Michael Curtin

Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Chair
Distinguished Professor of Film and Media Studies
Director, 21st Century Global Dynamics Initiative

Ph.D, University of Wisconsin

Curriculum Vitae


2318 Social Sciences & Media Studies




Media Globalization, Cultural Geography, Industry and Policy Studies, and Creative Labor


Michael Curtin is the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Professor of Film and Media Studies with affiliated appointments in Global Studies and East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies. He is also lead professor of the Mellichamp Global Dynamics Initiative and associate researcher at the Center for Sociological and Political Research in Paris. Curtin is co-founder and former co-director of the Media Industries Project of the Carsey-Wolf Center. Before joining UCSB, he was director of Global Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of Cultural Studies at Indiana University. He has also held teaching or research appointments at Northwestern University, Renmin University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Institute of Ethnology at Academia Sinica, and the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University. Curtin’s research and teaching focus on media globalization, cultural geography, industry and policy studies, and creative labor. His books include: Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labor (University of California Press, 2016); Distribution Revolution: Conversations about the Digital Future of Film and Television (University of California Press, 2014), Reorienting Global Communication: Indian and Chinese Media Beyond Borders (University of Illinois Press, 2010), The American Television Industry (British Film Institute/Palgrave, 2009), and Playing to the World’s Biggest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film and TV (University of California Press, 2007). Curtin is currently at work on Media Capital: The Cultural Geography of Globalization and Voices of Labor in the Age of Global Media. He is co-editor of Media Industries, the Chinese Journal of Communication, and the British Film Institute’s International Screen Industries book series.

Michael Curtin’s Academia.edu website


“Between State and Capital: Asia’s Media Revolution in the Age of Neo-Liberal Globalization,” International Journal of Communication, forthcoming.

“Regulating the Global Infrastructure of Film Labor Exploitation,” International Journal of Cultural Policy, special issue, “Film Policy in a Globalized Cultural Economy,” Nobuko Kawashima and John Hill, eds., in press.

“What Makes Them Willing Collaborators? The Global Context of Chinese Motion Picture Co-Productions,” Media International Australia 159 (May 2016).

 “Media Policy in the 21st Century: From National Interest to Cultural Stewardship,” MATRIZes 9, no. 1, (June 2015): 13-28.

With John Vanderhoef, “A Vanishing Piece of the Pi: The Globalization of Visual Effects Labor,” Television and New Media 16, no. 3, (March 2015): 219-239.

With Kevin Sanson and John Vanderhoef, “Creative Labor in Cinema and Media Industries,” in Krin Gabbard, ed., Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies, New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

With Wesley Jacks and Yongli Li, “Hollywood in China: Continuities and Disjunctures in Film Marketing” in Nolwenn Mingant, Cecilia Tirtaine, and Joel Augros eds., Film Marketing in the 21st Century. London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

With John Vanderhoef, “The Crunch Heard Round the World: Blockbuster Digital Game Labor,” in Miranda Banks, Bridget Conor, and Vicki Mayer, eds., Production Studies, The Sequel! New York: Routledge, 2015.

“Chinese Cinema Cities: From the Margins to the Middle Kingdom,” in Susan Mains, Julie Cupples, and Chris Lukinbeal, eds., Mediated Geographies and Geographies of Media. London: Springer Science International Handbooks in Human Geography, 2015.

With Kevin Sanson, “Division of Labor,” in Toby Miller, Milly Buonanno, and Herman Gray, eds., Sage Handbook of Television Studies, Sage: Thousand Oaks, 2015, pp. 133-143.

“Conditions of Capital: Global Media in Local Contexts,” in Chin-Chuan Lee, ed., Internationalizing International Communication, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2015, pp. 109-133.


Voices of Labor:
Creativity, Craft, and Conflict in Global Hollywood

Michael Curtin (Editor)
Kevin Sanson (Editor)
University of California Press

Precarious Creativity:
Global Media, Local Labor

Michael Curtin (Editor),
Kevin Sanson (Editor)
University of California Press

Distribution Revolution:
Conversations about the Digital Future of Film and Television

Michael Curtin (Editor),
Jennifer Holt (Editor)
Kevin Sanson (Editor)
University of California Press

Re-Orienting Global Communication:
Indian and Chinese Media Beyond Borders

Michael Curtin (Editor),
Hemant Shah (Editor)
University of Illinois Press

The American Television Industry
(International Screen Industries

by Michael Curtin (Author),
Jane Shattuc (Author)
British Film Institute/ Palgrave Macmillan

Playing to the World's Biggest Audience

The Globalization of Chinese Film and TV
by Michael Curtin (Author),
University of California Press
August 2007

The Revolution Wasn't Televised: Sixties Television and Social Conflict

by Michael Curtin (Editor),
Lynn Spigel (Editor)

Making and Selling Culture

by Michael Curtin (Editor),
Richard Ohmann (Editor)
Gage Averill (Editor)
David Shumway (Editor)
Elizabeth Traube (Editor)
Wesleyan University Press

Redeeming the Wasteland:
Television Documentary and Cold War Politics

by Michael Curtin (Author),
Rutgers University Press