Dr Karen McNally

Dr Karen McNally is a Reader in American Film, Television and Cultural History. 

Head shot of Karen McNally

Karen McNally

Dr Karen McNally holds a PhD and Masters (Distinction) in Film Studies from the University of Nottingham and a BA (First Class) in Film and Television Studies and American Studies from Brunel University. She has previously worked at the University of Reading as a postdoctoral researcher.

Dr McNally's research focuses on Hollywood film and contemporary American television. Particular areas of expertise include stardom, representations of gender and race in classical Hollywood, the Hollywood musical, American history on film and television, and screen representations of Trump-era politics. Karen currently teaches and publishes in these areas and welcomes applications for doctoral research supervision on any relevant topics.

Dr McNally teaches a variety of modules on topics including stardom and performance, the representation of merican history in film, contemporary American television, and the Hollywood musical.

  • American Television during a Television Presidency (Wayne State University Press, 2022)
  • "The Political is Personal: Dramatizing and Documenting Trump Era Politics in The Good Fight" in Karen McNally (ed.), American Television in the Trump Era (Wayne State University Press, forthcoming 2021)
  • The Stardom Film, Creating the Hollywood Fairy Tale (New York: Columbia University Press, 2020)
  • "Beyond the Performance: Ida Lupino and the American Business of Show" in Phillip Sipiora (ed.), The Films of Ida Lupino (New York: Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming 2020)
  • "Suppression, Expression and Disruption: Frank Sinatra’s Screen Image in the Hollywood Musical" in N. T. Binh (ed.), Musicals: Cinema’s Bliss (Les Impressions Nouvelles/Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2020)
  • ‘“Play real pretty for the people: Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr. and Racial Politics in Hollywood’s Post-War Jazz Musicals" in Pierre-Olivier Toulza and Aurélie Ledoux, The Politics of Hollywood Musicals (Paris: Presses de Paris Nanterre, forthcoming 2020)
  • The Legacy of Mad Men: Cultural History, Intermediality and American Television (co-edited with Kirsty Fairclough, Jane Marcellus, Teresa Forde) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 251-262
  • "Reading Mad Men in the Era of Trump" (with Teresa Forde) in The Legacy of Mad Men: Cultural History, Intermediality and American Television (co-edited with Kirsty Fairclough, Jane Marcellus, Teresa Forde) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2019)
  • "Featuring the Nicholas Brothers: Spectacle, Structure and Racial Interventions in the Hollywood Musical" in Marguerite Chabrol and Pierre-Olivier Toulza (eds.), Star Turns in Hollywood Musicals (Dijon: Presses du Réel, 2017), 80-97
  • "Damaged Beauty: Montgomery Clift, tragedy and the redefinition of a star image" in Kate Egan and Sarah Thomas (eds.), Cult Film Stardom: Offbeat Attractions and Processes of Cultification (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 181-196
  • "Hollywood Stars vs Variety Show Hosts: The Incompatible Case of Frank Sinatra on 1950s Television’, European Journal of American Culture 31:2 (July 2012), 107-121
  • Billy Wilder, Movie-Maker: Critical Essays on the Films (Jefferson: McFarland, 2011)
  • ‘“Have they forgotten what a star looks like?: Image and Theme with Dino, Cagney and Fedora" in Karen McNally (ed.), Billy Wilder, Movie-Maker: Critical Essays on the Films (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011), 87-101
  • "Sailors and Kissing Bandits: The Challenging Spectacle of Frank Sinatra at MGM" in Steven Cohan (ed.), The Sound of Musicals (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
  • When Frankie Went to Hollywood: Frank Sinatra and American Male Identity (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008)
  • "The Geordie and the American Hero: Revisiting Classic Hollywood Masculinity in When the Boat Comes In", Journal of British Cinema and Television (May 2007), 102-120
  • “Where’s the spinning wheel?: Frank Sinatra and Working-Class Alienation in Young at Heart", Journal of American Studies, 41 (2007), 115-133
  • “Sinatra, Commie Playboy: Frank Sinatra, Post-War Liberalism and Press Paranoia", Film Studies, Hollywood Blacklist Special Issue co-edited by Steve Neale and Peter Stanfield, Issue 7:1 (Winter 2005), 43-53
  • “Your blood’s the same as mine: The House I Live In and the Post-War Push for Tolerance", Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies CD-ROM Annual (May 2005)
  • "Films for Swingin Lovers: Frank Sinatra, Performance and Sexual Objectification in The Tender Trap and Pal Joey", Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies (May 2002)

Dr Karen McNally has been interviewed for a variety of radio and television programmes and newspaper and magazine articles nationally and internationally in relation to Hollywood film and American television. She has appeared on BBC Radio 2, BBC World Service and Channel 4, published in The Conversation US, and appeared at public events at the British Film Institute and in Europe as an expert in Hollywood film.

Dr Karen McNally
Senior Lecturer and course leader for Film and Television Studies BA (Hons), Journalism, Film and Television Studies – BA (Hons)