I currently teach the following modules (2018/19): Reading Film and TV (W51240, W51241); Interrogating Practice (W52208); Teaching Film and Media for Undergraduate Ambassadors (AA3MSA); Film Noir (W53102). I also act as supervisor for several final-year dissertation students on both the FTV and IMC course programmes (W53003, AA3DIS).
I have previously taught several FTV modules including Film History 1 (W51101) and Film History 2 (W51201); Producing Film and TV (W51230; W51231); Researching Culture, Film and Media (V92REC); Film and TV in Social and Cultural Context (W52206); and Film and TV Genres (W53004: W53002).
As an 'Americanist' with a background in American Studies as well as Film Studies, I have previously taught on a diverse range of modules on American literature, music, popular culture and intellectual history. These include American Literature 1: American Literature to 1900 (Q41103), American Thought and Culture 1: Settlement to World War 1 (Q42101), and Approaches to the Blues (Q43312).
I'm especially interested in film history and have a strong commitment to the place of history in the curriculum.
I'm interested in a wide range of teaching and learning issues. One area of module design I have been developing is on Interrogating Practice in which a substantial part of the curriculum is given over to students on the module. Here, students are involved in the planning of a themed small-group research project based on their own choice of screening. This module is designed to raise questions about the practice of contemporary writing about film and television. Students investigate how traditional kinds of writing about film have changed in the age of the internet and blogging culture.
I'm also interested in the development of alternative kinds of module assignment to the traditional academic essay and here, for example, students are collectively involved in the production of writing as digital text designed as a blog. This assignment also sees students producing evaluative commentaries on the work of their peers.
I'm particularly interested in issues of educational inequality and the factors affecting access to university education of prospective students from 'non-traditional' backgrounds. I am involved in widening participation and a frequent contributor to the Sutton Trust summer school programmes.
My research interests include Hollywood in the studio era; film genres, especially film noir and the musical; the cinema of Howard Hawks; American culture and society in World War II; postwar British and American culture; jazz and popular music history; the racial politics of American culture; French cinema.
One key area of interest for me here is in the visual dimension of music and the idea, as Arthur Knight put it, that 'What music looks like relates crucially to how it sounds and what it can mean.' One specific area of my research concerns the racial politics of musical performance where the look of music, from the Hollywood musical to MTV, can play a significant role in its meaning.
My latest book is Film Noir: A Critical Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2017).
My previous book is an edited collection on Howard Hawks: Howard Hawks: New Perspectives, (Palgrave/BFI, 2016). Shortlisted for the Kraszna-Krausz Best Moving Image Book, 2017.
In addition to my book last year on Howard Hawks, I have also published on the director's To Have and Have Not in an article about the politics of racial representation and musical performance in America as a wartime democracy (in Graham Lock and David Murray, eds., Thriving On a Riff: Jazz and Blues Influences in African American Literature and Film). I have also written on adaptation, on Alan Sillitoe's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Adaptation: The Journal Of Literature and Screen Studies), and on the American corporation in Billy Wilder's The Apartment (Journal of Popular Film and Television).
I have also written several shorter pieces, most recently, 'First Edition' in Neil Fulwood and David Sillitoe, eds., More Raw Material: Work Inspired by Alan Sillitoe (Nottingham: Lucifer Press, 2015), 133-34. Other pieces include 'All the King's Men' and 'Dolly Parton' in Allison Graham and Sharon Monteith, eds., The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Media (University of North Carolina Press, 2011), 185-6, 330-1; 'Nat King Cole' and 'Wynton Marsalis' in Henry Louis Gates Jr and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds., African American Lives (Oxford University Press, 2004), 179-81, 559-60.
In addition, I've contributed many entries to The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd edition) on American composers and songwriters, jazz musicians, record labels, and film-related subjects (Oxford University Press, 2013).