PhD Research Profiles

  • Ifeanyi Awachie

    Curating Diasporic Nigerian Women Filmmakers

    My project looks at diasporic Nigerian women’s filmmaking in the US and UK contemporary art worlds, with a focus on artists including Sheila Chukwulozie, Jenn Nkiru, and Zina Saro-Wiwa. I consider the curatorial approaches to these filmmakers and how they engage African diasporic audiences. I look particularly at the roles of informality, knowledge transmission, and cultural specificity in the mediation of the filmmakers’ work.

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  • Ryan Banfi

    Pinball: Game, Gambling, Media, and Culture

    Drawing on game studies, gambling theory, narratology, and fandom studies, my dissertation investigates pinball’s past by tracking and analyzing the game’s stages in the context of U.S. history.

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  • Gianni Barchiesi

    How the perceptual experience of cinema echoes our lives as perceivers in action

    The purpose of this dissertation is to 1) explore and describe the general qualities of our perceptual experiences of cinema through the tools of the enactive theory of perception, and 2) to use said qualities to present the type of perceptual experience that cinema can afford us as specific of this medium.

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  • Lukas Brasiskis

    Environmental Memory in Post-Socialist East-Central European Films and Video Art, 1988—2018

    In my dissertation I hypothesize that an emphasis on material constituents of filmic chronotope enables us to re-examine and reconsider mnemonic and eco-critical attitudes in Eastern Europe as they are represented on screen. Instead of focusing on dominant historical narrative, in my research I pay attention to manifestations of images of material agents in fiction, non-fiction and experimental films produced in the period of the Soviet-to-post-Soviet transition.

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  • Nathaniel Brennan

    Film Theory and Wartime Intelligence: Research and Analysis at the Museum of Modern Art Film Library during World War II

    My research focuses on the social, cultural, and intellectual histories of cinema in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. My dissertation explores the collaboration between the Museum of Modern Art Film Library and the federal government to derive useful intelligence from (primarily) captured enemy cinema during World War II.

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  • Ting-Wu Cho

    Taiwan Pulp! The Emergence and Consumption of The Trans-Asian Exploitation Film (1970s-1980s)

    The research investigates the emergence of "Taiwan pulp," a group of low-budget exploitation films that contested the state censorship with the sensational, and its relationship with cinema cultures and industries in various Asian countries as a consequence of the geopolitics of the Cold War.

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  • Dominic Clarke

    My dissertation focuses on San Francisco based underground filmmaker Curt McDowell. Making films over a two-decade span, McDowell's works are both timeless and yet capture a specific moment in LGBTQ history, one specifically demarcated by AIDS. Mostly forgotten at this time, McDowell's films pushed gender and genre boundaries, and my analysis places them in conversation with other figures and milestones of LGBTQ film history.

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  • Leonard Cortana

    Memorializing assassinated anti-racist activists: transmediatic imaginaries and the rise of transnational and intersectional figures of resistance

    My doctoral research examines the transnational circulation of narratives about racial justice and activist movements between Brazil, South Africa, France & overseas departments, and the US, emphasizing the memorialization of political assassinations and the spread of the legacy of assassinated anti-racist activists.

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  • Anthony Dominguez

    City, Space, and Screen: Reconfiguring the History of Times Square

    In focusing on the development of urban screens in Times Square between 1908 to the present, I offer a new history of the Great White Way by examining the influence of global capitalism on public space, architecture, corporate advertising, military powers, and video-games.

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  • Anila Gill

    The Partitioned Self: Photography, Cinema, and Civic Memory in Lahore and Bombay (1930-1950)

    My dissertation offers three bodies of texts - photography, memoir, and cinema – as critical sites where Indian subjects worked through epistemic uncertainties under colonial regimes of sight and control. Deploying a method of anti-colonial untimeliness to project the Partition of India as a decelerated, unfinished historical moment, my research ultimately understands Partition as a process that dispersed fields of vision and produced divided perceiving selves.

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  • Tanya Goldman

    A Free and Better Screen: Thomas J. Brandon and Film Distribution Outside Hollywood, 1931-68

    My research engages with the study of media distribution and nontheatrical and activist cinemas. My work investigates how the often taken-for-granted commercial practice of media distribution is a fruitful site for analyzing expressions of political power and governance. My dissertation articulates this idea via the career of American nontheatrical film distributor Tom Brandon, an influential figure behind documentary, educational, and foreign art film circulation from the 1930s to 1970s.

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  • Zoe Meng Jiang

    Technically Real: The Making of a Post-Mao Visual Regime, 1978-2001

    My dissertation investigates the cultural logics of media technologies and how they participated in the process of truth-making in post-socialist China. The two decades after the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and before the admission of China in the World Trade Organization in 2001, mark a great transition of the country from socialism to its formal integration into the global Capitalist system. Media such as television, cinema and photography in this period were restructured by reform policies and changed from propaganda facilities to cultural industries. My project analyses how, in a time of unprecedented epistemological instability, a new perceptual environment mediated people’s idea about “what is the reality,” and how these new-found truths served or challenged existing state-society relations.

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  • Da Ye Kim

    Finding Virtual Reality: An Atlas of VR Sites and Communities

    My dissertation maps out the diverse cinematic sites of Virtual Reality (VR) and explores the people who build, occupy, and politicize those sites. The composite, transdisciplinary method envisions an extensive cartography of the VR mediascape, paying a particular attention to sites and corporeal bodies that mobilize, structure and capitalize the VR ecosystem. I consider this project as a current historical research as VR is in its vibrant process of becoming.

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  • Jasper Lauderdale

    Black radical alterity and the decolonizing of space and time in speculative film and media practice: Beyond the final frontier

    My dissertation seeks to illumine the oppositional, resistant, subversive and utopian aesthetic strategies embedded and deployed in black speculative art practice, in particular those works that foreground the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality to imagine alternate pasts, presents and futures.

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  • Ian Russell Lehine

    Ian's research interests include Ukrainian Language/Culture, New Media/Virtual Reality (VR), and Soviet/Post-Soviet Film. Ian is a VR practitioner, an avid traveler, and a so-called "digital humanist" whose research is deeply influenced by his experiences abroad and his creative practice.

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  • Rochelle Miller

    Hollywood's Ballyhoo Boys and Girls: Movie Promotional Strategies of the Studio-Era

    My dissertation asserts that Hollywood movie marketing campaigns of the studio-era proved key to the articulation of film culture in the US. My research focuses on specific movie promotional strategies executed between the years 1930 to 1948.

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  • Adam Segal

    Quality TV in the Multichannel Era

  • Justin Shanitkvich

    A Phenomenology of Taste in the Moving Image

    The aim of this dissertation is to illuminate the ways in which audiovisual media may stimulate or simulate a bodily taste response. I explore this dimension of what is largely film and television consumption with regard to a variety of practices, from animation to the European and American avant-garde and beyond.

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  • Negar Taymoorzadeh

    Melodramatic Responses to Modernization across Turkey's Yesilcam cinema and Iran's FilmFarsi

    I work on transnational melodrama, particularly on the historical interconnections between Egyptian Golden Age melodrama, Turkey’s popular cinema (Yesilcam), and Iran’s pre-revolutionary popular Cinema (FilmFarsi).

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  • Lauren I Treihaft

    My current doctoral research examines the ontological and epistemological limits of the contemporary discourse on temporality in an age defined by endless information streams, screen time, and binge-watching. I am interested in how our changing experience and perception of time is reflected globally in nascent cinematic forms and televisual modes.

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  • Raymond Tsang

    Wu/xia: law Outside of Law - Socio-cultural History of Martial Arts Cinemas from the 1950s to the Early 70s

    The research will shed light on those understudied Hong Kong martial arts films from 1950s to the early 1970s. It argues martial arts cinema and other cultural practices in that period paved the way to contributing the myth of maintaining law and order, and stability and prosperity in the mid 1970s - making the core value of Hong Kong from which spawned the predicament of postcolonial Hong Kong.

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  • Ann Lyuwenyu Zhang

    My research focuses on the history of the Chinese film archives—public and private alike—while theorizing the materiality and significance of the archive as a cultural object. I seek to question the ontology of the archive not only as a vessel of preservation but also as a living and evolving cultural organism that constructs the future through the preservation and remediation of the past.

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