Dr Sarah Arnold

Media Studies, Motherhood Project, Arts and Humanities Institute

Head of the Department of Media Studies
Associate Professor

Ground Floor


I joined Maynooth University's Department of Media in September 2016 and am currently Head of Department. I previously worked at the school of Film & Television at Falmouth University in the UK. I received my PhD from NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media in 2010. 

At Maynooth University, I teach across the BA in Media Studies and the MA in Critical and Creative Media on subjects ranging from television studies to screen production.

I am co-PI of the Women in Focus project - an IRC/AHRC Digital Humanities funded project investigating women's amateur filmmaking. I'm also a researcher on the MotherNet project, an interdisciplinary project that builds research capacity across three European universities through the topic of 'narratives of motherhood'. I'm also a researcher on the GEMINI project, a pan-European collaboration aimed at tackling gender stereotypes by engaging high school students with serial drama's representation of gender issues. I currently supervise 3 PhDs and 2 postdocs. 

My research is more generally concerned with cultural production, from women's role in film and television practice to new entrants' experience of media and creative work. 

I welcome enquiries from people interested in pursuing PhDs or postdoctoral projects on topics in these areas. 


Year Publication
2021 O' Brien A, Arnold S & Kerrigan P. (2021) Media Graduates at Work: Irish Narratives on Policy, Education and Industry. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
2021 Sarah Arnold (2021) Gender and Early Television. London: Bloomsbury.
2013 Sarah Arnold; Mark de Valk (2013) The Film Handbook. London: Routledge.
2013 Sarah Arnold (2013) Maternal Horror Film: Motherhood and Melodrama. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2011 Sarah Arnold (2011) 'The Ring and Ringu: Naturalising Maternal Self-Sacrifice' In: Bound by Love: Familial Bonding in Film and Television since 1950. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear : Cambridge Scholars Press.
2017 Arnold, S (2017) 'Larry Clark's Sex Education: Adolescent Sexuality and the Denial of Denial' In: TAINTED LOVE: SCREENING SEXUAL PERVERSION. LONDON : I B TAURIS & CO LTD.
2015 Sarah Arnold (2015) 'Netflix and the Myth of Choice/Participation/Autonomy' In: The Netflix Effect Technology and Entertainment in the 21st Century. New York : Bloomsbury.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 O' Brien, A & Arnold, S. (2022) 'Creative industries’ new entrants as equality, diversity and inclusion change agents?'. Cultural Trends, . https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2022.2141100 [Full-Text]
2021 Arnold S. (2021) 'Experiments in early US television: windows of opportunities for female technical workers in the 1940s'. Women's History Review, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2022 O' Brien, A & Arnold, S. (2022) 'Imagining Diversity: An Irish Case Study of Graduates’ Perceptions of Inequality in Media Work'. Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, (24):32-48. [Link] [Full-Text]
2022 Arnold S. (2022) 'Skills narratives amongst media degree graduates and students: Discourses of hard and soft skills in education-to-work journeys'. Industry And Higher Education, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2022 Sarah Arnold & Hannah Andrews (2022) 'Editorial'. Critical Studies in Television: scholarly studies in small screen fictions, 17 (3). [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2021 O’ Brien, Anne & Arnold, Sarah (2021) 'Doing Women’s Film and Television History: Locating Women in Film and Television, Past and Present'. Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, . https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.20.01 [Full-Text]
2018 Sarah Arnold (2018) 'The Production of Television’s Female Audience: Early BBC Audience Research and Gender Classification'. . [Full-Text]
2015 Sarah Arnold (2015) 'Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination'. Journal of Urban History, 41 (2). https://doi.org/10.1177/0096144214563499 [Full-Text]
2014 Sarah Arnold; Dario Llinares (2014) 'New Perspectives on Cinematic Spectatorship, Digital Culture and Space: Re-evaluating Exhibition, Participation and Interaction'. .
2013 Sarah Arnold (2013) 'Redacted: The Iraqi War According to Youtube'. . [Full-Text]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2022 Sarah Arnold (2022) BBC at 100 Television Studies: Women at the BBC Bradford University, 13/09/2022-15/09/2022.
2021 Sarah Arnold (2021) Television Histories in Development Creating the daytime audience data: (Mis)locating women in US television audience research Hilverstrum, Netherlands, 30/09/2021-01/10/2021.
2022 Sarah Arnold (2022) Motherhood on Screen Domesticating Motherhood in Contemporary Irish Horror Film Maynooth University, 23/09/2022-24/09/2022.
2021 Sarah Arnold & Anne O'Brien (2021) Motherhood and Work Motherhood and Work: A virtual conference Virtual, 24/06/2021-25/06/2021.
2021 Sarah Arnold (2021) 'International Best Practice' The future of media: experience, models, practice Royal Irish Academy, 06/05/2021-.
2021 Anne O Brien & Sarah Arnold (2021) Gender Work and Organisation Equality and Diversity in the Media Industries: attitudes among new entrants to media work in Ireland Online, .
2020 Sarah Arnold & Anne O'Brien (2020) “I was very much aware of what I would have to sacrifice…”: Finding media graduates’ lived experience, memories of education and career narratives through qualitative methodologies Methodologies for Screen Media Research Bristol, Watershed Cinema & UWE, 15/01/2020-15/01/2020.
2019 Sarah Arnold (2019) Women in Media Conference on female practitioners in the Irish media sectors University College Cork, 15/03/2019-.
2019 Sarah Arnold (2019) Experiments in early US television: Windows of opportunities for female technical workers in the 1940s Invited speaker at Gendered labour, technology and the media workshop Sussex University, Brighton, .
2017 Sarah Arnold (2017) Feminist Futures: intersections of new media, technologies and women’s bodies, sex and sexuality Lecture delivered at Dublin Feminist Film Festival Dublin, .
2018 Sarah Arnold (2018) Audience Research at the BBC: Gendering and Scheduling Presentation at conference Doing Women's Film & Television History Southampton, UK, .
2016 Sarah Arnold, Anne O'Brien and Maria Pramaggiore (2016) Othered Voices: Women’s Voices in Media Industries Panel discussion on women in the Irish media industries Dublin Feminist Film Festival, .
2017 Sarah Arnold (2017) ‘Internalised misogynists’: The language of oppression and female Trump supporters This paper considers how the use of gendered discourse in criticisms of female Trump supporters risks reinforcing existing gender structures, reproduces discursive regimes that humiliate and silence and denies those very women subjectivity and agency Trump's America conference UCD, Dublin, Ireland, .
2017 Sarah Arnold (2017) Making the Female Audience: Audience Research at the BBC This paper traces the means by which the institutionally-produced category of the female viewer formed in early television audience research at the BBC International Federation of Television Archives, Mexico City, .
2018 Sarah Arnold (2018) ‘Internalised misogynists’: The language of oppression and female Trump supporters This paper considers how the use of gendered discourse in criticisms of female Trump supporters risks reinforcing existing gender structures, reproduces discursive regimes that humiliate and silence and denies those very women subjectivity and agency SCMS, Toronto, Canada, .

Published Report

Year Publication
2020 O’ Brien, A., Arnold, S. Culloty, E. Naji, J. (2020) Global Alliance on Media and Gender Country Report on Ireland. GAMAG, .


Year Publication
2019 Sarah Arnold & Anne O'Brien (2019) From Education to Work: Media Graduates’ Experience of the Media Industries. [Blog] [Link]
2020 Sarah Arnold (2020) Reflections on Media Education During the Covid-19 Lockdowns. [Blog] [Link]
2021 Sarah Arnold (2021) What Future For Irish Public Service Television?: Rté Television And Technological Adaptation. [Blog] [Link]
2018 Sarah Arnold (2018) The BBC Gender Problem: A Century in the Making. [Blog]
2018 Sarah Arnold (2018) Between Programme Policy and Practice: Gender, Diversity and the Case of RTÉ’s Children’s Christmas Show, the Late Late Toy Show. [Blog]
2016 Sarah Arnold (2016) Live Broadcasting: Brought to you by Facebook. [Blog] [Link]
2016 Sarah Arnold (2016) Isn't it Funny: Now we can Laugh at Brexit. [Blog] [Link]
2017 Sarah Arnold (2017) When news and drama compete for time: The Handmaid’s Tale’s release. [Blog] [Link]
2017 Sarah Arnold (2017) Virtual Reality: The Sexual Revolution is not Taking Place. [Blog] [Link]
2017 Sarah Arnold (2017) Live from Facebook… and the BBC… and the Users: Video Streaming and Authorship. [Blog] [Link]
2017 Sarah Arnold (2017) What Use is a Gendered Audience?: Institutional Classification Then and Now. [Blog] [Link]

Book Review

Year Publication
2022 Sarah Arnold (2022) Book Review: Frances Galt, Women’s Activism Behind the Screens: Trade Unions and Gender Inequality in the British Film and Television Industries, Bristol: Bristol University Press, 2021. [Book Review]
2022 Arnold, S (2022) Movie Workers: The Women Who Made British Cinema. EDINBURGH: [Book Review] [DOI]

Invited Lectures

Year Publication
2017 Sarah Arnold (2017) Feminist Futures: intersections of new media, technologies and women’s bodies, sex and sexuality. Dublin Feminist Film Festival 2017: [Invited Lectures] [Link]

Newspaper Articles

Year Publication
2019 Sarah Arnold (2019) Derry Girls and the value of good television. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2019 Sarah Arnold (2019) And the winner is: the Academy Awards' problem with women. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2020 Sarah Arnold (2020) How Netflix changed what we watch on our screens. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2017 Sarah Arnold & Anne O'Brien (2017) Newstalk and RTE aren't alone - most of the Irish media industry has a 'woman problem'. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2023) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
Royal Television Society Member 03/07/2017 -
Women in Film & Television Ireland Member 03/10/2017 -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/10/2017 Media Studies Grant International Federation of Television Archives
01/09/2006 PhD Scholarship Huston School of Film and Digital Media


Committee Function From / To
Academic Discipline Board Member 04/09/2017 -
Learning and Teaching Committee Member 30/11/2016 -


Employer Position From / To
Axonista Project Manager 25/01/2016 - 15/07/2016
Southampton Solent University Lecturer in Film & TV 21/09/2009 - 31/08/2011
Falmouth University Lecturer in Film & TV 01/09/2011 - 25/01/2016


Start date Institution Qualification Subject
Southampton Solent Certificate in Blended Learning Blended Learning

Teaching Interests

I lecture on undergraduate and postgraduate courses on subjects related to the study of television, screen media and media technologies as well as screen production and research methods for media practice. 
Taught modules are as follows:
BA Media Studies:
  • MD161 Introduction to Media & Cultural Studies
  • MD332 Media & Cultural Work
  • MD314 Media & Cultural Industries
I am Head of Department since September 2023.

I also supervise PhD projects on subjects in film and television industries and work; and gender and representation gender and work. Past PhD students include John Hillman and Tugce Bivac. Current PhD students include Eleanor McSherry, Jonathan O'Brien and Sarah Larkin. Postdoctoral researchers that I supervise include Carolann Madden and Izzy Fox.