Disaster Films

I was one of the first people to write about the disaster film genre as a form of melodrama, and to study the narrative and emotional structures of these blockbuster Hollywood films in terms of their political implications. You can find two of my articles here. 


Independence Day

Spectacles of History: Race Relations, Melodrama, and the Science Fiction / Disaster Film

Published in Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture and Media Studies—50. 17: 2 (May 2002): 109-153.

  • A close analysis of the disaster film genre in the 1990s and after, from Twister and Dante’s Peak to Independence Day.
  • This was one of the first critical analyses of melodrama in contemporary Hollywood action films, and among the first to discuss disaster films in relation to race relations



Representing Politics in Disaster Films

In International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 7:3 (Dec. 2011): 349-356.

  • Focusing on the question of responsibility in  disaster films after 9/11  and after Hurricane Katrina, with examples from The Day After Tomorrow and 2012.
  • I argue that recent disaster films have had to balance issues of political and social responsibility with the general question of emergency response, as the films feature natural accidents, environmental disasters, and corrupt government schemes.