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About Dr Katie Barnett

Katie joined the department in 2018, having worked previously at the University of Birmingham, where she gained her PhD in 2013, and the University of Worcester.

She has a particular interest in issues of representation and constructions of gender family on screen, and has published a wide range of academic work on fatherhood, boyhood and girlhood in film and television, including the book Fathers on Film: Paternity and Masculinity in 1990s Hollywood, released in 2020.

Katie is a member of the British Association for American Studies, and a former editor of the North American Studies journal 49th Parallel.



Katie’s teaching covers a range of areas within Film Studies, including modules on British cinema, introductory film theory, auteurship, and family film (as part of the Screen Themes module). She also teaches Media Studies modules on documentary and media representation.


Katie’s research focuses broadly on representations of gender and the family in popular screen culture, especially Hollywood cinema. She has a particular research interest in depictions of fatherhood and masculinity, on which she has published a range of work, as well as representations of adolescent boyhood and girlhood on television. Currently, she is researching images of siblinghood on film.

Published Work


Fathers on Film: Paternity and Masculinity in 1990s Hollywood. London: Bloomsbury (2020).

Journal articles

"I’m (Not) A Girl: Animating Experiences of Adolescence in Bob’s Burgers." Journal of Popular Television 7:1 (2019), 2-23.

"The Once and Future King: Negotiating the Survival of Boys in 1990s Hollywood."  Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 8:2 (2015), 25-42.

Book chapters

"'I’m the back-up parent. The understudy': Postfeminist Fatherhood in The Descendants." In Feminist Fathering / Fathering Feminists: New Definitions and Directions, ed. Nicole Willey & Dan Friedman. Ontario: Demeter Press (2020).

"On the Cusp: Exploring male adolescence and the underbelly of high school in Freaks and Geeks." In Children, Youth and American Television, ed. Adrian Schober & Debbie Olson. London: Routledge (2018), 223-240.

"It’s Only Teenage Wasteland: The Home Media Revival of Freaks and Geeks." In Cult Media: Re-Packaged, Re-Released and Restored, ed. Jonathan Wroot & Andy Willis. London: Palgrave (2017), 85-104.

"'We’re his goddamn kids too': The on-screen fatherhood of Robin Williams." In Fatherhood in Contemporary Discourse: Focus on Fathers, ed. Anna Pilińska. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars (2017), 180-192.

"Any Closer and you'd be Mom: The limits of post-feminist paternity in the films of Robin Williams.” In Screening Images of American Masculinity in the Age of Postfeminism, ed. Elizabeth Abele and John Gronbeck-Tedesco. Lanham: Lexington (2015), 19-34.

Online articles

"Best Interests and Bad Decisions: The Hollywoodization of Custody Battles." In Media Res, Aug 2019.

"Down the Rabbit Hole: Sex and Grief on Screen." Screening Sex, Oct 2017.

"This Is Me Now: Queer Time and Animated Childhood." Animation Studies 2.0, Sept 2017.

"Versions of Yourself: Nora Ephron as Women's Storyteller." Bitch Flicks, Apr 2017.

"Sisterhood and Salvation in A League of Their Own." Bitch Flicks, Sept 2016.

"Designing a Module, Redux: Or, Why We're Watching Buffy Again This Year." U.S. Studies Online, Nov 2014.

"Father of the Year: Bill Clinton's Paternal Redemption." U.S. Studies Online, Jun 2014.

"60 Seconds with..." Interview, U.S. Studies Online, Sept 2014.


  • PhD (University of Birmingham)
  • MA (University of East Anglia)
  • BA (Hons) (University of Hull)