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Personal profile

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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Film Studies, Doctor of Philosophy, King's College London


Film Studies, Master of Arts, University of East Anglia


Film and American Studies, Bachelor of Arts



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