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Department of English, 401 Hall of Languages, 100 University Place,
Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244

431 Hall of Languages

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@CallingBarranca

I received my Ph.D. from the Film and Media Studies program at Indiana University Bloomington before joining the Syracuse University faculty in 2015. An associate professor in the Department of English, I am Director of Undergraduate Studies and teach in the Film and Screen Studies track. Outside of English, I serve on the advising faculty for the Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications program.

 

My teaching and publications focus on popular narrative cinema from the U.S., often with particular attention to Hollywood stars, styles, genres, and production trends between the 1930s and 1960s, or the “classical” studio period. One of my central research questions asks, what can iconic or legendary figures in U.S. film history tell us about the cultural contexts in which they were made legible? For example, my monograph Gene Tierney: Star of Hollywood’s Home Front (Wayne State University Press, 2022) is about the actress most famous for playing the title character in the classic film noir Laura (1944), who rose to the ranks of Twentieth Century-Fox's major stars during World War II and the immediate postwar years -- Fox's head of production Darryl F. Zanuck proclaimed her as "the most beautiful woman in movie history" -- before leaving Hollywood to undergo psychiatric treatment in the 1950s. Other books have come out of my secondary interest in serial television. With Julie Grossman, I co-wrote the “TV Milestones” volume Twin Peaks (Wayne State University Press, 2020) and co-edited the collection Penny Dreadful and Adaptation (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2023). I am also a staff writer for Film Obsessive.

Currently, I am beginning a new book titled Monsters in the Movie Lab: Horror, Seriality, and Universal Pictures. For this project, I am researching the formation of what would become known as the "Universal Classic Monsters" (Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, The Wolf Man, etc.), from a brand identity in the studio system based in genre and stardom, to a fan phenomenon in the era of television and home video, to a contemporary entertainment franchise.