Sue Collins

Sue Collins


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Assistant Professor of Communication, Culture, & Media, Humanities

  • PhD, New York University


Dr. Sue Collins's research interests include media and cultural history, political economy of media industries and popular culture, and critical cultural policy studies. She is currently working on a book entitled, Calling All Stars: Hollywood, Cultural Labor, & the Politics of Authority During WWI. The project is concerned with how celebrity/star authority became cultural commonsense. It focuses on a decisive moment in celebrity’s development as a form of political authority--when government officials recruited the commercial film industry and its stars to endorse war mobilization. It argues that the stars' participation in the propaganda campaign represented a new manner of linking state policy with cultural activities in the formation of unified national identity. Dr. Collins is the recipient of the 2014 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute fellowship, World War I and the Arts: Sound, Vision, Psyche. She has published her work in Television & New Media, and Film History, and in book chapters on celebrity and activism, war and propaganda, and film history.

She teaches such courses as Media Industries, Globalization & Media, Popular Culture, and Communication Theory.

Links of Interest

Recent Publications

  • “Star Testimonies and Trailers: Mobilizing During World War I,” article under review with Cinema Journal.
  • “Politainment,” co-authored with Kristina Riegert, The International Encyclopedia of Political Communication, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, in press.
  • “Send Your Soldier to the Show with Smileage: Film, Cultural Policy, and the World War I Training Camps,” Film History, 26, 1 (April 2014): 1-49
  • "Performing Ordinary: Politicians, Celebrity, & the Politics of Representation on Entertainment Talk," Popular Culture Studies Journal, 2 (October 2014): 109-139. Online issue:
  • “I’m Not a Celebrity but I Play One on Late-Night TV: The Problem with Politicians and Celebrity.” In Venomous Speech and Other Problems in American Political Discourse, Vol. 2, edited by Clarke Rountree, Praeger, 2013.
  • “Propaganda Studies: The U.S. Interwar Years.” In Media History and the Foundations of Media Studies, Vol. 1, The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 578-609, edited by John Nerone and Angharad Valdivia. MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  • “After 4 Years of a Celebrity President,” is Romney the Anti-Celebrity Candidate?” Contributing curator, In Media Res, “Political Polarization” theme week, August 13-17, 2012; online publication:
  • “Bonding with the Crowd: Silent Film Stars, Liveness, and the Public Sphere.” In Convergence Media History, edited by Janet Staiger and Sabine Hake, 117-126. New York: Routledge, 2009.
  • “Celebrity Activism and 9/11: ‘A Simple Show of Unity.’” In War Isn’t Hell, It’s Entertainment: War in Modern Culture and Visual Media, edited by Rikke Schubart and Fabian Virchow, Tanja Thomas and Debra White-Stanley, 77-93. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland Publishers, 2009.
  • “Making the Most Out of Fifteen Minutes: Reality TV’s Dispensable Celebrity,” Television & New Media, 9, 2 (March 2008), 87-110.
  • “Traversing Authenticities: President Bartlet and Activist Sheen?” In Politicotainment: Television’s Take on the Real, edited by Kristina Riegert, 181-211. New York: Peter Lang, 2007.


  • “Authorizing the Celebrity Intellectual,” paper accepted to be presented, Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Montreal, March 2015.
  • “Star Testimonies: Speeches, Tours, and Trailers,” symposium lecture at The Great War: Experience Representations, Effects, University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, October 2014.
  • “Star Testimonies: Allegory, Melodrama, and Atrocities in the Liberty Bond Propaganda Films,” paper presented, Legacies of World War I conference, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, November, 2014.
  • “ ‘Show Your Soldier Boy a Good Time”: Smileage, Cultural Policy, and WWI Training Camp Amusements,” paper presented, Cultural Studies Association Conference, Salt Lake City, 2014.
  • “Send Your Soldier to the Show with Smileage: Film, Cultural Policy, and the Politics of Authority During World War I,” paper presented at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Chicago, March 2013.
  • “Performing the Ordinary: Politicians, Political Style, and the Celebrity Frame,” paper presented at the International Communication Association, London, June 2013.
  • “War Mobilization and Cultural Policy: A Challenge to Propaganda Theory,” paper presented at the New Histories of Communication Study Preconference, International Communication Association conference, London, June 2013.
  • “Performing Citizenship: Crisis and the Celebrity Media Event,” paper presented at Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, New Orleans, March 2011.
  • “The Work of Watching: Immaterial Labor of Recombinant Cable News,” paper presented at the National Association of Communication conference, San Francisco, November, 2010.