Dr. Banks' primary area of research is the American film and television industries, with a specific focus on creative and craft guilds and unions. She is author of The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and their Guild (Rutgers University Press, 2015). and co-editor of Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries (Routledge, 2009) and the forthcoming Production Studies, The Sequel! Cultural Studies of Global Media Industries (Routledge, 2015).
Dr. Banks is a Fellow at the Emerson Engagement Lab. Her work at the Lab has focused on civic engagement and the creation and faciliation of games for civic change. Her current project, The Boda-Boda Game, is a partnership with the Red Cross in Uganda.
She has written for Television & New Media, Cinema Journal, Popular Communication, Flow, Cultural Studies, and The Journal of Popular Film and Television, as well as for the anthologies How to Watch TV(NYU Press, 2013), The Handbook of Television Studies (Sage, December 2014), Teen Television (BFI, 2004), and Garb: A Reader on Fashion and Culture (Prentice Hall, 2007).
As part of her research and teaching, she has received fellowships from the Academy of Television Arts and Science and the National Association of Television Program Executives, as well as an invitation to attend the Television Critics Association 2008 summer press tour.
She teaches classes on film and television history, media industries, production studies within the department. She also teaches courses through the Institute for Interdiciplinary Studies for both the minor in Digital Culture and the minor in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.