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Cynthia Miller is a cultural anthropologist specializing in popular culture and visual media. She is a Kansas Humanities Council Scholar, a Research Fellow of the Will Rogers Memorial, and former Fellow of the Boston Historical Society. Her recent awards include the 2012 Jim Welsh Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Adaptation Studies and the 2013 Peter C. Rollins Book Award in Popular Culture Studies. 

Cynthia's teaching portfolio encompasses a wide range of courses in anthropology, sociology, communication, and interdisciplinary studies, and she has carried out fieldwork in the Yucatan, Tamil Nadu, and among Boston's homeless community.

Cynthia has written and spoken extensively on the B-movie and exploitation film genres, as well as in the area of homelessness and social justice. In addition to over 100 presentations at national and international conferences, she has delivered keynote and featured talks at Current Thinking on the Western (Leeds, UK), the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention (Hunt Valley, MD), the York College Humanities Film Series (York, PA), the Hall Center for the Humanities (Lawrence, KS), the Boston Historical Society, Plymouth State University (Plymouth, NH), the Buster Keaton Celebration (Iola, KS), The International Steampunk City Festival (Waltham, MA), Stoughton Public Library (Stoughton, MA), the Theatre Museum of Repertoire Americana (Mt. Pleasant, IA), the National University of Taiwan (Taipei, Taiwan), the University of Leeds (UK), and Tamil University (Tamil Nadu, India).

Her writing and photography have appeared in The Journal of Popular Culture, Film & History, Women's Studies Quarterly, Human Organization, Anthropologica, Social Justice, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, Contexts: Understanding People in Their Social Worlds, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, Post Script, and Kansas Quarterly. She is also a contributing author for numerous encyclopedias, resource guides, and edited volumes, including the recent: lévision: le moment experimental (in French - INA/Apogee, 2011), Learning from Mickey, Donald and Walt: Essays on Disney's Edutainment Films (McFarland, 2011), MST3K and the Culture of Riffing (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), Race, Oppression and the Zombie: Cross-Cultural Appropriations of the Caribbean Tradition (McFarland, 2011), The Adaptation of History: Ways of Telling the Past (McFarland, 2012), Screening the Dark Side of Love, From Euro-horror to American Cinema (Palgrave, 2012), We Are What We Remember: Commemoration in American Culture (Cambridge Scholars, 2012), Love in Western Film and Television: Lonely Hearts and Happy Trails (Palgrave, 2013), Science Fiction Across Media (Gylphi, 2013), Monstrous Cultures (McFarland, 2013), Dracula's Daughters (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), Heroines of Film and Television (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), and the forthcoming The Devil that We Know: Evil in American Popular Culture (ABC-Clio, 2014).

Cynthia serves as series editor for Scarecrow Press's Film and History book series. She has also guest-edited the Fall 2009 issue of the film journal, Post Script, and co-edited a special two-issue themed volume of Film & History ("Images of Science and Technology in Film," 2010). She is the editor of Too Bold for the Box Office: The Mockumentary, From Big Screen to Small (Scarecrow Press), Cadets, Rangers, and Junior Space Men: Televised 'Rocketman' Series of the 1950s and Their Fans (with A. Bowdoin Van Riper; Palgrave MacMillan); Steaming Into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology (with Julie Taddeo; Scarecrow Press); Undead in the West: Vampires, Zombies, Mummies and Ghosts on the Cinematic Frontier and Undead in the West II: They Just Keep Coming (both with A. Bowdoin Van Riper; Scarecrow Press), Re-Locating the Frontier: International Western Films, and Horrors of War: The Undead on the Battlefield

Cynthia has also produced several visual media exhibitions, including "Images from the Streets: The Homeless Photography Project" and "Underground Art: Art and Poetry by Boston's Homeless," which have been featured on ABC's "Chronicle." Her professional service includes roles on the editorial boards of The Journal of Popular Television, The Encyclopedia of Women and Popular Culture, and Scientific Journals, International. She also serves as Director of Communications and Associate Editor for Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies, as well as Treasurer and Governing Council member-elect for the International Association for Media and History, and past-President of the Literature/Film Association.

Cynthia has represented Emerson College in the wider community through her work with the Bay State Correctional Facility, Boston Arts Academy, Neighborhood Action, Jewish Vocational Services, and farther afield at the Philadelphia House of Corrections, and Shih-Hsin University, in Taipei. She has organized conferences and symposia for the University of Southern Maine, the Literature/Film Association, Film & History, and the International Visual Sociology Association, along with her numerous contributions to events on the Emerson campus.


  • Department Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Since 2000


B.A., Southern Connecticut State University
M.A., University of South Carolina