Dr Mark Mckenna

Associate Professor

Digital, Tech, Innovation & Business

Dr Mark McKenna joined Staffordshire University as a lecturer in Film, Television and Radio studies in 2019 to contribute to the Film Media Production, and Film, Television and Radio degrees having previously worked at the University of Liverpool, Glyndwr University and the University of Sunderland. His teaching draws upon his research which employs an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of the film and media industries, considering the aesthetic, economic, social, and technological factors that influence our understanding of the sector. His research has explored the relationship between localized panics and regulatory policy in a global marketplace. With convergent interests in global media censorship and regulation, marketing and branding processes, and media labour, his work explores the power structures that work to shape the global media industry. Recent work has examined the distribution of film, the celebration of controversial media and media content that has been demarcated as ‘extreme’, the promotional function of stardom and celebrity and the performance of ‘self’ on social media. His book, Nasty Business: The Marketing and Distribution of the Video Nasties was released in July 2020, and a second book drawn from the same body of research, Snuff, was published on January 1st, 2023, from Liverpool University Press. In 2021, Mark co-edited a collection of essays on Horror Franchise Cinema, and he is currently finishing work on Big Wednesday: Genre, Myth and Trauma for the Routledge Cinema and Youth Culture book series. He is Director of the Centre for Research in the Digital Entertainment and Media Industries (DEMI). Prior to joining academia, Mark was the director of two nationally award-winning companies, the latter of which was concerned with furthering the widening participation agenda, something that remains important to Mark.

Professional memberships and activities

Mark serves on the advisory board for the Intellect Journal of Class & Culture, is a peer reviewer for the Celebrity Studies Journal and is a member of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS), and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS).

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, ‘Rethinking the 'Video Nasties' : Economics, Marketing, and Distribution’, University of Sunderland
  • BA (Hons) Electronic Media Design, University of Sunderland


Mark would welcome inquiries from candidates interested conducting a PhD in the following area, as well as welcoming general inquiries in the fields of film, media and television studies:


  • Film and media industries
  • Media regulation and censorship
  • Marketing and branding in the film industry
  • Media policy
  • Stardom and celebrity
  • Authorship and the auteur


  • Cinema Studies
  • Contextual Studies
  • Sound Design in Context
  • Film Practice, Process and Deconstruction
  • Researching Film and Broadcasting
  • Dissertation


Selected publications:


McKenna, Mark, (Forthcoming, 2021) Big Wednesday: Genre, Myth & Trauma (part of the Cinema and Youth Culture book series), London: Routledge.



McKenna, Mark, (Forthcoming, 2023) Big Wednesday: Genre, Myth & Trauma (part of the Cinema and Youth Culture book series), London: Routledge.

McKenna, Mark (2023) Snuff. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

McKenna, Mark, and William Proctor (2021) Horror Franchise Cinema. London and New York: Routledge.

McKenna, Mark (2020) Nasty Business: The Marketing and Distribution of the Video Nasties. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


Chapters & Journal Articles
Submitted or In Press

McKenna, Mark (2023) ‘Don’t Be Afraid It’s Only Business’, in Ernest Mathjis & Daniel Biltereyst (eds.) Screen Censorship Companion: Critical Explorations in the Control of Screen Media. (Book and chapter contracted, first draft due for submission to editors in April 2022)

McKenna, Mark. (2023) ‘Twenty-First Century Digital Snuff: Understanding the Circulation of Images and Videos of Real Death Online’. In: Coleclough et al (eds.) Difficult Death: Challenging Cultural Representations of Death, Dying and the Dead in Media and Culture. Routledge, London.



McKenna, Mark, Proctor, William (2021) ‘The Death and Resurrection Show: Horror Franchise Cinema and the Romanticization of Cult’, in: McKenna, Mark and Proctor, William (eds.), Critical Studies in the Horror Film Franchise, London: Routledge.

McKenna, Mark, (2021) ‘“What film is your film like?”: Negotiating Authenticity in the Distributive Seriality of the Zombi Franchise’, in: McKenna, Mark and Proctor, William (eds.), Critical Studies in the Horror Film Franchise, London: Routledge.

McKenna, Mark, (2019) ‘Sylvester Stallone and the Economics of the Ageing Actor, Celebrity Studies Journal, Taylor & Francis.

McKenna, Mark (2017) ‘Constructing the Economic Canon: Subcultural Capital, Cultural Distinction and Value in High Art and Low Culture Film Distribution’. In: Wroot, Jonathan & Willis, Andy (eds.) Cult Media - Re-packaged, Re-released and Restored. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

McKenna, Mark. (2015) ‘A Murder Mystery in Black and Blue: The Marketing, Distribution and Cult Mythology of Snuff in the UK’, in Jackson, N et al. (eds.) Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media, London and New York: Bloomsbury.

External profiles

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021