McHugh, Kathleen


Kaplan 244
Tel: 310.825.4173 / Fax: 310.267.4339 / E-mail



Ph.D. in 1991 from Indiana University, M.A and B.A in 1985 and 1982 respectively, from the University of Florida.



Contemporary critical and feminist theory; film and visual culture; industrial media feminism; prose and visual autobiography and self-narration


Selected Works

American Domesticity: From How-To Manual to Hollywood Melodrama (Oxford, 1999); co-editor (with Nancy Abelmann) South Korean Golden Age Melodrama: Gender, Genre and National Cinema (2005); co-editor (with Vivian Sobchack) Film Feminisms, a special issue of SIGNS; and published articles on domesticity, feminism, melodrama, the avant-garde, and autobiography in such journals as Cultural Studies, Jump Cut, Screen, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Velvet Light Trap.

Additional Information

In American Domesticity: From How-To Manual to Hollywood Melodrama, Kathleen McHugh considered how constructions of an affective, melodramatic domesticity in US cinema, one in which little or no labor actually takes place, perpetuates the fantasy of gendered public and private spheres. This fantasy in turn functions to obfuscate the significance of other social distinctions such as race and class. In South Korean Golden Age Melodrama, she investigated the development and articulation of questions of labor, affect, and domesticity from a comparative national perspective. McHugh’s forthcoming book, Jane Campion, considers how this director appropriates and re-motivates melodramatic tropes to articulate a very different kind of “woman’s film” that refuses the conventional constructions of femininity in industry cinema. McHugh’s concurrent publications on cinematic self-narration explore work that repudiates private, affective constructions of the self, opting instead for self-representation construed through public and historical structures and rubrics. She is currently beginning a new project on Industrial Media Feminism.

Interest Areas
• Visual Culture / Media Studies / Digital Humanities