Mike earned his MFA in Film Studies and PhD in American Studies from Boston University. His research focuses on the history of American film and popular culture, specifically how cinema, television, advertising, and other media have reflected and reinforced American self-images. In addition to published work, Mike has lectured at academic conferences, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Baseball Hall of Fame. He also served as a research consultant on HBO film and series projects, including True Detective, Confirmation, Wizard of Lies, Happy Valley, and The Newsroom. 


“‘Ain’t Got No Chance’: The Case of The Breaking Point (1950),” Cinema Journal 56, no. 1 (Winter 2016), 1-22. Peer-reviewed.

Review of Fred Zinnemann and the Cinema of Resistance, by J.E. Smyth. Film Quarterly 68, no. 2 (Winter 2014), 86-88.

Review of Indie: An American Film Culture, by Michael Z. Newman. The Journal of Popular Culture 45, no. 4 (August 2012), 902-905.

“The Brave Departure,” in The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2007-2008, ed. William Simons (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co, 2009): 234-247.


The Breaking Point (1950): Hemingway, Hollywood, and the decline of the social problem picture,” Society of Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Seattle, WA (March 2014)

“The Man of Thought and the Man of Action: Ernest Hemingway’s Self-Image in Depression-era America,” California American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Claremont, CA (April 2012)

“The Cinema of Narcissism: Self-Reflexivity in the New Hollywood,” National Popular/American Culture Conference, Boston, MA (April 2012)

“Rotten Kids: Family, the Abject Mother, and the Home in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974),” Far West Popular/American Culture Conference, Las Vegas, NV (February 2012)

“Hemingway, Hollywood, and the American Self-Image, 1923/1950: ‘My Old Man’ and Under My Skin,” Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Conference, Philadelphia, PA (November 2011)

“Billy Wilder and Robert Altman,” Hollywood Film Directors, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (Lecture Series, March 2011)

“Film Noir,” American Film Genres, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (Lecture Series, January 2011)

“American Films of the 1970s” and “Film Noir and Italian Neorealism,” History of Film, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (Lecture Series, March 2010)

“A Simple Plan: A.G. Spalding’s America’s National Game,” The 21st Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY (June 2009)

“Hospitality and Hostility in The Birth of a Nation,” Hosting The Stranger: An Interdisciplinary Seminar, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA (March 2009)

“The Brave Departure: How the Boston Braves’ 1953 Migration to Milwaukee Reflected a Changing American Landscape,” The 20th Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY (June 2008)

“Poker Faced and Gorgeous: The Early Performances of Meryl Streep,” The Coolidge Award for Meryl Streep, Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA (March 2006)

The American New Wave: A Five-Week Retrospective on the New Hollywood, Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA (March 2003)