I have been researching and writing on racial and ethnic representation in popular culture for over fifteen years. I am particularly interested in myth-making, stereotyping and iconoclasm in TV and cinema that represents periods in American history such as the American Civil War, transatlantic slavery and the Civil Rights movements. My book, 'Shooting the Civil War: Cinema, History and American National Identity,' reviews Civil War films through the lens of genre conventions, helping us to recognise the dominant myths in Hollywood's representation of this most significant of American wars. Key films, such as D.W. Griffith's 1915 controversial epic, 'The Birth of a Nation,' and more recently, Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave', have been the topic of my public lectures. My other areas of interest include ghost narratives on screen and the immigrant in non-American Westerns.
I teach Film Studies at Edge Hill University where I am a Reader in Film and Popular Culture. I am currently working with The Bluecoat in Liverpool on a series of events to commemorate their 300th anniversary.