Dr Tracey Mollet
Lecturer in Media and Communication
0113 343 8457
Clothworkers' Building North, 2.23
Office hours: Tuesdays 11am-12pm, Thursdays 9-10am
BA (Hons) MA PhD FHEA
Having completed both my BA and MA in Modern History before joining the School of Media and Communication, I came to this discipline from a very different background to many of the other research staff in the department.
For my PhD, I combined my passion for History with my love for animation, researching the ideology of the animated shorts of the Disney and Schlesinger Studios in the 1930s and 1940s. I used a combination of archival research and content analysis to uncover the ways in which the cartoon shorts provided a commentary on the Great Depression, including social conditions, political debates and the international situation.
My current research is centred around Disney fairy tales and their connection to the American dream. I am also fascinated by complex serial narratives in television, specifically the Duffer Brothers’ Netflix series ‘Stranger Things.’
- Disney animation
- Warner Brothers animation
- Depression culture and its impact on film
- Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, James Gunn
- WW2 and Hollywood film
- Fairy tales on film and in television
- Contemporary US serial narratives (Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Dexter, Lost)
COMM1890 Screen Narrative
COMM1830 Introduction to Cinema
COMM5370 International Film Industries
Admissions Tutor for the BA in Communications and Media
Language Centre Co-ordinator
Cartoons in Hard Times The Animated Shorts of Disney and Warner Brothers in Depression and War 1932-1945 (Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2017),
Through a combination of content analysis, historical understanding and archival research, this book sheds new light on a hitherto unexplored area of animation, suggesting the ways in which Disney and Warner Brothers animation engaged with ...
‘Looking Through the Upside Down: Hyperpostmodernism and trans-mediality in the Duffer Brothers' Stranger Things series’, Journal of Popular Television 2018 (Accepted),
Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/128442/
This article puts forward the argument that Stranger Things and Stranger Things 2 are not only excellent examples of postmodern TV drama, but they take on what Valerie Wee has termed a ‘hyper-postmodernism’ through their heightened level of intertextual referencing that emerges ‘as text.’ Both series also extensively break down the boundaries between film, television, literature and ‘geek’ culture. This is done both within the text itself, and through the audience’s invited interaction with the text, as the show demonstrates significant awareness of the trans-medial, Easter-egg hunting tendencies of its binge-watching followers.
‘The ultimate Stallone reader: Sylvester Stallone as star, icon, auteur, edited by Chris Holmlund’, Celebrity Studies, 8.2 (2017), 361-363,
DOI: 10.1080/19392397.2017.1311643, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/120201/
‘Deconstructing Brad Pitt , edited by Christopher Schaberg and Robert Bennett, New York, Bloomsbury, 2014, 296 pp., £23.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-1-62-356179-6’, Celebrity Studies, 8.1 (2017), 183-185,
‘The American Dream: Walt Disney's Fairy Tales’, in Fairy Tale World, ed. by Teverson A (Routledge, 2017) (Accepted),
Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/125359/
The relationship between the Disney and fairy tales is well known, stemming primarily from Disney’s first animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Snow White elevates the importance of character; the triumph of the ordinary hero and the desire for relief from a current setting. Borne out of the Depression culture in the 1930s , these tenets are central to the narrative of the American Dream and feature in all of Disney’s fairy tales. However, mirroring socio-cultural change within American society, Disney’s fairy tale princesses and villains are now more emotionally complex, and the nature of the ‘happily ever after’ has shifted, evidencing a transformation in Disney fairy tale narratives.
‘With a Smile and a Song...": Walt Disney and the birth of the American Fairy Tale’, in Debating Disney: Pedagogical Perspectives on Commercial Cinema (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016),
Peer reviewer for Social Sciences Journal
PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision
I am interested in supervising dissertations on the following topics:-
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy