William Colvin Professor, Department of Art History, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Department of Comparative Literature, Department of Cinema & Media Studies, and the College;
Ph.D. in film studies from Institute of Theater, Music and Cinema, Leningrad, 1984.
(773) 702-0254

Research interests: History of film and film styles; film and Russian/Soviet art; filmmakers Dziga Vertov; Sergei Eisenstein; old versus new media; gesture and performance; film editing: history, theory and practice.

Ph.D. from Institute of Theater, Music and Cinema, Leningrad, 1984.

Yuri Tsivian studied film history in Riga (Latvia) and Moscow (Russia) combining it with studying semiotics under the guidance of Yuri Lotman (1922 – 1993), a prominent cultural scholar of the Tartu University (Estonia) in collaboration with whom Yuri has written a book on film language Dialogues with the Screen (Tallinn,1994). The author of over one hundred publications in sixteen languages, Yuri Tsivian is also credited with launching two new fields in the studies of film and culture: carpalistics and cinemetrics. The former studies and compares different uses of gesture in theater, visual arts, literature and film; the latter uses digital tools to explore the art of film editing. Visit Yuri’s website to learn more about cinemetrics; use your Russian to read Yuri’s book Approaches to Carpalistics: Movement and Gesture in Art, Literature and Film (2010).

Yuri is also involved in the restoration and video mastering of silent films; you can hear his voice on the audio essay for the DVD version of Dziga Vertov's Man with the Movie Camera (Image Entertainment, 1995), on the audio-visual essay on Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible, recorded on: Eisenstein: the Sound Years (DVD by Criterion Collection, 2001), and, both in English and Russian, on his CD-ROM Immaterial Bodies: Cultural Anatomy of Early Russian Films (USC 2000) for which Yuri received the 2001 award for the best interactive learning project from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Selected Publications in English:

BOOKS:

Lines of Resistance: Dziga Vertov and the Twenties (Pordenone: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, 2004)

Ivan the Terrible (London: British Film Institute Publishing, 2002)

Early Cinema in Russia and its Cultural Reception, with a foreword by Tom Gunning (Routledge: London, New York, 1994; paperback version: University of Chicago Press, 1998)

Silent Witnesses: Russian Films, 1908‑1919 (London: British Film Institute, 1989)

ARTICLES:

“ What Can We Do in Films that They Cannot on Stage? Film Style and Medium Specificity in the Cinema of the 1910s.” (In Japanese and English). Theater and Film Studies vol 1. March 2009, pp. 3-50.

“Cinemetrics, Part of the Humanities’ Cyberinfrastructure,” in: Michael Ross, Manfred Grauer, Bernd Freisleben (eds.), Digital Tools in Media Studies 9 (Bielfeld: Transcript Verlag, 2009), pp. 93-100.

"What is cinema? An Agnostic Answer,” Critical Inquiry 34 (Summer 2008), pp. 754-776.

“Robespierre Has Been Lost: Griffith’s Movies and the Soviet Twenties.” The Griffith Project, Vol. 12 (London: BFI 2008), pp. 111-121.

“Turning Objects, Toppled Pictures: Give and Take between Vertov’s Films and Constructivist Art,”  October 121, Summer 2007, pp. 92-110.

Man with a Movie Camera, in: Ted Perry, ed. Masterpieces of Modernist Cinema (Bloomington & Indianopolis: Indiana University Press, 2006), pp. 85-110.

Orphans of the Storm,” The Griffith Project: vol. 10 (London: BFI Publishing, 2006), pp.116-137.

“New Notes on Russian Film Culture Between 1908 and 1919” in: The Silent Cinema Reader, edited by: Lee Grieveson, Peter Kramer (London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 339-348.

“The Invisible Novelty: Film Adaptations in the 1910s.” In: Robert Stam, Alessandra Raengo, eds. A Companion to Literature and Film (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005, pp. 92-111.

“What is wrong with the beard: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible as an eccentric tragedy,” Cinéma: Revue d’etudes cinematographiques, printemps 2001, pp. 255-270.

"Man with a Movie Camera, Reel One: a Selective Glossary,"Film Studies: An International Review, Issue 2, Spring 2000: 51-76.

“Jakov Lintsbakh As Film Semiotician,” Elementa 4.2, December, 1998, pp. 121-9.

“Homeless Images: D.W.Griffith in the Eye of Soviet Filmmakers”, Griffithiana, 60/61, (October, 1997), pp. 51-76 (English and Italian). “Homeless Images: D.W.Griffith in the Eye of Soviet Filmmakers”, Griffithiana, 60/61, (October, 1997), pp. 51-76 (English and Italian).

“Between the Old and the New: Soviet Film Culture in 1918-24,” Griffithiana, 55/56, 1996, pp. 15-64.

"Media Fantasies and Penetrating Vision: Some Links Between X-Rays, the Microscope, and Film," in: John E. Bowlt, Olga Matich (eds.), Laboratory of Dreams: The Russian Avant-Garde and Cultural Experiment (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), pp 81-99.

“The Tango in Russia,” Experiment: A Journal of Russian Culture, 1996, vol. 2, p. 307-34.

"Melies in Russia: a Reception Study", in: Paolo Cherchi Usai (ed.), A Trip to the Movies: Georges Melies, Filmmaker and Magician (1861-1938), Le Giornate del Cinema Muto & George Eastman House, 1991, pp. 112-135.

"Early Russian Cinema and its Public", Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 1991, vol. 11, No 2, pp. 105‑120.

“Two ‘Stylists’ of the Teens: Franz Hofer and Evgenii Bauer,” in Thomas Elsaesser (ed.) A Second Life: German Cinema’s First Decades (Amsterdam University Press, 1996), pp. 264-276.

“The Wise and Wicked Game: Re-editing and Soviet Film Culture of the 1920,” Film History: An International Journal, 1996, Vol. 8, # 3, pp. 327-343.

“The Rediscovery of a Kuleshov’s Experiment: a Dossier,” Film History: An International Journal, 1996, Vol. 8, # 3, pp. 357-367.

"The Case of the Bioscope Beetle: Starewicz's Answer to Genetics," in: Discourse (Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture) 17.3, (Spring 1995), pp. 119-25.

"Dziga Vertov's Frozen Music: Cue Sheets and a Music Scenario for The Man with the Movie Camera," Griffithiana, No 54, October 1995, pp. 92-121.

"Russians in Russian Cinema: Construction and Reception of Nationality in Early Film Culture," in: Roland Cosandey et Francois Albera (eds), Cinema sans Frontieres /1896-1918/ Images Across Borders: Internationality in World Cinema: Representations, Markets, Influences and Reception (Quebec/Lausanne: Nuit Blanche Editeur - Editions Payot, 1995), pp. 122-132.

"More Real than the Real Thing: Images of Mongolia in Russian Film", The Voice of Ulan Bator, 1994, # 4, February, pp. 7-8.

"Russia, 1913: Cinema in the Cultural Landscape," in: Richard Abel, Silent Cinema, (Rutgers UP, 1996), pp. 194-216.

"Eisenstein and Russian Symbolist Culture: An unknown script of October", in: Ian Christie, Richard Taylor, (eds) Eisenstein Rediscovered, (Routledge: London, New York, 1993), pp. 79-109.

"Caligari in Russia: German Expressionism and Soviet Film Culture", in: Thomas W. Gaethens, (ed.) Kuenstlerischer Austauch / Artistic Exchage: Akten des XXVIII. Internationalen Kongresses fuer Kunstgeschichte, Berlin, 15.-20. Juli 1992 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1992/4), pp. 153-64.

"Cutting and Framing in Bauer's and Kuleshov's Films," Kintop 1: Jahbuch zur Erforschung des Fruehen Films, (Frankfurt, 1992), pp. 103-113.

"Censure Bans on Religious Subjects in Russian Films," in: Roland Cosandey, Andre Gaudreault, Tom Gunning (eds), An Invention of the Devil? Religion and Early Cinema (Quebec/Lausanne: Les Presses de L'Universite Laval - Editions Payot), 1992, pp. 71-80.

"Portraits, Mirrors, Death: On Some Decadent Clichés in Early Russian Films", Iris, 1992 (Autumn), No 14-15, pp. 67-83.

"Some Preparatory Remarks on Russian Cinema”, in: Ian Christie & Richard Taylor (eds.), Inside the Film Factory, (Routledge: London, 1991).

"Melies in Russia: a Reception Study", in: Paolo Cherchi Usai (ed.), A Trip to the Movies: Georges Melies, Filmmaker and Magician (1861-1938) (Rochester: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto & George Eastman House, 1991), pp. 112-135.

"Early Russian Cinema and its Public", Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 1991, vol. 11, No 2, pp. 105‑120.