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.
She lectures in Contemporary Screen Media and teaches on a range of modules in Film, Television and Broadcast Media at the university’s Hastings campus.
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.
Building on the themes and contexts in her PhD research, Holly has written publications on Macaulay Culkin’s career as a child star, seriality as a production strategy, and the wrestler Hulk Hogan’s family films (with Dr Ben Litherland). Her next major research project will explore how and why ‘family entertainment’ became increasingly prevalent in the United States, during the 1980s and 1990s.
Her 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).
Holly is committed to Widening Participation in Higher Education and has delivered several summer school courses on Media Studies to Year 10 and Year 12 pupils, which aimed to spark their interest in university study.
Chard, H. (2019) Mainstream Maverick: John Hughes and New Hollywood Cinema. Austin: University of Texas Press. (Under contract)
Chard, H. and Litherland, B. (2019) '“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan: Stardom, Synergy and Field Migration', Cinema Journal, 59:1, Fall. (Forthcoming)
Chard, H. (2017) ‘“Give people what they expect”: John Hughes’ family films and seriality in 1990s Hollywood’, Film Studies, 17, Autumn.
Chard, H. (2019) 'Domesticating the Comedian: Comic Performance, Narrative and the Family in John Hughes’ 1980s Comedian Films', in Timothy Shary & Frances Smith (eds), The Films of John Hughes, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. (In preparation)
Chard, H. (2017) ‘Macaulay Culkin and Child Stardom in the 1990s’, in Jane O’Connor & John Mercer (eds), Childhood and Celebrity, London: Routledge, pp. 110-121.
Chard, H. (2016) ‘‘Give people what they expect’: John Hughes’ family films and seriality in 1990s Hollywood’, 22nd SERCIA Conference: Cinema & Seriality, Université Paris Diderot, France, 8-10 September.
Chard, H. (2014) ‘Exploitation: The Promotion of Video Releases in the U.S. During the Early 1980s’, International Association for Media & History Masterclass, LUCA School of Arts, Brussels, Belgium, 10 January.
Chard, H. (2013) ‘An all-family film’ or ‘totally inappropriate for children’?: Selling Home Alone 2 to the Family Audience in the 1990s’, 25th International Association for Media & History Conference: Childhood & The Media, University of Leicester, UK, 17-20 July.
Chard, H. (2012) ‘Negotiating Nostalgia Through Humour and Slapstick in Dennis The Menace’, Drawing the Line: 6th International Comedy Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, 31 May - 1 June.
Chard, H. (2011) ‘‘Kid Power Conquers Hollywood’?: Macaulay Culkin, Child Stardom and Nineties Hollywood‘, Child Actors/Child Stars: Juvenile Performance on Screen, University of Sunderland, UK, 8-9 September.
My teaching strategies are student-focused and are constantly evolving, in response to my own experiences, student feedback and wider changes in teaching practice.
I believe that empowering students, giving them the confidence to express their ideas and to collaborate with their peers, is a crucial part of university teaching. I therefore try to create a supportive and engaging classroom environment that fosters open and respectful discussion. I also feel it is important to provide opportunities for students to explore new topics in creative ways and to utilize technology in the classroom.
I want students to feel that their perspectives are valued and that they have something to add to the debate. I ensure that the content of my seminars and lectures is grounded through the use of real-life examples, so that students can relate our discussions to their own experiences and start to view the media that surround them in more critical way.