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Erin T. Hill

Assistant Professor of Media and Popular Culture: Affiliated Faculty in Critical Gender Studies, Film Studies, Black Diaspora and African American Studies Major


Erin Hill worked in film development in New York and Los Angeles before undertaking study of the media industry. Her primary interest is in historical and contemporary media production in the United States, with particular focus on intersecting issues of gender, race and class in creative labor sectors. Her first book, Never Done: A History of Women's Work in Media Production (Rutgers UP, 2016), examines the role of feminized labor in U.S. film and television production from the 1890s to the present and draws connections to the ongoing struggles of women and people of color in integrating key creative fields in contemporary Hollywood. Hill’s current research investigates the development sector, where projects are scripted, financed and planned. She continues freelance development work for Summit Entertainment, a division of Lionsgate.

Dr. Hill teaches courses on American film history, history of broadcasting, feminist production history, media industry labor, contemporary Hollywood business practices, and race, gender and labor in media production, cultures of production in creative industries, science fiction films, comedy on TV/in media, and media theory. Prior to her tenure at UCSD, she taught as contingent (aka “adjunct) faculty at various Southern California institutions, including UCLA, Occidental College, Santa Monica College, and CSU Long Beach, gaining experience in both pedagogy and labor precarity.

Research Interests

  • American Film and Television History
  • Media Industries and Cultures of Production
  • Feminist Media History
  • Below-the-Line Media Labor
  • Creative Collaboration
  • Contemporary Hollywood Production Labor, Practices
  • Equity, Inclusion, Diversity and Intersections of Race and Gender in Media Production
  • Development and Pre-Production (historical and contemporary)
  • TV Fandom and Reception Studies
  • Comedy and Science Fiction Genres and Production 
  • “Gig” Economies (Media Industries and Higher Education)


Media Industry Studies, Media Studies, Gender Studies, Labor Studies, Cultural Studies Feminist Film Historiography, US Media Film and TV Industries, Contemporary and Historical Production Cultures, Identity in Creative Labor Sectors, Creative Collaboration, Media Production, Film Development, Below the Line Labor Sectors, Feminization and Racialization of Labor, Equity, Inclusion and Labor Justice, Classical Hollywood, Women Film Pioneers, History of Broadcasting Science Fiction, Comedy, Television Authorship, TV Writing, Film Adaptation


Ph.D.  (December 2013). UCLA, Cinema and Media Studies.  

Qualifying exam specializations: Contemporary Film and Media Theory, Historiography

Dissertation: “Women’s Work”: Feminization in Media Production

M.A.  (2006). UCLA, Cinema and Media Studies.  

B.A. with distinction (1999). University of Michigan, Film/Video Studies & Theatre and Drama.


SCMS Best First Book Award – Society for Cinema and Media Studies, 2018

SCMS Dissertation Award – Society for Cinema and Media Studies, 2015

Marshal Nominee, Graduate Doctoral Hooding Ceremony – UCLA Graduate Division, 2014

Dissertation Year Fellowship  – UCLA Graduate Division, 2012-2013

Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship – UCLA Instructional Development, 2011-2012

Jean Stone Dissertation Research Fellowship – UCLA Center for the Study of Women, 2010

Regent’s Stipend – UCLA Center for the Study of Women, 2009

Chancellor’s Prize – UCLA Graduate Division,  2006- 2008

University Fellowship – UCLA Program in Cinema and Media Studies, 2005-2008

Nina Leibman Fellowship – California Women’s Law Center, 2007

Alice Glover Filmmaking Grant – University of Michigan, Film/Video Studies, 1999

Newman Screenwriting Prize – University of Michigan, Hopwood Awards, 1999

Media coverage

Book Reviews (Of Never Done)

Steiner, Lauren. “Review: Never Done: A History of Women’s Work in Media Production by Erin Hill.” Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (previously Cinema Journal) 58.3, (Spring 2019). 

Clarke, Liz. “Review Essay: Recent Works on Women in Media Production.” Gender and History 30.3 (October 2018).

Salzburg, Anna. “Book Review: Hill, Erin. Never Done: A History of Women’s Work in Media Production,” Media Industries 5.1 (2018).;view=fulltext

Martindale, Michelle. “Review of Hill, Erin, Never Done: A History of Women's Work in Media Production.” Jhistory, H-Net Reviews. (October, 2017),

Fulton, Maxfield. “Review of Never Done: A History of Women’s Work in Media Production.Film Quarterly (Spring, 2016).

Interviews (on gender, media and production history)

CNN/Cream Productions,  The Story of Late Night, on-camera interview by John Ealer (July 2021).

Cara, Sergio. “Se buscan superheroinas: Estudio sobre la representacion de la mujer en ciencia ficcion.” Ya - El Mercurio (December 11, 2018) 30-34. 

Schubert, Abbey. “Hollywood is Ignoring Women over 45 and These Experts Know Why.”, (July 31, 2017).

Warner, Andrew. “Professors Consider Effects Hollywood Writers’ strike Would Have Caused.” The Daily Bruin (May 2, 2017),

Livick, Bill. “Hill Publishes Book on Hollywood Labor,” Stoughton Courier Hub (February 5, 2017). 

Media Industry Collaborations

Advisory boards

Body Parts: A Documentary Feature (dir. Kristy Guavera Flanagan, prod. Helen Hood Scheer) – Currently In Production (2017-present)


Women’s Media Center and SheSource Database (Areas of expertise: Media Studies, History, Women’s Production History, Labor History). (2015-present).

Netflix (via study conducted by Luce Research/Republic) – Current TV and Film Industry Trends, True Crime Genre (2020-2021).  


A Discussion of Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, Presented By Netflix and the Producer’s Guild of America Women’s Impact Network Panelist, Netflix/PGA, March 2020. Cancelled due to COVID 19.  

Research-related media industry roles and companies

Story Analyst  (current - 2001-present)

  • Summit/Lionsgate Entertainment  
  • Madison Wells Media  
  • Odd Lot Entertainment  
  • Marquee Entertainment  
  • USA Films/Focus Features
  • Winchester Films  

Encoder/Film Vault Librarian                           

  • America Online  


  • HBO - The F-Word  miniseries     
  • Discovery Channel - Pararescuejumpers: That Others May Live          

Executive Assistant, Assistant (aka Grunt Work)

  • Shukovsky English Entertainment      
  • Hofflund/Polone Management    
  • Jerry Bruckheimer Films  
  • Image Group Entertainment  
  • The Shooting Gallery

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor 2019-Present

University of California, San Diego – Department of Communication

Visiting Lecturer  2018-2019

Occidental College – Department of Media Arts and Culture 

Visiting Lecturer 2014-2019

University of California, Los Angeles – Department of Film, Television and Digital Media

Visiting Lecturer 2014-2016

Dartmouth College – Foreign Studies Program, Semester in Los Angeles

UCSD Courses Taught

Comm 103F: How to Read a Film

Comm 106F: The Film Industry 

Comm 106T: Television, Culture and the Public – Comedy on TV

Comm 106V: History of Broadcasting

Comm 132: The Politics of Comedy in the Media

Comm 146:   Production Cultures – Investigating Contemporary Labor and Production Practices in Media Industries

Comm 190: Junior Seminar – The Self and the “Other” in Science Fiction

Comm 296: Communication Research as an Interdisciplinary Activity

Past Teaching

Occidental College – Media Arts and Culture Department – Visiting Assistant Lecturer  

  • Aesthetics of Cinema (undergraduate seminar), Spring 2018, 2019.

UCLA – Cinema and Media Studies Program, Producing Program  

  • History of American Television (undergraduate lecture), Spring 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. 
  • The Contemporary Film Industry (undergraduate lecture), Fall 2014, Summer 2016, 2017.
  • Hollywood Production, Distribution and Marketing (graduate seminar), Fall 2016.
  • American Television History: Comedy on TV (graduate seminar), Winter 2016, 2019.
  • Media Industries and Cultures of Production (graduate seminar), Fall 2014.
  • Sitcoms and Authorship (graduate seminar), Summer 2014, 2015. 

Cal State Long Beach – Film and Electronic Arts – Part-Time Faculty 

  • Film Genres: Science Fiction (undergraduate seminar), Spring 2018
  • History of Broadcasting (undergraduate lecture), Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

Santa Monica College – Communication and Media Studies – Part-Time Faculty

  • The Science Fiction Film (undergraduate seminar), Spring 2017, 2018, Fall 2018.
  • American Film History (undergraduate lecture), Fall 2017.
  • Film Theory and Criticism (undergraduate seminar), Spring 2017, 2018.
  • Film Appreciation (undergraduate seminar), Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Fall 2018. 

The New York Film Academy – Literature, Science and the Arts Faculty

  • Cinema Studies (graduate seminar, film history, 1890-present), Summer 2014-Fall 2017. 
  • Critical Film Studies (graduate seminar, film history, 1960-present), Fall 2014- Spring 2017.
  • Film Art (undergraduate seminar), Fall 2014-Summer 2016.

Dartmouth College – Foreign Studies Program – Visiting Lecturer 

  • Media Production in Los Angeles (undergraduate seminar), Winter 2014, 2016.

Cal State Los Angeles – Television and Film Department – Visiting Lecturer

  • Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture (undergraduate lecture), Summer 2012.

UCLA Cinema and Media Studies, Communication and English Depts. – Teaching Fellow

  • Intro to Mass Communication, Communication Studies, 2010-2014.
  • Women’s Television, Cinema and Media Studies, 2012.
  • English Composition, Rhetoric and Language, English/Writing Programs, 2006-2009.
  • The Practice of Teaching Film and Television, Cinema and Media Studies, 2009-2010.
  • History of the American Motion Picture, Cinema and Media Studies, 2006-2009. 
  • History of American Television, Cinema and Media Studies, 2008-2009.  
  • History of the European Motion Picture, Cinema and Media Studies, 2007.       
  • History of Documentary Film, Cinema and Media Studies, 2006.

Class Visits

Media Industries Graduate Seminar (Prof. Alisa Perren) – UT Austin (2018, 2019)

Analyzing Media Industries Graduate Seminar (Prof. Dan Herbert) – University of Michigan (2019)

Critical Cultural Analysis Graduate Seminar (Prof. Nick Marx) Colorado State University (2019)


Never Done: A History of Women’s Work in Media Production. New Brunswick: Rutgers, 2016. 

Refereed Articles and Book Chapters

“Organizing ‘Women’s Work’: Logics of Feminization and Unionization,” In Hollywood Unions anthology, Kate Fortmueller, Luci Marzola, Eds. (Rutgers University Press, Forthcoming, 2022).

“Re-Casting the Casting Director.” In Making Media Work: Cultures of Management in the Entertainment Industry. Eds. Derek Johnson, Derek Kompare and Avi Santo. New York: NYU Press, 2014.  

“Distributed Assistanthood: Dues-Paying Apprentices.” The International 

Encyclopedia of Media Studies: Media Production. Ed. Vicki Mayer. Oxford: Blackwell, 2012. 

 “‘What’s Afflictin’ You?’: Corporeality, Body Crises and the Body Politic in Deadwood.” In Reading Deadwood. Ed. David Lavery. I.B. Taurus: 2006. pp. 171-183.

Invited Articles

“Both Sides of the Fence: Blurred Distinctions in Scholarship and Production - Hollywood Assistanting, Erin Hill.” Invited contribution to portfolio of interviews Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries. Eds. Vicki Mayer, Miranda Banks, and John T. Caldwell. London: Routledge, 2009. 

Popular Works   

“MGM’s 1925 Studio Tour and Promotional ‘Tours’ of Labor in Early Hollywood,” In Media Res, “Making-of” Theme Week,” September 17, 2018,

“Ida Koverman and the Unsung Women Heroes of Film History,” Lenny Letter,  January 25, 2017,

 “The Gendering of Film and Television Casting: A Research Notebook.” CSW Update . April 2011.

Co-authored with Brian Hu. “HBO’s Cinematized Television.” Mediascape. Fall 2009.      

Hill, Erin. “Secretaries, Stenographers and Assistants: A report funded by the California Women’s Law Center.” Los Angeles, CA, 2007.

Co-authored with Brian Hu. “In Response to the AFI: Top 100 American Films by Women Directors.” Mediascape.  Spring 2007.

Translations of Previously Published Work

“Studio Tours: Feminized Labor in the Studio System” Frauen Und Film German (German language excerpt from Never Done: A History of Women’s Work in Media Production). Current Research Methods within Production Studies, Frankfurt: Stoemfeld Verlag (Heft 69, 2021). 

“Paper Trail: Efficiency, Clerical Labor, and Women in the Early Film Industry” (book excerpt, German translation) Produktionskulturen der Medien. Berlin: Springer Verlag. Forthcoming. 

Conference Presentations

“Migrant Proximities: Racialized Labor Below-the-Line in 20th Century Hollywood.” Respondent. Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Denver, Colorado, 2020-2021. (CANCELLED IN 2020 DUE TO COVID 19, took place at 2021 mtg)

“The “D-Girl” in New Hollywood: The Rise of the Female Development Executive and the Personal and Professional Costs of Feminized Origins.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Seattle, WA. 2019.

“Feminized, Freelance and Free: Development Labor from Studio Era to Gig Economy.” Media Industries Conference. London, UK, 2018.

“Workshop: Back to the Future - Historical Perspectives on the Contemporary Media Industries and Cultures of Production.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Chicago, IL. 2017. 

“Feminized Labor in the Story Department.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Atlanta, GA. 2016.

“Film and Television Development as ‘Women’s Work,” UCLA Institute for Research and Employment's Annual Conference on Entertainment, & Sports. Los Angeles, CA. 2015.

“Script Girls and Cutter Girls: Women in the Space of Play.” International Communications Association Conference. Seattle, WA. 2014.

“Gendered Labor Sectors of Media Production” Media Industries Research. USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Los Angeles, CA. 2013. 

“Workshop: Strategies for Researching and Writing Media Industry Studies.” C0-Chair 

(with Jennifer Porst). Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Boston, MA. 2012. 

“Blogfights, Flamewars and Me: Understanding Media Industries Through Online 

Skirmishes.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Boston, MA. March 2012.

 “Managing Media Production in the Age of Convergence.” Roundtable Panelist. Flow Television 

Conference. Austin, TX. 2010. 

“The Gendering of Film and Television Casting.” Console-ing Passions Eugene, OR. 2010.

“The Gendering of Film and Television Casting.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Los Angeles, CA. 2010.

“The Gendering of Film and Television Casting.” Thinking Gender. Los Angeles, CA. 2010. 

“The Girl Friday and How She Grew: A History of Assistants to Media Makers.” Console-ing 

Passions. Santa Barbara, CA. 2008. 

“Space and Place in World of Warcraft.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Chicago, IL. 2007.

“Academic Publishing in the Digital Age.” Panelist. Flow Television Conference. Austin, TX. 2006.

“Women’s Work: Femininity and Casting.” Console-ing Passions. Milwaukee, WI. 2006.

“‘Get That!’: The Real and Imagined Pleasures of the iPod and the Tivo DVR.” USC/UCLA Critical 

Studies Graduate Student Conference. Los Angeles, CA. 2006.

“Women’s Work: Femininity and Film and Television Casting.” Panel Chair. Society for Cinema and 

Media Studies. Vancouver, BC. 2006.

“Women’s Work: Femininity and Film and Television Casting.” USC/UCLA Critical Studies 

Graduate Student Conference. Los Angeles, CA. 2005.

Invited Talks

“Women’s Work in Media Production History.” USC Cinema and Media Studies Graduate Student Association. (2018).  

 “Maps and Marginalia: Historicizing Women's Creative Labor in Media Production,” Institute of Media Culture and Theatre (University of Cologne) / Grimme Institute. Invited talk. (2019).

“Maps and Marginalia: Historicizing Women’s Creative Labor in Media Production,” Columbia College Feminism and Film Series. (2019)

Campus Talks

“Women’s Work in Media Production History.” UCLA Cinema and Media Studies Graduate Colloquium (2018).  

“The History of Women in Hollywood Production.” Santa Monica College Media   Studies Speaker Series (2017).  

“Feminization and Media Production.” UCLA CMS Fest (2016)

Academic Service

Reviewer (Journals and Presses)    

  • Mediascape: UCLA’s Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (co-founder), (2008-2012)
  • Journal of Television & New Media (2013-2018)       
  • Media Industries Journal (2018-2019)
  • Rutgers University Press (2019-2020)        
  • University Press of Mississippi  (2020)         
  • University of Texas Press (2020)

Program Coordinator

  • Dartmouth Foreign Studies Program Semester in Los Angeles (2013-2014)

Teaching Assistant Coordinator

  • UCLA Program in Cinema and Media Studies (2009-2010)

Conference Coordinator

  • Thinking Gender Conference, UCLA (2009-2010)
  • Cinema Studies Graduate Conference, UCLA/USC (2005-2006)

Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief 

Mediascape: UCLA’s Journal Of Cinema and Media (2005-2007)