Dr. Kathryn M. Kalinak

Kathryn Kalinak
Department, Office, or School
Department of English
  • Professor

Kathryn Kalinak teaches courses in film in the English Department, Honors Program, and Film Studies Program.  Her special area of scholarship is the film score.  She is the author of numerous articles on this subject as well as the books Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film (University of Wisconsin Press, 1992); How the West Was Sung: Music in the Westerns of John Ford (University of California Press, 2007); and Film Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010, translated into Hungarian, Italian, Albanian and Chinese (forthcoming).  She is the editor of the books Sound:  Dialogue, Effects, Music (Rutgers University Press, 2011) and Notes from the Frontier:  Music in the Western (Routledge, 2015). Her latest publication is a critical biography, co-authored with Nico de Villiers and Asing Walthaus, Richard Hageman:  From Holland to Hollywood (Peter Lang Publishing, 2020).  She is currently at work on a revised edition of Film Music: A Very Short Introduction.  In 2011, she was awarded the Mary Tucker Thorp College Professorship for distinguished scholarship.


B.A., University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)

M.A., University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)

Ph.D., University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)

Selected Publications

Richard Hageman, the Flying Dutchman:  A Composer in Hollywood with co-authors Nico De Villiers and  Asing Walthus (Bern, Switzerland:  Peter Lang Publishers, 2020) 

Richard Hageman:  From Holland to Hollywood is the first critical biography to reconstruct Hageman’s colorful life while recreating the cultural milieu in which he flourished: opera in America during the first half of the twentieth century and film scoring in Hollywood in the heyday of the studio system.  Here Hageman’s most important works are analyzed in depth for the first time, from his famous art song, “Do Not Go My Love” and his opera Caponsacchi, to his film scores such as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and 3 Godfathers.

Behind the Silver Screen: Sound. Edited by Kathryn Kalinak. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, forthcoming March 2015. 

Sound, the latest book in the Behind the Silver Screen series, introduces key concepts, seminal moments, and pivotal figures in the development of cinematic sound. Each of the book’s six chapters covers a different era in the history of Hollywood, from silent films to the digital age.

Music and the Western: Notes From the Frontier. Edited by Kathryn Kalinak. New York: Routledge, 2012.

Music in the Western presents essays by film studies scholars and musicologists on core issues in western film scores: their history, their generic conventions, and their ideological import. The essays cover the genre of the western from its generation and development in Hollywood to its international impact from Europe to Asia.

Film Music: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.  It has been translated into Hungarian, Italian, Albanian and is forthcoming in Chinese, Arabic, Greek, and Portuguese.

An introduction to the discipline of film music, Film Music: A Very Short Introduction is an overview of the history, theory, and practice of film music. It embraces a global perspective examining film music in Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East, as well as the US and western Europe. 

How the West Was Sung: Music and the Westerns of John Ford. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

James Stewart once said, "For John Ford, there was no need for dialogue. The music said it all." How the West Was Sung is a comprehensive analysis of the music in Ford's iconic westerns. Employing a variety of critical approaches and incorporating original archival research, the book explores the director's oft-noted predilection for American folk song, hymnody, and period music. 

Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992. 

Settling the Score situates the music that developed to accompany Hollywood films of the studio era in historical, institutional, cultural, musical, and theoretical contexts and examines the conventions and strategies underpinning the classical Hollywood model, the most powerful and influential relationship to have developed between music and film.


ART 590 Directed Graduate Study
ARTM 590 Directed Study Media Studies
ARTM 691 Thesis in Media Studies
ENGL 202 Introduction to Literary Study II
ENGL 460 Seminar In Major Authors & Themes
ENGL 591 Directed Reading
FILM 116 Approaches to Film & Film Criticism
FILM 220 History of Film I
FILM 262 Film & Representation: Cross Cultural Projections – Japan and the United States
FILM 351 Akira Kurosawa
FILM 351 Cecil B. DeMille
FILM 351 D. W. Griffith
FILM 351 John Ford
FILM 351 Orson Welles
FILM 351 Walt Disney
FILM 352 Melodrama
FILM 352 Musicals
FILM 352 Westerns
FILM 353 Global Film Music
FILM 353 Hollywood Film Scores
FILM 353 Hollywood Studio System
FILM 550 Topics
FYS Film Music

Awards & Affiliations

Mary Tucker Thorp Professor of Rhode Island College, 2011