D.N. Rodowick

Arendt publication
Professor Emeritus in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies
Ph.D., The University of Iowa
Research Interests: Aesthetics and the philosophy of art; the history of film theory; philosophical approaches to contemporary art and culture.


D. N. Rodowick is the author of numerous essays as well as eight books:  What Philosophy Wants from Images (University of Chicago Press, 2018), Philosophy’s Artful Conversation  (Harvard University Press, 2014); Elegy for Theory (Harvard University Press, 2014); The Virtual Life of Film (Harvard University Press, 2007); Reading the Figural, or, Philosophy after the New Media (Duke University Press, 2001); Gilles Deleuze's Time Machine (Duke University Press, 1997);The Difficulty of Difference: Psychoanalysis, Sexual Difference, and Film Theory (Routledge, 1991; reprinted 2013); and The Crisis of Political Modernism: Criticism and Ideology in Contemporary Film Theory (University of Illinois Press, 1989; 2nd edition, University of California Press, 1994). Rodowick’s newest book, An Education in Judgment: Hannah Arendt and the Humanities, will be published by University of Chicago Press in 2021. His edited collection, Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze's Film Philosophy, was published by University of Minnesota Press in 2009.  Rodowick's essay, "An Elegy for Theory," received the Katherine Singer Kovacs Essay Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies in 2009, and his book, Elegy for Theory received the Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies in 2015. 

Having taught at Yale University until 1991, Rodowick began the film studies program there. After studying cinema and comparative literature at the University of Texas, Austin, and Université de Paris III, he obtained a PhD. at the University of Iowa in 1983. Rodowick subsequently taught at the University of Rochester and at King's College, University of London, where he founded the Department of Film Studies and the Film Study Centre. Before coming to the University of Chicago, he was William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies and Director of the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts at Harvard University, where he also helped create a new PhD. program in Film and Visual Studies. Special research interests include aesthetics and the philosophy of art, the history of film theory, philosophical approaches to contemporary art and culture, and the impact of new technologies on contemporary society. Among other honors, he has been a Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Cornell University, a Senior Fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie at the Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar, Germany, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Film Studies, Free University of Berlin.  In 2002, he was named an Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Rodowick is also a curator and an award-winning experimental filmmaker and video artist. With Victor Burgin, he was awarded in 2016 a Mellon Collaborative Fellowship at the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, University of Chicago, to produce new video work. He is also a member of the International Association of Art Critics and the Arts Club of Chicago.

Rodowick’s artwork is represented by the gallery Campagne Première Berlin. His digital moving image works were recently selected for conservation and distribution by the Light Cone collection in Paris. For more information, visit www.bauleute.org.


*Editor of Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze’s Film Philosophy


  • Minimalist Experiment in Film and Video (Autumn 2021; CMST 28006 / 38006)
  • Philosophical Perspectives I (Autumn 2021; HUMA 11500)
  • Contemporary Art in Paris (Winter 2022, Paris Center; ARTV 20010)
  • Philosophy and Experimental Film (Spring 2022; CMST 67321)

Previously taught courses include: Cinema and Experience (CMST 67204),Cinema in Theory and Practice (CMST 14503), European Civilization in Paris-3 (SOCS 19015), Classical Film Theory (CMST 27220 / 37220), Deleuze and the Image (CMST 67205), Modern Film Theory (CMST 27230 / 37230)