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Tara Stillions Whitehead

Assistant Professor of Film, Video, and Digital Media

Interest and areas of expertise

Tara Stillions Whitehead is a multi-genre writer and filmmaker from Southern California. She has more than 8,000 hours of on-set experience in film and television production as a producer, DGA assistant director, and sound mixer/designer; major credited shows and films include The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Privileged, Saints & Sinners, and GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra.

Her research interests in film and television include evolving forms of the screen and teleplay; gender, race, and oppression in prime time television; equity in integrated media practices; portrayal of addiction and recovery in film and other media; and the enduring value of short form narrative/cinema. Digital media interests include ethics in interactive narrative and new media storytelling.

Her hybrid chapbook, Blood Histories, was published by Galileo Press in 2021, and her full-length collection, The Year of the Monster, is forthcoming with Unsolicited Press in 2022.

Tara’s hobbies include reading, running, live music, playing the Nintendo Switch with her two kids, and dreaming herself back to the beach—any beach.


San Diego State University, MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction
University of Southern California, BA in Cinema-Television Production

Classes I teach

COMM 105 Fundamentals of Oral Communication
COMM 203 Basic Video & Editing COMM 220 Film and HD I
COMM 254 Screenwriting I
COMM 255 Screenwriting II
DIGM 490 Digital Media Senior Capstone

Faculty Research and Scholarship

They More Than Burned (hybrid script/memoir) ELJ Editions, 2023
Blood Histories (hybrid) Galileo Press 2021
The Year of the Monster (stories) Unsolicited Press 2022

Academic Publications
“YAL and the Other: Increasing Cognitive Empathy in the Composition Classroom,”
Young Adult Literature: Practical Applications in the Composition Classroom (McFarland Press) Fall 2018

Select Fiction, Poetry, Screenplays, and Essays
“Ornithology for Girls,” Fractured Lit June 2021
“A Lesson on Endings,” Porcupine Literary Magazine May 2021
“17” Maudlin House
April 2021
“Flashover,” Still: The Journal
March 2021
“2001,” Pithead Chapel March 2021
“The Mother Must Die and Other Lies Fairy Tales Told Me,” Fairy Tale Review March 2021
“Undertow,” X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine March 2021
“Punchline,” jmww March 2021
“When an Alcoholic Falls from the Sky,” The McNeese Review March 2021
“Folding Elephants in Boiling Springs, PA,” Twin Pies Literary February 2021
“There Are No Secrets in the Constellations,” Malarky Books January 2021
“Seven Bodies I Didn’t Leave Behind,” Hobart After Dark October 2020
“Man with a Knife,” (screenplay) Writers Resist June 2020
“Self-Portrait for the Late Edouard Léve,” Gone Lawn June 2020
“The Most Beautiful Shapes No One Has Ever Seen,” Vox Viola. May 2020
“circles and spheres and other well-rounded objects,” Pithead Chapel May 2020
“Not for Syndication,” cream city review Winter 2019/2020
“Armistice,” Monkeybicycle January 2020
“The Year of the Monster,” PRISM international
Winter 2019/2020
“Blood Histories,” Bending Genres December 2019
“It Never Gets Dark,” Jellyfish Review December 2019
“The Body Looks Like a Horizon,” the tiny journal December 2019
“Inciting Moment,” The Rupture June 2019
“Backstory,” Burningword Literary Journal April 2019
“Time Is the Longest Distance by Larry Fondation,” American Book Review May/June 2019
“Deleted Scenes (3 of 78),” (screenplay) Fiction International Winter 2017/2018
“Review of Harold Jaffe’s Induced Coma: 50 and 100 Word Stories,” Sleipnir Spring 2017
“Here Lies Memory: A Pittsburgh Novel by Doug Rice,” American Book Review Spring 2017
“Interview: Harold Jaffe’s Goosestep,” New Orleans Review January 2017
“Reciprocal Functions: Reprise,” Fiction by New Urge Press Winter 2015
“Induced Coma: 50 and 100 Word Stories by Harold Jaffe,” Chicago Review May 2015
“Revolutionary Brain: Essays & Quasi-Essays by Harold Jaffe,” Texas Review Winter 2014
“Reciprocal Functions,” Black Scat Review Summer 2014
“After the Almost End of the World,” Fiction International Fall 2013
“Martyrs and Holymen by Larry Fondation,” American Book Review Fall 2013
“Aloneness Is a City” Oulipo Pornobongo: An Anthology Fall 2012
“Life Zero,” Red Rock Review Fall 2011
“General and the Tornado,” Columbia College Literary Review April 2011

Feature Screenplays
Revival (WGA-West Reg. #1291117) 2008