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Academic Staff

Dr Martha Shearer

Teaching Fellow in Film Studies

Martha Shearer-529-croppedEmail
Film Studies Department
King's College London
Room 331, Norfolk Building
Strand Campus






PhD in Film Studies (2013), King’s College London.

MA in Film Studies (2007) and BA (Hons) Film and American Studies (2006), both from the University of East Anglia.

Previously taught at LSE, University of Surrey, Kingston University, Oxford Brookes University and Royal Holloway, University of London, as well as at King’s.

Research Interests
  • American cinema, from the coming of sound to the present
  • Cinema and the city
  • Genre, especially the musical and the romantic comedy
  • Gender and feminism 
Martha Shearer’s research focuses on cities and urban space in American cinema and media, particularly in relation to genre, gender and the history of the Hollywood film industry. Her book New York City and the Hollywood Musical: Dancing in the Streets examined the relationship between New York’s representation in the Hollywood musical and the city’s history and geography, exploring how the city shaped the genre and how the genre shaped the representation of the city. She is currently co-editing a book on films and media at the margins and boundaries of the musical genre in a range of historical and global contexts as well as developing research on the interrelation of gender, genre and gentrification in contemporary American film and media. She has publications forthcoming on gender and the creative city in post-financial crisis indie films and on the city in film adaptations of musical theatre.


Selected Publications
  • New York City and the Hollywood Musical: Dancing in the Streets (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).
  • “A new way of living: West Side Story, street dance and the New York musical,” Screen 56, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 450-470.
  • “Sax and the City: New York, New York (Scorsese, 1977), Urban Decline and the Jazz Musical,” The Soundtrack 6, no.1 & 2 (March 2014): 53-66. 
Expertise and Public Engagement

Editorial board member, Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture,

Co-organiser of the conference Women and New Hollywood, to be held at Maynooth University in May 2018.

Co-organiser of the public engagement study day Genre and Gender, Couples and Culture: The Why and How of Romantic Comedy Research, held at the Cinema Museum in 2014 as part of Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities.

full research profile
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