Christopher P. Wagenheim received his Ph.D. in Critical Studies in Media, Film, and Culture, from Bowling Green State University. He was, most recently, the National Endowment of the Humanities Visiting Assistant Professor at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY—a one-year, post-doctoral, digital humanities position. Broadly speaking, Wagenheim's work focuses on American popular culture. Specifically, Wagenheim explores the intersectionality of popular American cinema (action adventure and horror, in particular) and race, gender, and sexuality.
His dissertation Male Bodies On-screen: Spectacle, Affect, and the Most Popular Action Adventure Films in the 1980s—his current major project—reexamines action adventure movies in the 1980s, the male bodies they feature, the greater cultural trends of the decade, and the relationship between them. Male Bodies On-screen, in contrast to a near-consensus among scholarship, rebukes the idea that staunch conservatism popular in the 1980s had a monolithic impact on the action adventure movies of the era. Wagenheim's dissertation contradicts numerous claims that the physical and cultural enormity of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone in the 1980s—and the politics they were a manifestation of—were absolute. Additionally, this project constructs a number of new scholarly tools (including an affective lens to look at film, and a reconstructed definition of filmic spectacle) that open up new paths of inquiry.
Wagenheim is also continuing his work in the digital humanities, work that has already been peer-reviewed, published, and positively received. At Bowling Green State University he developed a mobile phone application that used augmented reality to bring additional images, video, sound, and color to static, traditionally printed scholarship. He coauthored an article that outlined the process of the app's development and its potential to radically alter the way in which scholarship (both past and present) is presented. This article was peer-reviewed and published in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management.
The interdisciplinary nature of his work—and its strong focus on popular culture—is also indicative of his pedagogical methods. Specifically, the texts that Wagenheim assigns and the discussions he shapes in his classes are meant to invoke a number of different disciplines and perspectives.