Sarah Churchwell's research expertise and teaching experience are in 20th century and contemporary American literature and culture; American film history and theory, gender theory; cultural studies and popular culture; life-writing and literary theory. Her principal interests involve questions of literature, film, cultural value and gender, including the relationship of literature to canon formation, representations of women, feminism, film and visual media; popular culture and the history of popular literature; biography and life-writing; serial fiction and print media; reception histories and the role of audiences/readers; and popular intellectualism.
She writes regularly for the Guardian, the Independent, the New York Times Book Review, and the TLS, and has a regular monthly column on popular film for Psychologies magazine.
In 2009, she was one of the judges of the Orange Prize for Fiction. In the autumn of 2009 she will be appearing at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, and at the Tate Modern discussing the work of David Lynch. She is a regular panelist on Newsnight Review (BBC2). Radio appearances include Any Questions, Front Row and Woman's Hour. Most recently she has written and narrated a documentary for Radio 4 on the 20th anniversary of When Harry Met Sally.