Dr Mark Mckenna

Associate Professor

School of Digital, Technologies and Arts

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. Broadly, his work is interested in the branding and promotional strategies employed by the film and media industries and, as such, encompasses a wide range of research areas. Recent work has examined the distribution of film, the celebration of controversial media and media 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, is forthcoming in July 2021 from Liverpool University Press. Mark is currently writing Big Wednesday: Genre, Myth and Trauma for the Routledge Cinema and Youth Culture book series. 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, 2021) Snuff. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.


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


Chapters & Journal Articles

Published, Submitted or In Press


McKenna, Mark (forthcoming, 2021) ‘[C]raven Images: Art, Commerce and the Auteur’, in Waddell, Callum (eds). Refocus: the Films of Wes Craven. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


McKenna, Mark, Proctor, William (forthcoming, 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, (forthcoming, 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.


Edited Collection

[Forthcoming, 2021] McKenna, Mark and Proctor, William (eds.), Critical Studies in the Horror Film Franchise, London: Routledge.

[Forthcoming, 2022] McKenna, Mark (eds.) Screening Controversy, London: Routledge.

UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

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

Research Excellence Framework 2021