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Assistant Professor, Film; Department of Theatre, Film & Communication Arts, Whittier College

Dr. McCarthy teaches at Whittier College, Department of Theatre, Film & Communication Arts, as an Assistant Professor in Film. Prior to her current hire, Dr. McCarthy was instrumental in creating the film and media program at the University of the Pacific where she taught classes in film production, screenwriting, film theory and aesthetics and before that was appointed Senior Director of Entertainment, Arts, and Humanities at California State University, Northridge, where she was directly responsible for creating and promoting over 300 new film and arts programs and events, most notably in Cinematography, Editing, and Screenwriting.

Before teaching, Dr. McCarthy worked for producer Ray Stark as a Creative Executive and Head of Development at RASTAR Productions at Sony Pictures Entertainment for many years and was involved in such notable projects as: "Harriet the Spy," "To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday," "Random Hearts," "American History X," and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Dr. McCarthy co-produced the documentary film, "Clint Eastwood presents Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way," with producer/director, Bruce Ricker and executive producer Clint Eastwood, and also produced a series of short, biographical documentary films about George Lucas (Historic Graffiti Cruise Route) as part of the permanent “American Graffiti” kiosk museum installment in Modesto, CA. She’s currently producing a new indie feature film, “Carlos Through the Tall Grass” (

Dr. McCarthy has been a keynote speaker for many events and conferences, including the Star Wars 30th Anniversary Conference, Wizard World Comic Con, Fanime, and Steve Wozniak’s Silicon Valley Con, where she promoted and sold her book about George Lucas (and the Hero’s Journey) and discussed her current work on The Heroine's Journey--a feminist post-structuralist reimagining of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey model for theoreticians, screenwriters, and filmmakers. Her discussion of The Heroine’s Journey is currently featured on She is also a regular speaker and panelist at the University Film & Video Association.

Dr. McCarthy's publications on The Heroine’s Journey include: "The Heroine's Journey: Claire Beauchamp Reclaims the Feminine,” Adoring Outlander: Essays on Fandom, Genre, and Female Readership (McFarland Press 2016); “Jack Frost, Rise of the Guardians & the Heroine’s Journey: Gender-Bending Back to the Goddess” in, 4th Wave Feminism in Film (McFarland, 2019), "Star Wars Special Editions: Film Ownership & Cultural Implications," Lucas: His Hollywood Legacy (2022), and her soon-to-be released book, The Heroine’s Journey for Screenwriters and Filmmakers (McFarland).


  • –present
    Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of English/Film Studies, University of the Pacific