Researcher in Focus: Dr Cat Mahoney

Posted on: 13 March 2019 by Nick Jones in 2018 Posts

Cat Mahoney head shot
Dr Cat Mahoney

Meet this month's researcher in focus, Dr Cat Mahoney, one of the University of Liverpool's inaugural Derby Fellows in Communication and Media.

Cat joined the University of Liverpool HSS Faculty Research and Impact Team in 2017 after completing her PhD at Northumbria University.

In 2018 she was awarded one of the inaugural Derby Fellowships in Communication and Media, the aim of which is to attract a new generation of outstanding and ambitious research leaders. She has a background in both history and media studies and brings an interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching.

Cat is one of the editors of a scholarly edition entitled ‘The Past in Visual Culture: Essays on Memory, Nostalgia and the Media’ (McFarland 2017) in which she also contributed a chapter on representations of the Women’s Land Army. Her work was also published in Frames Cinema Journal (2015) Issue 7 Conflicting Images Contested Realities.

A monograph based on Cat’s doctoral research, ‘Women in Neoliberal Television Drama: Representing Gendered Experiences of the Second World War,’ will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in Summer 2019. This book explores the representation of female experience of the Second World War in four contemporary television dramas and argues that the depiction of these experiences and their consequences are revelatory of the needs and anxieties of modern postfeminist discourse to a far greater extent than the “realities” or “truths” of the past. Using this research as a springboard, Cat intends to move on to look at the representation of women in media produced during the Second World War and the ways in which different constructions of female identity were mobilised in wartime recruitment campaigns and propaganda.

Cat is also researching television’s role in historical place making and the ways in which television recreates and shapes understandings and memories of historical places and spaces. The first output from this research will be an article exploring the depiction of historic Liverpool in two period drama productions. The article will question the ways in which the series construct two specific periods from Liverpool’s past in a manor that is unmistakably gendered. This article is the beginning of a broader interest in television’s relationship with and representation of cities (both real and fictional).

This year Cat has been invited to present her work in universities around the UK and to an international audience in New Orleans in the summer. She will also deliver a keynote address at the NWSSDTP/Methods North West Methods X Conference, to be hosted in Liverpool on May 17th 2019.

Going forward Cat hopes to work closely with colleagues in the Heritage Research Theme to explore the implications of augmented and virtual reality for future audiences’ engagement with and understanding of the past. 

Learn more about Cat and her teaching and research on her staff page.

Keywords: Researcher in Focus.