RESEARCH AND TEACHING AREAS
U.S. narrative cinema and television (focus on Classical Hollywood cinema)
Acting and stardom
Costume and fashion
Director styles and reputations
Genres and modes of screen media (film noir, melodrama, horror)
Mass culture, modernism, and modernity
Gene Tierney in Laura (dir. Otto Preminger, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1944)
I received my Ph.D. in film and media studies from Indiana University Bloomington, and I have taught at Syracuse University since the fall of 2015. As an associate professor of English in the College of Arts & Sciences, I am a member of the Film & Screen Studies faculty and also serve on the advising faculty for the Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications Program in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
My research and teaching generally concern U.S. narrative cinema and television, with a central focus on Hollywood cinema of the studio era (that is, from the late 1920s to the early 1960s). The more particular interests of my work lie in artistic practice, persona, and celebrity as interfaces between what has been called “classical” Hollywood and the culture of modernity in the middle of the twentieth century. For Spring 2021, I received a Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship to complete my current book titled Out of a Misty Dream: Gene Tierney, Female Stardom, and Hollywood's Homefront (under contract with Wayne State University Press).
Promoted as “the most beautiful woman in movie history,” Tierney starred in films such as Laura (1944), Leave Her to Heaven (1945), and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), and later became one of the first major stars who publicly underwent treatment for mental illness. This project examines her making, unmaking, and remaking at Twentieth Century-Fox during World War II and the years that immediately followed, seeking to understand an alternative history of war effort and postwar trauma that defined and regulated her image across a series of different roles: pin-up girl, working woman, domestic Army wife, mother, female psychiatric subject, and comeback star.
In addition to completing my book on Tierney, I am also co-editing a collection of essays with Julie Grossman on adaptation and the Showtime series Penny Dreadful (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan).