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About Dr Katie Barnett

Katie joined the Department of Music, Media and Performance in 2018 as a lecturer in Film Studies, having worked previously at the University of Worcester and the University of Birmingham, where she gained her PhD in 2013.

Her research focuses on images of family and gender on screen, with a particular interest in American film. She has published a wide range of academic work on representations of fatherhood, boyhood and masculinity in film and television, including the book Fathers on Film: Paternity and Masculinity in 1990s Hollywood, released in 2020 by Bloomsbury. More recently, she has published work on images of siblinghood on screen and is currently writing a book on the topic, focusing on post-2000s American cinema.

Katie teaches a wide range of modules on film and media, including those on Hollywood and world cinema, visual narratives, and auteurship. She has supervised successful MRes projects on #MeToo in Hollywood and the Coen brothers’ westerns, and is currently supervising MRes work on European crime television and a PhD study of queer feminist spectatorship and the impact of Section 28.

In 2021 she co-led a funded project for the British Association for American Studies focusing on the sustainable promotion of American Studies in UK higher education.

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


Katie teaches across topics in Film Studies and Media Studies, including modules on Hollywood cinema, key movements in world cinema, visual narrative storytelling and auteurship, as well as material on key media theories.


Katie’s research focuses broadly on representations of family and gender in American film and television. She has published extensively on images of fatherhood, adolescence and masculinity on screen and is the author of Fathers on Film: Paternity and Masculinity in 1990s Hollywood (Bloomsbury, 2020). She is currently researching contemporary cinematic representations of siblings and her book,Screening Siblings in Contemporary American Film, is due for publication with Bloomsbury in 2025.

Published Work


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

Journal articles

“Invisible Presences: The Elusive Twin and the Empty Screen in Personal Shopper.” Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural 8 (2022), 47-63.

“‘If Ever There Was Someone to Keep Me at Home’: Theorizing Screen Representations of Siblinghood Through a Case Study of Into the Wild (2007).” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 39:4 (2022), 842-866.

"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

“The Once and Future King: Negotiating the survival of boys in 1990s Hollywood.” In Cinemas of Boyhood: Masculinity, Sexuality, Nationality, ed. Timothy Shary. New York: Berghahn Books (2021), 31-48

"'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)