Sean Griffin is a professor in the SMU Meadows Division of Film and Media Arts. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 1997; his dissertation became the book Tinker Belles and Evil Queens: The Walt Disney Company from the Inside Out, examining the relationships between Disney and lesbian/gay/queer culture. Griffin is also the author of Free and Easy?: A Defining History of the American Film Musical Genre and co-author of America on Film: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies and Queer Images: A History of Lesbian and Gay Film in America. He has also edited several anthologies and contributed a number of articles on the musical genre, soap operas and Disney to journals and other anthologies.
Prior to becoming a professor, Dr. Griffin helped produce television ad campaigns for Disney and Touchstone motion pictures, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?; Dead Poets Society; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; The Little Mermaid; Pretty Woman; Dick Tracy; and Beauty and the Beast.
Ph.D. and M.A. in Cinema-Television/Critical Studies, University of Southern California
B.A. English, Loyola University, Chicago
Dr. Griffin teaches courses on the history of animation and on musicals - and often sings to his classes! He teaches a variety of other history/criticism courses from introductory to upper-division courses on film/media theory, as well as graduate seminar courses, including:
America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies, 3rd edition, co-authored with Harry M. Benshoff (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2021)
Free and Easy?: A Defining History of the American Film Musical Genre (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2017)
What Dreams Were Made Of: Movie Stars of the 1940s, ed. Sean Griffin (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2011)
Hetero: Queering Representations of Straightness, ed. Sean Griffin (New York: SUNY Press, 2009)
Queer Images: A History of Gay and Lesbian Film in America, co-authored with Harry M. Benshoff (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006)
In Focus: Queer Theory, The Film Reader, co-edited with Harry M. Benshoff (London and New York: Routledge, 2004)
Tinker Belles and Evil Queens: The Walt Disney Company from the Inside Out (New York: New York University Press, 2000)
Articles and Book Chapters
“Mamae eu quero: Carmen Miranda’s Maternal Abundance,” rebeca 2:2 (July-December 2012).
“Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland: Babes and Beyond,” What Dreams Were Made Of: Movie Stars of the 1940s, ed. Sean Griffin (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2011).
“Bloody Mary Is the Girl I Love: U.S. White Liberalism vs. Pacific Islander Subjectivity in South Pacific,” The Sound of Musicals, ed. Steven Cohan (London: BFI/Palgrave, 2010).
“The Illusion of ‘Identity’: Gender and Racial Representation in Aladdin,” Animation: Art and Industry, ed. Maureen Furniss (Eastleigh, UK: John Libbey, 2008).
“The Wearing of the Green: Performing Irishness in the Fox Wartime Musical,” The Irish in Us: Irishness, Performativity, and Popular Culture, ed. Diane Negra (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006).
“Curiouser and Curiouser: Lesbian/Gay Days at the Disney Theme Parks,” Rethinking Disney: Private Control and Public Dimensions, eds. Mike Budd, William Covino and Mix Kirsch (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2005).
“Tailoring Expectations: An Anatomy of a TV Spot Campaign for a Theatrical Film” in Demnachst in Ihrem Kino. Grundlagen der Filmwerbung, eds. Vinzenz Hediger and Patrick Vonderau (Marburg: Schuren, 2004).
“The Gang’s All Here: Generic vs. Racial Integration in the 1940s Musical,” Cinema Journal 42:1 (Fall 2002).
“‘You’ve Never Had a Friend Like Me’: Target Marketing Disney to a Gay Community,” Gender, Race and Class in Media: A Text-Reader, eds. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2002).
“Kings of the Wild Backyard: Davy Crockett and Children’s Space,” Kids’ Media Culture, ed. Marsha Kinder (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999).
“‘Pronoun Trouble’: The Queerness of Animation,” Spectator 15:1 (Fall 1994).
“Play MST-y for Me: The Discursive Excess of Mystery Science Theater 3000,” Spectator 14:1 (Fall 1993).
“Keeping Erica Alive: Soap Opera and the Problem of Mastery,” Spectator 9:2 (Fall 1989).
|FILM 1301||The Art of Film & Media|
|FILM 2344||History of Animated Film|
|FILM 2351||International Film History|
|FILM 3352||American Film History|
|FILM 3353||American Broadcast History|
|FILM 2362||Diversity and American Film|
|FILM 3300,||Film/TV Genres: Musical|
|FILM 3300||Film/TV Genres: Soap Opera|
|FILM 3375||Postwar European Cinema, 1945-Present|
|FILM 4353||Philosophy of Film/Media|