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Jim McKelly

Jim McKelly

Associate Professor


Jim McKelly

Contact Me


9064 Haley Center

Office Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00–11:50 am in Mell 3520 lounge area (email for an appointment)


PhD, Indiana University

About Me

James C. McKelly received his PhD from Indiana University in 1990. He specializes in 20th-century American cultural studies, film studies, and modernism, and has published his latest work in Screen, African American Review, and Profession. He has offered courses such as "Ways of Being Wild: the Culture of Rebellion in American Fiction and Film" and "Harlem and the Modern." He is currently working on a series of articles theorizing contemporary American cinema. As part of a creative outreach initiative sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, McKelly is working with filmmakers Bruce Kuerten and John Dijulio to conceive, develop, and produce a documentary television series focused on cultural issues in the New South.

His teaching has received commendations for excellence from several campus organizations, including the Panhellenic Council, the Omicron Delta Kappa honorary, and Mortar Board.

Awards include:

  • Honorary Induction for Outstanding Teaching, Golden Key International Honor Society (Spring 2011)
  • Professor of the Year, Honors College (2006)
  • Inductee, College of Liberal Arts Academy of Teaching and Outstanding Teachers (Spring 2003)
  • Faculty Member of the Semester, Cardinal Key Honor Society (Spring 2003)
  • Nominee, Auburn University Alumni Teaching Prize (2003)
  • Lambda Sigma Teacher of the Semester (2003)
  • Faculty Invitee, Athletic Department Tiger Torch Banquet (Annie Malone - 2003)
  • Favorite Educator Prize, Mortar Board National Honor Society (2003)
  • Faculty Invitee, Athletic Department Tiger Torch Banquet (Jeremy Wells - 2002)
  • Professor of the Year, Honors College (2001)
  • Faculty Invitee, Athletic Department Tiger Torch Banquet (Taylor Mosley - 2001)
  • Auburn University Panhellenic Council Award for Outstanding Professor, 2000-01

Research Interests

20th-century American cultural studies, film studies, modernism


  • "Youth Cinema and the Culture of Rebellion: Heathers and the Rebel Archetype," in Pictures of a Generation on Hold, Pomerance and Sakeris, eds. Toronto: Media Studies Working Group (1996): pp. 107-14.
  • "Raising Cain in a Down Eden: Menace II Society and the Death of Signifyin(g)," Screen, Spring (1998): pp. 36-52.
  • "The Double Truth, Ruth: Do the Right Thing and the Culture of Ambiguity," African American Review, 32, 2 (1998).


  • A Promised Land: Rushmore and America (2002). Director and Co-Producer. Broadcast December 2002, Tennessee Public Television.


  • "The Joy of Theft" was performed on September 9-12 as part of the Pittsburgh Festival of New Works.