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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Holly Chard is a media historian whose research focuses on the American media industries from the late 1970s onwards, with an emphasis on Hollywood cinema. 

Her recent and forthcoming publications explore child stardom in the 1990s, seriality in nineties Hollywood cinema, professional wrestling stardom in the 1980s, and the career and films of writer-producer-director John Hughes.

Holly’s research interests include: histories of Hollywood cinema, family entertainment, popular music and ‘synergy’, teen-oriented media, stardom and celebrity, the politics of representation in film and television comedy, conceptualizing film authorship, and media historiography.

Scholarly biography

Holly completed her PhD at the University of Sussex in 2014 and has drawn on her historical investigations of Hollywood cinema in several book chapters and articles, as well as presenting her research at various conferences and events in the UK and Europe.

Her PhD research explored debates on the commercial and textual priorities of New Hollywood cinema through examination of the career of writer-director-producer John Hughes. Utilizing an extensive array of previously unexamined primary materials, she investigated Hughes’ career, his status within the American media industries, and his work as a commercially successful and agenda-setting filmmaker in the 1980s and 1990s.

Holly is currently in the final stages of revising a monograph based on her research on John Hughes, which will be published through the University of Texas Press. Building on the themes and contexts in her PhD research, she has also produced publications on Macaulay Culkin’s career as a child star, seriality as a production strategy, the wrestler Hulk Hogan’s family films (with Dr Ben Litherland), and comedian comedy in the 1980s. 

Holly's research has fed into, and been influenced by, her teaching on a variety of undergraduate courses in Media and Film Studies at the University of Brighton (2015-) and at the University of Sussex (2009-2014).

Supervisory Interests

Holly is particularly interested in supervising research projects in the following areas: Hollywood cinema, cinema history, contemporary American television, authorship and film, genre, comedy, stardom and celebrity, teen films and television, family entertainment

If you are planning a project that is connected to her research expertise, but not listed above, feel free to contact her to discuss it further. 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Sussex

Oct 2008Jul 2014

Master, University of Sussex

Oct 2007Oct 2008

Bachelor, University of Manchester

Sep 2004Jul 2007


  • E151 United States (General)
  • Media
  • Cinema
  • Popular Culture
  • Television
  • Celebrity
  • Stardom
  • GV Recreation Leisure
  • Audiences
  • Cultural Studies
  • Teen Film
  • Teen TV
  • Family Entertainment
  • Comedy

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Research Output

John Hughes and New Hollywood Cinema

Chard, H., Apr 2019, (Accepted/In press) Austin: University of Texas Press.

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored

“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan: Stardom, Synergy and Field Migration

Chard, H. & Litherland, B., 24 Jul 2019, In : Cinema Journal. 58, 4, p. 21-44

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • ‘Give People What They Expect’: John Hughes’ Family Films and Seriality in 1990s Hollywood

    Chard, H., 26 Jan 2018, In : Film Studies. 17, 1, p. 111-127 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Macaulay Culkin and child stardom in the 1990s

    Chard, H., 24 Mar 2017, Childhood and celebrity. O'Connor, J. & Mercer, J. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

    Open Access
  • Activities

    • 7 Oral presentation

    ‘Don’t Ruin the Fantasy, Okay?: Teenage Masculinity and Fantasies of Womanhood in Weird Science’ (1985)

    Holly Chard (Presenter)
    4 Jul 2018

    Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation

    'Give people what they expect’: John Hughes’ family films and seriality in 1990s Hollywood

    Holly Chard (Presenter)
    9 Sep 2016

    Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation

    Exploitation: The Promotion of Video Releases in the U.S. During the Early 1980s

    Holly Chard (Presenter)
    10 Jan 2014

    Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation