with both an historical and a contemporary perspective, especially focusing on the industrial, production, distribution and reception/consumption aspects. His research has mainly focused on television production and distribution cultures, the international circulation of media products (and their national mediations), the history of Italian, European and US television, serial TV dramas, comedy and humour television genres, and the evolution of the contemporary media scenario.
He obtained a M.A. in Mass and Multimedia Communication, with honors, at Università degli Studi di Torino (July 2007, supervisor prof. Peppino Ortoleva). He holds a Ph.D. in Communication Cultures at Università Cattolica, Milan (XXIII cycle), with a dissertation titled “Risate in scatola. Storia, mediazioni e percorsi distributivi della situation comedy americana in Italia” (“Canned Laughter. History, Mediations and Distribution Practices of the US TV sitcom in Italy”, tutors prof. Aldo Grasso and Massimo Scaglioni). Later, he has been Post-Doctoral Research Fellow for five years (April 2011-September 2016) at Università Cattolica di Milano, School of Foreign Languages and Literatures, contributing to the activities of the Communication and Performing Arts Department. He taught Media Economics, Television Scheduling and International Media Systems courses there, and contributed with lectures and seminars to the Media History and Television History and Criticism courses. Since 2008, he worked as a senior researcher at Ce.R.T.A., the Research Centre on Television and Audio-visual Media of Università Cattolica (directed by prof. Aldo Grasso). From 2011 to 2016, he has been the didactic coordinator of the Master “FareTv. Gestione, sviluppo, comunicazione” (TV Management, Development, Communication) at ALMED – Alta Scuola in Media, Comunicazione e Spettacolo, at Università Cattolica, where he still teaches TV Scheduling.
He published two books, Palinsesto. Storia e tecnica della programmazione televisiva (Scheduling. History and Technique of Television Programming, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2015) and Risate in scatola. Storia, mediazioni e percorsi distributivi della situation comedy americana in Italia (Canned Laughter. History, Mediations and Distribution Practices of the US TV Sitcom in Italy, Vita e Pensiero, Milan 2012). He co-edited three collections, Taboo Comedy. Television and Controversial Humour (Palgrave, London 2016, with Chiara Bucaria), Backstage. Studi sulla produzione dei media in Italia (Backstage. Studies on Media Production in Italy, Unicopli, Milan 2016, with Tiziano Bonini and Sergio Splendore) and Tutta un’altra fiction. La serialità pay in Italia e nel mondo. Il modello Sky (A Different Fiction. Pay TV Series in Italy and Worldwide. The Sky Model, Carocci, Roma 2013, with Massimo Scaglioni). He wrote several essays in edited books and national and international scientific journals (including Critical Studies in Television, View. Journal of European TV History and Culture, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Series. International Journal of TV Serial Narratives, Comunicazioni sociali, Bianco e Nero, Cinéma&Cie, Cinergie, Fata Morgana, Imago, Studi culturali, Problemi dell’informazione, Sociologia della comunicazione).
He is the journal secretary of SERIES. International Journal of Serial Narratives, is one of the editors of Schermi. Storie e culture del cinema e dei media in Italia (Screens. Histories and Cultures of Cinema and Media in Italy), of Studi culturali (Cultural Studies), of Comunicazioni sociali. Journal of Media, Performing Arts and Cultural Studies and is in the direction committee of East of Eden/La Valle dell’Eden. Rivista di Cinema, fotografia, media (Journal of Cinema, Photography, Media). He works as a reviewer for several other journals and scientific publications. Over the 2018-2020 period he will act as an editor for Italian culture and politics journal Il Mulino. With Fabio Guarnaccia, he is the series director of “SuperTele”, a collection of Italian translations of television and media studies foreign books for the publisher minimum fax. He is editorial consultant of TV studies journal Link. Idee per la televisione.
He was granted by Università di Bologna (AlmaIdea grant, junior projects) a research financing for the project “Distribuzione, adattamento, circolazione. Un modello industriale e culturale della televisione anglofona in Italia (DAC)” (Distribution, Adaptation, Circulation. An Industrial and Cultural Model for Anglophone Television in Italy), where he acts as principal investigator. He is part of the research team for the project “American Reception of Contemporary Italian Screen Culture”, led by prof. Giacomo Manzoli in collaboration with Brown University, Dickinson College and Wesleyan University, funded by Università di Bologna in a competition for innovative projects to reinforce international cooperation agreements. He is a member of the research team of the European H2020 project "DETECt - Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narratives", led by prof Monica Dall'Asta. He is part of the Università di Bologna local unit, led by prof. Paolo Noto, of the PRIN 2015 project “Circolazione Internazionale del Cinema Italiano (CInCIt)” (International Circulation of Italian Cinema), with prof. Massimo Scaglioni (Università Cattolica) as PI. He is part of the scientific committee of DAMSLab.
He attended as speaker several national and international conferences, and has given lectures and seminars in various Italian and foreign universities (Torino; Politecnico di Milano; Trento; IULM; Lund, Sweden; Indiana University, US; Cordoba, Argentina; USI, Switzerland; CUNY, US). In March 2018 he has been a visiting professor at University of Roheampton, London. He directs the summer school “Mediating Italy in Global Culture” (Università di Bologna, in collaboration with Brown University, Dickinson College, The Ohio State University, The University of Michigan, Wesleyan University).
He organized several international conferences: “Rethinking Digital Myths. Mediation, Narratives and Mythopoiesis in the Digital Age” (USI Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, 30-31 January 2020, with Gabriele Balbi, Paolo Bory, Simone Dotto, Giuliana C. Galvagno, Simone Natale); “From Waste to Asset. Making Sense of Italian Film and Television Production in the Digital Era” (Università di Bologna, 20-21 June 2019, with Paolo Noto); “VHS+ 1995-2000. Video e televisione tra analogico e digitale” (Università di Bologna and MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, 14 February 2019, with Silvia Grandi e Fabiola Naldi); “Media Mutations 10. The ‘-tainment’ Effect. Cultures and Logics of Entertainment across Audiovisual and Digital Media” (Università di Bologna, May 21st-22nd, 2018, with Paola Brembilla and Liz Evans); “Media Mutations 9. The Format Factor. Television Shows, Brands and Properties in the Global Television Scenario” (Università di Bologna, May 23rd-24th, 2017, with Paola Brembilla and Andrea Esser); “Media Mutations 6. Modes of Production and Narrative Forms in the Contemporary TV Series” (Università di Bologna, May 27th-28th, 2014, with Leora Hadas, Veronica Innocenti and Paolo Noto); “Produrre televisione. Trasformazioni, interpretazioni, pratiche” (“Producing Television. Transformations, Interpretations, Practices”) (Università di Torino, September 24th-26th, 2013, summer school connected to Prix Italia, with Peppino Ortoleva and Giuliana Galvagno). Since 2016 he is in the conference committee of NECS – European Network of Cinema and Media Studies.
He regularly participates to the activities of national, European and global research networks, including NECS, ECREA – European Communication Research and Education Association (Television Studies, Media Industries and Cultural Production, Communication History sections), SCMS – Society for Cinema and Media Studies (Television Studies, Media Industries, Fan and Audience Studies scholarly interest groups), ICA – International Communication Association, ETHN – European Television History Network, Media Across Borders, Global Internet TV Consortium.