Students

Mary Adekoya

Dissertation: 

"Shadows of Film: Nollywood and the Vernacular Revolution in African Cinema"

Research Interests: 

African cinema (with focus on Nollywood); African American cinema; transnational trends in Black cinemas; representation of Black women; issues in Black spectatorship; and new media cultures

Dave Burnham

Research Interests: 

Avant-gardes in cinema and the related arts; experimental cinema; film and philosophy; aesthetics; utopianism in ceinema and literature; science fiction; cinemas of political modernism; Eisenstein; digital cinema theory and practice; 3D & VR; film theory.

William Carroll

Dissertation: 

Suzuki Seijun and the Redemption of Cinephilia

Research Interests: 

Popular cinema (especially Hollywood 1920s-1960, Japan 1930s-1968, and Hong Kong 1980s-present), formalist film theory, cinephilia, auteur studies, phenomenologies of film experience, and cinemas of East Asia.

Richard Davis

Dissertation: 

Wit and Worldplay: The Japanese Wartime Musical Film, 1931-1945

Research Interests: 

I study pre-1945 Japanese cinema, and the relationships between aesthetic and industrial practices (genre, advertising, transmedia) on the one hand, and discourse on modernity, nation, history, and age/gender/sexuality on the other. I’m also interested in theories of perception and spectatorship, both global and specific to urban mass culture of the 20s and 30s. My dissertation explores a little-known corpus of Japanese musical films made between 1931 and 1945, with an emphasis on cultural flows, parody, censorship, affect and embodiment, and the meaning of music.

Pedro Doreste

Research Interests: 

Propaganda; Hollywood film reception during the Cold War; state-sponsored piracy, with particular attention to Revolutionary Cuba; screen-capture technologies and respresentations of computer interface in film.

Clint Froehlich

Dissertation: 

"The Baring of Style: Contemporary American Cinema and Sensory Storytelling"

Research Interests: 

Hollywood / American film style and form (1896-present, especially post-1960); sound in film and sounds studies; video games (particularly cinematic and narrative forms within them); gendered and queer representation in moving-image practice; auteur studies and authorship; box office analysis; formalist and neo-formalist approaches to cinema & media studies; classical film theory; female, minority, and/or queer directors; history of audio-visual technology; media theory and criticism; horror and science-fiction film & literature; television studies. 

Zain Jamshaid

Dissertation: 

My dissertation explores issues of narrative and style, modernism and realism, and the dynamic interplays of geography and aesthetics in the films and photographs of Nuri Bilge Ceylan, from his earlier "provincial trilogy" (The Small Town, Clouds of May, and Distant), to his recent experiments with digital technologies (Climates, Three Monkeys, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, and "The World of My Father").

Research Interests: 

Mise-en-scène and style in twenty-first century global art cinema (especially Alonso, Assayas, Ceylan, Filho, Hong, Guiraudie, Kechiche, Lapid, Porumboiu, Reygadas, and J. Pedro Rodrigues); modernism; realism; commercial and independent cinemas of Egypt, Iran, Israel, and Turkey; film and media co-productions in Asia-Pacific; the "Indian New Wave"; queer experimental film and video.

Daniel Johnson

Research Interests: 

I’m a student in the joint program with Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Research interests: experiences of proximity of space and simultaneity of time in online communication and game media, cultures of anonymity, video-sharing websites (Youtube, Niconico), alterity in language, practices of reading, writing, and watching, theories of the figural, humor and irony in spectatorship, genre and popular cinema, anxiety and frustration in narrative and gaming.

Ian Jones

Dissertation: 

Enough of a World: A Phenomenology of Videogame Weltlichkeit

Research Interests: 

My research interests include phenomenology and its history within media studies; formal examination of the congruences and divergences in the presentation of space and staging of action across cinema and videogames; embodied, embedded, extended, and enactive approaches to mind; and North American avant-garde cinema (especially found footage filmmaking and experimental machinima).

Tien-Tien Jong

Research Interests: 

Dance in film; opera films and musicals; pop music in film; automatons, robots and non-human characters; "rampant juvenile delinquency"; costuming; Brakhage and Anger; representations of gender, race, and disability; animation; Technicolor; and video art. 

Gary Kafer

Research Interests: 

History and practices of surveillance; data-based media; anonymity and transparency in our post-privacy culture; visual neurosciences and perceptual psychology; queer theory, cinema, and image-making practices; documentary aesthetics.

Ritika Kaushik

Research Interests: 

Interested in documentary film theory and practice; film historiography; paper and archival studies; state funded experimental films and publicity / propoganda. I focus on state sponsored documentary and short film practice in India in the 1960's and 1970's, especially leading up to the Indian Emergency period 1975-77.

Katerina Korola

Research Interests: 

Katerina Korola is a PhD student pursuing a joint-degree in the Departments of Cinema and Media Studies and Art History. Her research interests include set design and other forms of designed environments (greenhouses, botanical gardens, department stores, film studios, theatres, exhibition pavilions); traditions of visionary architecture in the twentieth-century; ruins, decay, and waste in postwar art and film; the archive in contemporary art and film practices; and abstraction across media (especially the monochrome).

Mikki Kressbach

Dissertation: 

"Perfect Contagion Machine"

Research Interests: 

Disease and medicine in media, technology and epistemology, new media and network aesthetics, peanut M&Ms, late 20th century French theory and film, surveillance, and Lord & Miller

Leah Li

Research Interests: 

Cinema and media studies as related to philosophical thoughts; gender issues; affects theory.

Dong Liang

Dissertation: 

“You ain’t heard nothin’ yet”: Film Sound’s Unheard Histories

Research Interests: 

Film sound, film theory, media history/archaeology, digital cinema (3D), new media (game, software studies), philosophy of technology 

Zdenko Mandusic

Dissertation: 

My dissertation project investigates how Soviet films of the Post-Stalinist period communicated cultural values through cinematographic techniques, how formal elements organized viewer perception of these values, and how these formal elements were conceptualized.

Research Interests: 

East European, especially Russian/Soviet and Yugoslav, national cinemas and literatures, theories of spectatorship, realism, and affect. I am particularly interested in links between post-WWII East European cinemas and liberal Marxism, patterns of continuity and change in film style, conceptions of film realism and their links to literature, and the impact of technological development on the production, distribution, and exhibition of films in Russia and Eastern Europe. 

Noa Merkin

Research Interests: 

My research interests include the interconnectedness between film and philosophical themes such as medium and mediation, movement and vitality; Kant, Goethe and German Romanticism, Walter Benjamin.

Nicole Erin Morse

Dissertation: 

"Selfie Aesthetics"

Research Interests: 

To date, my research has focused on questions of gender, race, and self-representation in television, new media, and pornography. My dissertation examines selfies and self-representational art by trans women and transfeminine people, analyzing how these artists and selfie creators use selfie aesthetics to interrogate intimacy, narcissism, visibility, doubling, and the archive. My research has been published in Porn Studies, Feminist Media Studies, and Jump Cut. As a filmmaker, I work primarily in participatory documentary and essay film.

Sabrina Negri

Dissertation: 

Archival Clues: Film, Digital, and the Evidential Paradigm

Research Interests: 

Film archiving and preservation; detective fiction; cinema in the digital age; American and international horror film; Italian colonial and post-colonial cinema.

A.P. Pettinelli

Research Interests: 

Areas of interest include postwar Italian avant-garde art and political practices across media; Italian autonomist and French post-Marxist studies of semiocapital and subjectivity; political futures and the non/post human; speculative aesthetics and theory-fiction.   

James Rosenow

Dissertation: 

Dissertation: “For God’s Sake, Don’t Call it Art”: The American Interwar Laboratory and its Film ExperimentsCommittee members:Tom Gunning (chair), Jennifer Wild, Martha Ward (Art History) 

Research Interests: 

Inter-war Modernism; experimental and avant-garde cinema; amateur cinema; aesthetic historiography; graphic novels; synesthesia; issues of authorship 

Jordan Schonig

Research Interests: 

The aesthetics and perception of cinematic motion; phenomenological theories of spectatorship; Kantian aesthetics and modernist art criticism; ordinary language philosophy and Stanley Cavell.

Amy Skjerseth

Research Interests: 

My work focuses on sound, music, and voice in cinema, particularly the 1960's and 70's Amercian avant-garde but also more contemporary art and horror cinema. Through sound studies and theories of embodiment, I close read sound as a material linkage between spectators and onscreen bodies. As such, I'm interested in haptic aurality (a kind of multisensory awareness to sound studies) which encompasses topics such as voice and disability and representations of the non-human. 

Nova Smith

Dissertation: 

"For Us, By Us (On the Low...)": Resistance, Subversion, and a 'Post-Racial' Black Cinematic Aesthetic

Research Interests: 

African American film, aesthetics, and material culture; theories of abjection and blackness; the black public sphere; constructions of whiteness in the black imaginary; posthumanism and embodiment; Latin American cinema with an emphasis on Brazilian film; the Black Atlantic and diasporic black cultures; cinematic representations of Transatlantic slavery across national and generic lines; post-classical Hollywood cinema, including independent film; science-fiction and horror genres

Aurore Spiers

Research Interests: 

Women in silent cinema, French cinema, serials from the 1920s, silent comedies and westerns, Jean Durand, early stardom, Jean Rollin and Jess Franco.

Amy Stebbins

Dissertation: 

The Theater of the Turn: the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz 1992-2017

Research Interests: 

Art and society; Theater and Perfomrance Studies; Critical Theory; German cinema; acting in film, opera, and theater; practice / theory; the musical; Arab cinema.

Pao-Chen Tang

Research Interests: 

I am a student in the joint degree program with Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. My research interests include animal and landscape in cinema and the other arts; landscape aesthetics; animism and shamanism; techniques of self-cultivation such as inner alchemy and martial arts; ethnographic film; ecocriticism and ecocinema; documentary; contemporary East Asian cinemas; Chinese-language cinemas of all periods and regions; special effects; set design.  Email: pctang@uchicago.edu

Shannon Tarbell

Dissertation: 

"Small Talk: Film Dialogue and the Ordinary"

Research Interests: 

Classical film theory; film sound, especially the voice; classical Hollywood cinema; cinema's relation to other arts and issues of medium specificity; cinematic contingency; theories of the everyday and the ordinary; forms of philosophical skepticism; ordinary language philosophy; and Stanley Cavell. 

Artemis Willis

Dissertation: 

The Magic Lantern Today: Apparatus, Archaeology, Aesthetics

Research Interests: 

The international history, practice and aesthetics of the magic lantern; early popular visual culture; documentary and nonfiction film; early cinema; silent cinema; experimental and avant-garde cinema; media archaeology; still/moving; stage to screen.

Junko Yamazaki

Dissertation: 

My dissertation attempts to trace the postwar history of the genre, jidaigeki (Japanese period film), in the context of rapidly changing geopolitics, movie-going practices, mediascape and popular culture of the postwar in general, and the rise and fall of radical politics and counterculture of the 1960s in particular.Email: junko1_at_uchicago.edu

Research Interests: 

I’m a student in the joint degree program with Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. My research interests include: film theory; spectatorship and audience studies; the reception of modern technology and the intersection of scientific discourses and artistic practices; Japanese cinema and other national cinema; New Wave(s); history of cultural studies in Britain, North America and Japan; queer studies; popular cinema (esp. avant-garde artists’ engagement with it), film genre and star system; sound technologies and auditory cultures in modern Japan (with a strong interest in 1960s Japanese film music); modernism; literary theories and criticism; modernity and historiography; subtitling.

Yuqian Yan

Research Interests: 

Representation of history in Chinese cinema, the relation between opera and cinema, Chinese independent documentary films. I am particular interested in how cinema changes our perception of and relation to history as compared to experiencing the past through words. Along this line, I also have related interest in the circulation of "history as common sense” through opera performance, novels, and other forms of popular culture.

Panpan Yang

Research Interests: 

Animation; Chinese cinemas; global melodrama; theories of temporalities; the relationship between texture and emotion; the encounter between Asian and Western aesthetics. Web: http://www.yangpanpan.com/ 

Ling Zhang

Research Interests: 

Film aesthetics, classical and contemporary film theories; audiovisual representation of urban space and ruins, body and objects, cinematic time and narrative space; film sound; the interaction among traditional Chinese operas, early Chinese cinema, and its incorporation of influence from foreign films in terms of film language; Chinese opera films; Chinese films made by “the Fourth Generation” filmmakers; contemporary independent Chinese fiction films and documentaries. Taiwan cinema of the 1960s and 1970s, and Taiwan films made by Edward Yang, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, and Tsai Ming-Liang.