Caseen Gaines is an author, director, educator, and popular culture historian.
His work has received praise from media outlets around the world including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Hollywood Reporter, and Esquire.
His latest book, Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way, was published in May 2021. His forthcoming book, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: The Ultimate Visual History, will be released this August.
He is the author of We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy, which led to his television appearances on Entertainment Tonight and Netflix's "The Movies That Made Us." His book The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History received a starred review in Booklist.
His first book, Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse, was a 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medalist. Its follow up, A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic, was featured on The TV Guide Network, where Gaines also appears on a perennially televised documentary.
Beyond his books, he has been published at Vanity Fair, io9, and New York Magazine — and has written original features for Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club, and Decider. He has also worked as a consultant and ghostwriter on several narrative nonfiction projects.
He holds a Master’s Degree from Rutgers University in American Studies, where he focused on racial representations in popular culture, and, in addition to writing, is co-Artistic Director of a nonprofit theater company he cofounded in 2005 and a high school English teacher in New Jersey, where he has taught for fifteen years.