Assistant Professor Mark Minett has joined the USC Department of English Language and Literature!
Mark's specializations include Television Studies, Film Studies, Comics Studies, historical poetics, and transmedia genre.
Dr. Minett earned his MA and Ph.D. in Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he focused on Film Studies, with a graduate minor in Media and Cultural Studies. Originally from northeast Ohio, Dr. Minett earned his BA in English, with a focus on Film Studies, from Oberlin College. His current research has two focuses – on filmed television in the 1950s and 1960s, and on the superhero as a transmedia genre. That first focus springs from his dissertation research on Hollywood Renaissance director Robert Altman’s filmmaking in the early 1970s and his time in what have been termed as the “training grounds” of industrial film and filmed television prior to the launch of his successful feature film career.
Both research agendas involve considering the movement of storytelling practices, concepts, and creative personnel across media, and both explore popular media that have been rejected until recently as junk media, and as not particularly worthy of serious consideration. While some have sought to legitimate examination of popular culture by connecting it to weighty sociocultural thematics, Dr. Minett is more interested in the ways in which industry constraints and affordances and creative traditions shaped the novel storytelling solutions developed during specific periods within specific media.
Generating interesting thematic frameworks could certainly be an important part of the design of such media, but, Dr. Minett argues, we shouldn’t overlook the more immediate and perhaps more visceral pleasures that they sought to offer, and we shouldn’t forget that the aims and strategies of media-makers vary significantly, in small and large ways, within and across specific historical contexts. Dr. Minett hopes his work sheds some light both on the concrete features often taken for granted in these works, and on the concrete processes involved in their production.