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Mary Dalton - Wake Forest University. Winston-Salem, NC, US

Mary Dalton Mary Dalton

Professor of Communication | Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC, UNITED STATES

Dalton can put new TV shows in perspective and provide insightful comments about the latest feature films.


Mary Dalton is a Professor of Communication at Wake Forest University. She is the author of Teacher TV: Sixty Years of Teachers on Television and The Hollywood Curriculum: Teachers in the Movies. Dalton has also tracked the history of the situation comedy in her edited volume The Sitcom Reader: America Viewed and Skewed. She has written and directed nine documentaries, including Martha in Lattimore about the life of Martha Mason, who lived in an iron lung for most of her life, and most recently Living in the Overlap, a love story that advocates for marriage equality.

Areas of Expertise (9)


Hollywood Movies


Documentary Films

Television Situational Comedies

Film Criticism

Teachers in Movies and Television

Film Production

Women in Film



Mary Dalton Publication Mary Dalton Publication



Wake Forest communication professor Mary Dalton loading image Wake Forest communication professor and filmmaker Mary Dalton in an editing room in the basement of Carswell Hall. loading image




Education (3)

University of North Carolina at Greensboro: Ph.D., Cultural Studies

University of North Carolina at Greensboro: M.A., Broadcasting / Cinema

Wake Forest University: B.A., Speech, Communication, and Theatre Arts

Media Appearances (4)

Wake Forest students part of Oscar buzz

Time Warner Cable News  


Wake Forest professors make their predictions but don't plan to watch the show. "One of the reasons I don't watch the Oscars every year is that sometimes I'm so passionate about a particular film that I just can't stand that it might lose, and a lot of times the films that I think are the very best are not the ones that the Academy choses," said Mary Dalton, Wake Forest University...

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Jim Dodson, behind the scenes with Mary Dalton, India Arie, and The Sharing Project

88.5 WFDD  


Film scholar Mary Dalton takes us Behind the Scenes at Out at the Movies Series, Winston-Salem and the Triad's LGBT Film Series. Their celebrating their tenth anniversary and Mary’s saved you an aisle seat...

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Wake Forest professor talks about her friendship with Martha Mason

Shelby Star  


After graduation from Wake Forest, Mason came home to Lattimore but she stayed connected to the community, Mary M. Dalton said. Dalton, who began a friendship with Mason in 2000, was the guest speaker for the Rotary meeting...

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Halloween means...movies

The Huffington Post  


Where I'm from, Halloween means cool nights, brilliant foliage and crisp apples, but everywhere it means scary movies. Lately, I've been thinking about my scariest viewing experiences...

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Articles (3)

Revising the Hollywood curriculum Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy

I started writing about teachers, students, and schools in movies over ten years ago and have considered scores of films dating back to the 1930s. My research includes films of diverse genres—starting with dramas and comedies, and including thrillers and musicals and hybrid forms—and makes a case for a genre of motion pictures devoted solely to educators, “good teacher movies,” while also exploring other films that depict bad teachers, gay teachers, administrators, and schools as a general setting...

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Media studies and emancipatory praxis: An autoethnographic essay on critical pedagogy Journal of Film and Video

"Pedagogy" refers to the process by which teachers and students negotiate and produce meaning. This, in turn, takes into consideration how teachers and students are positioned within discursive practices and power/knowledge relations...

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The Hollywood Curriculum: who is the 'good' teacher? Curriculum Studies

In this article 26 motion pictures (distributed widely in the USA over the past 60 years) are analysed to construct a theory of curriculum in the movies. Hollywood's ‘ideal’ teachers are defined as those who share a set of character traits found consistently in these films, traits that cut across traditional film genres and remain intact throughout the eras studied...

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