Tricia Jenkins is Associate Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University, where she teaches courses in film history, genre studies, and media analysis.
Her research focuses on the CIA's covert involvement in the development and production of Hollywood movies, the culture and impact of the over-5000 international film festivals occurring around the world each year, and Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections through social media.
Jenkins has published works for both the public and the academy, in newspapers and magazines and for academic journals, such as The Washington Post, Newsweek, Cinema Journal, Journal of Popular Film & Television, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, The Journal of Popular Culture, and the Texas National Security Review. She wrote International Films Festivals: Contemporary Cultures and History Beyond Venice and Cannes, which surveys the scholarship on the growth and development of the over-5000 film festivals produced around the world each year, drawing on academic disciplines like urban studies, sociology, and film criticism. She covers both festivals like Cannes, Venice, Berlin, and Toronto, and also the growth of the smaller genre film festivals.
She is the author of The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television, which the CIA recommends to be read by its intelligence officers. The book gives an account of the intelligence agency's actions to bolster its image by establishing formal production and creative ties with Hollywood, initially through the work of Chase Brandon, an intelligence operations officer who acted as a liaison to Hollywood and who consulted on a number of film and TV scripts to further CIA interests. She also recounts how Hollywood publicist Michael Sands secretly supported the CIA's involvement in Hollywood throughout the 1990s. Movies and TV shows that Jenkins claims were developed or influenced by the CIA include Argo, The Bourne Identity, Alias, The Sum of All Fears, and The Recruit.
Jenkins's work on CIA propaganda and its involvement in Hollywood has been profiled by a number of publications and organizations, such as the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Center for the Study of Intelligence, The Conversation, the national security publication Lawfare, NBC News, Salon, and The Independent. She has spoken widely on the topic at academic conferences (including the Lennox Seminar on Propaganda and Political Persuasion at Trinity University), and in the media, on television networks like Fox News, Al Jazeera, and Public Radio International.