Name: Harrison Whitaker

College: Darwin

Supervisor: Dr Joseph Bitney


Harrison Whitaker is a final-year PhD candidate at Cambridge Film and Screen. He holds a BA in English & American Literature from New York University and an MA in English & Comparative Literature from Columbia University. His interests include gender, counterculture, and critical theory as they relate to American cinema.


Harrison’s doctoral research focuses on evolving representations of labor and masculinity in New Hollywood, with a particular focus on character types. By tracking the evolution of figures like the Hustler and the Union Man in American media, art, literature, and popular culture, he is outlining the key ideological moves that distinguish New Hollywood from its classical counterpart.


  • “The Vengeful Dad: Violence, Paternalism, and Antifeminism in New Hollywood,” accepted at New Review of Film and Television Studies, forthcoming 2025
  • “Sondheim’s Puzzles,” accepted for a special issue of Critical Quarterly on Stephen Sondheim, forthcoming 2024
  • “How Hollywood Watched Television,” accepted at Cambridge Quarterly. Winner of the Richard D. Gooder Essay Prize
  • Review of Bigger Than Life: The Close-Up and Scale in Cinema by Mary Ann Doane, Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, 43.3 (2023), pp. 959-960
  • Review of Perplexing Plots: Popular Storytelling and the Poetics of Murder by David Bordwell, New Review of Film and Television Studies 21.3 (2023), pp. 587-590


Harrison supervises for Film (CS6: European Cinema, CS7: Cinema and The Political), English (Part II Paper 14: American Literature, Part II Paper 18: Visual Culture), and History of Art (Part II Paper 2: The Display of Art). He has also led a module on Independent Cinema at Anglia Ruskin University.

Seminar and Conference Papers

  • Norma Rae and Hollywood’s Representation of the Union Woman,” presented at the British Association of Film, Television, and Screen Studies Conference, University of Sussex, April 2024
  • “Hollywood’s Grand Theories of Television,” presented at the New American Studies Graduate Symposium, University of Groningen, December 2023
  • “Visions of Vengeance: Tracking the Father through New Hollywood Cinema,” presented as part of Darwin College, Cambridge’s Humanities & Social Sciences seminar series, October 2023
  • “London/Unreal: Dystopia and the Return to Urban Modernism,” presented at the European Popular Culture Conference, University of Stirling, July 2023
  • “The End of Hollywood’s Union Man,” presented at Images at Work: Labour and the Moving Image, King’s College London, June 2023
  • “The Hustler as Worker: Labor and Alienation in New Hollywood Cinema,” presented at the RIAS Middelburg International Seminar on American Studies, December 2022


Richard D. Gooder Essay Prize, Cambridge Quarterly, 2023

Bunner Prize for best MA Thesis on American literature, Columbia University, 2020

Cambridge Film & Screen

Tel: +44 (0)1223 335057