Rebecca Trelease

Rebecca Trelease

Doctor of Philosophy candidate

Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi

The genre of ‘reality television’ is often dismissed as base or irrelevant, but Rebecca Trelease says it possesses characteristics that are worthy of exploration.

“My research looks at genre characteristics – liveness, long-running narratives, regionality, gender, etc – and how these are incorporated within the reality television genre.

“By showcasing the developing hybridity, I hope to add an encouraging and positive viewpoint into what has become a dominant genre on today’s television.”

In the spotlight
Rebecca was the recipient of a departmental research grant which allowed her and her supervisor to present at the 2017 Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies (MeCCSA) conference in the UK.

“I was absolutely stoked to receive the grant. The Real Housewives of Auckland had its time in the spotlight at a massive conference in Leeds.”

Know your strengths
Embarking on postgraduate study can be a challenge, as the work is self-directed. Rebecca says the key to success is to know yourself.

“Find out how you study best: mornings, late at night, in a library or a café. I work well with incentives, so I know I have to log those hours in, even if it’s getting tedious. There’s no right way, but to find what suits your life best.”

Returning to academia
After Rebecca completed her undergraduate degree in 2003, she worked in various media industries, but always knew she would return to university.

“I’ve always looked forward to the time when I could spend three or four years completely immersed in a specialised area – an opportunity to work on my writing style, read as many books as possible… and of course watch a lot of television!

“I enjoy the research aspect, but teaching and helping others find their passion by simply discussing what we see on everyday television is what I really hope to be doing.”

She has now fulfilled this dream and has been teaching the Applied Media Ethics and Intercultural Communication papers.

“I'm really enjoying teaching and working with students has been great fun. I've seen so many great ideas, viewpoints, and applications in their assignments – it's exciting to see and I'm lucky to be a part of it.”