Glenville State University Professor Publishes New Book about Film and Fathers 
Thu Feb 22, 2024
Professor Brian Johnston

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2023 


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Glenville State University Professor Publishes New Book about Film and Fathers 


Glenville State University's Dr. Brian Johnston, Assistant Professor of Communication in the Department of Language and Literature, is celebrating the release of his second, peer-reviewed academic book with coauthor, Dr. Susan Mackey-Kallis, Professor at Villanova University. Johnston’s book, Wounded Masculinity and the Search for (Father) Self in American Film (Lexington Books), unpacks the crisis of masculinity in American culture through the lens of films that range from art-house classics (Moonlight, The Darjeeling Limited, The Fountain) to Marvel Movie blockbusters (Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man) and films making a resurgence in contemporary popular culture (There Will Be Blood).  


“I believe in this book beyond its academic contribution: it’s got soul,” said Johnston, adding, “It’s not just about our wounds, or toxicities, or our quickly deteriorating cultural crisis, it’s about healing and how to navigate ourselves and our relationships to each other, and the answer to our crisis that we’re already dreaming out loud to ourselves through the mythic storytelling space of film.” The book focuses upon films that feature characters’ relationships to their fathers, whether these fathers are present or absent, themselves wounded or engaging in transformational sacrifice to teach others how to dig into their wounds, which, the authors write, are also the site for our healing.  


Johnston is currently developing a new book project that invites authors and artists from around the country to contribute their unique perspectives on the role that memorial art performs in public discourse. “Broadening our understanding for what counts as a public memorialization practice also opens us up to hearing and appreciating others’ experiences for the same cultural events, whether tragic or celebratory, that happen all the time, everywhere,” said Johnston, explaining, “Some of these practices communicate new values to past events by the very nature of their form, such as dance as embodied memory or ephemeral structures built to spark conversation but for themselves to be forgotten.”  


BRIAN JOHNSTON is an assistant professor of communication in the Department of Language and Literature at Glenville State University. He earned his PhD from the University of South Florida and his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Arkansas. He specializes in rhetorical and (auto)ethnographic approaches to the study of media and media audiences, organizational culture, public memory, and civic discourse. He is the Director and Coach for GSU’s Pioneer Debate team.  


LEXINGTON BOOKS is a subsidiary of Rowman & Littlefield that takes great pride in its unwavering commitment to publishing specialized research essential to advancing scholarship. Lexington Books publishes high-quality peer-reviewed monographs and edited collections by established and emerging scholars.