PhD 1995, New York University
On leave Autumn 2012 and Winter 2013
My research and teaching engage with cultures and aesthetics of the cinematic image through specific historical intersections. I have special interest in the workings of location in postwar cinema (especially Italian), and in the human visage as privileged site of representation. My forthcoming book, On the Face of Film, reflects on the equivocal visuality of the face, on its illegibility and the sense of belatedness and loss that distinguishes the post-classical cinematic face, especially through French and American examples. My work in all its aspects is informed by a continued engagement with questions of realism and modernism, with crises of representation in postwar cinemas, and with cinema’s relationship to traditional (even archaic) and modern arts and media. While I explore the historical, material, and social experience of cinema, and how it partakes in cultures of the everyday, I am also unapologetically committed to the study of film as an art, in reciprocity with pictorial modes and with poetic rhetoric. I always like to see theoretical considerations breathe through close analysis of films, and through archival research.
Before joining the faculty of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago I was faculty member at Yale University. I advanced my studies and research with the support of fellowships and awards including the Fulbright, the Getty Post-Doctoral Grant, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Rome Prize.
Associated Faculty in Romance Languages and Literatures
Transitional Spaces in Postwar Cinemas; Bresson Against Cinema; Barthes Text Image; The Face on Film; The Cinema of Jean Renoir; Methods and Issues in Cinema Studies; Questions of Realism in Cinema; Tropes of Film Theory; Neorealism: Space, Culture, History; From La Dolce Vita to the Murder of Pasolini; Classical French Cinema; Surrealism & Cinema; The Musical Film; Screening Shakespeare; Human Being and Citizen College Core.
Selected recent publications:
Italian Locations: Reinhabiting the Past in Postwar Cinema. University of Minnesota Press, 2008.
“Of the Face: In Reticence.” A Museum without Walls: Film, Art, New Media, ed. Angela Dalle Vacche. NY: Palgrave/MacMillan, forthcoming 2012.
“Incoherent Spasms and the Dignity of Signs.” Opening Bazin, ed. Dudley Andrew. NY: Oxford University Press, 2011.
“Elemental Housing in the Postwar Imaginary.” Arts and Artifacts in Movie Technology, Aesthetics, Communication 6 (2009).
* Expanded version forthcoming in A Companion to Italian Cinema, ed. Frank Burke. London: Blackwell, 2012.
“The Cinecittà Refugee Camp, 1944-1950.” October 128, Spring 2009, pp. 23-50. Reviewed in i-italy.org.
* Italian version in two parts “Cinecittà campo profughi, 1944-1950.” Part 1 in Bianco e nero 560 (Nov. 2008); part 2 in Bianco e nero 561/562 (May 2009).
* Reprinted in The Place of the Moving Image, eds. by John David Rhodes and Elena Gorfinkel. University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
“Ages of the Face: Barthes, Godard, Warhol.” The Ages of Cinema: Criteria and Models for the Construction of Historical Periods, eds. Enrico Biasin et. al. Udine, It.: Forum, 2008.
“What the Clerk Saw: Face to Face with The Wrong Man.” Framework Journal of Cinema and Media 48.2, Fall 2007.
Work in progress:
On the Face of Film: book to be published by Oxford University Press, New York.
Cinecittà campo profughi [The Cinecittà Refugee Camp]: book to be published by Donzelli Press, Rome.
I have recently contributed the subject, treatment, and voice-over narration for a documentary film on the Cinecittà refugee camp, directed by Marco Bertozzi, and produced by Istituto Luce and Vivo Film, Rome.