Background, Teaching, and Research

Submitted by Maeve S. McNamara on Wednesday, 1/11/2017, at 2:01 PM


Ph.D., Modern Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1999)

M.A., English and Comparative Literature, Modern Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1994)

B.A., Literature and Society, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (1988)

Current Research Projects and Interests

Four primary research projects in progress:

1)    “Vulnerable Spectator” column for Film Quarterly (attempt to bridge theoretical divides; developing theory/practice of vulnerable and compassionate spectatorship through focus on current films)

2)    Columbo book (focus on how this series allows us to “know” television through method of intertextual, intermedial and historiographical analysis; currently working on the final chapter, which focuses on reboot, tie-ins, and Falk’s “detective” films)

3)    Textbook on Writing about Film (co-authoring with Kristi McKim and Rashna Richards; our aim is to develop methodological approaches for undergraduates, rather than designing a guide based on “genre,” with far more inclusive models of both films and writings than traditionally presented in such textbooks)

4)    New project based on my “‘Whatness’ of Ms.” essay for Feminist Media Histories (Four chapters covering following topics: Ms Magazine and Feminist Film Criticism in the 1970s; Wanda and women’s participation in Hollywood narrative production; American Film Institute’s “Directing Workshop for Women,” with a focus on African-American participants; Nora Ephron’s magazine work as precedent for her later film production.) See short description below culled from a grant proposal:

Riding the Second Wave of feminism and the activist-oriented Women’s Movement, the 1970s decade was a tremendously generative period for the development of feminist film studies in both the US and the UK. Academic scholarship began considering films as ideological texts. Scholars mined classical Hollywood (1930-1960) films for their representations of and dominant claims about women. At the same time, scholars encouraged alternative practices to mainstream narrative film, given its dreary gender restrictions. Academic feminist work also frequently bracketed itself off from other contemporaneous feminist cultural production, naturally aligning itself with its counterpart in film production, which was avowedly feminist, usually experimental, and directed towards a specialized audience. Almost never did 1970s film scholars consider mainstream theatrical releases and mainstream cultural criticism (though in the 1980s feminist film scholars would reverse the former inclination). Hence, the central texts of 1970s feminist film criticism appear to offer a mere two-pronged approach, which branched in parallel but separate directions: the critical analysis of Classical Hollywood cinema and the championing of contemporary feminist experimental film. My project shows how uniting the groups that weren’t talking together forever alters the story of women’s contributions to 1970s film culture.

Selected Publications


The Bigamist. Film Classics Series, British Film Institute/Palgrave, 2009.

Cupboards of Curiosity: Women, Recollection, and Film History,.Duke University Press, 2007.

In progress Columbo: Make Me a Perfect Murder. Duke University Press, “SpinOffs” series

Articles in Professional Journals:

“The Trouble with Lupino.” Cinema Comparative Cinema v 4.8: 50- 56 (2016).

Selected Awards and Honors

2015 Shiveley Fellow, Hendrix College, Conway, AR (November)

2011 Murphy Fellow, Hendrix College, Conway, AR (October)

2005 Humanities Research Institute, University of California – Irvine, Research Group Convener, ‘The Object of Media Studies” (Fall)

Vectors Fellow, University of Southern California 2001-3

University of California, Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research, Research Unit Grant 2001-2

University of California Humanities Research Institute Major Conference Grant 2001-2

University of California Office of the President, UC Conference Grant 2001-2

UC-Santa Cruz New Technologies in Teaching Grant 2001

Porter College Faculty Advisor of the Year 1999-2009

Arts Division Committee on Research Grants, UCSC 1999-2009

Senate Committee on Research Grants, UCSC