RESEARCH AND TEACHING AREAS

  • Film history and criticism

  • Film and media theory

  • U.S. cinema (esp. Classical Hollywood cinema)

  • U.S. modernism, modernity, and mass culture

  • Performance and star studies

  • Authorship and director studies

  • Gender and screen representations

  • Styles and genres (film noir, melodrama, horror)

Gene Tierney in Laura (dir. Otto Preminger, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1944)

BIO

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 as an advising faculty member for the Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications Program in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

 

My research and teaching generally concern the history and interpretation of U.S. cinema, with a central focus on the Hollywood studio era. 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, a study of actress Gene Tierney, which is 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.