Jonna K. Eagle

Associate Professor



Brown University (PhD)

Area of Interest

Film and Media
Affect Studies
Cultural and Gender Studies
U.S. Social and Cultural History
Critical and Feminist Theory


Jonna Eagle received her Ph.D. and M.A. in American Civilization from Brown University and her B.A. in Cultural Theory from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her research circulates around the role of popular media and culture in the shaping of dominant affects and understandings, with a particular focus on issues of gender, violence, and white supremacy. She has served on the faculty of the American Studies department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa since the fall of 2011. Her current projects include a broad investigation of the cultural, legal, and political status of guns across the history of the United States and the constitutive place and function of the white male victimaggressor within this history; and the ongoing project, To Be Real: War and American Screen Culture, which analyzes the values of realness and authenticity as they accrue around mediated representations of violence. She is the author of War Games (Rutgers University Press, 2019), which examines the militarization of American culture through a survey of the many forms of simulated war experience in which we engage, from tabletop games to military training simulations, documentary war reenactments to epic blockbuster films, videogames to drone interfaces. She is also the author of Imperial Affects: Sensational Melodrama and the Attractions of American Cinema (Rutgers University Press, 2017), which interrogates the appeals of both suffering and omnipotence as they shape the melodramatic history of American action cinema and the role of the white male victimhero within it. Other work appears in Hollywood at the Intersection of Race and Identity (Rutgers University Press, 2019), The Martial Imagination (Texas A&M University Press, 2013), and the
journals Screen and American Quarterly.

Professor Eagle’s teaching centers around issues of war and representation; gender and race in popular film and media; affect studies; critical and cultural theory; and American cultural, social, and intellectual history. She offers undergraduate and graduate courses in War and Media, American Cinema, Gender in Action Cinema, Mass Media, and Public Feeling, alongside core courses in the themes and methods of American Studies. Prior to her position at UH Mānoa, she taught in the Program in Women’s Studies at Duke University. She currently serves as an Associate Editor of American Quarterly, the flagship journal of the American Studies Association.


Moore Hall 330


Core Faculty