James Kendrick

James Kendrick
Professor, Film & Digital Media, Undergraduate Program Director
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Ph.D., Communication & Culture, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2005
M.A., Journalism, Baylor University, 1999
B.A., English, Baylor University, 1996


James Kendrick is professor and undergraduate program director in the Department of Film & Digital Media. He teaches classes on film theory/aesthetics, the history of motion pictures, media and society, violence in the media, the films of Steven Spielberg, and horror film.

He earned a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from Indiana University, Bloomington, and also holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Journalism, both from Baylor University. His primary research interests are post-Classical Hollywood film history, the films of Steven Spielberg, violence in the media, cult and horror films, media censorship and regulation, and cinema and new technologies.

He is the author of three books: Darkness in the Bliss-Out:A Reconsideration of the Films of Steven Spielberg (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014), Hollywood Bloodshed: Violence in 1980s American Cinema (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009) and Film Violence: History, Ideology, Genre (Wallflower Press, 2009). He is currently editing an anthology on action films for Wiley-Blackwell’s Companion series, which will be published in 2018. He has also published numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles in Film Criticism, The Velvet Light Trap, the Journal of Film and Video, and the Journal of Popular Film and Television, as well as presented papers at many conferences. In addition to his academic work, he is also the film critic for the web site Qnetwork.com (where he has written more than 2,500 feature-length reviews). He is a member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the University Film and Video Association , and the Online Film Critics Society.

Recent publications

Darkness in the Bliss-Out: A Reconsideration of the Films of Steven Spielberg. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.

Film Violence: History, Ideology, Genre. Wallflower Press, London, 2009.

Hollywood Bloodshed: Screen Violence and 1980s American Cinema. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, 2009.

Recent and Forthcoming Journal Articles/Book Chapters

A Companion to the Action Film. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2018.

“Extreme Violence and Western Cinema.” Chapter in The Cambridge World History of Violence, Volume 4: The Modern World, edited by Louise Edwards, Nigel Penn, and Jay Winter. In publication, Cambridge University Press, 2018."

“An Improbable Career: The Films of Terrence Malick.” Chapter in Theology and the Films of Terrence Malick, edited by Christopher B. Barnett and Clark J. Ellston. In publication at Routledge, 2016.

“Finding His Voice: Experimentation and Innovation in Duel, The Sugarland Express, and 1941.” Chapter in A Companion to Steven Spielberg, edited by Nigel Morris. In publication at Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ, 2016.

“Ambiguous Loss: The Depiction of Child Abduction in Spielberg’s Early Films.” Chapter in Spielberg’s Children: The Child in the Films of Steven Spielberg, edited by Adrian Schober and and Debbie Olson. In publication at Lexington Books, Washington, DC, 2016.

“‘Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn’: Chaos and Terror in Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler and The Dark Knight.” Chapter in Screening Terror: Cinematic Representations of Terrorism and State Terror, edited by Michael Flynn and Fabiola Fernandez-Salek. In publication at Columbia University Press, New York, 2016.

“Action Cinema.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies, edited by Krin Gabbard. Oxford University Press, New York, 2015.

“Slasher Films and Gore in the 1980s.” Chapter in A Companion to the Horror Film, edited by Harry Benshoff. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NH, 2014.

“The Shark Is Still Working: The Impact and Legacy of Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Amistad,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Minority Report,” “The Terminal,” “War of the Worlds.” Chapter entries in The Take2 Guide to Steven Spielberg, edited by Adam Zanzie. New York: Take2 Publishing, 2014.

“Phantom Cinema: Illuminating the Structuring Absences of Film History.” Forthcoming in Quarterly Review of Film and Video, December 2012, Vol. 30, No. 1.

“Disturbing New Pathways: Psycho and the Priming of the Audience.” Journal of Popular Film and Television, Spring 2010, Vol. 38, No. 1.

“A Return to the Graveyard: Notes on the Spiritual Horror Film.” Forthcoming chapter in the anthology American Horror Film: The Genre at the Turn of the Millennium, edited by Steffen Hantke. In publication at the University Press of Mississippi, 2010.

"Razors in the Dreamscape: Revisiting A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Slasher Film." Film Criticism, Spring 2009, Vol. 33, No. 3.

"Representing the Unrepresentable: The Violence of 9/11 in Oliver Stone's World Trade Center and Paul Greengrass' United 93." Chapter in the anthology Why We Fought: America's Wars in Film and History, edited by Peter C. Rollins and John E. O'Connor, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, 2008.