David Church

David Church

Lecturer, Gender Studies

Lecturer, Human Biology


Ph.D., Communication and Culture (Film and Media Studies), Indiana University, 2014

M.A., Cinema Studies, San Francisco State University, 2008

B.A., English, Western Washington University, 2005

About David Church

Dr. David Church is a film and media scholar whose work focuses on the historical and contemporary circulation of culturally disreputable genres (e.g., exploitation, horror, and adult films). His research agenda explores how filmmakers, media industries, and fan cultures revalue and make contemporary use of the pastness and materiality associated with genres that, whether through aesthetic shortcomings or outdated politics, have otherwise seemed destined for the dustbin of history. He earned his Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies from Indiana University in 2014, and before returning to IU, he served as Lecturer and Program Coordinator of the Cinema Studies program at Northern Arizona University. He is also a founding member and programmer for SECS Fest, the Seattle Erotica Cinema Society’s annual sex-positive erotic film festival.

He is the author of four books, including Grindhouse Nostalgia: Memory, Home Video, and Exploitation Film Fandom (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), Disposable Passions: Vintage Pornography and the Material Legacies of Adult Cinema (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), Post-Horror: Art, Genre, and Cultural Elevation (Edinburgh University Press, 2021), and the forthcoming Mortal Kombat: Games of Death (University of Michigan Press, 2022). In addition to these single-authored works, he is the editor of Playing with Memories: Essays on Guy Maddin (University of Manitoba Press, 2009), a special issue of Porn Studies, and a dossier on adult film history for the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.


  • Mortal Kombat (1992),” in Fifty Key Video Games, eds. Dominic Arsenault, Kelly Boudreau, Bernard Perron, and Mark J. P. Wolf (London: Routledge, 2022).
  • “Seriality between the Horror Franchise and the Horror Anthology Film,” in Horror Franchise Cinema, eds. Mark McKenna and William Proctor (London: Routledge, 2022).
  • Post-Horror: Art, Genre, and Cultural Elevation (Edinburgh University Press, 2021)
  • "Apprehension Engines: The New Independent 'Prestige Horror,'" in New Blood: Critical Approaches to Contemporary Horror, eds. Eddie Falvey, Jonathan Wroot, Joe Hickinbottom (University of Wales Press, 2021).
  • "Pinning Down the Past: Lesbian Politics and Queer Ecologies in The Duke of Burgundy," QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking 7, no. 1 (2020).
  • "Drive-In and Grindhouse Theaters," in The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema, eds. Ernest Mathijs and Jamie Sexton (Routledge, 2020).
  • “In Focus: Why Adult Film History Matters” dossier (co-edited with Eric Schaefer), Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 58, no. 1 (2018). 
  • “Queer Ethics, Urban Spaces, and the Horrors of Monogamy in It Follows,” Cinema Journal 57, no. 3 (2018) 
  • “Canon Fodder: Reappraising Adult Cinema’s Neglected Texts” (special issue) Porn Studies 4, no. 3 (2017).
  • Disposable Passions: Vintage Pornography and the Material Legacies of Adult Cinema (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016).
  • “Cruising Celebrity: James Franco’s Queer Stardom, Performance Art, and Interior. Leather Bar,” Jump Cut, no. 57 (2016).
  • “Red Power, White Movies: Billy Jack, Johnny Firecloud, and the Cultural Politics of the ‘Indiansploitation’ Cycle,” in Grindhouse: Cultural Exchange on 42nd Street and Beyond, eds. Austin Fisher and Johnny Walker (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016).
  • Grindhouse Nostalgia: Memory, Home Video, and Exploitation Film Fandom (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015).
  • “One on Top of the Other: Lucio Fulci, Transnational Film Industries, and the Retrospective Construction of the Italian Horror Canon,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 32, no. 1 (2015).
  • “‘This Thing of Ours’: Heterosexuality, Recreational Sex, and the Survival of Adult Movie Theaters,” Media Fields Journal, no. 8 (2014).
  • “‘Propane is for Pussies’: Bellflower’s Bromance of Retro Technology and Hip Masculinity,” Jump Cut, no. 55 (2013).
  • “Revisiting the Cruel Apparatus: Disability, Queerness, and Taste in In a Glass Cage,” in Nazisploitation! The History, Aesthetics, and Politics of the Nazi Image in Low-Brow Film and Culture, eds. Elizabeth Bridges, Daniel Magilow, and Kristin Vander Lugt (London: Continuum, 2012).
  • “Freakery, Cult Films, and the Problem of Ambivalence,” Journal of Film and Video 63, no. 1 (2011).
  • “Of Manias, Shit, and Blood: The Reception of Salò as a ‘Sick Film,’” Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies 6, no. 2 (2009).
  • Playing with Memories: Essays on Guy Maddin (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2009).
  • ‘“Welcome to the Atrocity Exhibition’: Ian Curtis, Rock Death, and Disability,” Disability Studies Quarterly 26, no. 4 (2006).